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Town News Items

Posted on: July 27, 2023

Public Hearing: Updates to Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Map

cbpa

The Town of Ashland is seeking input at a public hearing at the Tuesday, August 15th Town Council meeting on proposed updates to the Town's Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area (CBPA) map, an output associated with the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance.

The Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries are one of the most important and productive estuarine systems in the world, providing economic and social benefits to the citizens of the Town and the Commonwealth. State Code § 62.1-44.15:67 directed localities to establish programs that define and protect certain lands, called Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas, which if improperly developed may result in substantial damage to the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

The Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance establishes regulations and criteria for use by the Town in granting, denying, or modifying requests to rezone, subdivide, or use and develop land in Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas. As part of the regulation, the CBPA Ordinance establishes two designations of areas that should be preserved: "Resource Protection Area” (RPA) and “Resource Management Area” (RMA).

Both CBPA designations include a mass of protected areas around perennial water bodies that could compromise the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Within the CBPA Ordinance, there are extensive provisions regarding what type of development is permitted within the CBPA areas and regulations for how the impacts of permitted development must be mitigated.

Analysis and updates to the Town's CBPA map were made possible by a grant provided by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The Town contracted Stantec to develop updated CBPA GIS map overlays and digital datasets using off-site publicly available mapping (soils, wetlands, USGS streams, floodplains, slopes, and other environmental constraints). 

Ashland's current CBPA Map outlines the approximate locations of RMAs and RPAs within the Town, but updates are needed to incorporate Stantec's findings.

A public hearing for the CBPA Map update is being held on Tuesday, Aug. 15th, as the map is associated with the adopted Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Ordinance. All proposed changes will affect areas of the adopted map only. There are no proposed changes to the CBPA ordinance language. Ordinance 2023-10 is proposed for the official CBPA map replacement due to the updated data. 

The proposed CBPA map can be viewed here: Proposed CBPA Map.

Any questions regarding the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area (CBPA) or the corresponding ordinance update may be directed to planning@ashlandva.gov or by calling the Planning Department at (804) 798-9219.

Those unable to attend the public hearing on August 15th may submit written comments in advance to dougg@ashlandva.gov.

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