State officials look to protect rural communities with new bill

Posted on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 12:33 pm

99th District Del. Ransone (R-VA) is fighting to alter legislation that could halt the local home building industry.

99th District Del. Ransone (R-VA) is fighting to alter legislation that could halt the local home building industry.

Last week, legislators made big changes to a house bill that could have brought the local construction industry to a grinding halt.
It all stems from the soon-to -be enacted Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program, (SWPP) a by-product of the Chesapeake Bay Protection Act, which aims to keep local waterways clean by ensuring that all stormwater runoff is strictly regulated by localities in the commonwealth.
The initial wording of the SWPP would have landed homeowners bearing the brunt of fees associated with any land disturbance of more than 2,500 square feet, whether it be a driveway or the construction of a new home.
According to the state’s summary, the disturbance fee scale goes from an initial $209 for less than an acre with annual dues of $50, 1-5 acres with $310 and $400, 5-10 acres with $3,750 and $500, 10-50 acres with $4,700 and $650, 50-100 acres at $6,550 and $900 and greater than 100 acres at $10,300 with an additional $1,400 in annual dues respectively.
While larger and more densely populated counties and cities with sewers and culverts already constructed would not have been hit as hard, the SWPP posed a major threat to the growth of rural localities where such amenities are not in place.
It is a situation that 99th District Del. Margaret Ransone (R-Kinsale) and 98th District Keith Hodges (R-Urbanna) may have found a fix for.
On Thursday, Jan. 23, Ransone and Hodges presented a new bill to the house which would…

Read the full story in this week’s Northern Neck News, on stands now!

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