The GWRC & Stafford Co Experience Kevin F. Byrnes Director , GWRC Regional Planning & Demographer Steven Hubble Environmental Programs Manager Dept. of Public Works County of Stafford, Virginia
Regional Planning in Virginia Regional planning commissions are creations of local government encouraged by the state Regional planning is a voluntary local initiative Independent Cities & Counties = no overlapping taxing or land use authority, separate school systems Mission: "...to encourage and facilitate local government cooperation and state-local cooperation in addressing on a regional basis problems of greater than local significance. ……… to facilitate the recognition and analysis of regional opportunities and take account of regional influences in planning and implementing public policies and services. ….(to) promote the orderly and efficient development of the physical, social and economic elements of the district by planning, and encouraging and assisting localities to plan, for the future."
CZM & MPO-Supported Efforts CZM Supported Efforts: Animated flyover of imagery mosaic along Rapp. River Database of local development ordinances associated with local response to Virginia Ches Bay Preservation Act Local review and re-ranking of State-developed conservation lands needs assessment (VCLNA) dataset Regional Urban Ecosystems Analysis: 1996-2009 trends in land cover change and associated environmental impact Testing of impervious surface estimation models Development of regional greenway corridor siting tool Development of regionally-adopted Green Infrastructure Plan
CZM & MPO-Supported Efforts CZM Supported Efforts: Significant Finding Comparison of 30-meter LANDSAT-based land cover imagery with 1-meter, NAIP- based imagery for City of Fredericksburg* 30-meter imagery over-estimates impervious surface area (in urban area) by 34% 30-meter imagery under-estimates tree canopy area by 40% * 10 square miles
CZM & MPO-Supported Efforts MPO-Supported Efforts: Development of regional land use scenario planning tool in Community Viz…a local parcel-based inventory of current and future land uses generalized to regional map to inform regional travel demand model on TAZ allocation of population, housing and employment Integration of environmentally-sensitive and conserved lands into regional “greenprint” scenario Public opinion research to measure public preference among 3 alternative scenarios: greenprint preferred over status quo and “jobs/housing balance” scenarios
Challenging Inter-Govt . Environment Federal Actors: Army, Navy & Marine Military Bases National Park Service State Actors & Dynamics: 1-term Governor under Virginia Constitution Dillon Rule legal environment 4 key State agencies with differing administrative geography Sub-State Regional Actors: Multi-regional Rappahannock River Basin Commission GWRC – regional planning agency for Planning District 16 2 SWCDs in Planning District Local Actors: 3 urban MS4 & 2 rural non-MS4 localities, 2 institutional MS4s
Finding a Workable Regional Process Key: find the common interest that overshadows the autonomous & independent actions of local govts. Chesapeake Bay Preservation commitment by federal and state governments Inventory the stakeholders and map out regional engagement strategy 1. Identify individual program goals and ways to support 2. Start small…build on successful track record 3. Draw on the expertise of other regions and associations 4. For GWRC: be a facilitator, a “recording secretary” to assemble local points of view, generate consensus, leverage the many voices into one common voice and program recommendations
Regional WIP-2 Recommendations: Planning Research & Bay Model Revisions: 1. Regional work on land cover information documented the short-comings of the Bay model land cover data 2. Need better land cover estimation, change detection system 3. Need a wider network of water quality monitoring stations to understand urban run-off impacts better 4. Need better reporting and tracking system for BMPs, both urban and rural (see handout for complete list of all recommendations)
Regional WIP-2 Recommendations: Policy Support: General 1. Don’t re-invent the wheel…use the Tributary Strategies already developed to prioritize TMDL actions 2. Expand the Nutrient Credit Exchange program. 3. Expand the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (CBPA) to the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed. 4. Expand septic system pump‐out requirements statewide, require retrofits for failing systems, and grant counties the authority to require sanitary sewer system connections where appropriate. 5. Amend the Virginia Code to allow all Virginia localities to adopt an ordinance containing a set of tree canopy preservation requirements based on development density.
Regional WIP-2 Recommendations: Policy Support: Agricultural BMP Strategies 1. Better Coordination of State Stormwater Planning and E&S Programs 2. Evaluate Inter-Applicability of Urban and Rural BMPs 3. Promote Greater Collaboration between regional Planning Commissions and Conservation Districts 4. Evaluate and Promote New Technologies which Show Promise for Cost-Effective Reductions
Regional WIP-2 Recommendations: Policy Support: Alternate BMP Strategies Committee recognized 12 strategies not incorporated in Bay model which could reflect local practices not being given credit for water quality benefit Some of these practices are recognized and used under MS4 programs, why not in the Bay model?
Regional WIP-2 Recommendations: Policy Support: Nutrient Management Strategies 1. Targeting Impaired Stream Segments 2. Consider Sub-Regional Nutrient Management Planning as a Guiding Framework for Urban Nutrient Management Plans 3. Encourage Innovate (e.g. urban-rural) Nutrient Trading Partnerships 4. Promote Nutrient Recycling and Reuse Strategies that Promote Reduced Water Demand 5. Promote Wastewater Treatment Plant Efficiency Optimization
Regional WIP-2 Recommendations: Policy Support: Stormwater / E&S Strategies 1. Regional Coordination of Local Stormwater Programs 2. Targeting Urban BMPs on Redevelopment 3. Statewide or Regional Coordination of BMP Tracking 4. DCR Program Administration Improvements for Greater Efficiency 5. Stormwater Management Regulatory Support for “Regional and Watershed Approaches” 6. Continued Promotion of LID & Smart Growth Development Practices 7. Expanding BMP Eligibility for Undeveloped and Undevelopable Lands 8. Encouraging Conservation Easements by Providing BMP Credit for lands placed in cons. easement
Regional WIP-2 Recommendations: Regional & Local Resource Needs: Funding & Resource Needs (9) Planning & Programmatic Needs (13) Legislative and Regulatory Needs (10) (see handout for full list by heading)
Challenges Ahead & Next Steps1. Continued Facilitation of Regional Committee Meetings2. Testing methodology of using 1-meter NAIP imagery for better land cover estimation at Bay model river segmentshed level3. Capacity Building for local SWCD: NFWF technical assistance application to develop better District business model to support local govts4. Integrating New State Stormwater Management Regs into Local Ordinances5. Developing Process to Produce Farm Assessments, Nutrient Management & Conservation Plans for Rural Areas6. Building Nutrient Credit Exchange Partners in the Region & Beyond
Contact Information:Kevin F. Byrnes, AICP (email@example.com)Director of Regional Planning & Regional DemographerGeorge Washington Regional Commission (GWRC)406 Princess Anne St, Fredericksburg VA 22401Ph (540) 373-2890 (ext 18) Fax (540) 899-4808Steven Hubble (firstname.lastname@example.org)Environmental Programs ManagerDepartment of Public WorksCounty of StaffordP.O. Box 339Stafford VA 22555540-658-4559