The Chesapeake Bay is one of the most important and productive estuaries in the world, providing economic and social benefits to the citizens of Richmond County. These lands together, designated by Richmond County as Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas (CBPAs), need to be protected from destruction and damage in order to protect the quality of water in the Bay and consequently the quality of life in Richmond County. A CBPA consists of a Resource Protection Area (RPA) and a Resource Management Area (RMA). The Resource Protection Area (RPA) includes components such as tidal wetlands, some nontidal wetlands, water bodies with perennial flow, tidal shores and a 100-foot vegetated buffer area located adjacent to and landward of these components. The RMA includes all areas of Richmond County not included in the Resource Protection Area. Land disturbance or development in RPAs or any subsequent modification to the RPA may be allowed only when permitted by the Land Use Administrator.
A water quality impact assessment shall be required for any proposed land disturbance, development, or redevelopment within RPAs and for any development within RMAs when required by the Land Use Administrator. The site-specific boundaries of the RPA shall be determined by the applicant through the performance of an environmental site assessment and shall be certified as complete and accurate by a professional engineer, a certified land surveyor or a certified landscape architect. A water quality impact assessment (WQIA) shall be required for any proposed land disturbance, development, or redevelopment activity within a RPA or for any other development in RMAs as deemed necessary by the Land Use Administrator. A form titled “WQIA/Landscape Plan for Establishment, Replacement and Restoration of the Chesapeake Bay RPA” has been developed to aid applicants in assessments of impacts for proposed activities in the RPA and to ensure proper replacement, establishment and installation of vegetation where required by ordinance.