Unintended Effect of Proposed Stormwater Regs on New Urbanism?

By: Andrew McRoberts, Editor. This was posted Monday, August 17th, 2009

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Sands Anderson Marks & Miller’s environmental law team has a new post that raises some important issues.

As written, could the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s proposed new storm water regulations pose an unintended obstacle to the redevelopment of our urban areas, and run counter to the many localities’ desire – and in high growth localities, the state mandate – for new urbanism?

See the blog here:
http://vaenvironmentallaw.com/2009/08/12/proposed-stormwater-regs-may-not-be-sufficient/

As another resource for understanding this issue, as mentioned on the Virginia Environmental Law blog, you can read the position paper from the Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association (VA-APA), which mostly supports the proposed regs, but raises these same issues:
http://vaenvironmentallaw.com/files/2009/08/stormwater-management-regulation-position_19june2009.pdf

There are still about 30 days to comment electronically on these proposed new regulations.

As local government attorneys, our clients do want to improve water quality. It is critical. But given the state’s mandate to high growth localities to pursue new urbanism, and our existing urban areas’ need for redevelopment, the issue raised is important. Redeveloping urban areas with infill development and focusing new growth in more compact areas makes great sense for water quality and many other reasons.

What do you think about these regulations? Do they strike the right balance? Has your locality commented on these proposed DCR regulations?

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