Fawn Lake Resources Protection Area Encroachment Regional Mitigation


NTS/Virginia Development Company


Fawn Lake Subdivision
Spotsylvania, VA  22551

Fawn Lake Resources Protection Area

In 2004, Spotsylvania County adopted a modification to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance (CBPO) that changed the regulated limits of Resource Protection Areas (RPA’s) in the County.  This change affected all properties that abutted either perennial streams or wetlands contiguous to perennial streams.  The Fawn Lake community development was one of these properties.  With an approved Preliminary Plan for the development, and the change in the Chesapeake Bay regulations, many lake front properties in the community were significantly impacted.

In order to address the adverse impacts to over 100 lots in the community, Welford Engineering worked with the Client and Spotsylvania County to develop a regional approach to mitigate for the impacts of the new regulations.  This approach turned out to be a win-win for the Client and the County.  The Client recognized the importance of preserving the environmental quality of Fawn Lake, the crown jewel in the development, and the marketability of this time and money saving strategy for potential buyers.  The County recognized that this approach would result in over 100 less filings before the County Planning Commission and would result in greater environmental benefits in comparison to plans developed by each individual property owner.  To ensure consistency and streamlined oversight, the Fawn Lake Community Association agreed to monitor compliance with the program and report the findings to the County at regular intervals.

The regional approach to this problem began with Welford Engineering analyzing all undeveloped lots in the Community to determine which lots could result in encroachment into the RPA.  A conservative approach was taken toward determining the level of potential impacts, and all impacts were documented.  Once all potential impacts were identified and quantified our team completed an analysis of the pollutant loads that could result from this loss of buffer area.  Welford Engineering then developed a regional mitigation approach for offsetting these impacts through the construction of two additional ponds in the upper reaches of the watershed.  When the design is complete, the water quality improvements reached will be more than 4 times those that would have been achieved if individual mitigation facilities were used.

Our approach to regional mitigation was subject to County Planning Commission approval and received high marks for strategy and creativity, along with unanimous approval to move forward with construction.


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