IW supervisors approve relaxed stormwater regulations, borrow pit

Published 12:03 pm Saturday, November 18, 2017

Isle of Wight County residents seeking to build a single-family house on less than one acre of land outside of a subdivision will no longer be required to construct stormwater facilities to manage runoff.

The county’s Board of Supervisors approved this change to its stormwater regulations after first discussing the matter during a work session in late October.

At that work session, Don Jennings, the county’s director of utility services, estimated that the change would impact between five to 10 percent of homes in the county, primarily in its more rural areas, as most new construction is currently happening within subdivisions where stormwater infrastructure is already in place.

“We have already had one of our residents benefit from this particular modification,” said Smithfield District Supervisor Dick Grice.

Jennings said the new wording of the stormwater ordinance, while less restrictive than what had been in place when the county was under a state MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) permit, would not prohibit the county from requiring stormwater management techniques such as ponds or conservation easements should the county receive an unusual building permit request.

“If we had an application come in where the wanted to cover 50 percent of their lot with sidewalk surface, we could regulate it, but a typical drive way and footprint, we would not regulate,” he said.

The other main topics of discussion for the night was proposed changes to the county’s ordinance on temporary signs and a conditional use permit by Bay Sand Company Inc. to expand its existing borrow pit located on a private road off Muddy Cross Drive in the Windsor election district. No action was taken on the sign ordinance, pending further input from the county’s Planning Commission on several changes the supervisors suggested.

The borrow pit application was approved unanimously, albeit over the objection of the Isle of Wight Citizens Association, which had passed a resolution in opposition to the permit and to open-pit mining in general at its last meeting.