[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Rappahannock as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This memorandum of understanding was entered into this first day of March 1982 by and between the County of Rappahannock, Virginia, hereinafter called the "County," and the Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District, Commonwealth of Virginia, hereinafter called the "district."
Recognizing the need for close working relationships in carrying out the responsibilities for which each is charged, the County and district enter into this memorandum of understanding as the foundation for an enduring cooperative working relationship. Such cooperation allows joint effort in the solution of problems relating to the planning and development of soil, water and related natural resources in Rappahannock County.
The district will make technical assistance available as requested by the County. This assistance, as set forth below, will be provided by federal, state and local resource agencies which work through the district, within the limitations of their budgets and availability of personnel and in accordance with established policies for reimbursement of certain costs.
The district agrees to:
Provide available basic natural resource data, such as soil surveys, inventories of potential water impoundment sites, outdoor recreation suitability appraisals, etc.
Provide interpretations of soils for various uses.
Assist in the development of policies, ordinances and programs for the conservation of soil, water and related natural resources.
Provide current soil and water conservation practice standards and specifications including those for erosion and sediment control to be used as a basis for developing conservation plans on lands within the County and on County-owned property.
Review, comment and approve, as required by local ordinance, plans which impact on soil, water and related resources.
Assist in developing and conducting training programs for carrying out an effective erosion and sediment control program.
Assist the County with an annual review of the effectiveness of the local erosion and sediment control program.
Inform the County of programs available through the district and its cooperating agencies which affect natural resource management.
Assist with local educational programs relating to natural resource conservation and protection of the environment.
Delegate a member of the District Board of Directors to serve as a liaison representative to the County.
Furnish a copy of its long-range program and annual report of accomplishments.
Prepare and submit to the County an annual plan of work and a budget request for carrying out the plan.
The County agrees to:
Assist the district in the development of effective soil and water conservation programs.
Provide the district with a copy of the comprehensive plan, land use plan and any other plan(s) for the County.
Consult with the district in the development or review of policies, ordinances and programs which deal with soil, water and related natural resources.
Use natural resource data and soil and water conservation standards and specifications furnished by the district in its local programs and on County-owned property.
Delegate a member of the County Board of Supervisors to serve as a liaison representative to the district.
Help carry out an education program designed to make the public aware of the need for the proper use and management of natural resources.
Sponsor an annual review to determine the effectiveness of the local erosion and sediment control program.
Provide the district with funding in support of the district's annual plan of work.
The County, and the district may/will meet annually to further coordinate their respective programs and activities for optimum mutual benefit.
Special emphasis will be given by the County and district to maximize the effectiveness of the local erosion and sediment control program.
This memorandum may be amended or terminated at any time by mutual consent of the parties hereto or may be terminated by either party by giving 60 days notice, in writing, to the other party.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Art. II, Erosion and Sediment Control, adopted 9-8-1982, as amended.
This article shall be known as the "Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance of Rappahannock County." The purpose of this chapter is to prevent degradation of properties, stream channels, waters and other natural resources of Rappahannock County by establishing requirements for the control of soil erosion, sediment deposition and nonagricultural runoff and by establishing procedures whereby these requirements shall be administered and enforced. This article is authorized by the Code of Virginia, Title 10.1, Chapter 5, Article 4 (§ 10.1-560 et seq.), known as the "Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Law."
As used in the ordinance, unless the context requires a different meaning, the following terms shall have the meaning indicated:
- AGREEMENT IN LIEU OF A PLAN
- A contract between the plan-approving authority and the owner that specifies conservation measures that must be implemented in the construction of a single-family residence; this contract may be executed by the plan-approving authority in lieu of a formal site plan.
- Any person submitting an erosion and sediment control plan for approval or requesting the issuance of a permit, when required, authorizing land-disturbing activities to commence.
- The Virginia Soil and water Conservation Board.
- CERTIFIED INSPECTOR
- An employee or agent of a program authority who holds a certificate of competence from the Board in the area of project inspection or is enrolled in the Board's training program for project inspection and successfully completes such program within one year after enrollment.
- CERTIFIED PLAN REVIEWER
- An employee or agent of a program authority who holds a certificate of competence from the Board in the area of plan review, is enrolled in the Board's training program for plan review and successfully completes such program within one year after enrollment, or is licensed as a professional engineer, architect, certified landscape architect or land surveyor pursuant to Article 1 (§ 54.1-400 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 54.1.
- CERTIFIED PROGRAM ADMINISTRATOR
- An employee or agent of a program authority who holds a certificate of competence from the Board in the area of program administration or is enrolled in the Board's training program for program administration and successfully completes such program within one year after enrollment. Generally, the County Administrator shall be the Certified Program Administrator for Rappahannock County.
- Any activity which removes the vegetative ground cover including, but not limited to, root mat removal or top soil removal.
- The County of Rappahannock.
- The Department of Conservation and Recreation.
- A tract of land developed or to be developed as a single unit under single ownership or unified control which is to be used for any business or industrial purpose or is to contain three or more residential dwelling units.
- The Director of the Department.
- DISTRICT OR SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT
- Refers to the Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District.
- EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL PLAN OR PLAN
- A document containing material for the conservation of soil and water resources of a unit or group of units of land. It may include appropriate maps, an appropriate soil and water plan inventory, and management information with needed interpretations and a record of decisions contributing to conservation treatment. The plan shall contain all major conservation decisions to assure that the entire unit or units of land will be so treated to achieve the conservation objectives.
- EROSION IMPACT AREA
- An area of land not associated with current land-disturbing activity but subject to persistent soil erosion resulting in the delivery of sediment onto neighboring properties or into state waters. This definition shall not apply to any lot or parcel of land of 10,000 square feet or less used for residential purposes.
- Any digging, scooping or other methods of removing earth materials.
- Any depositing or stockpiling of earth materials.
- Any excavating or filling of earth material or any combination thereof, including the land in its excavated or filled conditions.
- LAND-DISTURBING ACTIVITY
- Any land change which may result in soil erosion from water or wind and the movement of sediments into state waters or onto lands in the commonwealth, including, but not limited to, clearing, grading, excavating, transporting and filling of land, except that the term shall not include:
- A. Minor land-disturbing activities such as home gardens and individual home landscaping, repairs and maintenance work;
- B. Individual service connections;
- C. Installation, maintenance, or repair of any underground public utility lines when such activity occurs on an existing hard-surfaced road, street or sidewalk provided such land-disturbing activity is confined to the area of the road, street or sidewalk which is hard-surfaced;
- D. Septic tank lines or drainage fields unless included in an overall plan for land-disturbing activity relating to construction of the building to be served by the septic tank system;
- E. Surface or deep mining;
- F. Exploration or drilling for oil and gas, including the well site, roads, feeder lines, and off-site disposal areas;
- G. Tilling, planting, or harvesting of agricultural, horticultural, or forest crops, or livestock feedlot operations; including engineering operations and agricultural engineering operations as follows: construction of terraces, terrace outlets, check dams, desilting basins, dikes, ponds not required to comply with the Dam Safety Act, Article 2 (§ 10.1-604 et seq.) of Chapter 6, ditches, strip cropping, lister furrowing, contour cultivating, contour furrowing, land drainage, and land irrigation; however, this exception shall not apply to harvesting of forest crops unless the area on which harvesting occurs is reforested artificially or naturally in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 11 (§ 10.1-1100 et seq.) of this title or is converted to bona fide agricultural or improved pasture use as described in Subsection B of § 10.1-1163;
- H. Repair or rebuilding of the tracks, rights-of-way, bridges, communication facilities and other related structures and facilities of a railroad company;
- I. Disturbed land areas of less than 10,000 square feet in size;
- J. Installation of fence and sign posts or telephone and electric poles and other kinds of posts or poles;
- K. Emergency work to protect life, limb or property, and emergency repairs; provided that if the land-disturbing activity would have required an approved erosion and sediment control plan, if the activity were not an emergency, then the land area disturbed shall be shaped and stabilized in accordance with the requirements of the plan-approving authority.
- LAND-DISTURBING PERMIT
- A permit issued by Rappahannock County for the clearing, filling, excavating, grading, transporting of land or for any combination thereof or for any purpose set forth herein.
- LOCAL EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL PROGRAM or LOCAL CONTROL PROGRAM
- An outline of the various methods employed by Rappahannock County to regulate land-disturbing activities and thereby minimize erosion and sedimentation in compliance with the state program and may include such items as local ordinances, policies and guidelines, technical materials, inspection, enforcement, and evaluation.
- The owner or owners of the freehold of the premises or lesser estate therein, a mortgagee or vendee in possession, assignee of rents, receiver, executor, trustee, lessee or other person, firm or corporation in control of a property.
- The person to whom the permit authorizing land-disturbing activities is issued or the person who certifies that the approved erosion and sediment control plan will be followed.
- Any individual, partnership, firm, association, joint venture, public or private corporation, trust, estate, commission, board, public or private institution, utility, cooperative, County, city, town or other political subdivision of the commonwealth, any interstate body, or any other legal entity.
- PLAN-APPROVING AUTHORITY
- The Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District, which is responsible for determining the adequacy of a plan submitted for land-disturbing activities on a unit or units of lands and for approving plans.
- PROGRAM AUTHORITY
- Rappahannock County, which has adopted a soil erosion and sediment control program approved by the Board.
- RESPONSIBLE LAND DISTURBER
- An individual from the project or development team, who will be in charge of and responsible for carrying out a land-disturbing activity covered by an approved plan or agreement in lieu of a plan, who holds a responsible land disturber certificate of competence, holds a current certificate of competence from the Board in the areas of combined administration, program administration, inspection, or plan review, holds a current contractor certificate of competence for erosion and sediment control, or is licensed in Virginia as a professional engineer, architect, certified landscape architect or land surveyor pursuant to Article 1 (§ 54.1-400 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 54.1.
- SINGLE-FAMILY RESIDENCE
- A noncommercial dwelling that is occupied exclusively by one family.
- STATE EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL PROGRAM or STATE PROGRAM
- The program administered by the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board pursuant to the Code of Virginia, including regulations designed to minimize erosion and sedimentation.
- STATE WATERS
- All waters on the surface and under the ground wholly or partially within or bordering the commonwealth or within its jurisdiction.
- Any moving of earth materials from one place to another place other than such movement incidental to grading, when such movement results in destroying the vegetative ground cover either by tracking or the buildup of earth materials to the extent that erosion and sedimentation will result from the soil or earth materials over which such transporting occurs.
Pursuant to § 10.1-562 of the Code of Virginia, Rappahannock County hereby adopts the regulations, references, guidelines, standards and specifications promulgated by the Board for the effective control of soil erosion and sediment deposition to prevent the unreasonable degradation of properties, stream channels, waters and other natural resources. Said regulations, references, guidelines, standards and specifications for erosion and sediment control are included in but not limited to the "Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Regulations" and the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook, as amended.
Before adopting or revising regulations, Rappahannock County shall give due notice and conduct a public hearing on the proposed or revised regulations, except that a public hearing shall not be required when the Rappahannock County is amending its program to conform to revisions in the state program. However, a public hearing shall be held if the Rappahannock County proposes or revises regulations that are more stringent than the state program.
Pursuant to § 10.1-561.1 of the Code of Virginia, an erosion control plan shall not be approved until it is reviewed by a certified plan reviewer. Inspections of land-disturbing activities shall be conducted by a certified inspector. The Erosion Control Program of Rappahannock County shall contain a certified program administrator, a certified plan reviewer, and a certified inspector, who may be the same person.
Rappahannock County hereby designates the Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District as the plan-approving authority.
The program and regulations provided for in this article shall be made available for public inspection at the office of the Building Official.
Except as provided herein, no person may engage in any land-disturbing activity until he or she has submitted to the Building Office for Rappahannock County an erosion and sediment control plan for the land-disturbing activity and such plan has been approved by the plan-approving authority. Where land-disturbing activities involve lands under the jurisdiction of more than one local control program, an erosion and sediment control plan, at the option of the applicant, may be submitted to the Board for review and approval rather than to each jurisdiction concerned.
Where the land-disturbing activity results from the construction of a single-family residence, an agreement in lieu of a plan may be substituted for an erosion and sediment control plan if executed by the plan-approving authority.
The standards contained within the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Regulations and the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook are to be used by the applicant when making a submittal under the provisions of this article and in the preparation of an erosion and sediment control plan. The plan-approving authority, in considering the adequacy of a submitted plan, shall be guided by the same standards, regulations and guidelines. When the standards vary between the publications, the state regulations shall take precedence.
The plan approving authority shall, within 45 days, approve any such plan, if it is determined that the plan meets the requirements of the local program and if the person responsible for carrying out the plan certifies that he or she will properly perform the erosion and sediment control measures included in the plan and will conform to the provisions of this article.
The plan shall be acted upon within 45 days from receipt thereof by either approving said plan in writing or by disapproving said plan in writing and giving specific reasons for its disapproval. If no action is taken within 45 days, the plan shall be deemed approved and the person authorized to proceed with the proposed activity. When the plan is determined to be inadequate, the plan-approving authority shall Specify such modifications, terms and conditions that will permit approval of the plan.
An approved plan may be changed by the plan-approving authority when:
The inspection reveals that the plan is inadequate to satisfy applicable regulations; or
The person responsible for carrying out the pleat finds that because of changed circumstances or for other reasons the approved plan cannot be effectively carried out, and proposed amendments to the plan, consistent with the requirements of this article, are agreed to by the plan-approving authority and the person responsible for carrying out the plans.
In order to prevent further erosion, Rappahannock County may require approval of a plan for any land identified in the local program as an erosion impact area.
When land-disturbing activity will be required of a contractor performing construction work pursuant to a construction contract, the preparation, submission, and approval of an erosion and sediment control plan shall be the responsibility of the owner.
Electric, natural gas and telephone utility companies, interstate and intrastate natural gas pipeline companies and railroad companies shall file general erosion and sediment control specifications annually with the Board for review and written comments. The specifications shall apply to:
Individual approval of separate projects within Subsection I(1)(a) and (b) is not necessary when Board-approved specifications are followed; however, projects included in Subsection I(1)(a) and (b) must comply with Board-approved specifications. Projects not included in Subsection I(1)(a) and (b) shall comply with the requirements of the Rappahannock County erosion and sediment control program.
State agency projects are exempt from the provisions of this article except as provided for in the Code of Virginia, § 10.1-564.
Agencies authorized under any other law to issue grading, building, or other permits for activities involving land-disturbing activities may not issue any such permit unless the applicant submits with his application an approved erosion and sediment control plan and certification that the plan will be followed.
No person may engage in any land-disturbing activity until he has acquired a land-disturbing permit, unless the proposed land-disturbing activity is specifically exempt from the provisions of this article, and has paid the fees and posted the required bond. In addition as a prerequisite to engaging in the land-disturbing activities shown on the approved plan, the person responsible for carrying out the plan shall provide to the program authority the name of a responsible land disturber, who will be in charge of and responsible for carrying out the land-disturbing activity, in accordance with the approved plan. Failure to provide the name of a responsible land disturber prior to engaging in land-disturbing activities may result in revocation of plan approval and the person responsible for carrying out the plan shall be subject to the penalties provided in this article. A responsible land disturber shall not be required for agreements in lieu of a plan. However, if a violation occurs during the land-disturbing activity, then the person responsible for carrying out the agreement in lieu of a plan shall be required to provide the name of a responsible land disturber to the program authority. Failure to provide the name of a responsible land disturber shall be a violation of this article.
An administrative fee of $150 shall be paid to Rappahannock County at the time of submission of the erosion and sediment control plan.
No land-disturbing permit shall be issued until the applicant submits with his application an approved erosion and sediment control plan and certification that the plan will be followed.
All applicants for permits shall provide to Rappahannock County a performance bond, cash escrow, or an irrevocable letter of credit acceptable to the Building Official in sufficient amount to pay for measures taken by Rappahannock County at the applicant's expense should the applicant fail, after proper notice, within the time specified to initiate or maintain appropriate conservation measures required of him as a result of his land-disturbing activity. The amount of the bond or other security for performance shall not exceed the total of the estimated cost to initiate and maintain appropriate conservation action based on unit price for new public or private sector construction in the locality and a reasonable allowance for estimated administrative costs and inflation which shall not exceed 25% of the cost of the conservation action. Should it be necessary for Rappahannock County to take such conservation action, Rappahannock County may collect, on demand, from the surety, escrow agent or any other person or entity holding funds pledged to insure the applicant's performance, all sums expended or contracted for by Rappahannock County to bring the applicant into compliance with this article or any permit, project or plan approved pursuant to this article, and the applicant shall be liable to Rappahannock County for any of its costs in excess of those collected from others.
Within 60 days of adequate stabilization, as determined by the Building Official in any project or section of a project, such bond, cash escrow or letter of credit, or the unexpended or unobligated portion thereof, shall be either refunded to the applicant or terminated, based upon the percentage of stabilization accomplished in the project or project section.
These requirements are in addition to all other previsions relating to the issuance of permits and are not intended to otherwise affect the requirements for such permits.
Rappahannock County may require the person responsible for carrying out the plan to monitor the land-disturbing activity. The person responsible for carrying out the plan will maintain records of these inspections and maintenance, to ensure compliance with the approved plan and to determine whether the measures required in the plan are effective in controlling erosion and sedimentation.
The Building Official shall periodically inspect the land-disturbing activity in accordance with Section 4VAC50-30-60 of the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Regulations to ensure compliance with the approved plan and to determine whether the measures required in the plan are effective in controlling erosion and sedimentation. The owner, permittee, or person responsible for carrying out the plan shall be given notice of the inspection.
If the Building Official determines that there is a failure to comply with the plan, notice shall be served upon the permittee or person responsible for carrying out the plan by registered or certified mail to the address specified in the permit application or in the plan certification, or by delivery at the site of the land-disturbing activities to the agent or employee supervising such activities. The notice shall specify the measures needed to comply with the plan and shall specify the time within which such measures shall be completed. Upon failure to comply within the specified time, the permit may be revoked and the permittee or person responsible for carrying out the plan shall be deemed to be in violation of this ordinance and shall be subject to the penalties provided by this article.
Upon determination of a violation of this article, the Certified Program Administrator may, in conjunction with or subsequent to a notice to comply as specified in this article, issue an order requiring that all or part of the land-disturbing activities permitted on the site be stopped until the specified corrective measures have been taken.
If land-disturbing activities have commenced without an approved plan, the Certified Program Administrator may, in conjunction with or subsequent to a notice to comply as specified in this article, issue an order requiring that all of the land-disturbing activities be stopped until an approved plan or any required permits are obtained.
Where the alleged noncompliance is causing or is in imminent danger of causing harmful erosion of lands or sediment deposition in waters within the watersheds of the commonwealth, or where the land-disturbing activities have commenced without an approved plan or any required permits, such an order may be issued without regard to whether the permittee has been issued a notice to comply as specified in this article. Otherwise, such an order may be issued only after the permittee has failed to comply with such a notice to comply. The order shall be served in the same manner as a notice to comply and shall remain in effect for a period of seven days from the date of service pending application by the enforcing authority or permit holder for appropriate relief to the Circuit Court of Rappahannock County.
If the alleged violator has not obtained an approved plan or any required permits within seven days from the date of service of the order, the Certified Program Administrator may issue an order to the owner requiring that all construction and other work on the site, other than corrective measures, be stopped until an approved plan and any required permits have been obtained. Such an order shall be served upon the owner by registered or certified mail to the address specified in the permit application or the land records of Rappahannock County. The owner may appeal the issuance of an order to the Circuit Court of Rappahannock County.
Any person violating or failing, neglecting or refusing to obey an order issued by the Certified Program Administrator may be compelled in a proceeding instituted in the Circuit Court of Rappahannock County to obey same and to comply therewith by injunction, mandamus or other appropriate remedy. Upon completion and approval of corrective action or obtaining an approved plan or any required permits, the order shall immediately be lifted.
Nothing in this section shall prevent the Certified Program Administrator from taking any other action authorized by this article.
Violators of this article shall be guilty of a Class I misdemeanor.
The Certified Program Administrator, or the owner of property which has sustained damage or which is in imminent danger of being damaged, may apply to the Circuit Court of Rappahannock County to enjoin a violation or a threatened violation of this article, without the necessity of showing that an adequate remedy at law does not exist.
However, an owner of property shall not apply for injunctive relief unless:
He has notified, in writing, the person who has violated the local program, and the program authority, that a violation of the local program has caused, or creates a probability of causing, damage to his property; and
Neither the person who has violated the local program nor the program authority has taken corrective action within 15 days to eliminate the conditions which have caused, or create the probability of causing, damage to his property.
In addition to any other penalties provided under this article, any person who violates any provision of this article may be liable to Rappahannock County in a civil action for damages.
Without limiting the remedies which may be obtained to this section, any person violating or failing, neglecting, or refusing to obey any injunction, mandamus or other remedy obtained pursuant to this section shall be subject, in the discretion of the court, to a civil penalty not to exceed $2,000 for each violation. A civil action for such violation or failure may be brought by Rappahannock County.
Any civil penalties assessed by a court shall be paid into the treasury of Rappahannock County, except that where the violator is the locality itself, or its agent, the court shall direct the penalty to be paid into the state treasury.
With the consent of any person who has violated or failed, neglected or refused to obey any regulation or condition of a permit or any provision of this article, Rappahannock County may provide for the payment of civil charges for violations in specific sums, not to exceed the limit specified in Subsection E of this section. Such civil charges shall be instead of any appropriate civil penalty which could be imposed, under Subsection E.
The commonwealth's Attorney shall, upon request of Rappahannock County or the permit-issuing authority, take legal action to enforce the provisions of this article.
Compliance with the provisions of this article shall be prima facie evidence in any legal or equitable proceeding for damages caused by erosion, siltation or sedimentation that all requirements of law have been met, and the complaining party must show negligence in order to recover any damages.
Any applicant under the provision of this article who is aggrieved by any action of Rappahannock County or its went in disapproving plans submitted pursuant to this article shall have the right to apply for and receive a review of such action by the Board of Supervisors provided an appeal is filed within 30 days from the date of the action. Any applicant who seeks an appeal hearing before the Board of Supervisors shall be heard at the next regularly scheduled Board of Supervisors public hearing, provided that the Board of Supervisors and other involved parties have at least 30 days' prior notice. In reviewing the agent's actions, the Board of Supervisors shall consider evidence and opinions presented by the aggrieved applicant and agent. After considering the evidence and opinions, the Board of Supervisors may affirm, reverse or modify the action. The Board of Supervisor's decision shall be final, subject only to review by the Circuit Court of Rappahannock County.
Final decisions of Rappahannock County under this article shall be subject to review by the Rappahannock County Circuit Court, provided an appeal is filed within 30 days from the date of any written decision adversely affecting the rights, duties, or privileges of the person engaging in or proposing to engage in land-disturbing activities.