Building in environmentally sensitive areas

Before starting any construction or land improvement project, you must apply for the required permits and approvals.  This ensures the proper controls and measures to protect environmentally sensitive areas.  Public Works staff will help you with this process to ensure you take all the rights steps before starting your project.

Areas of Concern:

Steps You May Need to Take Before Starting

As part of your project, you may need to complete reports, studies, and assessments of the area.  You may be asked to complete a Preservation Area Site Assessment (PASA) and a Perennial Flow Determination (PFD).  County staff will advise you about the reports and forms, specific to your project, you will need to complete during the review process.

Please contact us at 703-792-7070 for advice on the steps you need to take for your specific project.

Proposed projects may also require review and approval by local boards.  Knowledgeable citizens are appointed to these boards by the Board of County Supervisors. 

The Wetlands Advisory Board has jurisdiction over tidal shores for both vegetative and non-vegetative tidal areas located between mean low tide and high tide elevations. You may require approvals and review by the Wetlands Advisory Board before you disturb these areas with a development project.  Staff will advise you if you must submit an application to the Wetlands Board and receive approval at a Wetlands Advisory Board Public Hearing.  The project plans will also be reviewed by the U.S. Corps of Engineers and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. 

The Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Review Board (CBPARB) holds public hearings for Resource Protection Area (RPA) exception requests. These exceptions are considered when a property owner asks to encroach into the 100 foot RPA buffer required along perennial streams in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.