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Reducing the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area protections

One day after Eartg Day, the City Council will be voting on changes to the boundaries of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area (CBPA) this Tuesday, April 23. There is little information on the proposed changes included in the public hearing package other than some low resolution maps. Only a high level explanation was given for the process used by the Staff to come to these decisions. This may be something to contact the City Council ( to ask them to Continue (defer) this decision until they can provide the public with more details on the changes and why the decisions were made for different parcels.

Overall, 1030 acres are being removed from the CPBA and 742 acres are being added, although most of the land being added is the already "Intensely Developed" St. Juliens Creek Navy Annex. Some of the areas being removed may make sense - removing parcels that were subdivided from larger parcels and that are no longer adjacent tidal areas of the Chesapeake Bat tributaries. But other areas seem less obvious.

One area being removed is 10 acres of woods at the head of the tide of the Indian River mostly owned by Chesapeake Public Schools. These woods most definitely seem to "have an intrinsic water quality value due to the ecological and biological processes they perform or are sensitive to impacts which may result in significant degradation to the quality of state waters" as defined by for a CBPA Resource Protection Area.

Another area slated for removal includes 50 acres or more of wooded wetlands in the Fernwood Farms section of Rivercrest. This is an area of significant flood risk with sea level rise. Will removing CBPA protections from this area open it up to development and/or tree removal causing more flood risks for Rivercrest?


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