Frequently Ask Questions:
Where are the wetlands?
The following link provides access to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wetland Inventory using Google Earth’s imagery. This resource is useful for desktop assessment of tidal / non-tidal wetlands on property. Wetland presence is further substantiated through submittal of the Army Corps of Engineers pre-application / jurisdictional determination process. Gloucester County administers the 100-foot Resource Protection Area that extends 100-feet from wetlands that are connected and contiguous to wetlands / perennial waters.
Viewing the wetlands with US Fish and Wildlife Service
What is the RPA?
RPA stands for Resource Protection Area. Resource Protection Area is a 100 foot buffer area required around perennial streams, tidal wetlands and certain non-tidal wetlands. No development or land disturbance is allowed in this 100-foot area unless permitted by the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance Administrative Board.
How often does the Chesapeake Bay Preservation and Erosion Commission meet?
The board meets every 2nd Wednesday of the month at 7 pm in the Colonial Courthouse in the Courthouse Circle. Please contact the Environmental Programs Administrator at 804-693-1217 for additional information pertaining to meeting dates and deadlines.
How do I know if there is a RPA on my property?
You may have a consultant assist with the determination of the Resource Protection Area. All determinations should be reviewed and confirmed by the Environmental Programs Administrator. Please call 804-693-1217 for further information.
When do I need a Land Disturbance Permit?
Any land disturbance over 2,500 square feet requires a land disturbance permit from Gloucester County. Please call 693-1217 for information pertaining to land disturbance permits.
What is the purpose of the RPA?
The RPA is a natural area of trees and other plants which filter and remove pollutants from runoff before the runoff enters a river or wetland area. Plants in the buffer area take up pollutants and improve water quality. Roots keep soil in place and prevent sediment from smothering aquatic animals and blocking sunlight needed by plants for photosynthesis, and much more.
What is a water dependent facility?
Water dependent facility means a development of land that cannot exist outside of the Resource Protection Area and must be located on the shoreline by reason of intrinsic nature of its operation. These facilities include, but are not limited to: (i) ports; (ii) the intake and outfall structures of power plants, water treatment plants, sewage plants and storm sewers; (iii) marinas and other boat docking structures; (iv) beaches and other public water-oriented recreation areas; and (v) fisheries or other marine resources facilities.