Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act and Local Ordinances

The Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, adopted by the Virginia General Assembly in 1989, focuses on local land use planning and land management to affect a positive impact on water quality. The first sentence sets the tone for the rest of the statute:

Healthy state and local economies and a healthy Chesapeake Bay are integrally related; balanced economic development and water quality protection are not mutually exclusive.

The Act is mandatory for all Tidewater Virginia localities and note that other Virginia localities have opted in. Local implementation differs and thus, we've provided links to local ordinances below for your use.

Virginia's Law and Regulations

Local governments with Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act ordinances

Virginia Local Ordinances

Albemarle County

Alexandria (City)

Arlington County

Caroline County

Charlottesville (City)

Chesterfield County

Clifton (Town)

Dumfries (Town)

Fairfax (City)

Fairfax County

Falls Church (City)

Herndon (Town)

  • Code of Ordinances
    • Chapter 26 – Environment
    • Chapter 78 – Zoning
      • Section 78.304.4 – Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Overlay District
  • Chesapeake Bay Preservation Compliance Resource Book 
  • Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Maps
  • Comprehensive Plan - Appendix A – Chesapeake Bay Preservation Chapter 
  • User’s Guide to the Herndon Zoning Ordinance
    • User Guide 7 – Overview of Chesapeake Bay Provisions 
    • User Guide 33 – WQIAs 
    • User Guide 34 - Chesapeake Bay Provisions for Homeowners 

Prince William County

  • Code of Ordinances
    • Chapter 23.2 – Stormwater Management
    • Chapter 25 – Subdivisions
    • Chapter 32 – Zoning
      • Article V – Part 504 – Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Overlay District
  • Design and Construction Manual
    • Section 700 – Environmental Systems 
    • Section 800 – Buffer Areas Landscaping & Tree Cover Requirements 
  • Comprehensive Plan – Chesapeake Bay Resource Protection Area Map
  • Utility Standards Manual
  • Rezoning Information:
    • Reference Manual for Rezoning, Special Use Permit, and Proffer Amendment Applications 
    • Pre-Submission Package for Rezoning, Special Use Permit, and Proffer Amendment Applications 
    • Perennial Flow Determination Verification 
  • Prince William County – Department of Public Works: Validity Period for PFD and PASA Studies
  • Vesting Determinations
  • Vesting Policy

Spotsylvania County

  • Code of Ordinances:
    • Chapter 6A – Chesapeake Bay Preservation
    • Chapter 8 – Erosion and Sediment Control
    • Chapter 23 – Zoning
  • Design Standards Manual
    • Article 6 – Landscaping and Screening
  • Rezoning Application
  • Site Plan Application 
  • RPA Buffer Area Modification Permit Application

Stafford County

  • Code of Ordinances:
    • Chapter 11 – Erosion and Sediment Control        
    • Chapter 21.5 – Stormwater Management
    • Chapter 27 – Wetlands
    • Chapter 27B – Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area
  • Comprehensive Plan 
    • Chapter 3 – Land Use        
    • Chapter 6 – The People and the Place (Existing Conditions) 
  • Interactive Zoning Map

Vienna (Town)

  • Town Code:
    • Chapter 18 – Zoning
      • Article 21.1 – Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas
    • Chapter 23 – Environmental Controls
  • Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas Map