About the Ordinance
The Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance was adopted on August 6, 1990. The purpose of the ordinance is to protect against and minimize pollution and deposition of sediment in wetlands, streams and lakes in James City County which are tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. It is intended to assist in the overall protection of the Chesapeake Bay from nonpoint source pollution generated from land uses within the Bay's watershed.
The ordinance designates the entire County as a Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area (CBPA) comprised of Resource Protection Areas (RPA) and Resource Management Areas (RMA). RPAs include tidal wetlands, tidal shores, nontidal wetlands adjacent to tidal wetlands or perennial streams and a 100-foot wide buffer area adjacent to and landward of the other RPA components. RMA areas are all other lands within the County.
All development or redevelopment activities exceeding 2,500 square feet of land disturbance are subject to the plan of development review process. Most land use activities in the RPA are generally prohibited unless they are water-dependent or constitute redevelopment. For more information about how to comply with the requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Ordinance, contact the Environmental Division at 757-253-6670.