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Editorial: Leave RMA as it is

The Gloucester Board of Supervisors voted this week to move ahead with a plan to loosen Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act requirements as it pertains to the boundaries of the county’s Resource Management Area (RMA). The rationale behind this proposal appears to be a belief that reducing the RMA would spur commercial growth.

Currently, Gloucester has a countywide RMA, which means that, except for Resource Protection Areas (environmentally sensitive land such as that adjacent to streams and rivers where almost no development can take place), the remaining county property is placed in the RMA. While development is allowed in the RMA, there are additional regulatory burdens imposed if the project in question disturbs more than 2,500 square feet.

Specifically, for commercial development, it would ease up on stormwater quality management and erosion and control requirements, including the development of a detailed plan showing how the development will manage runoff.

The county is cons...

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