Virginia CZM Program 2010 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:

12.08

Grantee:

Richmond Regional Planning District Commission

Project Title:

Central Virginia Blue-Green Infrastructure Protection Planning

Project Description as Proposed:

The Richmond Regional Planning District Commission proposes to educate and implement conservation corridor planning and green infrastructure planning in the Richmond and Crater regions as follows: RRPDC staff will complete this regional effort with the Crater PDC. Staff will complete the analysis of blue/green infrastructure scenarios for the Richmond and Crater regions as well as for their individual localities. Staff will utilize data collected during previous grants and new tree canopy data layers as inputs into CITYGreen® and CommunityViz® modeling software programs to prepare cost-benefit analyses of blue/green infrastructure, focusing in particular on priority riparian corridor areas for protection, enhancement, and/or expansion through various measures including tree plantings/re-vegetation of buffers. Crater PDC will also use this software to study potential land use conflict scenarios of developing military bases on surrounding localities and identify mitigation opportunities. PDC staffs will continue to work with localities to provide technical assistance and education on incorporating blue/green infrastructure planning into local comprehensive plans, ordinances and guidelines to promote on-the-ground results.  

The results of these multiple efforts will be used to generate written and presentation materials focused on educating a broad spectrum of stakeholders including local government elected leaders and staff, the business and development communities, local citizens and civic groups.

Federal Funding:

$50.000

Project Contact:

Jackie Stewart - 804.367.6001; jstewart@richmondregional.org

Project Status:

10/1/2010 - 9/30/2011; Project Completed

Final Product Received:

Central Virginia Blue and Green Infrastructure Protection Planning Project Final Report (pdf)

Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

RRPDC staff and Crater PDC staff partnered on this important bi-regional project.  At the commencement of the grant term, RRPDC staff and Crater PDC staff drafted and agreed on a final scope of work for the project.  This scope of work is included in the Interim Report. 

RRPDC staff and Crater PDC staff coordinated with local Planning Directors and other local planning staff members in designing the project and final products.  It was decided that PDC staff would use sites along riparian corridors as supplied by local planning staffs.  Development and re-greening scenarios of these sites would be analyzed using CITYgreen software and GIS.  Sites chosen for analysis represent the spectrum of geographical features and development densities found throughout the two regions.  The sites for analysis include:

·         Suburban Growth Area- proximity to major transportation routes, mixed use development planned

·         Urban Infill- in central city, planned for residential near community center or school

·         Suburbanizing Commercial Corridor- suburbanizing area on commercial corridor, planned for big-box
          commercial

·         Military Growth Area- near existing military facility, population and employment expected to grow in near future

Upon completion of the scenario analyses, PDC staff compiled the findings in a Prioritization Guide brochure that summarizes how green infrastructure and low impact development practices can contribute to water quality across all development types.  The quantification of benefits estimated by the CITYgreen software will help planners, elected leaders, citizens, and developers to prioritize elements of future development plans given anticipated benefits to water quality.  Special attention was paid to the importance of riparian buffers to water quality, particularly in instances of waterways previously identified as impaired by Virginia DEQ.  The brochure document is available from RRPDC staff and will soon be posted to the RRPDC website: www.richmondregional.org

Throughout the grant project, PDC staff provided educational presentations to interested groups, including: 1)  October 2010 RRPDC Board introduction to benefits of green infrastructure and overview of products illustrating green infrastructure planning; 2)  December 2010 Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program’s Coastal Partners Workshop with an overview of the role of green and blue infrastructure and review of work accomplished by PDC staff; 3)   January 2011, regional group of water quality, local government, and environmental stakeholder organizations to educate and inspire greater understanding of the importance of green infrastructure in the City of Richmond and to cooperate in planning and implementation efforts; 4) March 2011, Middle James Roundtable Annual Meeting for general education and lessons about green infrastructure planning that would be useful across the entire Middle James Watershed; and 5) August 2011, participation in presentation to a meeting of Northern Virginia localities at the NVRC office on green infrastructure projects that could be transferable to similar situations in Northern Virginia.

Disclaimer: This project summary provides the federal dollars initially awarded to the grantee. Due to underexpenditure or reprogramming of grant funds, this figure may change. For more information on the allocation of coastal grant funds, please contact Laura McKay, Virginia Coastal Program Manager, at 804.698.4323 or email: Laura.McKay@deq.virginia.gov

A more detailed Scope of Work for this project is available. Please direct your request for a copy to Virginia.Witmer@deq.virginia.gov

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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