WHAT'S NEXT: Following the Developer's Request to Delay Action, What Happens Now?

If the project stays off the table, the withdrawal of the application for a floodplain exception would be a big victory for Dogue Creek  However, the developer intends to revise and resubmit the application. If that happens, ANS and our allies will investigate to determine whether the revised plan protects the floodplain. If it doesn't, we will take action! Click here to learn more.

 

A proposed development at 8800 Richmond Highway will increase the flood risk for homes downstream

The plan is inconsistent with established policies and laws protecting streams, water quality and communities

DID YOU KNOW?

A new townhome development proposed at 8800 Richmond Highway would add 41,000 cubic yards of fill to the 100-year floodplain at Dogue Creek and build 43 townhouses on top.

Dogue Creek near the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, just downstream from the potential development site. (Photo credit Midnight Rider on mapio.net)

Raising homes out of the floodplain may protect them, but it displaces water during high-flow events. Floodplains absorb, store and dissipate water during floods. Permanently removing 2 acres of floodplain increases the risk of downstream flooding.

This development would place properties in neighborhoods downstream at greater risk. Houses built in the floodplain or near Dogue Creek are already at risk of flooding, and filling in the floodplain upstream would further increase the risk of flooding.

The Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning has explicitly recommended against the proposed plan. Read the report here and see the addendum here.

This development is inconsistent with policies and laws that protect streams, improve water quality, reduce flood risk, and restore the Chesapeake Bay. Violating the County’s hard-won environmental protections weakens them and sets a precedent that paves the way for more development in floodplains and sensitive environmental areas on Dogue Creek and all over the county.

If the county allows this exception, it can’t deny it to other “similarly situated” projects. Floodplain properties upstream of your neighborhood could be filled in and developed. Each additional floodplain development has a cumulative effect, further increasing flooding risk for downstream residents.

Approving this development could raise flood insurance costs for everyone. Fairfax County has a very high rating (category 6) in the FEMA National Flood Insurance Community Rating System. This allows owners to obtain flood insurance at a discount. Loosening restrictions on floodplain development could lower the county’s rating and raise the cost of flood insurance.

For this development to proceed, an amendment to Fairfax County’s Comprehensive Plan is needed. A public hearing originally scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 24, 2018 at the Fairfax County Government Center has been canceled.

Join the Audubon Naturalist Society, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Coalition for Smarter Growth, Fairfax County’s Environmental Quality Advisory Council, the Friends of Accotink Creek, and the Friends of Little Hunting Creek in opposing this ill-conceived plan to develop in the floodplain.

Recent News Reports

October 23, 2018
Audubon Naturalist Society Statement
Alexandria's Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Day Just Got Better

October 16, 2018
Audubon Naturalist Society/News Release
Terrible, Awful, Horrible Development Proposal Could Lead to More Flooding or Worse in NOVA

October 9, 2018
Mount Vernon Gazette
Letters: Value of Floodplains

September 27, 2018
Mount Vernon Gazette
Letters to the Editor (page 6)

September 21, 2018
Covering the Corridor
8800 Richmond Highway to get "do-over" public hearing

August 8, 2018
ANS Conservation Blog
Take Action: Tell the Planning Commission to Protect Dogue Creek

July 27, 2018
Covering the Corridor
County, local groups at odds over redevelopment of 8800 Richmond Highway

  • Building in a flood impact hazard area is not only dangerous for residents upstream and downstream, but it would set a bad precedent for future development.

  • The proposed project does not meet the test for extraordinary circumstances in an Environmental Quality Corridor.

  • The developer’s restoration plans do not meet the test of providing net environmental benefit.

  • The Dogue Creek watershed is in need of thorough restoration, not just cosmetic revamping.

The future of Dogue Creek is at stake, and we need your support!