In 1988, the Virginia General Assembly enacted the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (CBPA) which required all Tidewater Virginia localities to establish local programs to protect and improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and its tributaries. State leaders recognized that a healthy Chesapeake Bay and healthy local economies are integrally related. Each locality was required to define its Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas and establish enforcement procedures to ensure compliance with state regulations.
In response to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, the City of Suffolk adopted regulations into its Zoning Ordinance on September 19, 1990 known as the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Overlay District. All land located within the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Overlay District is subject to special restrictions to prevent damage to water quality within the rivers and streams draining into the Chesapeake Bay.
The purpose of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act is to protect and
improve water quality by reducing stormwater runoff of nonpoint source
pollution. When it rains, pollutants from developed and undeveloped land
are picked up in stormwater runoff and deposited into rivers and
streams. Examples of nonpoint source pollution include sediments
generated from construction, agriculture, or other land disturbing
activities, nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous from fertilizers,
pesticides, animal waste, and petroleum products such as oil from
automobiles. Areas that have been disturbed by construction activities
often transport these pollutants into our waterways. Land in
agricultural production can also contribute to water pollution problems.
Reducing the pollution that enters the Chesapeake Bay watershed makes
recreation on the Bay’s waters safer, strengthens our historic seafood
industries, and restores the diverse and beautiful habitats along the