Water Resources Program  |  Stormwater Utility Overview


APRIL 2018 UPDATE: The Board of Supervisors - at its April 11 meeting - directed staff to cease any further work on establishing a stormwater utility. They indicated a preference to continue to support the County's water resources programs through the general fund.


Albemarle County is in the process of developing a stormwater utility to support the wide variety of water resource programs it implements. Information related to that process is summarized here.


For the last several years, Albemarle County has been considering how to best support a comprehensive water resources program that complies with federal and state mandates and that meets growing community expectations. In 2014, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors appointed a Committee of stakeholder representatives to advise the Board on the matter. The Committee issued recommendations via a report dated October 7, 2015 [link to 2015 report] and the Board formally approved the recommendations on September 7, 2016.

The recommendations endorsed by the Board can be summarized as:

  • - implement a water resources program that goes beyond regulatory compliance to also invest in the long-term viability of built infrastructure and natural systems
  • - support this program with a stormwater utility fee based on a property’s estimated stormwater runoff

CURRENT EFFORT (January – March 2018)

County staff recently finalized refinements to estimates of the costs of implementing both existing and new programs. These estimates were summarized in discussions with the Board at meetings on October 4 and December 6.

Staff have been working with a consultant and an advisory panel of stakeholder representatives [see list here] to finalize the proposed rate formula and credit policy by which the total program costs will be apportioned to properties throughout the County. This information is currently scheduled to be presented to the Board at a work session on April 11, 2018. Following the Board meeting, staff will initiate an extensive community engagement process to share information regarding the proposed policy and receive feedback. The County will also introduce a website by which property owners can look up their fees based on the proposed rate and credit policy.


  •   the fee will be based on impervious area but will not necessarily be charged equally for the total amount of impervious area on properties; the advisory panel recognized that a straight charge would unfairly burden owners of large properties having long driveways
  •  map layers representing impervious surfaces (buildings, roads, parking lots and driveways) have been maintained by the County for many years; these layers are continuously updated (by hand) to reflect new development and to improve quality
  •  staff have been able to assign driveways to the properties served by the driveways; people will not be charged for their neighbor’s driveway
  •  staff have considered the potential issues related to inaccurately-mapped property boundaries and believe these issues will be resolved by the fee calculation methodology
  •  upon implementation, staff will be ready to address any remaining issues identified by property owners on a case-by-case basis
  •  the stormwater fee will support programs that are applicable to the entire County; some programs may have a greater emphasis on urban or rural areas
  •  all land owners can apply for a credit for their onsite runoff reduction practices or other conservation practices
  •  this fee will apply to tax-exempt organizations; the Committee believed this to be more fair
For background information and more details about the process of developing a dedicated funding mechanism, click on the various tabs above. If you have any questions about this process, please contact Greg Harper, Chief of Environmental Services, at gharper@albemarle.org or 434-296-5816.