By Sean Tubbs
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
The Charlottesville City Council has upheld a determination by city staff that the developers of Stonefield in Albemarle County violated an erosion control permit by opening up a new stormwater pipe before certain conditions were met.
“I think staff’s determination is appropriate and that they have not followed through the plan and conditions of the permit,” Mayor Satyendra Huja said.
The managing director of Edens, the developer of Stonefield, said he was disappointed in the council’s unanimous decision.
“We’re dying to deliver this first-class project,” Steve Boyle said. “We’ve got tons of people that are waiting for new jobs here.”
The city issued a violation notice on June 1 and Edens made an appeal. The City Council began its review of the appeal shortly before 11 p.m. on Monday near the end of a busy meeting.
“Stonefield is a project in Albemarle County on the west side of U.S. 29,” said Jim Tolbert, the city’s director of neighborhood development services. “The drainage outfall for that project, however, comes into the city on the east side of U.S. 29 and drains into Meadow Creek.”
That meant Edens had to obtain an erosion and sediment control permit from the city because land within Charlottesville would be disturbed as a result of Stonefield’s development.
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Before bulldozers began clearing land for Stonefield, all the rain that fell on the 65-acre property drained slowly through a 42-inch pipe under U.S. 29, designed to reduce the water’s velocity. That pipe also carried water from farther west of Stonefield that previously flowed naturally through an unnamed creek.
As part of Stonefield’s stormwater management plan, the creek was routed through a pipe that connects with a new 72-inch pipe that was drilled underneath U.S 29. The 42-inch pipe will primarily carry stormwater that falls on the northern half of Stonefield.
Both pipes eventually flow into a drainage channel on property in Charlottesville owned by Seminole Square, the U.S. Post Office and the Pepsi-Cola facility.