Two natural gas pipeline projects that had been planning to present applications for conversion of VOF-protected open space at the upcoming September 29 VOF board meeting have deferred those applications until a later date, to be determined.
The applications by Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), which were first shared with VOF’s Energy and Infrastructure Committee at a May 26 public meeting in Richmond, were submitted by the companies as part of a process related to requirements under § 10.1-1704 of the Code of Virginia. The law states that open space shall not be converted or diverted from open-space land use unless “(i) the conversion or diversion is determined by the public body to be (a) essential to the orderly development and growth of the locality and (b) in accordance with the official comprehensive plan for the locality in effect at the time of conversion or diversion and (ii) there is substituted other real property which is (a) of at least equal fair market value, (b) of greater value as permanent open-space land than the land converted or diverted and (c) of as nearly as feasible equivalent usefulness and location for use as permanent open-space land as is the land converted or diverted.”
The primary considerations for VOF’s board will be whether the requests meet the essentiality and substitute land requirements under § 10.1-1704, and whether federal laws have any bearing on those requirements.
Written comments regarding these applications may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org and addressed to the VOF Board of Trustees. Keep watching our website for additional updates.
You may read more about these projects and the conversion application process here.