Resource Protection Area

Do you know we live in a Resource Protection area? Resource Protection Areas, or RPAs, are the corridors of environmentally sensitive land that lie alongside or near the shorelines of streams, rivers and other waterways. In their natural condition, RPAs protect water quality. RPAs fi lter pollutants from storm-water runoff, reduce the volume of storm-water runoff, prevent erosion, and perform other important biological and ecological functions. If the Association or a homeowner is performing any of these items in a 100 foot of the reservoir we need fill out a buffer Modification request:

1. Sightlines/Vistas
2. Removal of dead/dying/diseased trees
3. removal of noxious weeds
4. Shoreline Erosion Control

Structures Not Permitted in the Resource Protection area:

* New development
* Additions to existing structures
* Parking lots
* Secondary structures, such as sheds and gazebos
* Clear-cutting trees
* Filling and grading activities
* Establishing lawns

Shoreline Buffer Policy

The shoreline buffer or Resource Protection Area (RPA) is an environmentally sensitive corridor surrounding waterways (including our reservoir) whose purpose is to protect water quality by filtering chemical and bacterial pollutants from stormwater runoff, by reducing its volume, and preventing erosion. Chesterfield County adopted the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance in 1990 and amended it in 2004 to protect these areas, and it actively enforces these regulations along all waterways. RPAs generally extend from the water’s edge to one hundred (100) feet onshore and should be preserved in a natural state, except for judicious clearing for view and breeze. The Shoreline Buffer Policy primarily applies to common property owned by the WCA, which extends from the resident’s property lines to the lake, and to those residents whose property boundaries lie within the RPA.

Installing or modifying an Erosion Prevention Device

An Erosion Prevention Device (EPD) protects our shoreline. If you are a waterfront property owner who is considering installing or modifying an erosion prevention device on Woodlake common property, you are required to contact Chesterfield County for a permit from the Environmental Engineering, Utilities, and Building departments. Additionally, you are required to complete a maintainence covenant agreement with the Woodlake Community Association.

WOODLAKE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION PERMITTING PROCESS:

1. The Community Standards Manager, or other designated representative from the Community Association, will meet on-site with the waterfront property owner to determine the acceptability and to approve of the EPD.

2. A Maintenance Covenant Agreement shall be obtained from the Woodlake Community Association office, and shall be returned with the signature of the property owner and hold-harmless statement. The property owner will submit a sketch showing the proposed ramp location and dimensions with their signed agreement.

3. The EPD, if approved, will be responsibility of the property owner, who will be responsible for the construction, installation and maintenance. Any contractor hired to work within the RPA must be licensed and insured, and any owner or resident performing work within the RPA must sign a release.

4. EPDs are not designed nor intended for use with wheelchairs or for the disabled. Persons with disabilities, having special needs will be considered on an individual case basis.

5. The EPD will be constructed in such a way as to be removable by the waterfront property owner if the owner no longer has a pontoon boat or moves. EPDs can be transferred to a new property owner.

6. The EPD is designed so that the Pontoon Boat will be placed parallel to the length of the ramp and not perpendicular. The EPD will allow two pontoon boats to be parked, one on each side. Adjacent waterfront property owners are encouraged to share a ramp.

7. The EPD will be constructed entirely of treated wood, and may not be painted (AERT Moisture Shield Composite may be used for the decking boards). It should have a natural wood appearance. Floatation devices may not be used to support it.

8. The EPD will consist of Support Post Assemblies and a Ramp. No rails or structures that rise above the surface level of the ramp will be allowed. No items may be stored on the ramp at any time.
9. The Support Post Assemblies shall be vertical 4” x 4” square or 6” round posts, and horizontal 2” x 4” cross members. The Support Post Assemblies will be installed in the lake and will be driven into the lake bottom. The top of the support post assembly shall not be higher than 12” from the water surface and may not be installed in water depth greater than 3’ at normal pool level (177.1’ above sea level). A maximum of 2 support post assemblies is allowed. Support post Assemblies will not be installed on the shore.

10. The Ramp may be 30”- 48” in width and a maximum of 40’ in length. The ramp will be constructed of 2” x 4” framing and 5/4” decking. The ramp will bridge from the shore to the support post assemblies. They may be secured with a rope to prevent them from floating away during high water or storms. Ramps may remain in place on the support posts, and cannot be stored on waterfront common property at any time.

11. Bulkheads and rip rap will be permitted with Chesterfield County approval to stabilize shorelines with extreme drop-offs.

12. Electrical lighting for safety purposes will be considered on a case by case basis.

13. EPDs will be inspected by a representative of the Woodlake Community Association upon completion of construction.

14. In the event a Lot Owner fails to comply with the provisions of the EPD Guidelines or the Maintenance Covenant Agreement, the Lot Owner shall be provided with fifteen days written notice in which to remove, at the Owner’s expense, the erosion prevention device. In the event the device is not timely removed, the Association shall have the authority to remove the device and charge all related expense, including transport, disposal and storage expenses, to the Lot Owner, to be treated as a past due assessment to the Association.


Erosion Protection Devices (docks) are permitted for placement in the Swift Creek Reservoir provided that the resident requesting the structure completes the County’s permitting process. The process requires both a Building Permit and an Application for the Placement of a Dock within the Swift Creek Reservoir (links provided below). Both applications ensure the dock is structurally sound and that property rights and environmental buffers are respected. Please contact Chesterfield County’s Department of Utilities – Right of Way (804-748-1361) and Department of Building Inspections (804-748-1057) for questions or additional information.

Click HERE for the Residential Building Permit Application. Click HERE for the Application for a License Agreement and Resource Protection Area Encroachment for the Placement of a Dock within Swift Creek Reservoir.

For the Erosion Prevention Device Application, click HERE!