When you have that dream home or special house plan you would like to build, the next step is to find the right parcel of land.
The rural nature of much of eastern Virginia means that the public utilities found in denser/more developed areas are not as prevalent here. If there is no public sewer, then it means a septic field is required. Any land where there is to be a housing structure requires testing of the soil to make sure that the land can handle the waste water produced by its residents. With high water tables and the requirements of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, a few layers to the regulation are added over and above what is typically seen inland.
Zoning also plays a role. Zoning codes change and something that may be allowable only a few lots down can change without notice with a seemingly minor change at the county courthouse. Make sure to get as much documentation as possible.
Overall, the building process along the Chesapeake Bay is more complicated than in many places that don’t have to negotiate the Bay Act, but the rules have done much to preserve one of the county’s most precious resources. The extra regulation and red tape is a small price to pay to protect our waterways.