Live in a Chesapeake Bay Preserved Area?

Make sure you consult with a certified Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional before any improvements are made!

These preserved areas are very sensitive buffers. Custom Gardens offers landscape and environmental consultation, as well as landscape design and installation to homeowners and businesses owning land protected by the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (CBPA). Custom Gardens uses the latest technologies in porous pavers and bioretention ( rain gardens) with sustainable planting designs to insure the protection of wetland/coastal areas. Many homeowners can enjoy grant money that is available through VCAP to help offset any additional expenditures involved in protecting these restricted areas on their property as well.

Consumers are highly encouraged to seek out Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professionals that are CBLP-certified when evaluating landscaping companies. CBLP-certified professionals have in-depth knowledge of sustainable landscape and a focus on maintenance of best stormwater management practices. Read below as we interview David Chewey, CBLP-certified Landscape Architect for Custom Gardens!

Q. How long have you been in the landscape industry and a landscape architect?

I graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in Landscape Architecture in 1988, and soon thereafter founded my first design firm in 1990. Since then I joined Custom Gardens in 2013 and I’ve consistently designed with sustainability of the land at the forefront of my mind. Now I can offer my certification to clients for the added benefit of helping successfully navigate the restrictions imposed through the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act.

Q. Can homeowners with land use restrictions simply work with a Landscape Architect? What is the benefit of homeowners working with a certified Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional architect?

Homeowners can work with landscape architects that don’t hold the CBLP certification, but doing so could result in a design that cannot be installed as it does not adhere to the guidelines of the CBPA. It’s more cost-effective to begin with the right professional for the job. All approvals have to go through the local city-specific Chesapeake Bay Review Board. My experience in presenting in front of these boards can give you the homeowner an advantage along with the BBPL credentials that are recognized by these boards.

Q. What are some of the solutions a homeowner can expect from working with a Certified Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional specialist?

Many of the design solutions to navigating within the CBPA include solutions for preserving the natural integrity of the preserved area to prevent unwanted sediment and nutrients from entering our bay and rivers.These designs could incorporate rain gardens, living shorelines, meadows and conservation landscaping – where we use native plants to bring back the natural and native characterics of a site. Our goal is to eliminate turf and its high use of chemicals along the shore lines of our bays and rivers and replace it with one of options previously mentioned.

Q. What are some of the first steps to working with the local government agency to get improvements passed?

Once the homeowner decides that an encroachment in the CBPA/RPA is inevitable, and based on the improvements desired, I can set up a time to meet with the owner on site and discuss the design fees involved from the landscape design part to any civil engineering or land surveying work that needs to be done. There are specific requirements and deadlines by the city that have to be followed in order to just get a hearing date. Once we have covered the costs of the encroachment process, then I can step in and create some design solutions for the homeowner that will be a win-win for both the owner and board. I walk with the owner throughout the entire process and present alongside the owner at the board hearing.

Once we get a favorable outcome, I begin work with the owner to execute the installation of the plan so no detail is missed. State funding for these improvements must be applied before any work is started and again I take great care guiding them through this process.

With Spring around the corner, now is the time to contact Custom Gardens for an appointment with David regarding your outdoor retreat. Custom Gardens provides unique landscape architectural design that will resonate with your home and your style. Call (757) 833-8110 for your free quote and design consult!