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A closer look at stormwater rules

Here are some highlights of Alexandria's proposed stormwater management ordinance: ?No one is allowed to deposit grass clippings, leaves or other vegetative materials (with the exception of normal moving or weed control) within natural or manmade...

Here are some highlights of Alexandria's proposed stormwater management ordinance:

  • No one is allowed to deposit grass clippings, leaves or other vegetative materials (with the exception of normal moving or weed control) within natural or manmade watercourses, wetlands or wetland buffer areas.
  • Along those same lines, no one is allowed to throw any type of garbage in a street, alley, sidewalk, storm drain, inlet, catch basin, place of business or any private or public plot of land in Alexandria if the item might become a pollutant.
  • Anyone applying for a permit that disturbs more than a half-acre of land must submit a stormwater management plan to the city. All plans must be consistent with National Pollution Discharge Elimination Permit requirements, the Douglas County Soil and Water Conservation District or other regulatory bodies.
  • Drawings or maps must be submitted for small and large site construction projects. Many other details must be spelled out, including the property boundaries, how water will drain, areas with steep slopes, the location of erosion/sediment devices, bluff areas, agricultural land preservation areas and more.
  • The city will conduct inspections of stormwater management areas on a regular basis to make sure the plan is being maintained. The city has the authority to issue construction stop orders if the landowner isn't complying.
  • If a project is causing erosion off site, the applicant must immediately develop a clean-up and restoration plan, obtain right-of-way entry from the adjoining property owner and start the clean-up within 48 hours of getting permission.
  • If any eroded soil enters streets, wetlands or other water bodies, the cleanup and repair must be immediate. The applicant must provide traffic control and flagging to alert drivers of the clean-up work.
  • Residential, non-residential or other structures must be elevated on fill so that the basement, or first floor if there is no basement, is one foot above the regulatory flood protection elevation. For areas outside of a floodplain, the lowest floor of a structure must be three feet above the highest known water level.
  • A plan review by the city is required for any project that is within the 100-year floodplain or upland flood storage area.
  • Stormwater treatment must be designed to remove 90 percent of total suspended solids on an average annual basis. This requirement is expected to result in removing 40 to 60 percent of the total phosphorous.
  • For all development that changes land use or requires platting, a minimum 10-foot buffer of native vegetation is required around wetlands.
  • Pool owners should allow the water to sit seven days after treatment before discharging to allow chlorine to evaporate.
  • All motor vehicle parking lots should be swept at least twice a year to remove debris, which must be collected and disposed of properly.
  • Fuel, chemical residues and other potentially harmful materials such as animal waste, garbage or batteries, that are in areas susceptible to runoff must be removed as soon as possible and properly disposed.

This is only a sample of some of the items in the new code. A complete copy is available at Alexandria City Hall.

Related Topics: ALEXANDRIA
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