Proposed changes to the city’s stormwater ordinance could include inspection fees for new construction projects.
The fees could cost developers $300 per stormwater plan, according to the legislation. Developers would have also have to pay plan review fees at a cost of $125 per acre for the first five acres, $75 per acre for next five acres and $35 per acre for the remaining acreage, if approved.
Springfield Stormwater Coordinator Sky Schelle said changes will have no effect on residents’ stormwater utility fees. City commissioners are expected to vote on the changes Tuesday.
Commissioner Kevin O’Neill said he’s still researching the possible fees, but isn’t comfortable with adding more regulations to developers — especially when not much building is taking place in the city.
“I don’t want to do anything to discourage it,” O’Neill said.
The Building Industry Association of Clark County is opposed to any new stormwater fees, said Director Kent Sherry.
“It doesn’t benefit our community in any way,” Sherry said. “Any time you start slapping these fees on, they make it more costly and demanding.”
The building department charges fees for inspections, Schelle said. With about 100 inspections performed for new construction projects last year, the stormwater department felt justified to also charge fees, he said. The department makes several trips to sites during development, including erosion control plans, Schelle said.
“We have to make sure they’re upholding the ordinance and keeping dirt and mud off the streets and out of the sewer systems and streams,” he said.
A few tweaks were made to the ordinance in 2013, but the majority of it was written in 1995, according to Springfield’s codified ordinances.
The engineering department started from scratch as it wrote the new ordinance, Schelle said, and included recommendations made by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency as part of its combined sewer overflow long-term control plan. It didn’t make sense to add those changes into the old ordinance, he said.
“There were just so many things we wanted to change about it,” he said.
The city also removed some barriers to green infrastructure, similar to how it changed off-street parking codes earlier this year.
“It shows the EPA we’re serious about that type of approach,” Schelle said.
Other major changes include:
•A new project may use a “look back” period of 10 years to determine the pre-construction impervious area for stormwater calculations.
•Demolition projects of one acre or more must submit erosion control plans.
•Clearing, grading and equipment storage is prohibited within 25 feet of a water resource without the city engineer’s permission.
•Inspection and maintenance plans for all permanent stormwater facilities must be submitted as a stand-alone document during the review process.
•Residential developments of three units or smaller are exempt from detention requirements.
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