Saturday, July 23, 2022

Columbia Borough Council authorizes updated stormwater management ordinance

Borough Council authorized staff to advertise an updated stormwater management ordinance that changes the amount of square footage property owners may add before they need an engineer's report on how to handle water runoff.

Details: Previously, property owners could add up to 1,000 square feet before they needed a professional's report on how to deal with excess water. The rewritten document raises that amount to 2,001 square feet but adds a new provision for projects from 501 to 2,000 square feet. In these cases, owners will need to submit a written plan that explains how water runoff will be handled.

Quotable: "You can come in, and borough staff will help you design the appropriately sized stormwater facility," said Derek Rinaldo, borough engineer. This section aims to help people planning smaller projects, such as a pool, garage or shed. Borough stormwater solutions may include a ring garden, trench or other water infiltration systems, Rinaldo said. Additions of more than 2,000 square feet still will require an engineer's stormwater report.

Why now?: The state Department of Environmental Protection has released new guidelines for stormwater management, and the updated ordinance will follow those rules, Rinaldo said.

More: Property owners planning additions up to 500 square feet still have to account for water runoff even though no written plan is required. "You are still responsible for your stormwater," Rinaldo said, noting that no water may spill onto a neighbor's property. "We will be looking at that."

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