Borough of Hellertown, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Act 167 Stormwater Management Ordinance."
The governing body of the Borough finds that:
Inadequate management of accelerated runoff of stormwater resulting from development throughout a watershed increases flood flows and velocities, contributes to erosion and sedimentation, changes the natural hydrologic patterns, destroys aquatic habitat, elevates aquatic pollutant concentrations and loadings, overtaxes the carrying capacity of streams and storm sewers, greatly increases the cost of public facilities to carry and control stormwater, undermines floodplain management and flood control efforts in downstream communities, reduces groundwater recharge, and threatens public health and safety.
A comprehensive program of stormwater management, including reasonable regulation of development and activities causing accelerated erosion and loss of natural infiltration, is fundamental to the public health, safety and welfare and the protection of the people of the Borough and all of the people of the commonwealth, their resources and the environment.
Stormwater can be an important resource by providing groundwater recharge for water supplies and baseflow of streams, which also protects and maintains surface water quality.*
Public education on the control of pollution from stormwater is an essential component in successfully addressing stormwater.*
Federal and state regulations require certain boroughs to implement a program of stormwater controls. These Boroughs are required to obtain a permit for stormwater discharges from their separate storm sewer systems under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).*
Nonstormwater discharges to Borough separate storm sewer systems can contribute to pollution of waters of the commonwealth by the Borough.*
The purpose of this chapter is to promote the public health, safety and welfare within the Saucon Creek Watershed by minimizing the damages and maximizing the benefits described in § 378-2 of this chapter by provisions designed to:
Manage stormwater runoff impacts at their source by regulating activities which cause such problems.
Utilize and preserve the desirable existing natural drainage systems.
Encourage infiltration of stormwater, where appropriate, to maintain groundwater recharge, to prevent degradation of surface water and groundwater quality and to otherwise protect water resources.
Maintain the existing flows and quality of streams and watercourses in the Borough and the commonwealth.
Preserve and restore the flood-carrying capacity of streams.
Provide for proper maintenance of all permanent stormwater management BMPs that are implemented in the Borough.
Provide review procedures and performance standards for stormwater planning, design and management.*
Manage stormwater impacts close to the runoff source which requires a minimum of structures and relies on natural processes.*
Meet legal water quality requirements under state law, including regulations at 25 Pa. Code Chapter 93.4a to protect and maintain "existing uses" and maintain the level of water quality to support those uses in all streams and to protect and maintain water quality in "special protection" streams.*
Prevent scour and erosion of stream banks and streambeds.*
Provide standards to meet the NPDES permit requirements.*
The Borough is empowered to regulate these activities by the authority of the Act of October 4, 1978, P.L. 864 (Act 167), 32 P.S. § 680.1 et seq., as amended, the "Stormwater Management Act," and the Borough Code.
This chapter shall only apply to those areas of the Borough which are located within the Saucon Creek Watershed, as delineated on an official map available for inspection at the Borough office. A map of the Saucon Creek Watershed at a reduced scale is included in Appendix A for general reference.[1]
Editor's Note: Appendix A is on file in the Borough office.
The following activities are defined as regulated activities and shall be governed by this chapter.
Land development.
Construction of new or additional impervious surfaces (driveways, parking lots, etc.).
Construction of new buildings or additions to existing buildings.
Diversion or piping of any natural or man-made stream channel.
Installation of stormwater systems or appurtenances thereto.
Regulated earth disturbance activities.*
Impervious cover. Any proposed regulated activity, except those defined in § 378-5B(5) and (6), which would create 10,000 square feet or less of additional impervious cover is exempt from the drainage plan preparation provisions of this chapter. The date of the Borough adoption of the Stormwater Management Ordinance shall be the starting point from which to consider tracts as "parent tracts" in which future subdivisions and respective impervious area computations shall be cumulatively considered. For development taking place in stages, the entire development plan must be used in determining conformance with these criteria. Additional impervious cover shall include, but not be limited to, additional indoor living spaces, decks, patios, garages, driveways, storage sheds and similar structures, any roof, parking or driveway areas and any new streets and sidewalks constructed as part of or for the proposed regulated activity. Any additional areas proposed to initially be gravel, crushed stone, porous pavement, etc., shall be assumed to be impervious for the purposes of comparison to the exemption criteria. Any existing gravel, crushed stone or hard-packed soil areas on a site shall be considered as pervious cover for the purpose of exemption evaluation. All of the impervious cover added incrementally to a site above the initial 10,000 square feet shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter. If a site has previously received an exemption and is proposing additional development such that the total impervious cover on the site exceeds 10,000 square feet, the total impervious cover on the site proposed since the original ordinance date must meet the provisions of this chapter.
Prior drainage plan approval. Any regulated activity for which a drainage plan was previously prepared as part of a subdivision or land development proposal that received preliminary plan approval from the Borough prior to the effective date of this chapter is exempt from the drainage plan preparation provisions of this chapter, except as cited in Subsection C, provided that the approved drainage plan included design of stormwater facilities to control runoff from the site currently proposed for regulated activities consistent with ordinance provisions in effect at the time of approval and the approval has not lapsed under the Borough's Planning Code.[1] If significant revisions are made to the drainage plan after both the preliminary plan approval and the effective date of this chapter, preparation of a new drainage plan subject to the provisions of this chapter shall be required. Significant revisions would include a change in control methods or techniques, relocation or redesign of control measures or changes necessary because soil or other conditions are not as stated on the original drainage plan.
Editor's Note: See Ch. 390, Subdivision and Land Development.
These exemptions shall not relieve the applicant from implementing such measures as are necessary to protect health, safety, property and state water quality requirements. These measures include adequate and safe conveyance of stormwater on the site and as it leaves the site. These exemptions do not relieve the applicant from the responsibility to secure required permits or approvals for activities regulated by any other applicable code, rule, act or ordinance.
No exemptions shall be provided for regulated activities as defined in § 378-5B(5) and (6).
Approvals issued pursuant to this chapter do not relieve the applicant of the responsibility to secure required permits or approvals for activities regulated by any other applicable code, rule, act or ordinance.
Notwithstanding any provisions of this chapter, including exemption and waiver provisions, any landowner and any person engaged in the alteration or development of land which may affect stormwater runoff characteristics shall implement such measures as are reasonably necessary to prevent injury to health, safety or other property. Such measures shall include such actions as are required to manage the rate, volume, direction and quality of resulting stormwater runoff in a manner which otherwise adequately protects health and property from possible injury.