Township of Lower Southampton, PA
Bucks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 550, 6/8/2011]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Lower Southampton Township Stormwater Management Ordinance."
[Ord. 550, 6/8/2011]
The governing body of the municipality finds that:
A. 
Inadequate management of accelerated stormwater runoff resulting from development and redevelopment throughout a watershed increases flood flows and velocities, contributes to erosion and sedimentation, overtaxes the carrying capacity of streams and storm sewers, greatly increases the cost of public facilities to convey and manage stormwater, undermines floodplain management and flood reduction efforts in upstream and downstream communities, reduces groundwater recharge, and threatens public health and safety.
B. 
Inadequate planning and management of stormwater runoff resulting from land development and redevelopment throughout a watershed can also harm surface water resources by changing the natural hydrologic patterns, accelerating stream flows (which increase scour and erosion of streambeds and stream banks, thereby elevating sedimentation), destroying aquatic habitat, and elevating aquatic pollutant concentrations and loadings such as sediments, nutrients, heavy metals, and pathogens.
C. 
A comprehensive program of stormwater management (SWM), including reasonable regulation of development and activities causing accelerated runoff, is fundamental to the public health, safety, welfare and the protection of the people of the municipality and all the people of the commonwealth, their resources, and the environment.
D. 
Stormwater is an important water resource by providing groundwater recharge for water supplies and base flow of streams, which also protects and maintains surface water quality.
E. 
Public education on the control of pollution from stormwater is an essential component in successfully addressing stormwater.
F. 
Federal and state regulations require certain municipalities to implement a program of stormwater controls. These municipalities are required to obtain a permit for stormwater discharges from their separate storm sewer systems under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).
[Ord. 550, 6/8/2011]
The purpose of this chapter is to promote the public health, safety and welfare within Lower Southampton Township by maintaining the natural hydrologic regime and by minimizing the harms and maximizing the benefits described in § 17-102 of this chapter through provisions designed to:
A. 
Meet legal water quality requirements under state law, including regulations at 25 Pa. Code Chapter 93 to protect, maintain, reclaim and restore the existing and designated uses of the waters of this commonwealth.
B. 
Minimize increases in stormwater volume and control peak flows.
C. 
Minimize impervious surfaces.
D. 
Provide review procedures and performance standards for stormwater planning and management.
E. 
Preserve the natural drainage systems as much as possible.
F. 
Manage stormwater impacts close to the runoff source, requiring a minimum of structures and relying on natural processes.
G. 
Focus on infiltration of stormwater to maintain groundwater recharge, to prevent degradation of surface water and groundwater quality, and to otherwise protect water resources.
H. 
Preserve and restore the flood-carrying capacity of streams.
I. 
Prevent scour and erosion of stream banks and streambeds.
J. 
Provide standards to meet National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements.
K. 
Address certain requirements of the Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer System (MS4) NPDES Phase II Stormwater Regulations.
L. 
Provide for proper operation and maintenance of all stormwater management facilities and best management practices (BMPs) that are implemented in the municipality.
[Ord. 550, 6/8/2011]
The municipality is empowered to regulate land use activities that affect runoff, surface water and groundwater quality and quantity by the authority of:
A. 
The Act of October 4, 1978, P.L. 864 (Act 167), 32 P.S. § 680.1 et seq., as amended, the "Pennsylvania Storm Water Management Act" (hereinafter referred to as "the Act").
B. 
Water Resources Management Act of 2002, as amended.
C. 
Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, Act 247, as amended.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 110101 et seq.
D. 
Second Class Township Code (Act 69 of 1933, P.L. 103; 53 P.S. § 65101 et seq., as amended.
[Ord. 550, 6/8/2011]
All regulated activities and all activities that may affect stormwater runoff, including land development and earth disturbance activity, are subject to regulation by this chapter. Regulated activities include, but are not limited to:
A. 
Land development;
B. 
Subdivisions;
C. 
Prohibited or polluted discharges;
D. 
Alteration of the natural hydrologic regime;
E. 
Construction or reconstruction of or addition of new impervious or semipervious surfaces (i.e., driveways, parking lots, roads, etc.), except for reconstruction of surfaces where there is no increase in impervious surface;
F. 
Construction of new buildings or additions to existing buildings;
G. 
Redevelopment;
H. 
Diversion piping or encroachments in any natural or man-made channel; and
I. 
Nonstructural and structural stormwater management best management practices (BMPs) or appurtenances thereto.
[Ord. 550, 6/8/2011]
1. 
Regulated activities that create impervious surfaces smaller than or equal to 1,000 square feet are exempt from the peak rate control requirements and the SWM site plan preparation located in Part 4 of this chapter unless the activity is found to be a significant contributor of pollution to the waters of this commonwealth.
2. 
Regulated activities that create impervious surfaces between 1,001 square feet up to and including 5,000 square feet are exempt only from the peak rate control requirements of this chapter.
(Refer to Appendix I,[1] which contains the Small Project SWM site plan for small regulated activities creating impervious surface between 1,000 square feet up to and including 5,000 square feet. The Small Project SWM site plan provides small regulated activities with the opportunity to submit a SWM site plan without having to hire professional services.)
Table 106.1 Impervious Surface Exemption Thresholds
Proposed Impervious Surface
Part or Section
Type of Project
0 to 1,000 square feet
1,001 to 5000 square feet
5,000 + square feet
Part 4, SWM site plan requirements
Development
Exempt
Not exempt
Not exempt
§ 17-303, Volume control requirements
Development
Exempt with Township approval
Not exempt
Not exempt
§ 17-304, Peak rate control requirements
Development
Exempt
Exempt
Not exempt
Erosion and sediment pollution control requirements
Must comply with Title 25, Chapter 102, of the Pennsylvania Code and any other applicable state, county and municipal codes.
[1]
Editor's Note: Appendix I is attached to this chapter.
3. 
Agricultural activity is exempt from the peak rate control requirements and SWM site plan preparation requirements of this chapter, provided the activities are performed according to the requirements of 25 Pa. Code Chapter 102.
4. 
Forest management and timber operations are exempt from the peak rate control requirements and SWM site plan preparation requirements of this chapter, provided the activities are performed according to the requirements of 25 Pa. Code Chapter 102.
5. 
Any aspect of BMP maintenance to an existing SWM system made in accordance with plans and specifications approved by Lower Southampton Township is exempt.
6. 
The use of land for gardening for home consumption is exempt from the requirements of this chapter.
7. 
Exemptions from any provisions of this chapter shall not relieve the applicant from the requirements in § 17-301, Subsections 4 through 12.
8. 
Additional exemption criteria.
A. 
Exemption responsibilities. An exemption shall not relieve the applicant from implementing such measures as are necessary to protect public health, safety and property.
B. 
Drainage problems. Where drainage problems are documented or known to exist downstream of or are expected from the proposed activity, the municipality may deny exemptions.
C. 
Exemptions are limited to specific portions of this chapter.
D. 
HQ and EV streams. The municipality may deny exemptions in high quality (HQ) or exceptional value (EV) waters and source water protection areas (SWPA).
[Ord. 550, 6/8/2011]
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.