[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Pine 12-4-2017 by Ord. No. 382. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The stormwater management needs of the Township of Pine have been studied and identified through field investigations, citizen notifications, engineering studies, and related planning activities, indicating that more comprehensive and effective stormwater management in the Township will contribute to the protection of health, safety and welfare of its residents, and, also, the stormwater facilities, infrastructure and activities associated with stormwater management shall provide benefits to all properties, property owners, residents, visitors and citizens of the Township of Pine.
Inadequate management of stormwater runoff through a watershed can increase and accelerate flows and velocities, contribute to erosion and sediment, overtax the carrying capacity of existing streams and storm sewers, greatly increase the cost of public activities and public facilities to effectively convey and manage stormwater, undermine floodplain management and flood reduction efforts in downstream communities, reduce groundwater recharge, negatively impact other related water resource needs and threaten public health and safety.
Inadequate management of stormwater runoff throughout a watershed can harm surface water resources by changing the natural hydrologic patterns, accelerating stream flows, increasing erosion and sedimentation, destroying aquatic habitat, and elevating aquatic pollution concentrations and loadings such as sediments, nutrients, heavy metals and pathogens.
Stormwater is an important water resource which supports groundwater recharge for water supplies and base flow of streams.
A comprehensive program of public and private stormwater management (utilizing both public and private facilities) which seeks to avoid and minimize flooding, erosion, and water quality degradation is fundamental to the public health, safety and welfare of the residents of the Township of Pine, local properties, and the environment of the Township of Pine and also of its neighboring communities.
In order to establish, construct, operate, enhance and maintain stormwater management facilities, systems, and management plans; ensure the continued effective operation of the system through installation and management of best management practices (BMPs); and provide other services such as appropriate inspections, asset management, and regulatory oversight associated with stormwater and watershed management, sufficient and stable funding is required to support these public services.
Multiple federal regulations, including those found at 40 CFR Part 122, and also Pennsylvania state regulations, require the Township of Pine to implement and fund a program of stormwater management, which controls are otherwise unfunded, and that address discharges from the Township of Pine's regulated stormwater outfalls to local water bodies. In accordance with these regulations, the Township of Pine has a permit to manage stormwater discharges from its municipal separate storm sewer systems ("MS4s") under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System ("NPDES") regulations.
The Township of Pine Board of Supervisors has developed a program to establish fair, reasonable and equitable uniform fees so that property owners within a stormwater management district (except those owning properties that have been predetermined to already have appropriate and adequate installation and maintenance, in accordance with best management practices, of stormwater management facilities or those properties that have been determined to be tax exempt) will pay an equitable share of the costs of operation, maintenance, repair, inspection, regulatory compliance, administration, replacement and construction of improvements related to the stormwater management facilities, stormwater management systems, management plans and related services provided or paid for by the Township of Pine.
The proposed program for creating the stormwater management district and imposing the fees established herein has received input and comment from the public through its review at publicly advertised public meetings of the Township of Pine's Board of Supervisors (including on October 20, 2017) and has been the subject of a specific public hearing held upon this chapter (and duly advertised by required public notice) on December 4, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. in the Township of Pine's Community Center.
The fees as determined herein are fair, reasonable, equitable, and uniform, and are based on the following facts:
The fees specified herein shall be applicable to all properties within the Township of Pine's Stormwater Management District, except as may otherwise be provided by the terms of this chapter.
Tax-exempt properties, as so determined by the Allegheny County Real Estate Department, will not be assessed the fees specified herein.
All included residential properties with stormwater maintenance responsibilities and which do not maintain their stormwater management facilities in accordance with best management practices (as approved and inspected by the Township) will be assessed a fee as provided herein and in the Township of Pine Fee Schedule. The Township of Pine may contract for the required maintenance on behalf of the responsible property owners.
All included properties with stormwater maintenance responsibilities and which do maintain their stormwater maintenance facilities in accordance with best management practices (as approved and inspected by the Township) will be credited the otherwise herein-required fee.
All nonresidential properties with stormwater maintenance responsibilities and which do not maintain their stormwater management facilities in accordance with best management practices (as approved and inspected by the Township) will be required by the Township to separately provide maintenance for their stormwater management facilities and will not be charged the otherwise herein required fee.
Words and terms used in this chapter, and not given a specific definition, as set forth in this section, shall be defined as may be set forth in the applicable statutes and/or regulations of the United States or of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and shall otherwise be given their ordinary and common meaning:
- BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES (BMPs)
- Methods, procedures and analyses, as specified in the Pennsylvania Stormwater Best Management Practices Manual, to reduce flooding potential and to manage and control the volume, flow rate, and water quality of stormwater.
- A sum of money assessed, imposed, and to be collected from the owner of each nonexempt property (having an Allegheny County property identification number) within the Township of Pine Stormwater Management District which uses, benefits from, or is serviced by the stormwater management system or stormwater management facility or discharges stormwater directly or indirectly, into the stormwater management system or stormwater management facility, with such fee to be paid to the Township of Pine for its utilization in planning, constructing, operating, maintaining, regulating, inspecting, and improving such system and facilities and the services provided thereby.
- NONTAXABLE PARCEL
- A lot or parcel within the Township of Pine's Stormwater Management District created and recorded in the Allegheny County Department of Real Estate which has been determined by the Allegheny County Assessor's office to be exempt from the imposition of real estate taxes.
- Any person, firm, corporation, individual, partnership, company, association, organization, society or group owning herein affected real property in the Township of Pine.
- Each lot, parcel, building or portion thereof within the Township of Pine's Stormwater Management District, separately established by a property identification number (i.e., a lot and block number) issued through the Allegheny County Department of Real Estate.
- Runoff water from all precipitation events, snowmelt and natural springs.
- STORMWATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT
- A geographic area within the Township of Pine consisting of land (and including the previously subdivided lots or parcels within) identified and described in § 71-3 of this chapter.
- STORMWATER MANAGEMENT FACILITIES
- Components, including both man-made structures and natural features, which comprise a stormwater management system (including, but not limited to, storm sewers, pipes, conduits, mains, inlets, culverts, catch basins, gutters, manholes, ditches, channels, basins, outfalls, detention ponds and tanks, streets, curbs, drains, and all devices, appliances, and stormwater BMPs, such as infiltration and filtration facilities).
- STORMWATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
- The system of runoff avoidance, infiltration, collection and conveyance (including storm sewers, pipes, conduits, mains, inlets, culverts, catch basins, gutters, manholes, ditches, channels, basins, outfalls, and detention ponds and tanks, streets, curbs, drains, and all devices, appliances, and stormwater BMPs, such as infiltration and filtration facilities) used for collecting, conducting, pumping, conveying, detaining, infiltrating, reducing, managing, avoiding the generation of, and treating stormwater, regardless of ownership.
- STORMWATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM EXTENT
- For the purpose of this chapter the extent of a stormwater management system shall commence where stormwater runoff enters a closed conduit system and extend to the exit of a structural outfall to a stream, drainageway or watercourse. The extent of the stormwater management system shall not include surface runoff or swales that convey stormwater either to or away from a stormwater management system.
- TAXABLE PARCEL
- A lot or parcel within the Township of Pine's Stormwater Management District created and recorded in the Allegheny County Department of Real Estate and which has been determined by the Allegheny County Assessor's office to be subject to the payment of real estate taxes and is not the recipient of an established exemption therefrom.
- Any person, firm, corporation, individual, partnership, company, association, society, or group using, benefiting from or being served by the stormwater management system and/or stormwater management facilities.
Pursuant to the authority of Pennsylvania Act No. 62 of July 1, 2016 (P.L. 439) the Township of Pine hereby creates and establishes its Stormwater Management District as a geographic area within the Township of Pine consisting of land (and including the previously subdivided lots or parcels within) identified and described therein in the following plans of record (as recorded in the Department of Real Estate of Allegheny County):
Copies of the pertinent portions of the above-referenced plans are attached hereto as exhibits (and incorporated herein by reference). A further description of individual properties within the above-described Stormwater Management District has been prepared by the Township Manager and a listing of same is and shall be maintained in the offices of the Township of Pine, 230 Pearce Mill Road, Wexford, PA 15090 (and the provisions of same are hereby incorporated by reference).
The Township of Pine hereby establishes and imposes a fee, as specified herein, upon each and every taxable parcel (having an Allegheny County property identification number) within its Stormwater Management District that uses or is benefited by the stormwater management system, and/or stormwater management facilities, either directly or indirectly. The fee herein shall be imposed for the use, benefit, construction, inspection, planning, operation, maintenance, repair, replacement and improvement of the stormwater management system and/or stormwater management facilities. The fee herein shall be imposed on a yearly basis and paid annually as follows:
The fee shall initially be set at a flat rate of $100 per taxable property where maintenance and operation of a stormwater management facility is of multiple property owners (such as, but not limited to, a homeowners' association or separate property owners within a subdivision or land development plan where a viable homeowners' association has not been created).
The fee credit shall be initially set at a flat rate credit of $100 per taxable property where a stormwater management facility is the responsibility of multiple property owners and such stormwater management facility has been adequately maintained by such property owners, as determined following inspection and certification by the Township of Pine.
When a group of multiple property owners either assumes responsibility for operation and maintenance of stormwater management facilities (when they did not so previously) or no longer performs or accepts responsibility for operation and maintenance of stormwater management facilities (when they did so previously) such changes shall be authorized by official action of the Township of Pine Board of Supervisors at a public meeting.
When a group of multiple property owners requests to accept responsibility for operation and maintenance of stormwater management facilities (which was previously not so performed) the fee provided herein shall continue to be charged, without credit, as otherwise specified herein, for a period of three additional years after official action of the Township of Pine Board of Supervisors, after which time the credit specified herein shall become applicable.
The fee provided herein shall be uniformly assessed, liened and collected in accordance with the applicability of responsibility for the specified property's real estate taxes, unless exempted.
References in this chapter to "use," "user," "lot," "parcel," with respect to the assessment of fees shall not be construed to modify or alter the fact that the fees authorized by this chapter shall be assessed to the owner(s) of each separate property or parcel, and such owner(s) shall be and remain liable for payment of same, whether or not such owner occupies the property and therefore directly uses the stormwater management facilities and stormwater management system. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit the owner's ability to collect by lease or contract equivalent sums due from a tenant or other occupier of the owner's property, but such lease or contract shall not bind the Township of Pine or limit in any way its authority to impose, assess, and collect the fees specified herein from the owner(s) of the property and to lien a property regulated hereby.
The fee(s) fixed and established by this chapter shall be applicable, beginning in calendar year 2018 and annually thereafter as to all properties that use, are served, or are benefited by the stormwater management system existing as of the effective date of this chapter, and shall thereafter be applicable and effective to all other properties that begin to use, be served or be benefitted by the stormwater management system. Fees imposed by this chapter shall be assessed annually and added as a line item to the annual Township real estate tax bill and shall be due and payable by property owners using the same procedure and timeline for same. The fees assessed and collected will not be subject to proration or refund by the Township of Pine in the event that a property is sold; provided, however, that a buyer and seller of property shall not be precluded hereby from making their own private, contractual agreement to provide for proration of credit between them of any fees associated herewith.
The Township of Pine Board of Supervisors may review and update the fees fixed and established by this chapter by a subsequent resolution, as may be deemed necessary from time to time, and as adopted by resolution at a properly advertised meeting.
In accordance with Section 1612 of the Second Class Township Code and the Municipal Claims Act, 53 P.S. § 7101 et seq., as amended, all fees, penalties, interest (at the permitted legal rate upon the unpaid balance after its due date), collection fees (including reasonable attorneys' fees), lien filing and satisfaction fees and other charges imposed for failure to pay promptly the fees assessed by this chapter, shall constitute a lien upon and against the subject property and its owner from the date of their imposition and assessment.
Credits for fees otherwise imposed hereby will be provided when property owner(s) have specifically requested such credit and the required maintenance or repairs are performed in accordance with Township directives on a timely basis and such stormwater facilities are current and in accordance with acceptable standards (all as determined by the Township in its reasonable discretion). Additionally, to qualify for such credit, the property owner(s) shall be required to have executed a standard operation and maintenance plan agreement (in a form acceptable to the Township of Pine) which shall be recorded in the Allegheny County Department of Real Estate acknowledging the owner(s)' ongoing maintenance requirements.
Any owner (or group of owners) who believes its fees have been calculated in error may appeal such calculation to the Township of Pine's Board of Supervisors, with such appeal to be heard promptly thereafter at a public meeting.
All fees and other stormwater-related revenue authorized to be imposed, assessed, and collected by this chapter shall be deposited in the Township of Pine Stormwater Revenue Account, a separate account dedicated to the operation, administration, maintenance, repair and improvement of the stormwater management system. Such fees and revenue shall, in accordance with the provisions of Pennsylvania Act No. 62 of July 1, 2016 (P.L. 439), be used only for the purposes authorized thereby.
Flooding may occur occasionally due to stormwater volume that exceeds the capacity of the Township of Pine's stormwater management system. Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to imply that properties within the Township of Pine, including but not limited to those subject to the fees imposed hereby, shall always be free from flooding or flood damage, or that all flood control projects to control stormwater can provide complete protection from all flood and storm events. Nothing whatsoever in this chapter shall deem the Township of Pine liable for any injuries or damages incurred, either directly or indirectly, from stormwater or from adverse water quality. Nothing in this chapter purports to reduce the need, appropriateness, or necessity for flood insurance to be separately maintained by owners of properties, and the Township of Pine expressly reserves its right to assert all available legal immunities and defenses in any civil action seeking to impose monetary damages upon the Township of Pine, its officers, employees and agents arising out of any alleged failure of or negligence or breach of duty regarding the stormwater management system.
The Board of Supervisors of the Township of Pine is hereby authorized to do all acts (including authorization to delegate same to its authorized Township management staff, Township Solicitor, and other duly authorized agents) necessary to carry out the terms of this chapter, including but not limited to performance of necessary ongoing repairs, maintenance, or management associated with stormwater management functions within the Township of Pine's Stormwater Management District and, also, the collection of the related fees and costs established hereby.
If any section, paragraph, subsection, clause or provision of this chapter shall be declared invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of this chapter as a whole or any part thereof other than that portion specifically declared invalid.