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Additional city storm water standards adopted

By Grace Lovins

Birmingham’s City Commission voted on Monday, October 24, to adopt an ordinance amendment that will change the city’s current stormwater standards to include post-construction water quality standards.

The proposed ordinance amendment will apply to the development or redevelopment of non-residential parcels, only, that are greater than one acre and discharges to the city’s separated storm sewer system.

The decision comes after the Oakland County Water Resource Commission (OCWRC) adopted new stormwater standards in May of 2021, with the aim that local communities would adopt the commission’s state approved regional standards to meet the MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm System) permit requirements of post-construction stormwater standards for water quality. According to Melissa Coatta, city engineer, the city’s current ordinance does not include information about post-construction standards.

On top of continuing compliance for the city’s MS4 permit, adopting the OCRWC’s new stormwater standards would include best management practices and low impact design, preserve natural swales and channels, and references to the city’s site plan review and process requirements. The standards would also provide information on the criteria for potential waivers, and include a maintenance agreement between a property owner and the city so the property owner is able to maintain their constructed stormwater items.

Adopting the amendment, says Coatta, would also adopt the OCRWC’s standards for channel protection rate control and channel protection volume control. In response to a question raised by commissioner Andrew Haig, Coatta noted that the amendment would affect 41 land parcels, 50 percent of which are owned by the city, including parks and trail systems.

Commissioners voted 7-0 to adopt the ordinance to amend city code to include post-construction stormwater standards for water quality.


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