City of Watervliet, NY
Albany County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Watervliet 9-6-2007 by L.L. No. 1-2007. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Planning Board — See Ch. 57.
Storm sewers — See Ch. 274.
Zoning — See Ch. 272.
273a Stormwater

§ 273-1 Findings of fact.

It is hereby determined that:
A. 
Land development activities and the development of real property and associated increases in site impervious cover often alter the hydrologic response of local watersheds and increase stormwater runoff rates and volumes, flooding, stream channel erosion, or sediment transport and deposition;
B. 
This stormwater runoff contributes to increased quantities of waterborne pollutants, including siltation of aquatic habitat for fish and other desirable species;
C. 
Clearing and grading during construction tends to increase soil erosion and add to the loss of native vegetation necessary for terrestrial and aquatic habitat; improper disposal and clearing of vegetation and other wastes can lead to unacceptable conditions;
D. 
Improper design and construction of stormwater management practices can increase the velocity of stormwater runoff, thereby increasing streambank erosion and sedimentation;
E. 
Impervious surfaces allow less water to percolate into the soil, thereby decreasing groundwater recharge and stream baseflow;
F. 
Substantial economic losses can result from these adverse impacts on the waters of the municipality;
G. 
Stormwater runoff, soil erosion and nonpoint source pollution can be controlled and minimized through the regulation of stormwater runoff from land development activities;
H. 
The regulation of stormwater runoff discharges from land development activities in order to control and minimize increases in stormwater runoff rates and volumes, soil erosion, stream channel erosion, and nonpoint source pollution associated with stormwater runoff is in the public interest and will minimize threats to public health and safety;
I. 
Regulation of land development activities by means of performance standards governing stormwater management and site design will produce development compatible with the natural functions of a particular site or an entire watershed and thereby mitigate the adverse effects of erosion and sedimentation from development.

§ 273-2 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control is to establish minimum stormwater management requirements and controls to protect and safeguard the general health, safety, and welfare of the public residing within this jurisdiction and to address the findings of fact in § 273-1 hereof. This chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control seeks to meet those purposes by achieving the following objectives:
A. 
Meet the requirements of minimum measures 4 and 5 of the SPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer Systems (MS4s), Permit No. GP-02-02 or as amended or revised;
B. 
Require land development and or work activities on real property to conform to the substantive requirements of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) General Permit for Construction Activities GP-02-01 or as amended or revised;
C. 
Minimize increases in stormwater runoff from land development activities in order to reduce flooding, siltation, increases in stream temperature, and streambank erosion and maintain the integrity of stream channels;
D. 
Minimize or decrease pollution caused by stormwater runoff from land development activities which would otherwise degrade local water quality;
E. 
Minimize or decrease the total annual volume of stormwater runoff which flows from any specific site during and following development to the maximum extent practicable;
F. 
Reduce stormwater runoff rates and volumes, soil erosion and nonpoint source pollution, wherever possible, through stormwater management practices and to ensure that these management practices are properly maintained and eliminate threats to public safety; and
G. 
Eliminate unstable soil conditions and the production of noxious gases which result from improper stormwater practices, improper clearing of vegetation, improper grading practices, and the burial of vegetative or other wastes.

§ 273-3 Statutory authority.

In accordance with Article 10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law of the State of New York, the City Council of Watervliet has the authority to enact local laws and amend local laws and for the purpose of promoting the health, safety or general welfare of the City of Watervliet and for the protection and enhancement of its physical environment. The City Council of Watervliet may include in any such local law provisions for the appointment of any municipal officer, employees, or independent contractor to effectuate, administer and enforce such local law.

§ 273-4 Applicability.

A. 
This chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control shall be applicable to all land development activities, work or construction on real property as defined in this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control.
B. 
The City Council shall designate a Stormwater Management Officer who shall accept and review all stormwater pollution prevention plans and forward such plans to the applicable municipal board. The Stormwater Management Officer may review the plans; upon approval by the City Council of the City of Watervliet, engage the services of a registered professional engineer to review the plans, specifications and related documents at a cost not to exceed a fee schedule established by said governing board; or accept the certification of a licensed professional that the plans conform to the requirements of this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control.
C. 
All land development activities subject to subdivision or site plan review shall be reviewed subject to the standards contained in this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control.
D. 
All land development activities, work or construction on real property not subject to review as stated in Subsection C shall be required to submit a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) to the Stormwater Management Officer who shall approve the SWPPP if it complies with the requirements of this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control.

§ 273-5 Exemptions.

The following activities may be exempt from review under this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control.
A. 
Agricultural activity as defined in § 273-6.
B. 
Logging activity undertaken pursuant to an approved timber management plan prepared or approved by the County Soil and Water Conservation District or the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, except that landing areas and log haul roads are subject to this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control.
C. 
Routine maintenance activities that disturb less than five acres and are performed to maintain the original line and grade, hydraulic capacity or original purpose of a facility.
D. 
Repairs to any stormwater management practice or facility deemed necessary by the Stormwater Management Officer.
E. 
Any part of a subdivision if a plat for the subdivision has been approved by the City of Watervliet on or before the effective date of this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control.
F. 
Land development activities for which a building permit has been approved on or before the effective date of this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control.
G. 
Cemetery graves.
H. 
Installation of fence, sign, telephone, and electric poles and other kinds of posts or poles.
I. 
Emergency activity immediately necessary to protect life, property or natural resources.
J. 
Activities of an individual engaging in home gardening by growing flowers, vegetable and other plants primarily for use by that person and his or her family.
K. 
Landscaping and horticultural activities in connection with an existing structure.
L. 
Creation or restoration of wetlands pursuant to a state or federal wetlands permit.

§ 273-6 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITY
The activity of an active farm, including grazing and watering livestock, irrigating crops, harvesting crops, using land for growing agricultural products, and cutting timber for sale, but shall not include the operation of a dude ranch or similar operation, or the construction of new structures associated with agricultural activities.
APPLICANT
A property owner or agent of a property owner who has filed an application for a land development activity.
BUILDING
Any structure, either temporary or permanent, having walls and a roof, designed for the shelter of any person, animal, or property, and occupying more than 100 square feet of area.
CHANNEL
A natural or artificial watercourse with a definite bed and banks that conducts continuously or periodically flowing water.
CLEARING
Any activity that removes the vegetative surface cover.
DEDICATION
The deliberate appropriation of property by its owner for general public use.
DEPARTMENT
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
DESIGN MANUAL
The New York State Stormwater Design Manual, most recent version, including applicable updates, that serves as the official guide for stormwater management principles, methods and practices.
DEVELOPER
A person who undertakes land development activities.
EROSION CONTROL MANUAL
The most recent version of the "New York Standards and Specifications for Erosion and Sediment Control" manual as amended, commonly known as the "Blue Book."
GRADING
Excavation or fill of material, including the resulting conditions thereof.
IMPERVIOUS COVER
Those surfaces, improvements and structures that cannot effectively infiltrate rainfall, snowmelt and water (e.g., building rooftops, pavement, sidewalks, driveways, etc).
INDUSTRIAL STORMWATER PERMIT
A State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit issued to a commercial industry or group of industries which regulates the pollutant levels associated with industrial stormwater discharges or specifies on-site pollution control strategies.
INFILTRATION
The process of percolating stormwater into the subsoil.
JURISDICTIONAL WETLAND
An area that is inundated or saturated by surface water or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions, commonly known as hydrophytic vegetation."
LAND DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY
An activity, including clearing, grading, excavating, soil disturbance or placement of fill, that results in land disturbance of equal to or greater than one acre, or activities disturbing less than one acre of total land area that is part of a larger common plan of development or sale, even though multiple separate and distinct land development activities may take place at different times on different schedules.
LANDOWNER
The legal or beneficial owner of land, including those holding the right to purchase or lease the land, or any other person holding proprietary rights in the land.
MAINTENANCE AGREEMENT
A legally recorded document that acts as a property deed restriction, and which provides for long-term maintenance of stormwater management practices.
NONPOINT SOURCE POLLUTION
Pollution from any source other than from any discernible, confined, and discrete conveyances, and shall include, but not be limited to, pollutants from agricultural, silvicultural, mining, construction, subsurface disposal and urban runoff sources.
PHASING
Clearing a parcel of land in distinct pieces or parts, with the stabilization of each piece completed before the clearing of the next.
POLLUTANT OF CONCERN
Sediment or a water quality measurement that addresses sediment (such as total suspended solids, turbidity or siltation) and any other pollutant that has been identified as a cause of impairment of any water body that will receive a discharge from the land development activity.
PROJECT
Land development activity or work or construction on real property.
RECHARGE
The replenishment of underground water reserves.
SEDIMENT CONTROL
Measures that prevent eroded sediment from leaving the site.
SENSITIVE AREAS
Cold-water fisheries, shellfish beds, swimming beaches, groundwater recharge areas, water supply reservoirs, habitats for threatened, endangered or special concern species.
SMP
See stormwater management practice.
SPDES GENERAL PERMIT FOR CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITIES GP-02-01
A permit under the New York State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) issued to developers of construction activities to regulate disturbance of one or more acres of land.
SPDES GENERAL PERMIT FOR STORMWATER DISCHARGES FROM MUNICIPAL SEPARATE STORMWATER SEWER SYSTEMS GP-02-02
A permit under the New York State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) issued to municipalities to regulate discharges from municipal separate storm sewers for compliance with EPA established water quality standards and/or to specify stormwater control standards.
STABILIZATION
The use of practices that prevent exposed soil from eroding.
STOP-WORK ORDER
An order issued which requires that all construction activity on a site be stopped.
STORMWATER
Rainwater, surface runoff, snowmelt and drainage.
STORMWATER HOTSPOT
A land use or activity that generates higher concentrations of hydrocarbons, trace metals or toxicants than are found in typical stormwater runoff, based on monitoring studies.
STORMWATER MANAGEMENT
The use of structural or nonstructural practices that are designed to reduce stormwater runoff and mitigate its adverse impacts on property, natural resources and the environment.
STORMWATER MANAGEMENT FACILITY
One or a series of stormwater management practices installed, stabilized and operating for the purpose of controlling stormwater runoff.
STORMWATER MANAGEMENT OFFICER
An employee or officer designated by the municipality to accept and review stormwater pollution prevention plans, forward the plans to the applicable municipal board, inspect stormwater management practices and enforce this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control.
STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PRACTICES (SMPs)
Measures, either structural or nonstructural, that are determined to be the most effective, practical means of preventing flood damage and preventing or reducing point source or nonpoint source pollution inputs to stormwater runoff and water bodies.
STORMWATER POLLUTION PREVENTION PLAN (SWPPP)
A plan for controlling stormwater runoff and pollutants from a site during and after construction activities.
STORMWATER RUNOFF
Flow on the surface of the ground, resulting from precipitation.
SURFACE WATERS OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Lakes, bays, sounds, ponds, impounding reservoirs, springs, wells, rivers, streams, creeks, estuaries, marshes, inlets, canals, the Atlantic Ocean within the territorial seas of the State of New York and all other bodies of surface water, natural or artificial, inland or coastal, fresh or salt, public or private (except those private waters that do not combine or effect a junction with natural surface or underground waters), which are wholly or partially within or bordering the state or within its jurisdiction. Storm sewers and waste treatment systems, including treatment ponds or lagoons which also meet the criteria of this definition are not waters of the state. This exclusion applies only to man-made bodies of water which neither were originally created in waters of the state (such as a disposal area in wetlands) nor resulted from impoundment of waters of the state.
WATERCOURSE
A permanent or intermittent stream or other body of water, either natural or man-made, which gathers or carries surface water.
WATERWAY
A channel that directs surface runoff to a watercourse or to the public storm drain.

§ 273-7 Erosion and Sediment Control Law amendment.

A stormwater pollution prevention plan consistent with the requirements of this chapter, Chapter 272, Article VIII Stormwater Control, and § 57-9 shall be required. The SWPPP shall meet the performance and design criteria and standards in Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control. The approved erosion control permit shall be consistent with the provisions of this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control.

§ 273-8 Construction inspection.

A. 
Erosion and sediment control inspection.
(1) 
The City of Watervliet Stormwater Management Officer may require such inspections as necessary to determine compliance with this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control and may either approve that portion of the work completed or notify the applicant wherein the work fails to comply with the requirements of this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control and the stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) as approved. These are in addition to the required DEC inspections. To obtain inspections, the applicant shall notify the City of Watervliet enforcement official at least 48 hours before any of the following as required by the Stormwater Management Officer:
(a) 
Start of construction.
(b) 
Installation of sediment and erosion control measures.
(c) 
Completion of site clearing.
(d) 
Completion of rough grading.
(e) 
Completion of final grading.
(f) 
Close of the construction season.
(g) 
Completion of final landscaping.
(h) 
Successful establishment of landscaping in public areas.
(2) 
If any violations are found, the applicant and developer shall be notified, in writing, of the nature of the violation and the required corrective actions. No further work shall be conducted except for site stabilization until any violations are corrected and all work previously completed has received approval by the Stormwater Management Officer.
B. 
Stormwater management practice inspections. The City of Watervliet Stormwater Management Officer or designeee, is responsible for conducting inspections of stormwater management practices (SMPs). All applicants are required to submit as-built plans for any stormwater management practices located on site after final construction is completed. The plan must show the final design specifications for all stormwater management facilities and must be certified by a professional engineer.
C. 
Inspection of stormwater facilities after project completion. Inspection programs shall be established on any reasonable basis, including but not limited to: routine inspections; random inspections; inspections based upon complaints or other notice of possible violations; inspection of drainage basins or areas identified as higher than typical sources of sediment or other contaminants or pollutants; inspections of businesses or industries of a type associated with higher-than-usual discharges of contaminants or pollutants or with discharges of a type which are more likely than the typical discharge to cause violations of state or federal water or sediment quality standards or the SPDES stormwater permit; and joint inspections with other agencies inspecting under environmental or safety laws. Inspections may include, but are not limited to: reviewing maintenance and repair records; sampling discharges, surface water, groundwater, and material or water in drainage control facilities; and evaluating the condition of drainage control facilities and other stormwater management practices.
D. 
Submission of reports. The City of Watervliet Stormwater Management Officer may require monitoring and reporting from entities subject to this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control as are necessary to determine compliance with this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control in addition to the required recordkeeping and reports set forth in this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control and established by DEC.
E. 
Right-of-Entry for inspection. When any new stormwater management facility is installed on private property or when any new connection is made between private property and the public stormwater system, the landowner shall grant to the City of Watervliet the right to enter the property at reasonable times and in a reasonable manner for the purpose of inspection as specified in Subsection C.

§ 273-9 Performance guarantee.

A. 
Construction completion guarantee. In order to ensure the full and faithful completion of all land development activities related to compliance with all conditions set forth by the City of Watervliet in its approval of the stormwater pollution prevention plan, the City of Watervliet may require the applicant or developer to provide, prior to construction, a performance bond, cash escrow, or irrevocable letter of credit from an appropriate financial or surety institution which guarantees satisfactory completion of the project and names the City of Watervliet as the beneficiary. The security shall be in an amount to be determined by the City of Watervliet based on submission of final design plans, with reference to actual construction and landscaping costs. The performance guarantee shall remain in force until the surety is released from liability by the City of Watervliet, provided that such period shall not be less than one year from the date of final acceptance or such other certification that the facility(ies) have been constructed in accordance with the approved plans and specifications and that an one-year inspection has been conducted and the facilities have been found to be acceptable to the City of Watervliet. Per annum interest on cash escrow deposits shall be reinvested in the account until the surety is released from liability.
B. 
Maintenance guarantee. Where stormwater management and erosion and sediment control facilities are to be operated and maintained by the developer or by a corporation that owns or manages a commercial or industrial facility, the developer, prior to construction, may be required to provide the City of Watervliet with an irrevocable letter of credit from an approved financial institution or surety to ensure proper operation and maintenance of all stormwater management and erosion control facilities both during and after construction, and until the facilities are removed from operation. If the developer or landowner fails to properly operate and maintain stormwater management and erosion and sediment control facilities, the City of Watervliet may draw upon the account to cover the costs of proper operation and maintenance, including engineering and inspection costs.
C. 
Recordkeeping. The City of Watervliet may require entities subject to this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control to maintain records demonstrating compliance with this portion of the local law.

§ 273-10 Enforcement and penalties for offenses.

A. 
Notice of violation. When the City of Watervliet determines that a land development activity is not being carried out in accordance with the requirements of this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control, it may issue a written notice of violation to the landowner. The notice of violation shall contain:
(1) 
The name and address of the landowner, developer or applicant;
(2) 
The address when available or a description of the building, structure or land upon which the violation is occurring;
(3) 
A statement specifying the nature of the violation;
(4) 
A description of the remedial measures necessary to bring the land development activity into compliance with this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control and a time schedule for the completion of such remedial action;
(5) 
A statement of the penalty or penalties that shall or may be assessed against the person to whom the notice of violation is directed;
(6) 
A statement that the determination of violation may be appealed to the municipality by filing a written notice of appeal within 15 days of service of notice of violation.
B. 
Violations. Any land development activity that is commenced or is conducted contrary to this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control, may be restrained by injunction or otherwise abated in a manner provided by law.
C. 
Penalties. In addition to or as an alternative to any penalty provided herein or by law, any person who violates the provisions of this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control, shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine not exceeding $5,000 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both for conviction of a first offense; for conviction of a second offense, both of which were committed within a period of five years, punishable by a fine not less than $550 nor more than $10,000 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both; and upon conviction for a third or subsequent offense, all of which were committed within a period of five years, punishable by a fine not less than $700 nor more than $15,000 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both. However, for the purposes of conferring jurisdiction upon courts and judicial officers generally, violations of this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control, shall be deemed misdemeanors and for such purpose only all provisions of law relating to misdemeanors shall apply to such violations. Each week's continued violation shall constitute a separate additional violation.
D. 
Stop-work orders. The City of Watervliet may issue a stop-work order for violations of this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control. Persons receiving a stop-work order shall be required to halt all land development activities, except those activities that address the violations leading to the stop-work order. The stop-work order shall be in effect until the City of Watervliet confirms that the land development activity is in compliance and the violation has been satisfactorily addressed. Failure to address a stop-work order in a timely manner may result in civil, criminal, or monetary penalties in accordance with the enforcement measures authorized in this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control.
E. 
Violations. Any land development activity work or construction on real property that is commenced or is conducted contrary to this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control, may be restrained by injunction or otherwise abated in a manner provided by law.
F. 
Withholding of certificate of occupancy. If any building or land development activity is installed or conducted in violation of this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control, the Stormwater Management Officer may prevent the occupancy of said building or land.
G. 
Restoration of lands. Any violator may be required to restore land to its undisturbed condition. In the event that restoration is not undertaken within a reasonable time after notice, the City of Watervliet may take necessary corrective action, the cost of which shall become a lien upon the property until paid.

§ 273-11 Fees for services.

The City of Watervliet may require any person undertaking land development activities regulated by this chapter and Chapter 272, Article VIII, Stormwater Control to pay reasonable costs at prevailing rates for review of SWPPPs, inspections, or SMP maintenance performed by the City of Watervliet or performed by a third party for the City of Watervliet.