The City of Fort Myers has enacted a Stormwater Ordinance in order to protect, maintain and enhance both the immediate and long-term health, safety and general welfare of the citizens, residents and inhabitants of the city and protect the environment and water resources. The City of Fort Myers is the permitting authority for all land disturbing activities and requires the land owner to maintain all on-site stormwater control facilities and all open space areas (e.g. parks or “green” areas) required by the approved stormwater control plan. The City of Fort Myers will only provide construction permits to projects that establish a plan to manage stormwater runoff occurring during the construction process. Stormwater fees will be calculated and collected by the city. Credits will be available for properties that engage in specific stormwater best management practices. The City of Fort Myers, under the NPDES program, also has the authority to inspect properties for noncompliance and can issue a notice of violation (NOV) for any deficiency or infraction onsite. Property owners are responsible for the maintenance of any stormwater facilities or practices located on the property. The City of Fort Myers has the authority to inspect stormwater facilities and practices in order to ascertain that they properly maintained and functioning.
Stormwater User Fee Calculation
Step 1 – Impervious Area
The impervious area is measured from aerial photography, as-built site plans, field surveys and Lee County Property Appraiser Data.
Step 2 – Rounding Total Impervious Area
The total impervious area for the property is rounded down to the nearest 500 square feet.
Step 3 – Standard Impervious Unit
The impervious area that was rounded in step two is divided by 500 square feet. This is the number of standard impervious units for the property.
Step 4 – Fee Determination
The standard impervious units for the property are multiplied by a billing rate of $0.96. This is the monthly stormwater user fee.
If you are the legal owner of the property and have utilities in your name, the User Fee shall be added to your bill starting April 1, 2009 and every month thereafter. If your bill is less than $15 a month and you do not have City Utilities in your name, you will receive a bill in June for the period from March 17, 2009 to December 31, 2009, and a bill every year thereafter on an annual basis. If you do not have City Utilities in your name and your bill is more than $15 per month, you shall receive a monthly stormwater user fee bill.
Stormwater User Fee Reduction
The purpose behind the stormwater user fee is to charge parcels based on the dependency of the City’s water management system. The reduction in discharge from your property results in less pressure on the City’s system, which shall result in lower maintenance costs for the City.
If you have best management practices on your site, such as:
- Stormwater Retention/Detention Structures that were permitting by the South Florida Water Management District for a minimum of a 25 year, 24 hour event storm and are properly maintained. (Note: This reduction is not available to properties within the Six Mile Cypress Watershed since they are already receiving a Special Credit; refer to Policy for Adjustments of Stormwater Fees for additional information.)
- Low Impact Development utilized throughout the entire site (man-made wetlands, lowered landscape islands that are irrigated by stormwater, etc.)
- Stormwater Recycling (rain barrels, rain gardens, cisterns, etc.)
You have the ability to apply for a reduction for these fees. In the Policy for Adjustments of Stormwater Fees under the Documents and Forms link, there is a form entitled “Application for Stormwater User Fee Reduction”. This is the application that will be required to reduce the stormwater fees on your parcel. Please note that you must own and maintain the best management practice you are applying for a credit for. If you live in a gated subdivision that is serviced by a stormwater pond, then the owner of the pond would need to apply and all properties the pond serves will be given a credit.
This form shall need to be completely filled out and signed by the property owner and submitted with the following documents:
- Minimum of ten color photos (4” x 6”) showing the best management practices on the property.
- 11” x 17” map showing the location of each of the best management practices and the location the photos were taken.
- Recertification of South Florida Water Management District Permitted System (if Applicable)
The application shall be processed within 30-60 days of the City receiving. You will get a letter in the mail as to whether the application was approved or denied. It will take 60 days from this time to see an adjustment on your City Utility Bill. Please continue to pay your utility bill until this is processed, any amount you have paid in excess shall be credited to your account.
Stormwater User Fee Adjustments
If you feel the impervious area in the City’s records for your site are incorrect, you have the ability to apply for an adjustment for these fees. In the Policy for Adjustments of Stormwater Fees under the Documents and Forms link, there is a form entitled “Application for Stormwater User Fee Adjustment”. This is the application that will be required to contest the impervious area contained within your parcel.
This form shall need to be completely filled out with all hard surfaces on the property and signed by the property owner and submitted with the following documents:
- Minimum of six color photos (4” x 6”) showing all hard surfaces on the property.
- Sketch of property showing dimensions in feet and a description of all surfaces on the property. (Note: A copy of the signed/sealed survey is required for all property, with the exception of single family homes and parcels less than one acre that is existing)
Discharges into the Municipal Stormwater Management System
Inspections for monitoring of stormwater management facilities or practices on properties shall be carried out by the city during and after construction to determine and verify compliance with the stormwater ordinance.
Illicit discharges and connections.
(a) Illicit discharges. Any dumping, spilling, or discharging of any nonstormwater material to any surface area or stormwater management system shall be prohibited, unless allowed by prior written approval from the stormwater utility director, or his designee. Prohibited illicit discharges shall require spill response, spill control, and spill cleanup as designated and prescribed by the stormwater utility director. Penalties for noncompliance shall be in accordance with the section Assessment of penalty for noncompliance.
(b) Illicit connections.
(1) The construction, use, maintenance or continued existence of illicit connections to a storm drain system is prohibited.
(2) This prohibition expressly includes, without limitation, illicit connections made in the past, regardless of whether the connection was permissible under laws or practices applicable or prevailing at the time of connection.
Alterations or obstructions to stormwater management systems.
Alterations or obstructions to any stormwater management system, including pump stations, sewer lines, structural controls, catch basins, culverts, wetlands or swales, shall be prohibited without prior written approval of the stormwater utility director, or his designee.
Storage tank discharges.
The discharge of hazardous and/or significant materials from storage tank facilities to ground waters or surface waters, surface areas, ground waters during remediation activities, stormwater runoff, and/or stormwater management systems shall be prohibited.
The disposal of filter backwash water to stormwater management systems shall be prohibited. Disposal of backwash shall provide for separation before final disposal to:
(1) Sanitary sewers, after prior written approval by the stormwater utility director or his designee.
(2) Detention pits or pervious surface areas where sufficient pervious area exists, remote from water supply wells, disposal systems, pits, and septic tanks.
Litter and littering material.
The accumulation, placing, sweeping, scattering, throwing, or dumping of litter, or littering material, such as dead plants, yard clippings, stagnant water, rubbish, debris, trash, refuse, including any wrecked derelict or partially dismantled motor vehicles, trailers, boats, machinery, appliances, furniture or similar articles, or any unsanitary, hazardous or significant material or other noxious matter, upon any surface area, stormwater management system or water body within the city is hereby prohibited.
Stormwater management works.
The public works department is hereby authorized and empowered to exercise jurisdiction; control; and require, construct, reconstruct or improve stormwater management works which provide for the collection, storage, treatment, and conveyance of stormwater, including systems such as structural controls, erosion prevention facilities and flood control and management systems within the jurisdiction of the city, in compliance with the stormwater management regulations as outlined in this article.
It shall be unlawful for any person to violate any provision of this article, any lawful rules and regulations promulgated under this article, any lawful order of the stormwater utility director, or his designee.
Determination of compliance or noncompliance.
The stormwater utility director, or his designee, shall be granted the authority to determine the compliance or noncompliance with this article of a stormwater management system or non-stormwater discharge to a stormwater system, water body or surface area, based on investigation, surveillance, monitoring, sampling, testing, best professional judgment and/or sound engineering and operational evaluations.
Notice of violation.
(a) Whenever the stormwater utility director, or his designee, finds that a person has violated a prohibition or failed to meet a requirement of this article, the stormwater utility director may order compliance by written notice of the violation to the responsible person, and such notice may require, without limitation:
(1) The performance of monitoring, analysis and reporting;
(2) The elimination of illicit connections or discharges;
(3) That violating discharges, practices or operations shall cease and desist;
(4) The abatement or remediation of stormwater pollution or contamination hazards and the restoration of any affected property;
(5) Payment of a fine to cover administration and remediation costs;
(6) The implementation of source control or treatment BMPs.
(b) If abatement of a violation and/or restoration of affected property is required, the notice shall set forth a deadline within which such remediation or restoration must be completed. Said notice shall further advise that should the violator fail to remediate or restore within the established deadline, the work will be done by the city or a contractor designated by the stormwater utility director, and the expense thereof shall be charged to the violator.
Assessment of penalty for noncompliance.
(a) Upon determination of a violation of this article, the stormwater utility director, or his designee, may assess against the violator a minimum penalty of $500.00 per offense.
(b) Additional charges against the violator may be assessed in an amount determined by the stormwater utility director, depending on the extent of environmental damage, mitigation, the cost of remediation and enforcement costs.
(c) Upon determination of a violation of this article, the violator shall bear all costs incurred for cleanup, enforcement action and remediation.
(d) Each day during any portion of which a violation occurs constitutes a separate violation and may incur additional penalties.
Stormwater inspection, surveillance and monitoring procedures.
(a) The city may enter, perform inspections, surveillance and monitoring procedures, within reasonable hours, of all structures and premises, and shall have free access to copy or review pertinent records of a facility, system or premises, to ascertain the state of compliance with the laws, rules and regulations of the city, state and federal government regarding compliance as outlined in this article.
(b) The compliance personnel of the enforcing agency shall be provided with official identification and shall exhibit such identification when performing inspections.
(c) The owner, operator, lessee, occupant or person in charge of the structure or premises shall give the inspecting officer free access for the purpose of making such inspections, without hampering, obstructing, or interfering with such inspection.