City of Oak Harbor

The City of Oak Harbor Public Works Department developed a Stormwater Management Program to meet the requirements of the Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit. The City of Oak Harbor Storm Drain/Waste Water Collection Division is responsible for ensuring compliance with NPDES municipal storm water permit.  The Municipal Stormwater Permit is a requirement of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits Program in the Federal Clean Water Act. Permit authority in Washington State has been delegated to the State Department of Ecology. In early 2007, the Department of Ecology issued a Phase II municipal Stormwater General Permit to more than 100 municipalities including Oak Harbor.

To ensure compliance with the permit, the City of Oak Harbor has adopted Title 12 to its municipal code for the management of stormwater associated with development and requirements for land owners to maintain stormwater controls and treatment practices onsite once construction is finished.  This code provides for the planning, design, construction, use, maintenance, repair and inspection of the storm and surface water system; establishes programs and regulations to assure the quality of the water in such system and to minimize the chance of flooding; and provides for the enforcement of the provisions of this code. This code supplements other city ordinances and regulations regarding protection of the storm and surface water system, including but not limited to the critical land and zoning code regulations of the city of Oak Harbor.

Excerpts from the City of Oak Harbor Municipal Code (Title 12)

Chapter 12.20
STORM WATER FACILITY MAINTENANCE

12.20.030     General provisions.

(1) Abrogation and Greater Restrictions. It is not intended that this chapter repeal, abrogate, or impair any existing regulations, easements, covenants, or deed restrictions. However, where this chapter imposes greater restrictions, the provisions of this chapter shall prevail.

(2) Interpretation. The provisions of this chapter shall be held to be minimum requirements in their interpretation and application and shall be liberally construed to serve the purposes of this chapter. (Ord. 1537 § 11, 2008; Ord. 1086 § 1, 1997; Ord. 998, 1995).

12.20.040     Applicability.

When any provision of any other chapter of the city code conflicts with this chapter, that which provides more environmental protection shall apply unless specifically provided otherwise in this chapter.

The administrator is authorized to adopt written procedures for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 1537 § 11, 2008; Ord. 1166 § 5, 1999; Ord. 1086 § 1, 1997; Ord. 998, 1995).

12.20.050     General requirements.

(1) Maintenance Required. All storm water facilities shall be maintained in accordance with this chapter and the storm water management manual and the Oak Harbor storm water plan. Systematic, routine preventative maintenance is preferred.

(2) Minimum Standards. The following are the minimum standards for the maintenance of storm water facilities:

(a) Facilities shall be inspected annually and cleared of debris, sediment and vegetation when they affect the functioning and/or design capacity of the facility.

(b) Grassy swales and other biofilters shall be inspected monthly and mowed or replanted as necessary. Clippings are to be removed and properly disposed of.

(c) Where lack of maintenance is causing or contributing to a water quality problem, immediate action shall be taken to correct the problem. Within one month, the public works superintendent or his or her designee shall revisit the facility to assure that it is being maintained.

(3) Disposal of Waste from Maintenance Activities. Disposal of waste from maintenance activities shall be conducted in accordance with the minimum Functional Standards for Solid Waste Handling, Chapter 173-304 WAC, guidelines for disposal of waste materials from storm water maintenance activities, and where appropriate, the Dangerous Waste Regulations, Chapter 173-303 WAC.

(4) Compliance. Property owners are responsible for the maintenance, operation or repair of storm water drainage systems and BMPs. Property owners shall maintain, operate and repair these facilities in compliance with the requirements of this chapter and the storm water management manual. (Ord. 1537 § 11, 2008; Ord. 1166 § 6, 1999; Ord. 1086 § 1, 1997; Ord. 998, 1995).

12.20.060     Administration.

(1) Administrator. The public works superintendent or his or her designee shall administer this chapter. This public works superintendent or his or her designee shall be referred to as the administrator or director in this title. The administrator shall have the authority to develop and implement administrative procedures to administer and enforce this chapter.

(2) Inspection Authority. The administrator is directed and authorized to develop an inspection program for storm water facilities in the city of Oak Harbor.

(3) Enforcement Authority. The administrator shall enforce this chapter. The administrator shall refer criminal and civil court enforcement actions to the city attorney. (Ord. 1537 § 11, 2008; Ord. 1166 § 7, 1999; Ord. 1086 § 1, 1997; Ord. 998, 1995).

12.20.070     Inspection program.

(1) Inspection. Whenever implementing the provisions of the inspection program or whenever there is cause to believe that a violation of this chapter has been or is being committed, the inspector is authorized to inspect during regular working hours and at other reasonable times all storm water drainage systems within the city to determine compliance with the provisions of this chapter.

(2) Procedures. Prior to making any inspections, the inspector shall present identification credentials, state the reason for the inspection and request entry.

(a) If the property or any building or structure on the property is unoccupied, the inspector shall first make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other person(s) having charge or control of the property or portions of the property and request entry.

(b) If, after reasonable effort, the inspector is unable to locate the owner or other person(s) having charge or control of the property, and has reason to believe the condition of the storm water drainage system creates an imminent hazard to persons or property, the inspector may enter.

(c) Unless entry is consented to by the owner or person(s) in control of the property or portion of the property, or unless conditions are reasonably believed to exist which create imminent hazard, the inspector shall obtain a search warrant, prior to entry, as authorized by the laws of the state of Washington.

(d) The inspector may inspect the storm water drainage system without obtaining a search warrant provided for in subsection (2)(c) of this section; provided the inspection can be conducted while remaining on public property or other property on which permission to enter is obtained.

(3) Inspection Schedule. The administrator shall establish a master inspection and maintenance schedule to inspect appropriate storm water facilities that are not owned by the city. Inspections shall be annual. Critical storm water facilities may require a more frequent inspection schedule.

(4) Inspection and Maintenance Records. As existing storm water facilities are encountered, they shall be added to the master inspection and maintenance schedule. Records of new storm water facilities shall include the following:

(a) As-built plans and locations;

(b) Findings of fact from any exemption granted by the local government;

(c) Operation and maintenance requirements and records of inspections, maintenance actions and frequencies;

(d) Engineering reports, as appropriate.

(5) Reporting Requirements. The administrator shall report annually to the city council about the status of the inspections. The annual report may include, but need not be limited to, the proportion of the components found in and out of compliance, the need to upgrade components, enforcement actions taken, compliance with the inspection schedule, the resources needed to comply with the schedule, and comparisons with previous years. (Ord. 1537 § 11, 2008; Ord. 1086 § 1, 1997; Ord. 998, 1995).

12.20.080     Enforcement.

(1) General. Enforcement action shall be taken whenever a person has violated any provision of this chapter. The choice of enforcement action taken and the severity of any penalty shall be based on the nature of the violation, the damage or risk to the public or to public resources, and/or the degree of bad faith of the persons subject to the enforcement action.

(2) Orders. The administrator shall have the authority to issue to an owner or person an order to maintain or repair a component of a storm water facility or BMP to bring it in compliance with this chapter, the storm water manual, the Oak Harbor storm water management plan and/or city regulations. The order shall include:

(a) A description of the specific nature, extent and time of the violation and the damage or potential damage that reasonably might occur;

(b) A notice that the violation or the potential violation cease and desist and, in appropriate cases, the specific corrective actions to be taken; and

(c) A reasonable time to comply, depending on the circumstances.

(3) Civil Penalty. A person who fails to comply with the requirements of this chapter or who fails to conform to the terms of an approval or order issued shall be subject to a civil penalty.

(a) Amount of Penalty. The penalty shall not be less than $50.00 or exceed $500.00 for each violation. Each day of continued violation or repeated violation shall constitute a separate violation. The maximum penalty shall be no more than $500.00 for each violation.

(b) Aiding or Abetting. Any person who, through an act of commission or omission, aids or abets in the violation shall be considered to have committed a violation for the purposes of the civil penalty.

(c) Notice of Penalty. A civil penalty shall be imposed by a notice in writing, either by certified mail with return receipt requested or by personal service, to the person incurring the same from the local government. The notice shall describe the violation, the date(s) of violation, and shall order the acts constituting the violation to cease and desist and, in appropriate cases, require necessary corrective action within a specific time.

(d) Application for Remission or Mitigation. Any person incurring a penalty may apply in writing within 10 days of receipt of the penalty to the city for remission or mitigation of such penalty. Upon receipt of the application, the city supervisor may remit or mitigate the penalty only upon a demonstration of extraordinary circumstances, such as the presence of information or factors not considered in setting the original penalty. The city supervisor’s decision may be appealed to the city council within 10 days of the decision.

(e) Appeal of Civil Penalty. Persons incurring a penalty imposed by the administrator may appeal in writing within 10 days of the receipt of the penalty to the city supervisor. The city supervisor’s decision may be appealed to the city council within 10 days of the decision.

(4) Penalties Due. Penalties imposed under this section shall become due and payable 30 days after receiving notice of penalty unless application for remission or mitigation is made or an appeal is filed. Whenever an application for remission or mitigation is made, penalties shall become due and payable 30 days after receipt of the decision regarding the remission or mitigation. Whenever an appeal of a penalty is filed, the penalty shall become due and payable after all review proceedings and a final decision have been issued confirming all or part of the penalty. If the amount of a penalty owed is not paid within the time specified in this section, the city may take actions necessary to recover such penalty. (Ord. 1537 § 11, 2008; Ord. 1086 § 1, 1997; Ord. 998, 1995).

12.20.090     Severability.

If any provision of this chapter or its application to any person, entity, or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of this chapter or the application of the provision to other persons, entities, or circumstances shall not be affected. (Ord. 1537 § 11, 2008; Ord. 1086 § 1, 1997; Ord. 998, 1995).

12.30.310     Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington adopted.

The 2005 Stormwater Manual for Western Washington issued by the Washington State Department of Ecology is hereby adopted by reference and is hereinafter referred to as “the manual,” a copy of which is filed with the city clerk. The director shall maintain a copy of the manual in his/her office. (Ord. 1576 § 1, 2010; Ord. 1537 § 5, 2008; Ord. 1086 § 2, 1997; Ord. 1044, 1996).

Oak Harbor Stormwater Management Related Links

Oak Harbor, WA Municipal Code Title 12 Storm Water

Stormwater Manual for Western Washington

Excerpt Stormwater Manual for Western Washington: Vol 5. (Maintenance Standards for Drainage Facilities)