The City of Plantation has enacted a Stormwater Ordinance in order to protect, maintain, and enhance the immediate and long-term health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of the City of Plantation, to protect real property and all improvements thereon, and to protect the value of the city's ad valorem tax base. The City of Plantation 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 Plantation 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 are available for properties that implement stormwater best management practices. The City of Plantation, 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 Plantation has the authority to inspect stormwater facilities and practices in order to ascertain that they properly maintained and functioning.
For purposes of calculating the Stormwater Utility Fee, the City has established an Equivalent Residential Unit, or ERU. A base ERU for the City is equal to 4,489 square feet of developed property, or impervious area. In other words, 1.0 ERU = 4,489 square feet of impervious area.
1.0 ERU is applied to residential property such as single family homes, townhome units and condominium units. For non-residential property, the City determines the number of ERUs by calculating the total amount of impervious area within the property and divides that number by the base ERU (4,489 square feet). For example, a non-residential property with 10,000 square feet of impervious area is assigned 10,000 sf / 4,489 sf = 2.3 ERU, rounding up to the nearest tenth.
The City has established an initial ERU Rate of $2.50 per month for one (1) ERU. Multiplying the number of ERUs by the ERU Rate, then multiplied by 12 months, results in the annual Stormwater Utility fee.
(a) Availability of credits. The city may allow credits for customer's onsite and offsite stormwater facilities that reduce stormwater runoff and reduce stormwater runoff pollution to an extent greater than that required by the law or regulation in effect at the time the request for a credit is received. The city may by resolution establish procedures, in addition to the minimum procedures set forth herein, to review requests for fee credits.
(b) Basis for credits. In determining whether to credit a customer's fee, the city shall consider the customer's onsite and offsite stormwater management facilities to reduce runoff volume and runoff pollution, including discharge to a non-city drainage system or to a non-city properly designed, constructed, and maintained on-site retention and treatment facility. The city shall also base the credit decision on the approximate percentage of any significant variation in the volume, rate, or quality of stormwater emanating from the property as compared that allowable pursuant to city stormwater management utility regulations. Only facilities that exceed current city stormwater management utility regulations will be considered for fee credits.
(c) Procedure for approving credits.
(1) Submission of petition. In order to obtain an evaluation of a requested credit, a customer must submit to the city engineering department a petition for fee credit, and pay an application fee of thirty-five dollars ($35.00). The customer shall include in the petition his or her contact name and address, the property address, the subdivision name, a property sketch, the total amount of impervious area, the total property's area (in square feet), the location and size of any onsite or offsite stormwater treatment facilities, a legal description of the property, a professional engineer certification of the design and performance of the facilities, and a summary description of the asserted basis for the credit requested.
(2) Grounds for relief. The petition must include, in detail, the grounds upon which the customer seeks a credit. Grounds for a requested credit to the fee may include, but are not limited to, presence of private onsite or offsite stormwater treatment facilities that exceed the requirements of applicable sections of the City Code for stormwater management which are in effect at the time the petition is received.
(3) Supplemental information for decision. The city engineering department may require the petitioning customer, at the customer's expense, to provide supplemental information to the city engineering department including, but not limited to, survey data approved by a Florida registered professional land surveyor, engineering calculations or reports signed and sealed by a Florida registered professional engineer, records and certifications evidencing that the private onsite systems or offsite systems, or both, have been maintained in accordance with best management practices, and water sampling data and results for nutrient or pollutant loading. The city engineering department may deny a customer's petition based on the failure to provide such information.
(4) Factors for decision. When evaluating a petition for credits, the city engineering department shall consider all relevant information and may consider:
a. Any existing onsite or offsite stormwater treatment facilities which are required by the city or another applicable agency to support the extent of improvements on the property pursuant to the law in effect at the time the petition is received;
b. Any onsite or offsite stormwater treatment facilities which do not exist at the time the petition is received but which would be required by the city or other applicable agency to support the extent of improvements on the property pursuant to the law in effect at the time the petition is received; and
c. Any onsite or offsite stormwater treatment facilities which are proposed to provide stormwater volume retention/detention or water quality treatment that exceeds the city's or other applicable agency's requirements standards for stormwater management pursuant to the law in effect at the time the petition is received and which are then permitted, constructed, inspected, and approved.
(5) Timing and notice of decision. The city engineering department, on or before ninety (90) days after receipt by the city of a customer's completed petition, shall review and render a decision on the petition. The city engineering department shall provide written notice to the petitioner of the approval or denial of a petition.
(6) Retroactivity of credit decision. The city shall retroactively apply any credit resulting from a customer's petition to the customer's first billing cycle for the city fiscal year in which the petition was received. Retroactive credit will not be given to previous city fiscal years. Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing to the contrary, in cases where the petition's approval is contingent upon the permitting, construction, inspection, and approval of proposed stormwater treatment facilities pursuant to subsection (c)(4)c. above, the city engineer shall specify a reasonable time for these activities to occur, and the credit shall not become effective until the first city fiscal year after the city engineer's final approval of the new installations.
(7) Availability of continuing credit contingent upon maintenance and certifications. As a condition precedent to receiving continued credit in city fiscal years commencing after the fiscal year in which the credit was first applied, the customer shall comply with section Permits, plan reviews, inspections and administrative fees for private stormwater management systems. of this Code and submit evidence as required by such section on an annual basis (instead of every five (5) years as indicated in such section) that the surface water management systems supporting the credit have been inspected, are maintained in compliance with permit requirements, and that any deficiencies resulting from the inspection have been addressed in accordance with proper professional practices and standards. This evidence shall be submitted no later than March 1 of every year in advance of the October 1 commencement of the fiscal year for which the continuing credit is desired, except that in the event the city chooses to use the alternate form of collecting the fee set forth in section Identity of the customer and collection of fees subsection (e) of this Code, this evidence shall be submitted no later than January 1 of every year in advance of the October 1 commencement of the fiscal year for which the continuing credit is desired. The failure to timely submit this evidence will result in the loss of the credit. After not having the credit for a two-year period, a customer may re-apply for a credit. The determination of whether to award a credit will be evaluated against the regulatory minimum requirements in effect as of the credit re-application date, as opposed to against the regulatory minimum requirements in effect as of the original credit application date.
(8) Appeal of denial. On or before the thirtieth calendar day after the city engineering department renders a written decision on the petition, a customer may appeal the decision to the board of adjustment in accordance with the provisions of section Hearings; appeal; notices; and filing fees of this Code for appealing a decision of an administrative official. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Code elsewhere, the fee which must be paid for initiating an appeal to the board of adjustment for a credit is four hundred dollars ($400.00).
(9) Establishment of appeals committee. The city may establish by resolution a stormwater management utility appeals committee and delegate to the committee authority and responsibility to hear appeals as an alternative to having the board of adjustment consider appeals pursuant to the prior subsection (8).
Discharges into the municipal stormwater management system.
Inspections for monitoring shall be developed to be carried out during and after the construction (as conditions to the permit) to determine and verify compliance with this section.
(a) Illicit discharges and illicit connections.
(1) Prohibition of illicit discharges. Any dumping, spilling, or discharging of any non-stormwater material to any surface area or stormwater management system shall be prohibited unless allowed by prior written approval from the city engineer. Prohibited illicit discharges shall require spill response, spill control, and spill clean-up as designated and prescribed by the city engineer.
(2) Prohibition of illicit connections:
a. The construction, use, maintenance or continued existence of connections to a storm drain system that is not permitted under this Code.
b. This prohibition expressly includes, without limitation, illicit connections made in the past, regardless of whether the connection was permissible under law or practices applicable or prevailing at the time of connection.
(b) Litter, 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 vehicle, trailer, boats, machinery, appliances, furniture or similar article, 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.
(c) Water management works, erosion control. The city is hereby authorized and empowered to exercise jurisdiction, to control, and to 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.
(d) Enforcement procedures. It shall be unlawful for any person to violate any of the provisions of this article, or any lawful order of the city engineer, or his or her designee.
(e) Determination of compliance or noncompliance. The director, or his or her 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. This determination shall not need to be based on investigation, surveillance, monitoring, sampling, or testing.
(f) Notice of violation.
(1) Whenever the city engineer, or his or her designee, finds that a person has violated a prohibition or failed to meet a requirement of this article, the director may order compliance by written notice of violation to the responsible person such notice may require without limitation:
a. The performance of monitoring, analysis and reporting;
b. The elimination of illicit connections or discharges;
c. That violating discharges, practices or operations shall cease and desist;
d. The abatement or remediation of stormwater pollution or contamination hazards and the restoration of any affected property;
e. The implementation of source control or treatment BMPs.
(2) If abatement of a violation 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 designated by the city engineer and the expense thereof shall be charged to the violator.
(i) Remedy for noncompliance.
(1) Upon determination of a violation of this article, the city may seek a fine in the maximum amount permitted by law.
(2) Additional charges against the violator may be assessed in an enforcement action in an amount needed to reimburse the city for any environmental damage, mitigation, any cost of remediation and enforcement costs.
(3) Upon determination of a violation of this article, the violator shall bear all costs incurred for cleanup, enforcement action and remediation.
(4) Each day during any portion of which a violation occurs constitutes a separate violation.
(5) The city may seek injunctive or other relief to enforce this article.
(6) The enumeration of any rights, fines, relief, or causes of action to enforce this article shall be supplemental and cumulative to any other rights, remedies, or rights to seek fines and imprisonment, or other remedies of the city to enforce its law.
(j) Stormwater inspections and monitoring procedures. The city may enter, perform inspections, surveillance and monitoring procedures, within reasonable hours, on and of all structures and premises, and shall have free access to copying or reviewing 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.
(1) The compliance personnel of the enforcing agency shall be provided with official identification and shall exhibit such identification when performing inspections.
(2) The owner, operator, lessees, 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 obstruction.
(a) Prohibited acts. The following shall be violations of this Code:
(1) Any discharge into the stormwater system of the city or drainage district without a city engineering permit and the appropriate drainage district permit(s).
(2) Any discharge into the stormwater system of the city or drainage district in violation of any city, federal, state, county, municipal or other governmental law, regulation or permit is prohibited, except those discharges authorized by a valid NPDES permit.
(3) Any discharge to the stormwater system that is not composed entirely of stormwater is prohibited, except as authorized by a valid NPDES permit.
(4) Blocking, filling, altering or obstructing any drainage course, swale, canal, ditch or any type of stormwater management facility in a manner which alters the intended use of the facility, whether the facility is located on public right-of-way, dedicated easement, or private property is strictly prohibited unless specifically authorized by the city and the appropriate drainage districts.
(5) Development of a parcel of land shall be prohibited from non-permitted discharges onto adjacent parcels of land.
(6) Failure to properly maintain a stormwater management facility so that it operates as originally designed or permitted is strictly prohibited. If a stormwater system ceases to fully function as intended, the property owner may be required to replace or rebuild said system.
(7) A failure to fulfill the requirements of section Administrative Policies.
(8) A violation of any other mandatory provision of this chapter.
(b) Authority to issue cease and desist orders for prohibited activities. Whenever the city engineer determines that conditions or activities exist which require immediate action to protect the public health, safety, or welfare, the city engineer or his or her designee is hereby authorized to take all actions reasonably necessary to preserve the public health, safety and general welfare, including to enter upon any property within the city at such reasonable times as the city engineer deems necessary for the purposes of testing, inspecting, investigating, measuring, and sampling the property where prohibited activities may exist. The city engineer may issue cease and desist orders to effectuate the immediate discontinuance of any activity that the city engineer determines causes or tends to cause a prohibited activity or condition. Failure to comply with such order shall constitute a separate violation of this Code for each day the activity continues. This order may be made orally provided written notice of such order is subsequently issued in a prompt fashion.
(c) Liability for pollution abatement. Any person, entity or property owner who discharges pollutants into any waters of the state or stormwater systems or who fails to correct any prohibited condition or discontinue any prohibited activity at the city engineer's request, shall be responsible to pay the necessary expenses incurred by the city in carrying out any pollution abatement activities undertaken by the city to preserve the public's health, safety and general welfare, including any expenses incurred in testing, measuring, sampling, collecting, removing, containing, treating, and disposing of the pollutant materials in addition to assessed fines and legal fees.
(a) It shall be a violation of this Code for a customer to use or benefit from the stormwater management program without the fee and all other charges for such use or benefit being paid when due and payable, unless the customer is exempt.
(b) The city may enforce violations of this article as follows:
(1) The city may seek a mandatory injunction requiring the customer to cease use of the stormwater management system and construct such facilities and improvements as are reasonably necessary to prevent use thereof and comply with applicable law. In any such action, the city shall recover all costs, expenses, paraprofessional fees, and attorney's fees incurred, both at trial, during appellate review, and in post judgment proceedings;
(2) The city may enforce violations of this article pursuant to the provisions for code enforcement as set forth in Chapter 6 of this Code of Ordinances and Part I, Chapter 162, Florida Statutes;
(3) The city may prosecute the customer for an ordinance infraction in county court, and may seek the maximum daily fine of five hundred dollars ($500.00) per day (no imprisonment shall be available as punishment in connection with this violation); or
(4) The city may pursue all legal remedies permitted by law to enforce violations of its Code, or collect the fees and charges that are due and owing.