The City of Tallahassee has enacted a Stormwater Ordinance in order to comply with the Clean Water Act and to establish and administer programs for stormwater management including the control of pollution caused by stormwater. The City of Tallahassee 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 Tallahassee 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. The City of Tallahassee, 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 Tallahassee has the authority to inspect stormwater facilities and practices in order to ascertain that they properly maintained and functioning.
Stormwater Utility Fee Collection
The stormwater fee shall be billed monthly for each developed parcel which is subject to the fee. The stormwater fee shall, when possible, be billed on the city's consolidated utility bill. The stormwater fee will be charged to the city utility account of the person or entity responsible for paying for stormwater program services for the property. The party responsible for payment may be the parcel owner, owner's property manager, a lessee, renter, occupant, or some other individual or entity depending on circumstances. One ERU is defined as 1,990 square feet of impervious area. The charge for nonresidential properties will be $7.95 per ERU.
(2) Nonresidential use properties.
a. Billing and computation of ERUs. All nonresidential properties, i.e., enterprises, business establishments, governmental establishments, buildings or other nonresidential occupancies or developed land uses not covered by subsection (1) of this section, shall be billed based on the number of ERUs which the impervious area on the property represents. To compute the number of ERUs the total amount of impervious area on the property shall be divided by the area established by the rate resolution for a single ERU. The resulting multiple number of ERUs shall then be multiplied by the base monthly rate per ERU as established by the rate resolution of the city commission. The calculation of ERUs associated with a property shall be computed to the nearest 0.1 ERU.
b. Changes in impervious surfaces. The total impervious area on a developed nonresidential property and the number of ERUs associated therewith shall be updated by the city manager based on alterations to the impervious area on a parcel. The owner shall be responsible for informing the city of changes to the impervious area on a parcel, but this information may be developed from information obtained from city records established in the development permitting process or by physical measurements or other verification methods which may be available.
c. Billing a single nonresidential use. If development of the parcel is such that only a single nonresidential occupancy will be associated with a parcel, the stormwater fee will be charged to the utility account of the party responsible for payment for stormwater program services for the property. No individual metered nonresidential property shall be billed less than 1.0 ERU. The responsible party may be the owner, or a lessee, renter, occupant, or similar party if the owner's agreement with such a party assigns responsibility for payment of other city-provided utilities to such party.
d. Billing properties which are not individually metered. If development of the parcel is such that multiple nonresidential occupancies will be associated with a parcel and these occupancies are not to be individually metered, the party responsible for payment of the total user fee for stormwater program services to the property shall be the owner unless the owner by agreement has assigned responsibility for payment of other city-provided utilities to a single lessee, renter, or occupant.
e. Billing individually metered properties. If development of the parcel is such that multiple nonresidential occupancies will be associated with a parcel and these occupancies are to be individually metered, the party responsible for payment of the total user fee for stormwater program services to the property shall be the owner unless the owner by agreement has assigned this responsibility to a single or multiple lessees, renters, or occupants, each of whom must have an active city utility account. If the owner by agreement has assigned responsibility for payment of the total user fee for stormwater program services to a single lessee, renter or occupant that has an active city utility account, the city will charge the stormwater fee to an active city utility account of the assigned responsible party. If the owner wishes to assign responsibility for payment of parts of the total stormwater fee for the property to multiple lessees, renters, or occupants that have active city utility accounts, the owner must advise the city of this and provide adequate documentation of how the total bill shall be allocated. The city will then charge portions of the total stormwater fee to the active city utility accounts held by the assigned responsible parties.
Prohibition of illicit discharges and illicit connections.
Illicit discharges and illicit connections are prohibited. Persons responsible for illicit discharges or illicit connections shall immediately, upon notification or discovery, initiate procedures to cease the illicit discharge or illicit connection, and comply with procedures for illicit discharges adopted under this division.
Inspection & Enforcement
Inspection and monitoring for compliance with this division.
Personnel authorized by the city manager shall, upon presentation of proper identification, be granted access for inspection of facilities, structures, or properties, whether private or public, discharging or suspected of discharging to the city's MS4 or waters of the United States in order to effectuate the provisions of this division; to investigate violations or complaints of potential violations of any of the terms in this division; and to collect samples for review and analysis. All structures and processes which allow discharges to the city's MS4, as well as records concerning them, shall be made accessible to authorized personnel for this purpose.
Enforcement, penalties and legal proceedings.
(a) This division shall be administered by the city manager. All persons in violation of this division shall address such violations immediately upon written notification by the city.
(b) The city manager is authorized to issue cease and desist orders in the form of written official notices sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by hand delivery to the person responsible for the violation of this division.
(c) Any person who violates this division and/or fails to comply with the requirements of any provision of this division shall be subject to prosecution before the city's environmental board. Each day of violation shall constitute a separate violation.
(d) In addition to any fines which may be imposed by the environmental board, persons responsible for violation of this division shall be liable for all costs incurred by the city in correcting and/or monitoring the violation, including but not limited to sampling and analytical costs, and for all fines, whether city, state, or federal, imposed as a result of the violation.
(e) If the persons responsible for the violation fail to take action required to correct the violation, the city has the right to take remedial action to correct the violation. All costs incurred by the city in taking remedial actions shall be reimbursed by the persons responsible for the violation.
(f) In addition to the remedies provided in this section, the city is authorized to make application in a court of appropriate jurisdiction for an injunction restraining any persons from violating, or continuing to violate, provisions of this division or the NPDES permit. In addition, the city may also seek entry of a court order requiring restoration and mitigation for any impacted land or waters or request any other appropriate, applicable legal remedy, including reimbursement of court costs or other costs incurred by the city related to the violation.
(g) The city may elect to take any or all of the remedies in this section concurrently, and the pursuance of one shall not preclude the pursuance of others.
(h) Any fines or other funds received as a result of enforcement under this division which are not used for specific purposes set forth in this division shall be deposited in the stormwater utility fund, established under this article.
(i) If any fines or costs which accrue under this division are not paid by the violator as ordered, the city may impose a lien.