County of Florence


The County of Florence has enacted a Storm Water Management and Sediment Control Ordinance in order to protect the general health, safety and welfare of the people of the County, to enhance the water quality of the County and to protect the natural assets and resources of the County for posterity. Florence County 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. Florence County will only provide construction permits to projects that establish a plan to manage stormwater runoff occurring during the construction process. Post-construction stormwater regulations will also be enforced, stormwater fees will be collected and calculated by the City of Florence. Florence County, 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. 

Sec. 9.5-34. - Inspection and enforcement.

(c) In order to implement its responsibilities as an SMS4 and to comply with the terms and conditions of the NPDES Permit, the County, through its duly designated employees and officials, may enter private property to perform the following:

(1) Inspection of the County’s storm sewer system for purposes consistent with its obligations under the NPDES Permit including, but not limited to, outfall identification, mapping, and detection of illicit discharges.

             (2) Installation of monitoring stations and collection of Water Quality data.

(3) Inspection of construction activities to ascertain compliance with approved Stormwater Management and Sediment Control Plans as described in this article.

Sec. 9.5-35. - Penalties.

(a) Any person who violates any provision of this article or who initiates or continues a Land Disturbing Activity, for which a Stormwater Management and Sediment Control Plan is required, except in accordance with the terms, conditions and provisions of an approved plan, is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $1,000.00 for each violation. No civil penalty may be assessed and no prosecution for a misdemeanor may occur until the person alleged to be in violation has been notified of each violation. Each separate day of a continued violation constitutes a new violation for civil or criminal purposes, once said party has been given notification of each violation, as set forth above. In addition to any applicable civil penalties, any person who negligently, willfully, or intentionally violates any provision of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished within the jurisdictional limits of magistrate’s court. Upon conviction, a person who violates this article may be fined not more than $500.00 or confined for not more than 30 days for each violation.

(b) The County Engineering Division shall determine the amount of the civil penalty to be assessed under this section for violations under its jurisdiction. It shall make written demand for payment upon the Person Responsible for the violation and set forth, in detail, the violation for which the penalty has been invoked. If payment is not received within 30 days after demand for payment is made, a civil action may be filed in the circuit court in the County to recover the amount of the penalty.

(c) Where the County is fined and/or placed under a compliance schedule by the state or federal government for a violation(s) of its NPDES permit, and the County can identify the person(s) who caused such violation(s) to occur, the County may assess the penalty and cost of compliance against that Person(s) Responsible as a civil penalty.

(d) The County may institute injunctive, mandamus or other appropriate action or proceedings at law or equity, including criminal conviction, for the enforcement of this article or to correct violations of this article, and any court of competent jurisdiction shall have the right to issue restraining orders, temporary or permanent injunctions, mandamus or other appropriate forms of remedy or relief.

ARTICLE IV. – MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS

Sec. 9.5-61. - Permanent Stormwater maintenance requirements.

(a) The Person Responsible for permanent maintenance of all completed Stormwater Management practices shall perform, or cause to be performed, preventive maintenance to ensure proper functioning.

(b) Where permanent Stormwater BMPs are employed, the Person(s) R esponsible for maintenance shall execute a permanent Stormwater Management maintenance agreement to assure proper maintenance of BMPs in accordance with the approved plan. The maintenance agreement shall also specify responsibilities for financing permanent maintenance with options that may include (1) the property owner, (2) a homeowner’s association, provided that provisions for financing necessary permanent maintenance are included in deed restrictions or other contractual agreements, or (3) other financing mechanisms acceptable to the County.

(c) The County Engineering Division and any other permitting authority must be notified in writing of any changes in maintenance responsibility for the Stormwater BMPs at the site. This requirement shall be included in the maintenance agreement.

(d) Periodic Post-Construction inspections may also be performed by the County Engineering Division. These inspection reports shall be maintained by the County Engineering Division on all Detention and Retention Structures and shall include the following items, as applicable:

(1) The date of inspection.

(2) The name of the inspector.

(3) The condition of, if applicable:

a) Vegetation;

b) Spillways;

c) Embankments;

d) Reservoir area;

e) Outlet channels;

f) Underground drainage;

g) Sediment load; or

h) Other items which could affect the proper function of the structure.

(4) Description of needed maintenance.

(e) The County Engineering Division shall provide procedures to ensure that deficiencies identified by inspections are rectified. The procedures shall include the following:

(1) Notification to the Person Responsible for maintenance of deficiencies including a time frame for repairs;

             (2) Subsequent inspection to ensure completion of repairs; and

(3) If repairs are not undertaken or not performed properly, the Person Responsible may be assessed a civil and/or a criminal penalty as provided in section 9.5-35 and/or referred to SCDHEC.

Sec. 12-258            STORMWATER SERVICE CHARGE RATES.

Stormwater service charge rates may be determined and modified from time to time by the City Council so that the total revenue generated by said charges and any other sources of revenues or other resources allocated by the City Council to the stormwater utility shall be sufficient to meet the cost of stormwater management services, systems, and facilities, including but not limited to the payment of principal and interest on debt obligations, operating expense, capital outlays, non-operating expense, provisions for prudent reserves, and other costs related to stormwater as deemed appropriate by the City Council.  The following stormwater service charge rates shall apply:

(a)        Detached dwelling units.  Detached dwelling units, as defined by this Chapter, shall be divided into two classes of customers for billing purposes.  All detached dwelling units having more than 1,500 square feet of impervious area shall be billed for one equivalent residential unit, as defined in this Chapter.  All detached dwelling units having 1,500 square feet of impervious area or less shall be billed for one-half (.5) of one equivalent residential unit, as defined in the Chapter.

(b)        Other developed lands.  All developed lands not classified as detached dwelling units, as defined by this Chapter, shall be billed for one equivalent residential unit, as defined by this Chapter, for each two thousand five hundred (2,500) square foot increment of impervious surfaces or partial increment thereof located on the property.

(c)        The stormwater service charge rate per equivalent residential unit, as defined in this Chapter, shall be three dollars and fifty cents ($3.50) per month during the City's fiscal years 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003.

Sec. 12-259       EXEMPTIONS AND CREDITS APPLICABLE TO STORMWATER SERVICE CHARGES.

Except as provided in this Section, no public or private property shall be exempt from stormwater utility service charges or receive a credit or offset against such service charges.  No exemption, credit, offset, or other reduction in stormwater service charges shall be granted based on the age, tax, or economic status, race, or religion of the customer, or other condition unrelated to the stormwater utility's cost of providing Stormwater Management Services and Stormwater Management Systems and Facilities.  A Stormwater Utility Service Charge Credit Technical Manual shall be prepared by the City Engineer specifying the design and performance standards of on-site stormwater services, systems, facilities, and activities that qualify for application of a service charge credit, and how such credits shall be calculated.

(a)            Properties not defined in this Chapter, as developed land shall be exempt from stormwater service charges.

(b)        Railroad tracks shall be exempt from stormwater service charges.  However, railroad stations, maintenance buildings, or other developed land used for railroad purposes shall not be exempt from stormwater service charges.

(c)            Developed land other than individual detached dwelling units, including but not limited to multiple-dwelling residential unit properties, manufactured home and mobile home parks, commercial and office buildings, public buildings and structures, industrial and manufacturing buildings, storage buildings and storage areas covered with impervious surfaces, parking lots, parks, recreation properties, public and private schools and universities, research facilities and stations, hospitals and convalescent centers, airports, agricultural uses covered by impervious surfaces, and water and wastewater treatment plants may receive a credit against the stormwater service charge applicable to the property based on attaining and continuing compliance with the technical requirements and performance standards contained in the Stormwater Utility Service Charge Credit Technical Manual. The stormwater utility service charge credit for on-site stormwater control systems or facilities that reduce or mitigate the impact of impervious surfaces on the subject property may be up to fifty (50) percent of the service charge applicable to the property, and shall be proportional to the extent that the on-site stormwater control systems or facilities provided, operated, and maintained by the property owner reduce or mitigate the stormwater utility's cost of providing Stormwater Management Services and Stormwater Management Systems and Facilities.  The stormwater utility service charge credit for services and activities that reduce or mitigate the stormwater utility's cost of providing Stormwater Management Services and Stormwater Management Systems and Facilities shall be proportional to the reduced costs realized by the stormwater management utility, but shall not be related to the cost of such services and activities to the person or entity providing same.

(d)        Groups of detached dwelling units represented by an incorporated homeowner's association providing on-site stormwater control systems or facilities, or providing services or activities that reduce the stormwater utility's cost of providing Stormwater Management Services and Stormwater Management Systems and Facilities, may receive a stormwater service charge credit based on attaining and continuing compliance with the technical requirements and performance standards contained in the Stormwater Utility Service Charge Credit Technical Manual.  The stormwater utility service charge credit for on-site stormwater control systems or facilities that reduce or mitigate the impact of impervious surfaces on the subject property may be up to fifty (50) percent of the service charge applicable to the property, and shall be proportional to the extent that the on-site stormwater control systems or facilities provided, operated, and maintained by the property owner reduce or mitigate the stormwater utility's cost of providing Stormwater Management Services and Stormwater Management Systems and Facilities.  Such credits shall be proportionately allocated among all properties represented by the incorporated homeowner's association.  A stormwater utility service charge credit for services and activities that reduce or mitigate the stormwater utility's cost of providing Stormwater Management Services and Stormwater Management Systems and Facilities shall be proportional to the reduced costs realized by the stormwater management utility, but shall not be related to the cost of such services and activities to the person or entity providing same.  Such credits shall be proportionately allocated among all properties represented by the incorporated homeowner's association.

Sec. 12-260       STORMWATER SERVICE CHARGE BILLING, DELINQUENCIES AND COLLECTIONS.

A stormwater service charge bill may be sent through the United States mail or by alternative means, notifying the customer of the amount of the bill, the date the payment is due, and the date when past due.  The stormwater service charge bill may be billed and collected along with other charges, including but not limited to other City of Florence utility bills, assessments, or property taxes, as deemed most effective and efficient by the City Council.  Failure to receive a bill is not justification for non-payment.  Regardless of the party to whom the bill is initially directed, the owner of each parcel of developed land shall be ultimately obligated to pay such charges and any associated fines or penalties, including but not limited to interest on delinquent service charges.  If a customer is underbilled or if no bill is sent for developed land, City of Florence may backbill for a period of up to one year, but shall not assess penalties for any delinquency during that backbilled period.  A late charge of one and one-half (1.5) percent of the unpaid balance of any stormwater utility service charge bill shall be charged when a bill becomes delinquent.  Thereafter, an additional charge of one and one-half (1.5) percent based on the unpaid bill and any applicable delinquency charge shall be charged for each month the bill remains delinquent.

LINKS:

Florence County Stormwater Design Manual

Florence Stormwater Ordinance