Have you heard about the new City Stormwater proposals? Pay attention, it affects you!
This proposed new code and accompanying manual establishes a new City regulatory regime far tougher than the Tree Code or Sensitive Lands. You say how can that be?
Well, if you add a 200 square foot patio to your backyard, you would trigger the entire regulatory requirement of the new code. You could have to add rain gardens and other “mitigation” measures for stormwater to your property. And that could cost you thousands of dollars; all because of a new patio. But wait it gets better.
Let’s say you want to replace that stone driveway with asphalt or just repave your asphalt driveway which has been there for years. You have hit “Stormwater Bingo” and you won all the new regulations on you! Yes, that is what is proposed.
Want to remodel your house or add a room on – “Stormwater Bingo” winner again. You may have to retrofit your entire downspout system and put in a rain garden.
This proposal goes far beyond what the EPA and State regulations require, way beyond. For example, the EPA and State want stormwater requirements only if you create 3000 square feet or more of impervious surface. That definition does not even include most new houses. But In Lake Oswego we want to go further, much further and bring the requirement down to 200 square feet.
One of the things covered is “ground disturbing activities” whether or not a permit is required. The definition of ground disturbing activities is nowhere to be found. Guess that means City staff will be nosing around if you decide to change plantings or put a vegetable garden in your backyard.
Oh, and if you have stormwater things you must do according to the new code then you must have an Operations and Maintenance Plan and DEED restrictions filed with the county. Yes, a deed restriction must be filed about your “Stormwater Plan”.
Have the City staff and management gone crazy? Do they really believe all this is necessary? Apparently they do and they are bringing it forward for implementation as early as February of next year! Yes, that is correct – you could be subject to all this by next February.
You can read the new Stormwater Manual here:
The first work session with the Planning Commission is Monday October 26 at 6:30 PM.
The next meeting after that about the Stormwater Plan is a Planning Commission hearing on November 23rd at 6:30 PM