Return to Water Documents

Anne Arundel County Watershed Restoration Fund Ordinance

Draft Proposal - November 12, 2005

1.0 FINDINGS, INTENT AND AUTHORITY

1.1 Findings

The Anne Arundel County Council finds that:

  1. The Chesapeake Bay and the rivers, creeks, and streams in Anne Arundel County have been and remain an integral part of traditional stormwater management and, as a result, the character and water quality of these resources has been degraded, and, absent curative and corrective action, will continue to decline.
  2. It is vital to preserve and enhance the suitability of the waterways in Anne Arundel County for employment, recreation, and other beneficial uses.
  3. Anne Arundel County maintains a system of storm and surface water management facilities, including but not limited to inlets, conduits, manholes, channels, ditches, drainage easements, retention and detention basins, infiltration facilities, and other components, which cause problems to waterways.
  4. An expanding population and increased development of land has led to degraded water quality in Anne Arundel County watersheds from channel erosion and the discharge of nutrients, metals, oil, grease, toxics, and other substances into and through the stormwater system.
  5. The public health, safety, and welfare is adversely affected by poor ambient water quality and flooding that results from the lack of or inadequate management of both the quality and quantity of stormwater.
  6. Anne Arundel County is exposed to the possibility of costly litigation due to the nonexistence, the state of disrepair or the inadequacy of the existing stormwater management system and the potential for floods that can damage property, injure individuals, and impede the movement of emergency vehicles.

The Anne Arundel County Council further finds that:

  1. Every parcel of real property, both public and private is served by the stormwater system.
  2. Current and anticipated growth in Anne Arundel County will contribute to and increase the need for improvement of the stormwater system.
  3. The extent of use of the stormwater system by each property is dependent on the amount of impervious surface on the property.
  4. Planning for watershed restoration and stormwater management should be improved.
  5. It is necessary and essential to the interest of the public in Anne Arundel County to establish and improve stormwater facilities, to restore watersheds, to initiate long range watershed restoration management planning, to undertake water quality monitoring, and to finance stormwater management related activities adequately so that the management of stormwater within the County adequately protects the health, safety and welfare of Anne Arundel County citizens.
  6. Restoration of watersheds and management and improvement of the stormwater system to protect the public health, safety and welfare will require an additional, identifiable, reliable and substantial fund source that is independent of the Anne Arundel County general fund and that will not serve as a substitute for existing budgeted funds.

1.2 Intent

Therefore, with the passage of this ordinance, it is the intent of the Anne Arundel County Council to promote the public health, safety and welfare by:

  1. Creating a Watershed Restoration Fund, a dedicated fund, the expenditures from which can be used only to improve the stormwater system, restore watersheds, and other related projects and activities, and not to serve as a substitute for existing budgeted funds;
  2. Creating a Watershed Restoration Fund Charge to be paid by stormwater system users and dedicated to and placed in the Watershed Restoration Fund;
  3. Creating a Watershed Restoration Fund Oversight Board to give advice and recommendations to the Anne Arundel County Council with respect to expenditures from the Watershed Restoration Fund and to assure that all expenditures from the Watershed Restoration Fund are related only to watershed restoration, stormwater system improvements, analysis of the water quantity and quality impacts of stormwater, enforcement, and planning related to these activities;
  4. Preparing long range master plans for watershed restoration and stormwater management for each watershed or basin;
  5. Improving the preparation and approval of required stormwater management plans for construction and the inspection of sites for good implementation of such plans.

1.3 Authority

Authority for the creation of the Watershed Restoration Fund is conferred in Section 4-204 (d) Environmental Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, 1996. The provisions of this ordinance are adopted under the authority of the Anne Arundel County Code.

2.0 DEFINITIONS

"Board" means the Watershed Restoration Fund Advisory Board created under Section 4.0 of this ordinance to provide advice to the Anne Arundel County Executive and the Anne Arundel County Council.

"Equivalent Runoff Unit" (ERU) means a measure of the square footage of the impervious surface of a property, i.e. the area of the property which does not absorb rainfall. One Equivalent Runoff Unit is 2400 square feet. The number of Equivalent Runoff Units for a property is determined by dividing the square footage of impervious surface of the property by 2400 square feet. The number of Equivalent Runoff Units for each single-family residential property shall be no more than one (1).

"Plan" means a watershed restoration and stormwater management plan prepared under the authority of this or any other Anne Arundel County ordinance that identifies watershed physical, habitat, or water quality problems; identifies the existing stormwater system in any given watershed or watersheds; and recommends a program and specific projects for restoration of the impacts from development and improvement of the stormwater system for the purposes of flood control, habitat restoration, aesthetic and water quality improvement.

"Stormwater system" means an infrastructure of storm and surface water management facilities including but not limited to inlets, conduits, manholes, channels, ditches, drainage easements, retention and detention basins, infiltration facilities, filters, riparian area, plants, instrumentalities, properties and other structural and non-structural components and practices that control, capture, collect, convey, route, restrict, store, detain, retain, infiltrate, treat, or otherwise affect or influence the flow of stormwater within the County and the quality of stormwater discharged into waterways.

"User" is an owner of property in Anne Arundel County.

3.0 WATERSHED RESTORATION FUND

3.1 Establishment

There is a Watershed Restoration Fund established in the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works. The Watershed Restoration Fund shall be separate from the Anne Arundel County general fund.

3.2 Dedicated Funding

The monies in the Watershed Restoration Fund are dedicated to and may only be expended for costs related to watershed restoration, stormwater system improvements including the necessary acquisition of land or easements, analysis of the flooding and water quality impacts of stormwater, enforcement, and the planning related to these activities.

3.3 Sources of Revenue to the Watershed Restoration Fund

Sources of revenue to the Watershed Restoration Fund may be supplemented by:

  1. Watershed Restoration Fund Charge as provided in Section 4.0
  2. Civil penalties imposed for or arising from the violation of the Anne Arundel County stormwater management ordinances and regulations
  3. Stormwater permit or other fees
  4. Funds or income obtained from federal, state, and private grants or revolving funds

3.4 Purpose

The purpose of the Watershed Restoration Fund is to provide a fund source for the:

  1. Correction of adverse impacts of stormwater runoff including flooding, destruction of habitat and aquatic life, degradation of water quality, impaired aesthetics and decline in public health;
  2. Improvement of the stormwater system to meet current state and county stormwater management requirements; reparation and implementation of watershed restoration and stormwater management plans including, but not limited to planning, engineering, and construction; and any necessary land and easement acquisition.
  3. Monitoring of the flooding and water quality impacts of the discharge of stormwater into the waterways and other areas of Anne Arundel County;
  4. Debt service financing for capital improvement bonds that meet the purposes set forth above.

3.5 Expenditures

Expenditures from the Watershed Restoration Fund may not substitute for Anne Arundel County general funds or other funds budgeted for the purposes set forth in Section 3.4 above.

Expenditures from the Watershed Restoration Fund shall be made in each Anne Arundel County Councilmanic District each year.

Unexpended monies revert to the Watershed Restoration Fund.

3.6 Public Meeting and Reporting

Annually and before each fiscal year expenditures from the Watershed Restoration Fund, the Department of Public Works shall conduct a public meeting on the fiscal year expenditures. Annually, the Department of Public Works shall produce and make available to the public a report on the previous fiscal year expenditures from the Watershed Restoration Fund.

3.7 Audit

Annually, an audit of the Watershed Restoration Fund shall be conducted.

4.0 WATERSHED RESTORATION FUND CHARGE

4.1 Creation and Purpose

A Watershed Restoration Fund Charge is established to be dedicated to the Watershed Restoration Fund. The Charge is levied upon and paid by users of the stormwater system. The purpose of the Charge is to fund the activities enumerated in Section 3.4 and any expenditure of the Watershed Restoration Fund Charge is limited to the activities set forth in Section 3.4.

4.2 Rate

The rate for the Watershed Restoration Fund Charge is to be established annually by the Anne Arundel County Council.

4.3 Calculation

The monthly Watershed Restoration Fund Charge is to be calculated by multiplying the number of ERU of the real property owned by the user times the rate established by the Anne Arundel County Council: number of ERU X rate per ERU = Charge.

In the first year for which the charge is to be paid, the rate shall be $5.00 per ERU per month and the charge shall be no more than $60.00 per ERU per year.

4.4 Maximum Payment

The maximum number of ERU for any single-family residential unit of housing shall be one.

4.5 Credit

The Department of Public Works shall develop and implement regulations and procedures whereby users of the stormwater system can receive credit of up to fifty percent from payment of the Watershed Restoration Fund Charge for on-site treatment or infiltration of stormwater generated by their property through rainbarrels, raingardens, cisterns, roadside swales, porous paving, and other such best management practices. Determinations of the credit will depend on calculations made by the Department of Public Works and shall be based on the extent of runoff control. The Department of Public Works shall consider the degree of control of both the quantity and quality of stormwater when determining credits.

Such credits shall remain in effect as long as the user has obtained the proper permits, if required, and constructed the stormwater facilities and best management practices according to plans approved by the Department of Public Works, the user remains responsible for all costs of operation and maintenance of the facilities or practices and the Department of Public Works has access for inspection of them to determine if they are in compliance with applicable design and maintenance standards. If at any time the Department of Public Works determines that the facilities or practices are out of compliance, the user must pay the remainder of the Watershed Protection Fund Charge.

4.6 Billing

The _______________________ Department shall establish a billling system to collect the Watershed Restoration Fund Charge. This billing system may be added to any other billing system currently in use to collect real property taxes or other fees or charges.

4.7 Delinquency

The _______________________ Department may take such actions authorized and appropriate to collect any unpaid Watershed Restoration Fund Charge or portion thereof.

Any person convicted of a violation of this provision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to a fine of not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000) with costs imposed in the discretion of the court.

4.8 Appeals

Any person who believes that they have been aggrieved by an action taken by the _______________ Department to levy or collect the Watershed Restoration Fund Charge may appeal to any appropriate administrative hearing board established for that purpose or to a court of competent jurisdiction. The appeal shall be filed in accordance with any appeal procedure established by the ________________ Department or by Anne Arundel County ordinance or regulation.

5.0 WATERSHED RESTORATION FUND OVERSIGHT BOARD

5.1 Creation

There is a Watershed Restoration Fund Oversight Board, composed of Anne Arundel County residents, which shall give advice and recommendations to the Anne Arundel County Executive and the Anne Arundel County Council related to the expenditures from the Watershed Restoration Fund and to assure that all expenditures from the Watershed Restoration Fund are related only to watershed restoration, stormwater system improvements including the necessary acquisition of land and easements, analysis of the flooding and water quality impacts of stormwater, enforcement, and the planning related to these activities.

5.2 Selection and Administration

The Watershed Restoration Fund Oversight Board shall be composed of seven (7) members, one from each Councilmanic District. The members are to be selected by the Anne Arundel County Council in consultation with the Anne Arundel County Executive. The members shall be selected for three year terms and shall be selected in a manner so that their terms overlap. The budget and administration of the Board shall be provided by the Department of Public Works pursuant to the applicable provisions in the Anne Arundel County code or regulations established for such boards.

6.0 SEVERABILITY

If any section or portion of this ordinance is held invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such section or portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct and independent provision and any such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining sections or portions of this ordinance.

Checked by Tidy