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Stormwater Ordinance

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Proposed Stormwater Management Ordinance:

The Virginia Water Control Board has adopted final Stormwater Management Regulations (9VAC25-870) which require updating the City's current ordinance. A regional effort began in October of 2012 with area localities working together to understand the new regulations and how they affected our programs. Localities present at these meetings were: City of Roanoke, City of Salem, Roanoke County, Town of Vinton, Town of Christiansburg, and Town of Blacksburg. A draft model ordinance has been provided by the DEQ in an effort to help guide localities in the re-write of their ordinance and implementation of their program. The City of Roanoke has amended the model ordinance to incorporate local requirements. Please review the proposed ordinance and provide comment.

Draft sent to DEQ January 15, 2014

Adoption by Council with any changes from DEQ/Public: May 19, 2014.

Implementation date: July 1, 2014.

In addition to revising the stormwater management ordinance the City of Roanoke will also be revising the Stormwater Management Design Manual. Please review the proposed changes to the manual and provide comment to Danielle Bishop, Development Review Coordinator, 853-1325.

Click the links below to see the proposed changes to each chapter:

  • Chapter 1 Design Manual 12.15.13
  • Chapter 9 Design Manual 12.15.13
  • Chapter 3 Design Manual 12.15.13
  • Chapter 10 Design Manual 12.15.13
  • Chapter 4 Design Manual 12.15.13
  • Chapter 11 Design Manual 12.15.13
  • Chapter 5 Design Manual 12.15.13
  • Chapter 12 Design Manual 12.15.13
  • Chapter 6 Design Manual 12.15.13
  • Chapter 15 Design Manual 12.15.13
  • Chapter 7 Design Manual 12.15.13
  • Chapter 16 Design Manual 12.15.13
  • Chapter 8 Design Manual 12.15.13

  • Current Stormwater Management Ordinance

    The Stormwater Management Ordinance (Chapter 11.4 of the Code of the City of Roanoke [1979], as amended) was adopted by City Council on Monday October 1, 2007 and became effective on January 1, 2008. A Stormwater Management Design Manual is incorporated in the Ordinance by reference and includes details on design of stormwater management systems, procedures for the submittal and review of stormwater management plans, and maintenance requirements. The manual was revised on January 20, 2008 to incorporate residential drainage requirements and a revised maintenance agreement.

    Download the Stormwater Management Ordinance and latest version of the Stormwater Management Design Manual:

    Stormwater Ordinance
    Frequently Asked Questions

    Individual Chapters
    Table of Contents & Chapter 1: Introduction Updated September 2010.
    Chapter 2: Use of Low Impact Development/Green Infrastructure Updated September 2010.
    Chapter 3: Stormwater Management Plan Review and Approval Updated September 2011
    Chapter 4: Easements
    Chapter 5: Stormwater Hydrology
    Chapter 6: Open Channels
    Chapter 7: Culverts
    Chapter 8: Storm Drains
    Chapter 9: Residential Lot Drainage
    Chapter 10: Stormwater Retention
    Chapter 11: Energy Dissipation
    Chapter 12: Stormwater Pollutant Removal Practices
    Chapter 13: Reserved for Future Use
    Chapter 14: Reserved for Future Use
    Chapter 15: Maintenance Of Stormwater Management Facilities
    Chapter 16: Inspection and Enforcement


    Why did the City develop the current stormwater ordinance?

    The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is required by the Virginia Stormwater Management Law and Virginia Stormwater Management Regulations (VSWML&R) to regulate land development activities to prevent water pollution, stream channel erosion, depletion of groundwater resources, and more frequent localized flooding to protect property values and natural resources. These regulations allow localities (e.g., the City of Roanoke) the option to establish a local program to regulate the same in their jurisdiction.

    The City has chosen to implement its own program through the proposed Stormwater Management Ordinance and Stormwater Management Design Manual (Manual). The advantage of a local program for property owners and developers are as follows:
      • Review of the stormwater management practices performed by the same staff that is reviewing the overall development plan.
      • Offers a single point of contact for permitting of land disturbing activities.

    What activities are covered by the current ordinance?

    Residential, commercial, industrial or institutional land development activities that involve land-clearing or soil movement are regulated with the exception of the following:
      • Permitted mining operations and projects, or oil and gas operations.
      • Tilling, planting or harvesting of agricultural, horticultural, or forest crops.
      • Single-family residences or modifications to existing residences not part of a subdivision.
      • Land development projects that disturb less than 5,000 square feet; and
      • Linear development projects, provided that (i) less than 5,000 square feet land will be disturbed per outfall or watershed, (ii) there will be insignificant increases in peak flow rates, and (iii) there are no existing or anticipated flooding or erosion problems downstream from the discharge point.

    How was the current ordinance developed?

    The City of Roanoke and Roanoke County have worked together to develop stormwater ordinances with similar requirements to provide as much consistency as possible for property owners, developers and designers working in the area.

    The draft City and County ordinances were developed using a template from DCR. This assures that the ordinances meet the minimum state requirements but the drafts have also been tailored to consider local conditions and needs. The City and County have hosted three workshops with a stakeholder group as part of the regulatory development process.


    What is the Stormwater Management Design Manual?

    The Manual includes detailed provisions for the design and construction of stormwater management facilities and is incorporated by reference in the Stormwater Management Ordinance. The Manual serves two primary purposes:
      1. Provides a detailed description of the process and requirements for the submittal, review and approval of stormwater management plans as well as requirements for the long-term maintenance of storm water management facilities. The Manual includes plan review checklists and standard forms and language for the various agreements required by the ordinance.

      2. Provides a compilation of design criteria and guidelines for common stormwater management facilities that are constructed or anticipated to be constructed in the city. These guidelines will be used by city staff to review and approve Stormwater Management Plans.
    The Design Manual incorporates elements of the Virginia Stormwater Management Handbook published by DCR in 1999 which serves as its primary guidance for SWM programs. Basing the Manual on the DCR Handbook and other recognized sources helps to assure consistency between the city’s local program and state requirements.


    Final Approval of Stormwater Management Facilities and Storm Drain Systems

    Final Approval of Stormwater Management Facilities and Storm Drain Systems