Stormwater Management Bylaw by 3J6W2pqN

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									                                                      Fact Sheet

                                        Town of Belchertown
                            Stormwater Management Bylaw & Regulations
                                 Public Hearing – November 19, 2007

Background

The Town of Belchertown currently has a stormwater permit issued by the DEP and EPA that
regulates the discharge of stormwater from the Town’s municipal storm drainage system. The
permit requires the Town to adopt a local bylaw and associated regulations that regulate
stormwater discharges from land development activities in Town. Without the bylaw and
regulations, the Town will be out of compliance with its permit and subject to potential
enforcement by EPA and DEP.

How were the Bylaw & Regulations Developed?

The Belchertown Conservation Commission and a stormwater committee made up of
representatives from the Town’s land use boards, the Town Administrator, and Town citizens
at-large, along with a local engineering consultant, developed a proposed stormwater
management bylaw and regulations. The proposed bylaw and regulations were developed
starting with a models approved by the State of MA and other similar existing bylaws and
regulations in surrounding communities (Northampton, Ludlow, Granby, and West
Brookfield). The bylaw and regulations were tailored to the needs and concerns of Belchertown
through numerous meetings and lengthy discussions by the stormwater committee, many draft
versions of the documents, review by the Town boards and legal counsel, and a public hearing
held in April 2007.

The bylaw was approved by the MA Attorney General’s office and adopted at Town Meeting in
May 2007. Following adoption of the bylaw, Town legal counsel provided detailed review
comments on the proposed regulations, which are the subject of tonight’s public hearing. A
vote by the Board of Selectmen is required to adopt the regulations.

Purpose of the Bylaw & Regulations

         Set clear stormwater management standards, design criteria, and review procedures (not
          to limit development),
         Reduce the environmental impacts of development,
         Protect existing property owners from uncontrolled development,
         Encourage low impact and sustainable development.

What Will the Bylaw & Regulations Do?

The bylaw and proposed regulations will regulate stormwater runoff during and after
construction for new development and redevelopment projects. Projects subject to the bylaw
will be required to apply for a stormwater management permit from the Belchertown
Conservation Commission. The program will be administered and enforced by the
Conservation Commission. Applications will be reviewed by the Conservation Commission and
the Town land use boards (DPW, Planning, Inspections, Health) for projects within their
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expertise. Projects that are subject to the jurisdiction of other land use boards will require
separate filings with those boards concurrent with the stormwater management permit
application.

Who Will Need to Apply for a Permit?

Any activity that will disturb 10,000 square feet or more of land, including any clearing, grading,
excavation, or similar activity that disturbs the land surface. Certain projects and activities will
be exempt from the bylaw:

         Normal maintenance and improvement of land in agricultural use (Wetlands Prot. Act),
         Maintenance and repair activities for single-family dwellings:
             o Landscaping, gardens, lawns
             o Construction of deck, patio, retaining wall, shed, pool
         Repair/replacement of septic system,
         Fence construction,
         Certain utility construction and roadway maintenance,
         Emergency repairs/activity,
         Redevelopment projects if existing impervious cover is reduced by 40% or more.

Permit Procedures

         Determine if project is subject to Bylaw
         Submit permit application to Conservation Commission
         Separate, concurrent filing with other Town land use boards (if necessary)
         Conservation Commission – completeness review and designates Reviewing Board(s)
         Reviewing Board – public hearing (optional) and makes recommendation on application
         Conservation Commission – issues final action (i.e., permit)

Permit Application Requirements

         Similar to existing requirements of Planning Board and Conservation Commission
         Stormwater Management Plan
         Requires MA licensed Professional Engineer
         Reduced requirements for single-family homes (ANR lots)




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