"Stormwater Management and Flood Prevention Ordinances"
Vol. 5, No. 2 June 2008 Stormwater Management Rain Barrels 101 Fall Workshops Inside: and Flood Prevention Ordinances . . . and more! Wordplay Spartanburg Office Staff Unless we change direction, we are likely to end presented on Spartanburg County’s land use policies Ned Barrett up where we are going. (or lack thereof) to start dialogue on long-term plan- Program Manager Shelley Robbins - Chinese Proverb ning. For instance, the audit documents many weak- Project Coordinator nesses in our Unified Land Management Ordinance, Angela Viney, Director What one word can cause an otherwise the overarching set of policies that regulates develop- Sustainable Communities reasonable person to become enraged, incite a riot, ment in our county. Under this current ordinance, Main Office Staff, Greenville incense a landowner, cause consternation and dis- Spartanburg County lacks a system of land-use com- Kirbie Crowe Membership & Dev. Director may among planners, and just generally divide a patibility and related districts; has no process for con- Nancy Fitzer community? sidering planned, coordinated mixed use projects; does Education Director The word is “ZONING.” Seems like a not have zoning districts so therefore can not adapt Laura Garrett fairly harmless six letter word, doesn’t it, and if you typical planned unit developments to local use; can not Mountain Streams and Rural Waters Project Associate go to dictionary.com you will see the following defi- grant approval of a single, coordinated plan showing Lisa Scott Hallo nition: any continuous tract or area that differs in residences and neighborhood shopping (mixed use); Urban Waters Project Associate some respect, or is distinguished for some purpose, has no real growth management tools in place; and cur- Mary Hays Huguley from adjoining tracts or areas, or within which cer- rent regulations are inadequate to preserve community Conservation Stewardship Assoc. tain distinctive circumstances exist or are estab- character and appearance as development continues. Erin Knight Conservation Stewardship Director lished. And yet, zoning has become a fightin’ word These are but a few of the audit findings; you can view Dana Leavitt in South Carolina. Say the word in mixed company the entire report at the Spartanburg County website. Land Trust Program Director and your life could be in danger. With the projected growth of another 80,000 Heather Nix From what I have been able to surmise, the people in Spartanburg County over the next 20+ years, Urban Rivers Project Manager Peggy O’Donoghue main objection is to government control. Those (a 30% increase), we must begin to plan for our new Financial Manager that oppose land use regulations don’t want the residents to be sure that we do not lose our identity in Jacqueline Oliver government to tell them what to do with their prop- the process of accommodating their needs and wants. Land Protection Specialist erty. However, those same people are okay with the There are many growth strategies that we could em- John Tynan Air & Water Conservation government telling their neighbors what to do with ploy now within the new Unified Land Management Associate their property. Yes, as soon as an adjoining prop- Ordinance while we are updating our Comprehensive Lisa Wickliffe erty owner decides to sell his land to Tyson Foods Plan, including the revitalization of existing areas, tra- Land Conservation Manager or Smithfield Farms for a factory farm operation ditional neighborhood developments, infill projects, Gretchen Wilson or maybe just to a local race car driver who wants the transfer of development rights and land conserva- Office Manager Brad Wyche his own practice track or to the mega retail giant - tion. Executive Director WalMart, the local municipality’s phone lines light It is also important to mention that the whole Dan Roberts up! concept of the government not telling us what to do Volunteer Coordinator Again, land use regulations are merely with our land has another side to it. Today there are Board of Directors a means by which to separate one set of land uses many developers and land owners who can not do what Signe Cann Dick Carr from another, to assure compatibility and to pro- they want with their land because the government has Allen Creighton tect citizens from the devaluation of their property. not enacted the necessary ordinances. Ironically, a Jimmy Grantham Of course land use regulations are also a means by Spartanburg County developer can not put a café or Marianna Habisreutinger which to protect the health and welfare of citizens corner store in a residential subdivision, but they could Wes Hulsey by setting aside special areas and determining where put a landfill next to a neighborhood, as long as mini- Joe James Tom Kester industry and agriculture will be located, while at the mal standards are met. Joe Lesesne same time allowing mixed uses where needed and While doing some research, I recently came E. Erwin Maddrey, II appropriate. Call it what you will – zoning, land use across the National Association of Home Builders’ Patrick McMillan regulations, smart growth management tools, - it growth policy statement, which I believe says it best: Scott Montgomery Leon Patterson does not matter; the bottom line is that Spartanburg “Land use planning should be the exclusive province of Mark Taylor needs a means by which to assure land use compat- local units of government. Their decisions, based on Neal Workman ibility. direct citizen input, best reflect the needs, desires, and Mailing Address A couple of weeks ago I attended a special priorities of their communities.” Over the rest of the 100 E. Main Street, Suite R-4 meeting of the County Council called to hear the year, the County is updating its Comprehensive Plan Spartanburg, SC 29306 results of the first growth management audit from and using this audit to initiate next steps to address Phone: (864) 327-0090 LandDesign, a firm that has been contracted by growth. Now is the time to get involved by reviewing Fax: (864) 327-0101 the County for the purpose of providing guidance, the audit findings and then participating in the public Cover Photograph courtesy Walden facilitation and educational services to support the education forums. Ashworth Consulting Engineers, Mari- etta, Georgia. All other photographs by development of new land use planning and growth Upstate Forever staff unless otherwise management policies and ordinances. --by Angela Viney, Director noted. At this meeting, several observations were Sustainable Communities 2 New Stormwater and Flood Ordinances Aim to Protect Property by Heather Nix, Urban Rivers Project Manager stormwater. The absorbed water collected underground in ground- So why all the fuss about stormwater; it’s just rain, right? water reservoirs. When stream levels drop below groundwater lev- Many people don’t yet understand that stormwater runoff is the els, the groundwater feeds the surface water, and in essence keeps main pollutant and cause of impairments to the water quality of our our streams flowing during dry seasons. Groundwater lost during streams and water bodies. There are two main concerns with storm- the dry spells is replenished by infiltration during the wet season. water – quantity and quality – and each is very important and must Development of land generally includes paving over large be dealt with in an appropriate way. amounts of previously permeable areas, making them impermeable. Most people are familiar with the effects of stormwater quan- The water that formerly seeped into the ground now leaves the tity problems – a.k.a. flooding - and have no qualms about having site as storm- regulations to minimize damages from such. However, the impacts water runoff. of stormwater quality are much less understood by the general pub- Hence, our lic. Many of us do learn about the dangers of stormwater quality, but groundwater in the context of dangerous driving conditions. The smartmotorist. reservoirs no com website describes these conditions as follows: longer receive “Rain is most dangerous when it falls after a long, dry spell onto the replenish- roads that have become polished and smooth: the rain blends with ment in supply oil and rubber – dust deposits on the road surface to form a highly - and we have dangerous skid mixture. That mixture builds up at intersections, an excess of where cars stop and start frequently. Be extra careful immediately water to deal after it starts raining because it takes a while for the worst of the dirt with - during and oil to get washed off the road.” (Source: http://www.smartmo- periods of wet torist.com/driving-guideline/tips-for-driving-in-rain.html; emphasis weather. added) An- Where exactly is the “worst of the dirt and oil” washing off other factor to? Much stormwater runoff is directed over our streets and park- that impacts water quality is the condition of a development site ing lots into drains that lead to a stormwater sewer system. Now during construction. Most of us are familiar with our streams flow- this water is not going into the sanitary sewer system and it will not ing red during heavy – and sometimes even light – rain events. This receive any sort of treatment before entering the nearest stream. So condition is mainly caused by excess sediment that erodes when it is all of that oil and grease, along with whatever other pollutants were exposed during the development process. Best Management Prac- on the road or other impervious surfaces, will go directly into our tices (BMPs) are required on most construction sites to minimize streams. this damage, but often they are not adequate, as evidenced by our Okay, so that explains why the water in many of our “red” streams. streams is dirty. Spartanburg County’s proposed new Stormwater Manage- But maybe you’re ment Ordinance aims to take greater measures to better manage more concerned stormwater runoff and avoid impacts from increased runoff quantity, with the extreme increased soil erosion and decreased water quality. The most recent drought condi- updates to the local ordinance are required by changes in both the tions we’ve been federal and state regulation of non-point source pollutants and in experiencing – af- stormwater BMPs. ter all, dirty water Stormwater regulations begin at the federal level with the is better than no US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is authorized water, right? At by the Clean Water Act to regulate stormwater runoff through the first glance it may National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). Many seem counterin- states, South Carolina included, are “delegated authorities” – mean- tuitive, but put- ing the EPA has delegated their authority to the state to issue these ting all our rain NPDES discharge permits. South Carolina Department of Health water into the and Environmental Control (DHEC) issues NPDES permits to both streams during “point source” discharges, which refers to industrial sites, construc- and immediately following storm events actually causes lower stream tion sites, and wastewater treatment plants; as well as “non-point levels down the road. source” discharges, which focus on municipalities of certain sizes. Prior to our developing the land, much of our rain fell onto Spartanburg County has been issued a Phase II Municipal forests and grasslands, which were able to slow, filter, and absorb the Separate Storm Sewer (continued on next page) 3 System (MS4) permit by DHEC and now must update local creased removal of pollutants from stormwater runoff, while reducing regulations to ensure compliance with these federally mandated the volume of runoff from a site. Additionally, allowing the use of these requirements. The programs created will help assure that haz- techniques will reduce costs for developers by reducing the amount of ardous discharges will not occur to our local streams and water stormwater infrastructure required, and will increase potential profits bodies. by increasing developable land size through reductions in the size re- Although there are many positive ordi- quirements for stormwater ponds. nances being proposed by Spartanburg County, Additional changes will provide the County there are a few that Upstate Forever believes are with the ability to restrict building construction in crucial to making real progress to better manage areas with a high likelihood of flooding, which will stormwater runoff in Spartanburg. save the County money in the long term. The ab- Stream buffers are a low cost investment sence of official flood maps for an area does not signi- in water quality, providing numerous environ- fy an absence of flooding problems. We should learn mental benefits, as well as passive recreation op- from many nearby municipalities that are currently portunities. Buffers help filter pollutants from implementing costly “buyout” programs to remove stormwater and slow the velocity of runoff, which homes from flood-prone areas and require assur- protects the water quality of our streams. Ad- ance that this won’t happen in Spartanburg County. ditionally, vegetation within the buffers acts as While requiring developers to identify flood eleva- a natural air filter, providing much needed assis- tions for these unmapped areas will increase initial tance to our air quality. Making these stream buf- development costs, the long term financial benefits fers mandatory would ensure better protection of for the taxpayers of Spartanburg County outweigh Spartanburg’s waterways. any short-term costs. This ordinance also allows for non-conventional storm- While this new ordinance is not perfect, Up- water management strategies to be employed, which will provide state Forever encourages County Council to pass it in its current ver- increased water quality benefits – often at lower costs. Deten- sion. We need to take serious steps now – before we get too large – to tion ponds provide limited environmental benefits, take up large protect the quality of our water bodies by reducing the quantity of and amounts of otherwise developable land and are unattractive. By improving the quality of our stormwater runoff. contrast, low impact development (LID) techniques provide in- Building Green in Spartanburg April saw the opening of the first two EarthCraft-certified houses, built by Parker Champion Construction and Beeson Henthorn Development LLC respectively, in Spartanburg County. Three open house events allowed some 200 visitors to view the two homes. The houses made for a handy contrast, allowing guests to see the variety of possibilities in the EarthCraft certification process. One home, built by Parker Champion Construction, features a wrap-around porch, an open loft-style master bedroom, and an as-yet unfinished basement. Curt McPhail and Molly Chappell-McPhail, the owners of the house, in- tend to finish the basement as a do-it-yourself project. The other home, built by Beeson Henthorn Development LLC, features ca- thedral ceilings, and an open floor plan to allow for frequent entertaining that the owner, Katie Beeson, loves to do. Stone trim work and small alcoves make for cozy locations for the dining room and a grand piano. Both homes were built with particular techniques and materials making it more durable and more livable. Heating and cooling costs will be reduced by efficient HVAC systems, and the sealed building envelope assures that the conditioned spaces remain conditioned. Materials such as low-VOC paints and solvents, and efficient lighting and plumbing fixtures make the houses economical and healthy for inhabit- ants. Many thanks are due the participants and sponsors of these events. Thank you to Ms. Katie Beeson and the McPhail family for opening their homes; to RJ Rock- ers, and Fresh Market for their generous donations; and to Mike and Laura Henthorn and Parker Champion for their expertise and efforts to bring green building home to Spartanburg. For more information about building EarthCraft houses, and for a listing of EarthCraft-trained builders in the area, visit our website at http://www.upstateforever.org/ufs_ECHMain.html. 4 Rain Barrels 101 Given the current drought condi- Make Your Own Rain Barrel tions in the Southeast, we are well aware of the need to conserve. Taking shorter There are a number of on-line resources for making your own rain barrel; some are listed showers, turning off water when brushing below. Here’s what you’ll need: teeth or shaving, and running the dish- Materials: Tools: washer and washing machine when full are Barrel (food-grade or new) Drill all measures we generally can take and have Atrium grate Jigsaw, or keyhole saw taken. But there are also other ways to re- Copper spigot Channel lock pliers lieve pressure on municipal water supplies. PVC fittings for spigot and overflow system Screwdriver One simple addition to our home Length of sump pump hose for overflow Marker landscaping system is the rain barrel. Plac- Window screening Hacksaw (for cutting your downspout) ing a rain barrel on the downspouts of your Flexible downspout extension home allows you to harvest rain water for any landscaping needs, which, depending The placement of the barrel, or barrels if you have more than one downspout on the time of year and weather conditions, (you can even link multiple barrels to the same downspout), depends on a couple of fac- can account for up to 50% of a household’s tors—the location of the downspouts at your home, and the proximity to the areas you’ll water usage. water. Water pressure will vary depending on whether the barrel is uphill or down from Like many of our “green” mea- where you water. sures, rain barrels are a tried-and-true You also need to make sure you’re not making a mosquito farm: the screening in method for collecting rain water. The QS/1 the atrium grate will reduce mosquito infiltration, but you may want to buy some organic Building in downtown Spartanburg put wa- mosquito control plugs. ter harvesting in as one of the measures de- signed to gain it LEED certification, which Make your own rain barrel web sites: it received upon completion of the building http://www.cwp.org/Community_Watersheds/brochure.pdf in 2003. The designers included a 20,000 http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/conservation/rainbarrel/make-a-rain-barrel.html gallon underground cistern to gather runoff from its roof and parking lot area. Since the completion of the building four years ago, QS/1 has had to use city water only one month, at the peak of the drought last summer. And this is no small usage. According to Chris Cox at QS/1, the company pumps 275 gallons per day from the cistern for irrigation, adding up to over 8000 gallons per month. In addition to irrigation supply, QS/1’s landmark fountain, which also functions as a source of water for the internal fire sprinklers in the build- ing, is topped off with water from the cistern. Our roofs are ready-made water collectors, most with a system of gutters and downspouts in place. By harvesting that source rather than allowing it to run into sewer systems, we reduce our water usage, and, to a cer- tain extent, relieve pressures on sewer systems, saving all of us money. Less wastewater means less energy to pump and treat, and fewer pollutants from putting treated waste- water back into streams and lakes. The most important outcome of installing and using rain barrels, though, is developing an awareness of water, runoff and stormwater management. Rule of thumb for calculating runoff is that one inch of rain on a 1,000 square foot surface yields about 600 gallons of water. Most commercial rain barrels hold about 60 gallons, so you would need at least ten barrels to catch the water from one hard downpour. In our climate, summer brings late afternoon thunderstorms which dump large quantities of rain in a short time, creating a scenario where most of the water runs directly into drains and gutters, leaving little for ground infiltration. By slowing down the runoff with a water barrel, you can direct the flow into gardens and increase the amount of water that infiltrates the soil. In addition, rain water is naturally soft and generally free (continued on next page) 5 Events Calendar of chemicals, well suited for your plants. June 28, 2008 Upstate Forever 10th There are a number of barrels available commercially, but making one is simple and cost- Anniversary Field Trip: American effective (see sidebar, page 5). Rain barrels have a hose faucet near the bottom, so to use the water, Chestnut Trip. Members Only. For more information, contact Upstate simply attach a hose to the faucet and water as normal. Using the harvested rain water will reduce Forever at (864)327-0090, or email your water bills, reduce pressure on municipal sewer systems, and help maintain drinking-quality firstname.lastname@example.org. For water for drinking. membership information, visit www. upstateforever.org. July 6, 2008 Flicks for Thought: A Installing a Rain Barrel – Before You Start Film Series about Sustainable Solutions, by Shelley Robbins, Project Coordinator presents “Food.” Upcountry History Museum, Greenville. For more information, call (864)467-3100, or 1. Have the proper tools and parts ready to go – especially a hacksaw (or a reciprocating saw) and visit www.upstateforever.org. a drill and various hoses. July 17, 2008 Flicks for Thought: 2. Understand your selected downspout and how it is fastened to the house and the gutter. You A Film Series about Sustainable may need to relocate a downspout support bracket. Solutions, presents “The Next 3. Flexible downspout diverters (to connect the cut-off downspout to the rain barrel) are readily Industrial Revolution.” Upcountry History Museum, Greenville. For available, inexpensive, extend up to 55”, fit both 2x3 and 3x4 downspouts, and come in green, more information, call (864)467-3100, white and tan at hardware stores. or visit www.upstateforever.org. 4. Have large pavers or some other surface to elevate and level your barrel several inches – enough August 3, 2008 Flicks for Thought: A to smoothly connect a hose to the barrel spigot on the bottom. Film Series about Sustainable Solutions, presents “Broken Limbs.” Upcountry 5. As you install the barrel, go ahead and connect a length of hose to the overflow drain(s) at the History Museum, Greenville. For top of the barrel and have a plan for where that overflow will go. At some point, your barrel will more information, call (864)467-3100, overflow! My overflow hose runs out onto my lawn but stays curled up beside the barrel when the or visit www.upstateforever.org. skies are clear. August 21, 2008 Flicks for Thought: 6. For your overflow hose and your spigot hose, use good quality hose that will not kink. The A Film Series about Sustainable Solutions, presents “Southbound.” pressure from the barrel is not enough to push kinks open. Upcountry History Museum, 7. Use the water! Attach a short connector hose (a six foot hose reel connector, available in the Greenville. For more information, call (864)467-3100, or visit www. garden area of the hardware store, works well) to the spigot. You can use this to fill watering cans upstateforever.org. or you can connect a longer garden hose to it. August 23, 2008 Upstate Forever 10th Anniversary Field Trip: Chattooga Trail Hiking and Camping. Members Only. For more information, contact Upstate Forever at (864)327-0090, Two Workshops for the Fall or email email@example.com. For membership information, visit www.upstateforever.org. Upstate Forever plans to hold two work- in a dwelling. This workshop qualifies for 4 hours August 28, 2008 Saving More than shops this fall related to green building. “Sav- of AIA Continuing Education Units or Engineering Money: Energy Efficiency in the Home, ing More than Money: Energy Efficiency in the Professional Development Hours. sponsored by Upstate Forever and the Home,” sponsored by Upstate Forever and the “Creating Partnerships for Healthy Com- South Carolina Energy Office, 1 pm – 6 pm. For more information, contact South Carolina Energy Office, and “Creating munities: The Priority Investment Act and School Upstate Forever at (864)327-0090, or Partnerships for Healthy Communities: The Facility Planning,” a two-day conference to be held email firstname.lastname@example.org. Priority Investment Act and School Facility September 11-12 in the Barrett Room at the Spar- September 11-12, 2008 Creating Planning.” Each aims to promote thoughtful tanburg County Library Headquarters, is aimed at Partnerships for Healthy Communities: The Priority Investment Act and and efficient building in homes and schools. school administrators as well as county and city ad- School Facility Planning Conference, “Saving More than Money: Energy Ef- ministrators and planners throughout the Upstate. hosted by Upstate Forever. For more ficiency in the Home” will be held August 28 With the passage of the Priority Investment information, contact Upstate Forever at (864)327-0090, or email nbarrett@ from 1 pm to 6 pm, and is designed for realtors, Act, school-siting and building will require coordina- upstateforever.org. builders, homeowners, renovators, and resi- tion between various sectors of government. This September 18, 2008 Getting to Know dents on the range of green residential options, workshop is intended to facilitate that process. The Local Bird Calls and Songs, sponsored with testimonials from upstate residents who second day of the summit will focus on neighbor- by the Spartanburg County Chapter of the Audubon Society, 7:30 pm at the have built various green homes; greening op- hood schools, historic preservation, and the Leader- Parish House at Saint Francis Church. tions for renovators; and no cost/low cost en- ship in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) For more information, contact Sarah ergy conservation options for anyone who lives Green Building Rating System for Schools. Campbell at scampbell@uscupstate. edu, or call (864)503-5751. 6 2007-2008 Building Our Future Speaker Series Concludes The Building Our Future Speaker Series 2007-2008 concluded with the presentations of Dr. Robert Burchell in March and former Mary- land Governor Parris Glendening in May. The series is hosted by Upstate Forever, the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, and Partners for Active Living. Governor Glendening, current president of the Smart Growth Leadership Institute, is one of the innovators responsible for the ideas of Smart Growth. Governor Glendening focused on those tools available to create the types of communities necessary for sustainability. With gas prices expected to continue to rise, walkable neighborhoods with nearby amenities and workplaces will necessarily replace the distant subdivision, Glendening said. Dr. Burchell, co-director of the Center for Urban Policy Research at Rutgers University, spoke on “Moving Our Transportation System For- ward,” placing transportation systems into the larger scheme of land use planning. The six-part series, which began in May 2007 with Immediate Past President of the National Association of Home Builders David Pressly, had a total attendance of over 450 people. There was a significant number of new attendees at each presentation; 71 people attended more SPECIAL THANKS than one event. Ed McMahon of the Urban Land Institute, Rick Bernhardt of the Nashville/Davidson County Planning to all our sponsors of the 2007-2008 Building Our Department, and Fran Mainella, formerly of the National Park Future Speaker Series. Service, also brought their innovative ideas and practices to the Upstate as we plan and prepare for the outstanding growth of Supporting Sponsors the next decades. Mary Black Foundation Planning for the 2008-2009 Building Our Future Speaker Series, which will begin in September, is well under- Spartanburg Regional Health System way. Keep an eye and ear out for invitations as we continue to Gold Sponsors bring important speakers on crucial issues facing Spartanburg County as we grow into the future. Spartanburg County•Weichert Realtors, Peggy Wilson and Associates•Wade Crow Engineering•Robins and Morton•Roebuck Buildings•City of Spartanburg•Longleaf Development LLC•JM Smith Foundation Silver Sponsors Spartanburg Marriott at Renaissance Park•Freewheelers of Spartanburg•Spartanburg Community College• McMillan Smith and Partners Architects, PLLC Bronze Sponsors Johnson, Smith, Hibbard and Wildman, Attorneys at Law•Albert B. Jolly, Jr. and Associates, AIA Architects•Champion Investment Corporation•Neely’s Building Supplies•Charles E. Godfrey, Jr. Landscape Architects, Inc.•Hardee Homes•Suntrust Bank• RJF II Corporation 7 Non-Profit U.S. Postage Change Service Requested PAID Permit No. 177 Spartanburg, SC I want to join Upstate Forever, the nonprofit, membership-based organization that is Student $ 15 promoting sensible growth and protecting special places in the Upstate region of South Carolina. Friend $ 35 Name __________________________________________________________________________________ Family $ 50 Address _________________________________________________________________________________ Patron $ 100 City ___________________________________ State __________ Zip ___________________________ Sponsor $ 250 Phone (home) __________________________________(work) ____________________________________ Benefactor $ 500 E-mail __________________________________________________________________________________ Sustainer $ 1,000 Conservator $ 2,500 I would like to volunteer my time to help Upstate Forever. Please get in touch with me. Steward $ 5,000 Upstate Forever • 100 East Main Street, Suite R-4 • Spartanburg, SC 29306 Upstate Forever is a Section 501(c)(3) organization. All contributions are tax-deductible! Guardian $ 10,000 Find us on the web at www.upstateforever.org