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Stormwater Management  

Buncombe County’s Stormwater Management program is the result of a new ordinance adopted on September 27, 2006. “Chapter 26 Environment, Article VII: Stormwater Management” was adopted to establish minimum requirements for the control of adverse impacts due to stormwater runoff associated with new development in the county.

Proper management of stormwater runoff will protect property, lessen stream channel erosion, prevent increased flooding and provide additional protection of floodplains, wetlands and water resources, riparian and aquatic ecosystems.

The ordinance requires permits be issued for residential development activity disturbing one acre or more.  Commercial activity requires permits for activities that are on tracts one acre or larger.  The ordinance requires developers to install permanent measures to control the rate of runoff to that which existed prior to development for the 1 Year 24 Hour storm events. 

What's Happening with Stormwater

A new permitting and data management system is helping to document and archive stormwater permit submittals.  The new program ensures all submittals are accounted for and processed in a timely manner.  A goal of the program is to archive more data electronically thereby reducing the amount of paper needed for the submittal.  This also reduces the amount of physical file storage needed.  Please refer to the revised Stormwater Management Review Plan Checklist for information on format and number of copies needed in a submittal.  The checklist may be found in the Forms section of this website.  If you have additional comments or questions contact the stormwater administrator.

Administrative Process

Administrative Process For Article VII.  “Stormwater Management”, Chapter 26 “Environment” of the Buncombe County Code of Ordinances. (Download PDF)

Frequently Asked Questions

When was the ordinance adopted?

  • September 27, 2006

What if I have a problem with my neighbor’s stormwater?

  • Contact the stormwater administrator or technician to discuss your individual situation.

Do I need a permit for a single family home I am building?

  • If your lot or tract is a lot of record as of September 27, 2006 and the percentage of hard surfaces (ie..roof, driveway, sidewalk, outbuildings, etc..) compared to total lot size is 15% or less your construction does not require a stormwater permit.

How can I determine I have a vested right?

  • If your preliminary development plan was approved by the Buncombe County Planning Board prior to September 27, 2006 or you have a Land Disturbing Permit from the Soil Erosion and Sediment Control office you may have a vested right.

Can I develop in phases less than one acre and avoid the permitting requirements?

  • If the overall scope of your development will eventually exceed one acre you must be permitted prior to starting construction.

Are the stormwater plans required to be done by a professional? 

  • Yes, the plan must be sealed by a licensed Professional Engineer or Landscape Architect competent in stormwater hydrology and hydraulics.

Does the new ordinance have bonding requirements?

  • Yes, a performance surety bond is required to ensure the adequate construction of the proposed stormwater management system.

How much is the performance surety bond?

  • The performance surety bond is in the amount of 125% of the anticipated cost of materials and installation of the stormwater management system.

Once the developer has completed the development, who is responsible for the stormwater management system?

  • Typically the homeowners association will have binding responsibility for the annual care, inspection and maintenance of the stormwater system.

When does the stormwater permit expire?

  • If substantial progress has not been made on the site within six (6) months after issuance of the permit the permit becomes void.

What is constitutes Land Disturbance?

  • Any use of, or operations on, the land by any person in residential, industrial, educational, institutional, or commercial development, highway and road construction and maintenance that results in a change in the natural cover or topography and that may cause or contribute to sedimentation.)

Forms

Links