VI. Stormwater Assessment - Linking Stormwater Management to the Land Use Implementation Element

Once the assessments of stormwater program enhancements and nonpoint loads are complete for a WRE, how a jurisdiction will implement the findings is an appropriate component of the WRE and comprehensive plan. These implementation policies should clearly connect the enhancement and nonpoint source loading analysis findings to implementation methods. Implementation mechanisms may include revision of existing or development of new local ordinances or regulatory programs pertaining to stormwater management, wastewater disposal and the land uses impacting overall water body assimilative capacity. Suggested areas for policy considerations are as follows:

1. To enhance stormwater management programs

  • ​Limit impervious surface areas to 10% in Critical or Sensitive Areas.
  • ​Require open section roadways in all new developments.
  • Incorporate the use of nonstructural best management practices (BMPs) such as natural conservation areas, roof and non-roof-​top disconnection, vegetated swales, sheet flow to buffer, reduced impervious cover to the maximum extent practicable and promote environmentally sensitive design (ESD) or low impact development (LID) techniques.
  • Maintain existing forest cover and promote the enhancement of contiguous forest areas.

2. To address nonpoint source loading impacts

Nonpoint source loading analyses, conducted in support of a WRE, provide a preliminary assessment of potential changes in nonpoint source loads due to land use planning decisions. Implementation policies should include a commitment to refining these analyses over time and at more refined geographic scales. In addition, the following implementation tools may help achieve water quality goals:

  • ​​Transfer and purchase of development rights ordinances (TDR and PDR).
  • Land preservation programs such as the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF) and Rural Legacy.
  • More effective agricultural and rural preservation zoning.
  • Septic tank ordinances: require nutrient offset projects for subdivisions built using individual septic tanks; and require denitrification units for all new septic tanks.
  • Enhanced forest conservation ordinances.
  • Modernized subdivision ordinances, which allow for innovative site design techniques.
  • Stormwater utilities that provide a dedicated fund for enhanced inspection, maintenance and restoration activities.
  • Update policies on variances allowed under existing programs. (See Appendix G of Maryland's 2006 TMDL Implementation Guidance for Local Governments)

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