When Martin’s Additions first began to address the issues surrounding infill development and redevelopment of properties within our boundaries in the spring and summer of 2007, one of the concerns that residents often expressed was the effect of additional impervious surface that accompanied the increased size of the structures as well as the changes in storm water runoff. Stories were told of flooded basements, soggy yards, icing conditions and the like that had not been present prior to the redevelopment. The Village Council decided to separate the consideration of new building regulations related to the mass and bulk of the houses from the impact of water runoff and storm water issues. New ordinances addressing compatible residential infill and redevelopment were adopted and became effective in June of 2009. It is now time to address the second stage of the earlier vision, which is meant to address storm water management. The following text describes the action that the Council feels the Village should begin to address:
The process of building new houses on existing lots or building additions to existing houses generally reflects an intensification of developments. From the perspective of storm water management, this often translates into increases in impervious surface area, removal of trees and vegetation, injury to or loss of trees on adjacent properties, loss of open and permeable space and changes to grades or slopes. Each of these factors can alter the flow of storm water from a residential lot and each can increase the quantity of storm water flowing into streets and adjoining properties. The community’s ability to handle storm water flows cannot be increased without public costs in new and expanded infrastructure. The management of storm water is constrained by the Village’s historic drainage patters, infrastructure capacity and patterns of streets and lots.
In considering the job of a Storm Water Task Force to examine the problem, the following directions were envisioned. The Task Force would:
1. evaluate options that may be available to the Village to address storm water issues associated with new construction and other lot improvements, and to minimize any resulting water runoff that is likely to adversely affect any adjacent private or public property; and
2. evaluate the sustainability of the Village’s current storm water management system and storm water drains, to handle current and increased flows.
In mid-February, Council Chairman Richard Krajeck and Councilmember and Storm Water Task Force (SWTF) Chair Mike Zielinski, met with the Urban Planning Consultant, Chris Jakubiak of Jakubiak & Associates, to review a proposal for consulting services to assist a Task Force in achieving the goals set forth in the statement above. Alan Beal, VMA’s Buildings Administrator, and Bill Lebovich, a member of the Land Use Task Force, brought their perspective on the issues to the table. Jakubiak’s proposed scope of work followed the plan laid out above, focusing initially on options that might be available to minimize water runoff and other potential adverse effects associated with improvements requiring permits from the Village. The proposal envisions reviews of State and County laws and neighboring jurisdictions’ ordinances, as well as best practices to protect trees on adjoining properties. The second phase of the Task Force responsibility would include an evaluation of the ability of the Village’s current storm water management system to handle current and potentially increased flows that may result over the long term through redevelopment. The issues currently being addressed on Quincy Street have reinforced the concept that construction and maintenance of sewer and storm drains are the responsibility of Montgomery County, and the Council envisions significant involvement of the County, especially in the second phase of the Task Force charge. As with the Land Use Task Force recommendations, a public information report would be produced and illustrated drafts of any recommended ordinance provisions would be developed and circulated. Multiple reports will be made to residents, through the web site, newsletter, list serv, and a public meeting presentation of any SWTF recommendations. Any proposed ordinance provisions actually introduced by the Council would also be publicly vetted through the ordinance adoption process, which includes public hearings.