Carroll cuts fees for developers who use alternatives for runoff

April 06, 2005|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Fees will be reduced in Carroll County for small developers who incorporate grassy swales, shoulders and other techniques to capture storm water - rather than relying on ponds that the county must maintain.

The change was approved yesterday by the county commissioners and means a savings of at least $500 for developers of three or fewer lots, said Martin B. Covington III, storm-water program engineer for the county Bureau of Resource Management.

The permitted measures include the use of grassy swales, reduced slopes and grass shoulders along small subdivision roads. These measures allow rain to soak into the ground rather than running off hard surfaces and collecting into manmade ponds that the county has to take over, Covington said.

For two or three years, the county has required that builders, when possible, use these measures, known as nonstructural practices, said Tom Devilbiss, chief of the bureau. Until now, it had not adjusted its fee structure to reflect their value.

Larger developers are encouraged to use these measures to the extent possible, said Planning Director Steven C. Horn, but will continue to pay the current storm-water management fee. It has a base charge of $1,000, plus an additional amount computed at $160 an acre, multiplied by the percentage of impervious surface.

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