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    City of Franklin

    The City of Franklin has enacted a Stormwater Management Ordinance in order to maintain or benefit water quantity, water quality and the effects on the quality of life and character of the City of Franklin, Tennessee. The City of Franklin is the permitting authority for all land disturbing activities and requires the land owner to maintain all on-site stormwater control facilities and all open space areas (e.g. parks or “green” areas) required by the approved stormwater control plan. The City of Franklin will only provide construction permits to projects that establish a plan to manage stormwater runoff occurring during the construction process. Stormwater fees will be collected by the City of Franklin and businesses can qualify for credits by implementing Best Management Practices on their property. The City of Franklin, under the NPDES program, also has the authority to inspect properties for noncompliance and can issue a notice of violation (NOV) for any deficiency or infraction onsite.

    Stormwater Management Ordinance

    Sec. 23-104. Authority.

    (2)    Right-of-entry.

    (a)    Designated city staff shall have right of entry on or upon the property of any person subject to this title and any permit/document issued hereunder. The city staff shall be provided ready easy access to all parts of the premises for the purposes of inspection, monitoring, sampling, inventory, records examination and copying, and the performance of any duties necessary to determine compliance with this title.

    (b)   Where a property, site or facility has security measures in force which require proper identification and clearance before entry into its premises, the person shall make necessary arrangements with its security personnel so that, upon presentation of suitable identification, the designated city staff will be permitted to enter without delay for the purposes of performing specific responsibilities.

    (c)    Designated city staff shall have the right to set up on the person's property such devices as are necessary to conduct sampling and/or monitoring of the person's stormwater operations or discharges.

    (d)   Any temporary or permanent obstruction to safe and easy access to the areas to be inspected and/or monitored shall be removed promptly by the person at the written or verbal request of the city staff. The costs of clearing such access shall be borne by the person.

    (e)    The city engineer may inspect the facilities of any user in order to ensure compliance with this title. Such inspection shall be made with the consent of the owner, manager, or signatory official. If such consent is refused, denied or not promptly addressed, the designated city staff may seek issuance of an administrative search warrant.

    (f)    The city has the right to determine and impose inspection schedules necessary to enforce the provisions of this chapter. Inspections may include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • An initial inspection prior to stormwater management plan approval;
    • A bury inspection prior to burial of any underground drainage structure;
    • Erosion control inspections as necessary to ensure effective control of erosion and sedimentation; and
    • A finish inspection when all work, including installation of storm management facilities, has been completed.
    • Regular or random follow-up inspections to ensure the storm management facilities remain in compliance.

    Sec. 23-108. Maintenance requirements.

    (1)    [Responsibilities.] The maintenance responsibilities for permanent stormwater runoff control facilities shall be determined based upon the type of ownership of the property which is controlled by the facilities.

    (2)    Single entity ownership. Where the permanent stormwater runoff control facilities are designed to manage runoff from property in a single entity ownership as defined below, the maintenance responsibility for the stormwater control facilities shall be with the single entity owner.

    (a)The stated responsibilities of the entity in terms of owning and maintaining the facilities shall be submitted with the stormwater management plan for determination of their adequacy. Approval of the stormwater management plan shall be conditioned upon the approval of these terms. These terms shall be in writing, shall be recorded at the register of deeds office, and shall, in addition to any other terms deemed necessary by the city, contain a provision permitting inspection at any reasonable time by the city engineer of all such facilities deemed critical in the public welfare.

    (b)A single entity shall be defined as an association, public or private corporation, partnership firm, trust, estate or any other legal entity allowed to own real estate exclusive of an individual lot owner.

    (c)Upon approval of the stormwater management facilities by the city, the facility owner(s) shall demonstrate the ability to garner and apply the financial resources necessary for longterm maintenance requirements. The funding mechanism shall be in a form approved by the city. The city will only approve funding mechanism(s) for long-term maintenance responsibilities that can be demonstrated to be permanent or transferable to another entity with equivalent longevity.

    1. Unless made specifically clear in the preliminary stages of the site design and construction plan review procedure, it will be assumed that all stormwater detention, retention, treatment or storage facilities and/or devices, and streamside buffers shall be owned, operated and maintained by a single entity as defined above.

    Sec. 23-110. Allowable and illicit stormwater discharges.

    (1)    No person shall discharge or cause to be discharged into the MS4 or water resources any materials including, but not limited to, pollutants or waters containing any pollutants that cause or contribute to violation of applicable water quality standards, other than stormwater and except as permitted by subsection 23-110(4) of this title.

    (2)    Contamination of stormwater runoff from hot spots shall be prohibited and subject to the maximum penalties as specified in subsection 23-112(4)(d)(iv) of this title.

    (3)    Except as hereinafter provided, all nonstormwater discharges into the MS4 shall be prohibited and declared to be unlawful.

    (4)    Unless the city engineer has identified them as a source of pollutants to the waters of the state, the following non-stormwater discharges into the MS4 shall be lawful:

    • (a)    Discharges from emergency firefighting activities.
    • (b)   Diverted screen flows.
    • (c)    Rising ground waters.
    • (d)   Uncontaminated groundwater infiltration to separate storm sewer systems (as defined by 40 CFR 35.2005(20) as may be amended.
    • (e)    Uncontaminated pumped groundwater.
    • (f)    Discharges from potable water sources as required for system maintenance.
    • (g)   Drinking water line flushing.
    • (h)    Foundation drains and pumps.
    • (i)     Air conditioning condensate.
    • (j)     Landscape irrigation.
    • (k)    Irrigation water.
    • (l)     Lawn watering.
    • (m)   Uncontaminated springs.
    • (n)    Water from crawl space pumps.
    • (o)   Uncontaminated footing drains and pumps.
    • (p)   Individual residential car washing.
    • (q)   Flows from riparian habitats and wetlands.
    • (r)    Dechlorinated swimming pool discharges.
    • (s)    Street wash waters resulting from normal street cleaning operations.
    • (t)    Controlled flushing of stormwater conveyances (controlled by appropriate best management practices).
    • (u)    Discharges within the constraints of a NPDES permit from the TDEC.
    • (v)    Discharges approved at the discretion of the city engineer.

    (5)    The construction, use, maintenance or continued existence of illicit connections to the MS4 is prohibited. This prohibition expressly includes, without limitation, illicit connections made in the past, regardless of whether the connection was permissible under law or practices applicable or prevailing at the time of connection. A person is considered to be in violation of this title if the person connects a line conveying sewage to the MS4, or allows such connection to continue.

    (6)    The city may, without prior notice, suspend MS4 discharge access to a person when such suspension is necessary to stop an actual or threatened discharge which presents or may present imminent and substantial danger to the environment, or to the health or welfare of persons, or to the MS4 or waters of the state. If the violator fails to comply with a suspension order issued in an emergency, the city may take such steps as deemed necessary to prevent or minimize damage to the MS4 or waters of the state, or to minimize danger to persons.

    (7)    Every person, or such person's lessee or other designee, owning or maintaining property, through which a water resource passes, shall keep that part of the water resource within the property free of trash, debris, and other obstacles that would pollute, contaminate, or significantly retard the flow of water through the water resource.

    (8)    Notwithstanding other requirements of law, as soon as any person responsible for a facility or operation, or responsible for emergency response for a facility or operation has information of any known or suspected release of materials which are resulting or may result in illicit discharges or pollutants discharging into the MS4 or waters of the state said person shall take all necessary steps to ensure the discovery, containment, and cleanup of such release. In the event of such a release of hazardous materials said person shall immediately notify emergency response agencies of the occurrence. In the event of a release of nonhazardous materials, said person shall notify the city no later than the next business day.

    Sec. 23-112. Enforcement.

    The city shall have the authority to institute appropriate actions or proceedings at law or equity for the enforcement of this title. Any court of competent jurisdiction shall have the right to issue restraining orders, temporary or permanent injunctions, and other appropriate forms of remedy or relief. Any person unlawfully polluting the waters of the state or violating or failing, neglecting, or refusing to comply with any provisions of this title as it relates to Tennessee Code Annotated § 69-3-101 et seq. (as it may be amended) commits a Class C misdemeanor. Each day of noncompliance is considered a separate offense; and nothing herein contained shall prevent the city from taking such other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation, including application for injunctive relief. Any of the following enforcement remedies and penalties shall be available to the city in response to violations of this title. If the person, property or facility has or is required to have a stormwater discharge permit from the TDEC, the city shall alert the appropriate state authorities of the violation.

    (1)Notice of violation (NOV). Whenever designated city staff find that any person, company or facility owning or occupying a premises has violated or is violating this title or order issued hereunder, the city engineer may serve, by personal service, or by registered or certified mail, upon said person a written NOV. Within 30 days of the receipt of this notice, or shorter period as may be prescribed in the NOV, an explanation of the violation and a plan for the satisfactory correction and prevention thereof, which shall include specific required actions, shall be submitted to the city engineer. Submission of this plan shall in no way relieve liabilities for violations occurring before or after receipt of the NOV.

    (2)    Revocation of permit. The city engineer may revoke and require the return of a permit or certificate by notifying the permit holder in writing, stating the reason for the revocation. Permits or certificates shall be revoked for any substantial departure from the approved application plans, or specifications; refusal or failure to comply with the requirements of state or local law; or for false statements or misrepresentations made in securing the permit or certificate. Any permit or certificate mistakenly issued in violation of any applicable state or local law may also be revoked.

    (3)    Compliance order. If any person, company or facility shall violate the provisions of this title, the city engineer may give notice to the owner or to any person in possession of the subject property, ordering that all unlawful conditions existing thereupon be abated within a schedule defined from the date of such notice.

    • (a)    The city engineer shall have the authority to establish elements of a stormwater pollution prevention plan, and to require any business to adopt and implement such a plan, as may be reasonably necessary to fulfill the purposes of this title. The city engineer may establish the requirements of best management practices for any premises.
    • (b)   The notice and order may be given provided, that if, in the opinion of the city engineer the unlawful condition is such that it is of imminent danger or peril to the public, then an authorized city representative may, without notice, proceed to abate the same, and the cost thereof shall be charged against the property. The city, as described further in this subsection, may recover the cost of such actions from the property owner.

    (4)    Civil penalties. Any person, company or facility who has been found to have been in violation of any provision of this title, may be assessed a civil penalty not to exceed the amount presented in this subsection.

    • (a)    The penalty may increase by 25 percent of the previous penalty amount for every subsequent but separate offense made by the same person, company or facility. The penalty shall be additional to other enforcement actions of this section.
    • (b)   The penalty may be assessed by the city engineer for each day beyond schedules applied in compliance orders or other schedules issued to the property owner or other person responsible for unauthorized activity defined in this title.
    • (c)    In determining the amount of the penalty the city engineer shall consider the following:
    1. The degree and extent of the harm to the natural resources, to the public health, or to the public or private property resulting from the violation;
    2. The duration and gravity of the violation;
    3. The effect on ground or surface water quality;
    4. The cost of rectifying the damage;
    5. The amount of money saved by noncompliance;
    6. Whether the violation was committed willfully or intentionally;
    7. The cumulative effect of other enforcement actions applied for the same offense;
    8. The prior record of the violator in complying or failing to comply with the stormwater quality management program; and
    9. The costs of enforcement to the city.
    • (d)   The maximum civil penalties shall be determined by the city engineer based on the type of offense. This indicates the maximum that may be imposed for a first offense and does not reflect the increases described above for repeat offenses.
    1. Development without permit—$10,000.00. To engage in any development, use, construction, remodeling, or other activity of any nature upon land or improvements thereon subject to the jurisdiction of this title without all required permits, certificates, or other forms of authorization as set forth in this title.
    2. Development inconsistent with permit—$5,000.00. To engage in any development, use, construction, remodeling, or other activity of any nature in any way inconsistent with any approved plan, permit, certificate, or other form of authorization granted for such activity.
    3. Violation by act or omission—$5,000.00. To violate, by act or omission, any term, variance, modification, condition, or qualification placed by the city or its agent departments upon any required permit, certificate, or other form of authorization of the use, development, or other activity upon land or improvements thereon.
    4. Illicit discharge—$5,000.00. Any person, company or facility who is found to have improperly disposed of any substance that is not defined in section 23-110 of this title or causes the city to be in noncompliance with any applicable environmental permit.
    5. Household products—$500.00. Any person, company, or facility who is found to have improperly disposed of any substance not included in section 23-110 of this title that was purchased over-the-counter for household use, in quantities considered normal for household purposes, which, upon discharge to the MS4 or drainage network, would have an adverse impact on water quality or cause the city to be in noncompliance with any applicable environmental permit.
    • (e)    In the event there are penalties assessed by TDEC against the city caused by any person, company, or facility, said person, company or facility shall be assessed the equivalent amount of civil penalty. This shall include, but is not limited to, penalties for improper disposal or illegal dumping, or illicit connection into the MS4.

    (5)    Order to clean and abate/restore. Any violator may be required to clean and/or restore land to its condition prior to the violation.

    (6)    Cost recovery. If corrective action, including maintenance delinquency, is not taken in the time specified or within a reasonable time if no time is specified, the city may take the corrective action, and the cost of the corrective action shall be the responsibility of the owner and the developer. The cost of the abatement and restoration shall be borne by the owner of the property and the cost therefore shall be invoiced to the owner of the property. If the invoice is not paid within 90 days, the city shall have the authority to place a lien upon and against the property. If the lien is not satisfied within 90 days, the city is authorized to take all legal measures as are available to enforce the lien as a judgment, including, without limitation, enforcing the lien in an action brought for a monetary judgment, by delivery to the assessor or a special assessment against the property.

    (7)    Injunctions and or proceedings at law or in equity. Any violation of this title or of any condition, order, requirement, or remedy adopted pursuant hereto may be restrained, corrected, abated, mandated, or enjoined by other appropriate proceeding pursuant to state law.

    (8)    Fee or utility credit revocation. This enforcement tool is intended to be available or used if there are, at any time, provisions for a funding mechanism managed by the city. This enforcement tool permits that credits or other measures to reduce fees or utility charges may be revoked, in full or in part, if any provision of this title, or given authority per section 23-111 of this title, are violated.

    (9)    Civil actions. In addition to any other remedies provided in this title, any violation of this title may be enforced by civil action brought by the city attorney. Monies recovered under this subsection shall be paid to the city to be used exclusively for costs associated with implementing or enforcing the provisions of this title. In any such action, the city may seek, as appropriate, any or all of the following remedies:

    • (a)    A temporary and/or permanent injunction;
    • (b)   Assessment of the violator for the costs of any investigation, inspection, or monitoring survey which leads to the establishment of the violation, and for the reasonable costs of preparing and bringing legal action under this subsection;
    • (c)    Costs incurred in removing, correcting, or terminating the adverse effects resulting from the violation;
    • (d)   Compensatory damages for loss or destruction to water quality, wildlife, fish and aquatic life.

    (10)  Emergency orders and abatements. The city engineer may order the abatement of any discharge from any source to the stormwater conveyance system when, in the opinion of the city engineer the discharge causes or threatens to cause a condition which presents an imminent danger to the public health, safety, or welfare, or the environment, or a violation of a NPDES permit. In emergency situations where the property owner or other responsible party is unavailable and time constraints are such that service of a notice and order to abate cannot be effected without presenting an immediate danger to the public health, safety, or welfare, or the environment or a violation of a NPDES permit, the city may perform or cause to be performed such work as shall be necessary to abate said threat or danger. The costs of any such abatement shall be borne by the owner and shall be collectable in accordance with the provisions of this subsection.

    (11)  Appeals. Upon issuance of a citation or notice of violation of this stormwater management ordinance (this title), it shall be conclusive and final unless the accused violator submits a written notice of appeal to the city engineer within ten days of the violation notice being served. If the city engineer does not issue a decision within ten days of the written notice of appeal then the violation is considered upheld. If the city engineer does not reverse the decision or if the violation is considered upheld, the aggrieved party may appeal to the stormwater appeals board, by filing a written request for hearing within 30 days of the city engineer's decision on the appeal. The request for hearing shall state the specific reasons why the decision of the city engineer is alleged to be in error, and shall be accompanied by a payment in the amount of $750.00 to cover the cost of court reporters, transcripts, plan reviews and other administrative costs associated with the appeal. In the event the stormwater appeals board overturns the decision of the city engineer, this payment may be refunded to the appellant.

    Stormwater User Fee

    The Board of Mayor and Alderman passed on second reading, March 9, 2004 an ordinance (2004-25) to establish a stormwater user fee to be applied to all properties within the City. The Equivalent Residential Unit is hereby established to be 3,350 square feet of impervious area. The intent to establishing a base rate and tiers is so that application of rate and tiers leads to a fair and equitable result, collecting fees proportionally to the amount of actual use of stormwater facilities. The fee structure reflects different categories of use and tiers using commonly accepted principles to achieve such equitable results.

    The ERU rate to be charged for Stormwater Management User Fees for each ERU is $3.65 per month. Non-Residential Properties pay monthly the ERU rate times the actual square footage of impervious surface area (e.g., pavement, concrete, rooftop, sidewalk) divided by the ERU. Residential Properties are separated into two tiers: residential units smaller than 3,350 square feet will pay 75% of (or 0.75 times) the ERU Rate per month and residential units larger than 3,350 square feet will pay 120% of (or 1.2 times) the ERU Rate per month.


    Franklin Stormwater Management Credit and Appeal Manual

    Franklin Stormwater Management Ordinance

    Franklin Stormwater User Fee Webpage