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    City of Winston Salem / County of Forsyth

    The City of Winston Salem has enacted a Stormwater Ordinance in order to establish minimum stormwater management requirements and controls to protect and safeguard the general health, safety, and welfare of the public residing in watersheds within this jurisdiction.  The City of Winston Salem 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 Winston Salem will only provide construction permits to projects that establish a plan to manage stormwater runoff occurring during the construction process. The City of Winston Salem, 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. Property owners are responsible for the maintenance of any stormwater facilities or practices located on the property. The City of Winston Salem has the authority to inspect stormwater facilities and practices in order to ascertain that they are properly maintained and functioning.

    Stormwater Management Program

    The Stormwater Management Program works to restore, protect, and preserve the surface waters within the City of Winston-Salem.  The Stormwater Management Program was developed in compliance with the Federal Clean Water Act, to ensure that stormwater is effectively controlled and stormwater pollution is reduced. The City of Winston Salem has adopted a stormwater post-construction ordinance to protect, maintain and enhance the public health, safety, environment and general welfare by establishing minimum requirements and procedures to control the adverse effects of increased post-construction stormwater runoff associated with development and redevelopment.

    It has been determined that:

    Development and Redevelopment alter the hydrologic response of local watersheds and increase stormwater runoff rates and volumes, flooding, soil erosion, stream channel erosion, nonpoint and point source pollution, and sediment transport and deposition, as well as reducing groundwater recharge;

    These changes in stormwater runoff contribute to increased quantities of water-borne pollutants and alterations in hydrology which are harmful to public health and safety as well as to the natural environment;
    These effects can be managed and minimized by applying proper design and well-planned controls to manage stormwater runoff from Development and Redevelopment sites; and

    The Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972 (“Clean Water Act”) and federal Phase II Stormwater Rules promulgated under it, as well as rules of the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission promulgated in response to federal Phase II requirements, compel certain urbanized areas, including the City, to adopt the minimum stormwater controls such as those included in this Ordinance. Therefore, the City’s Council establishes this Ordinance to regulate the quality and quantity of stormwater runoff and discharge to meet the state and federal requirements.



    75-104 PURPOSE

    (a) General. 

    The purpose of this ordinance is to protect, maintain and enhance the public health, safety, environment and general welfare by establishing minimum requirements and procedures to control the adverse effects of increased post construction stormwater runoff and nonpoint and point source pollution associated with development and redevelopment. It has been determined that proper management of construction-related and post construction stormwater runoff can safeguard the public health, safety, and general welfare; minimize damage to public and private property and infrastructure; and protect water and aquatic resources. This ordinance is intended to not contradict the intent or direction of the Legacy Comprehensive Plan. 



    (A) Function of Structural BMPs as Intended

    The Owner of each Structural BMP installed pursuant to this Ordinance shall maintain and operate it so as to preserve and continue its function in controlling stormwater quality and quantity at the degree or amount of function for which the Structural BMP was designed.

    (B) Annual Maintenance Inspection and Report

    The person responsible for maintenance of any Structural BMP installed pursuant to this Ordinance shall submit to the Stormwater Director an inspection report from a qualified registered North Carolina professional engineer, surveyor, or landscape architect performing services only in their area of competence. The inspection report shall contain all of the following:

      1. The name and address of the Owner;
      2. The recorded book and page number of the lot of each Structural BMP;
      3. A statement that an inspection was made of all Structural BMPs;
      4. The date the inspection was made;
      5. A statement that all inspected Structural BMPs are performing properly and are in compliance with the terms and conditions of the approved maintenance agreement required by this Ordinance; and
      6. The original signature and seal of the engineer, surveyor, or landscape architect.

    All inspection reports shall be on forms supplied by the Stormwater Director. An original inspection report shall be provided to the Stormwater Director beginning one year from the date of as-built certification and each year thereafter on or before the date of the as-built certification.


    (A) In General:

    Prior to the conveyance or transfer of any portion of a Development or Redevelopment to be served by a Stormwater Management System pursuant to this Ordinance, and prior to issuance of any permit for a Development or Redevelopment requiring a Stormwater Management System pursuant to this Ordinance, the Owner must execute an operation and maintenance agreement that shall be binding on all subsequent Owners of the whole or a portion of the Development or Redevelopmentserved by the Stormwater Management System. Until the transference of all property, sites, or lots served by the Stormwater Management System, the original Owner shall have primary responsibility for carrying out the provisions of the maintenance agreement. The operation and maintenance agreement shall require the Owner to maintain, repair and, if necessary, reconstruct the Stormwater Management System, and shall state the terms, conditions, and schedule of maintenance for the Stormwater Management System. In addition, it shall grant to the City a right of entry in the event that the Stormwater Director has reason to believe it has become necessary to inspect, monitor, maintain, repair, or reconstruct the Stormwater management System. However, in no case shall the right of entry confer an obligation on the City to assume responsibility for the Stormwater Management System. The operation and maintenance agreement must be approved by the Stormwater Director prior to plan approval, and it shall be referenced on the final plat and shall be recorded with the county Register of Deeds upon final plat approval. A copy of the recorded maintenance agreement shall be given to the Stormwater Director within 14 days following its recordation.

    (B) Special Requirement for Homeowners’ and Other Associations

    For all Stormwater Management Systems required pursuant to this Ordinance and that are to be or are owned and maintained by a homeowners’ association, property owners’ association, or similar entity, the required operation and maintenance agreement shall include the following provisions:

      1. Acknowledge that the association shall continuously operate and maintain the entire Stormwater Management System, even though the association is required to escrow funds based on the cost to construct, maintain, operate, repair and inspect only the Structural BMPs;
      2. Establish an escrow account, which shall be used to maintain, operate, repair inspect or reconstruct the Stormwater Management System;
      3. Prior to plat recordation or issuance of construction permits, whichever shall first occur, require the Owner to pay into the escrow account, at a minimum, an amount equal to fifteen (15) per cent of the initial construction cost of the Structural BMPs;
      4. Require the home owners association to contribute into the escrow account, at a minimum, an amount satisfactory to support the operation, maintenance and annual inspection of the Structural BMPs such that:
        1. Two-thirds (2/3) of the total amount required to fund the escrow account shall be deposited into the escrow account within the first five (5) years and the full amount shall be deposited within ten (10) years following initial construction of the Structural BMPs;
        2. The association shall allocate a portion of the association’s annual assessments to the escrow account; and
        3. Any funds drawn down from the escrow account shall be replaced in accordance with the schedule of anticipated work used to originally fund the escrow account;
      5. Grant to the City a right of entry to inspect, monitor, maintain, repair, and reconstruct Stormwater Management System;
      6. Allow the City to recover from the association and its members, any and all costs the City expends to maintain or repair the Stormwater Management, System, pursuant to Section 5, Enforcement and Violations, below;
      7. A statement that this agreement shall not obligate the City to maintain or repair any Stormwater Management System, and the City shall not be liable to any person for the condition or operation of Stormwater Management System;
      8. A statement that this agreement shall not in any way diminish, limit, or restrict the right of the City to enforce any of its ordinances as authorized by law; and
      9. A provision indemnifying and holding harmless the City for any costs and injuries or claims arising from or related to the Stormwater Management System, unless the City has agreed in writing to assume the maintenance responsibility for the Stormwater Management System and has accepted dedication of any and all rights necessary to carry out that maintenance.


    Inspections and inspection programs by the City may be conducted or established on any reasonable basis, including but not limited to routine inspections; random inspections; inspections based upon complaints or other notice of possible violations; and joint inspections with other agencies inspecting under environmental or safety laws. Inspections may include, but are not limited to, reviewing maintenance and repair records; sampling discharges, surface water, groundwater, and material or water in Structural BMPs; and evaluating the condition of Structural BMPs. If the Owner of any property refuses to permit such inspection, the Stormwater Director shall proceed to obtain an administrative search warrant pursuant to NCGS §15-27.2, or its successor. No person shall obstruct, hamper or interfere with the Stormwater Director while carrying out his official duties.


    The Owner of each Stormwater Management System shall keep records of inspections, maintenance, and repairs for at least five years from the date of creation of the record and shall submit the same upon reasonable request to the Stormwater Director.

    75-407 NUISANCES

    The Owner of each Stormwater Management System shall maintain it so as not to create or result in a nuisance condition.


    Every Stormwater Management System installed pursuant to this Ordinance shall be made accessible for adequate maintenance and repair by a maintenance easement. The easement shall be recorded and its terms shall specify who may make use of the easement and for what purposes.


    75-501 GENERAL

    (A) Authority to Enforce

    The provisions of this Ordinance shall be enforced by the Stormwater Director or any authorized agent of the City.

    (B) Violation Unlawful

    Any failure to comply with an applicable requirement, prohibition, standard, or limitation imposed by this Ordinance, or the terms or conditions of any permit or other Development or Redevelopment approval or authorization granted pursuant to this Ordinance, is unlawful and shall constitute a violation of this Ordinance.

    (C) Each Day a Separate Offense

    Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct violation or offense.

    (D) Responsible Persons/Entities

    Any person who erects, constructs, reconstructs, alters (whether actively or passively), or fails to erect, construct, reconstruct, alter, repair or maintain all or any portion of a Stormwater Management System in violation of this Ordinance shall be subject to the remedies, penalties, and/or enforcement actions in accordance with this section. Persons subject to the remedies and penalties set forth herein may include the Owner as well as any architect, engineer, builder, contractor, developer, agency, or any other person who has control over, the responsibility for, or the use of the property on which the violation occurs and who participates in, assists, directs, creates, causes, or maintains a condition that results in or constitutes a violation of this Ordinance, or fails to take appropriate action, so that a violation of this Ordinance results or persists.

    (E) Civil penalties and costs collected pursuant to this Ordinance shall be credited to the City’s stormwater enterprise fund.

    75-502 PROCEDURES

    (A) Initiation/Complaint.

    Whenever a violation of this Ordinance occurs, or is alleged to have occurred, any person may file a complaint. Such complaint shall state fully the alleged violation and the basis thereof, and shall be filed with the Stormwater Director, who shall record the complaint. The complaint shall be investigated promptly by the Stormwater Director.

    (B) Inspection.

    The Stormwater Director shall have the authority, upon presentation of proper credentials, to enter and inspect any land, building, structure, or premises to ensure compliance with this Ordinance.

    (C) Notice of Violation and Order to Correct.

    When the Stormwater Director finds that any building, structure, or land is in violation of this Ordinance, the Stormwater Director shall notify, in writing, the Owner and/or other person violating this Ordinance. The notification shall indicate the nature of the violation, contain the address or other description of the site upon which the violation is occurring, order the necessary action to abate the violation, and give a deadline for correcting the violation. If civil penalties are to be assessed, the notice of violation shall also contain a statement of the amount and basis for the civil penalties to be assessed, the time of their accrual, and the time within which they must be paid or be subject to collection as a debt. The Stormwater Director may deliver the notice of violation and correction order personally, by the local law enforcement, by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, or by any means authorized for the service of documents by Rule 4 of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. Refusal to accept the notice shall not relieve the violator of the obligations set forth herein. If a violation is not corrected within a reasonable period of time, as provided in the notification, the Stormwater Director may take appropriate action under this Ordinance to correct and abate the violation and to ensure compliance with this Ordinance.

    D) Extension of time. 

    A person who receives a notice of violation and correction order, or the owner, may submit to the stormwater director a written request for an extension of time for correction of the violation. On determining that the request includes enough information to show that the violation cannot be corrected within the specified time limit for reasons beyond the control of the person requesting the extension, the stormwater director may extend the time limit as is reasonably necessary to allow timely correction of the violation, up to, but not exceeding 60 days. The stormwater director may grant 30-day extensions in addition to the foregoing extension if the violation cannot be corrected within the permitted time due to circumstances beyond the control of the person violating this ordinance. The stormwater director shall grant an extension only by written notice of extension. The notice of extension shall state the date prior to which correction must be made, after which the violator will be subject to the penalties described in the notice of violation and correction order. 

    (E)  Enforcement after time to correct. 

    After the time has expired to correct a violation, including any extension(s) if authorized by the stormwater director, the stormwater director shall determine if the violation is corrected. If the violation is not corrected, the stormwater director may act to impose one or more of the remedies and penalties authorized by this ordinance. 

    (F) Emergency enforcement. 

    If delay in correcting a violation would seriously threaten the effective enforcement of this ordinance or pose an immediate danger to the public health, safety, or welfare, then the stormwater director may order the immediate cessation of a violation. Any person so ordered shall cease any violation immediately. The stormwater director may seek immediate enforcement, without prior written notice, through any remedy or penalty authorized by this article. 


    Code of Ordinances City of Winston-Salem, North Carolina