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    County of Beaufort

    Excerpt from Code of Ordinances Chapter 99 Stormwater Management

    Sec. 99-104. - Limitation of scope of responsibility.

    The purpose and responsibility of the stormwater management utility shall be limited by the following legal and practical considerations:

    1. Beaufort County owns or has legal access for purposes of operation, maintenance and improvement only to those stormwater systems and facilities which:
      1. Are located within public streets, other rights-of-way, and easements;
      2. Are subject to easements, rights-of-entry, rights-of-access, rights-of-use, or other permanent provisions for adequate access for operation, maintenance, monitoring, and/or improvement of systems and facilities; or
      3. Are located on public lands to which the county has adequate access for operation, maintenance, and/or improvement of systems and facilities.
    2. Operation, maintenance, and/or improvement of stormwater systems and facilities which are located on private property or public property not owned by Beaufort County and for which there has been no public dedication of such systems and facilities for operation, maintenance, monitoring, and/or improvement of the systems and facilities shall be and remain the legal responsibility of the property owner, except as that responsibility may be otherwise affected by the laws of the State of South Carolina and the United States of America.

    3. It is the express intent of this article to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of all properties and persons in general, but not to create any special duty or relationship with any individual person or to any specific property within or outside the boundaries of the county. Beaufort County expressly reserves the right to assert all available immunities and defenses in any action seeking to impose monetary damages upon the county, its officers, employees and agents arising out of any alleged failure or breach of duty or relationship as may now exist or hereafter be created.

    4. To the extent any permit, plan approval, inspection or similar act is required by the county as a condition precedent to any activity or change upon property not owned by the county, pursuant to this or any other regulatory ordinance, regulation, or rule of the county or under federal or state law, the issuance of such permit, plan approval, or inspection shall not be deemed to constitute a warranty, express or implied, nor shall it afford the basis for any action, including any action based on failure to permit or negligent issuance of a permit, seeking the imposition of money damages against the county, its officers, employees, or agent.( Ord. No. 2015/24, 9-28-2015 Ord. No. 2021/04, 1-11-2021 Ord. No. 2022/02 , 1-10-2022)

    Sec. 99-113. - Enforcement and penalties.

    Any person who violates any provision of this article may be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $1,000.00, or such additional maximum amount as may become authorized by state law, provided the owner or other person deemed to be in violation has been notified of a violation. Notice shall be deemed achieved when sent by regular United States mail to the last known address reflected on the county tax records, or such other address as has been provided by the person to the county. Each day of a continuing violation may be deemed a separate violation. If payment is not received or equitable settlement reached within 30 days after demand for payment is made, a civil action may be filed on behalf of the county in the circuit court to recover the full amount of the penalty. This provision on penalties shall be in addition to and not in lieu of other provisions on penalties, civil or criminal, remedies and enforcement that may otherwise apply.

    Sec. 99-305. - Maintenance; general requirements.

    1. Function of BMPs as intended. The owner of each structural BMP installed pursuant to this article shall maintain and operate it 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.
    2. Right of county to inspection. Every structural BMP installed pursuant to this article shall be made accessible for adequate inspection by the county.
    3. Annual maintenance inspection and report. The person responsible for maintenance of any structural BMP installed pursuant to this article shall submit to the administrator(s) an inspection report from a registered South Carolina Professional Engineer. The inspection report, at a minimum, shall contain all of the following:
      1. The name and address of the land owner;
      2. The recorded book and page number of the lot of each structural BMP or a digital representation of the geographic location 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 comply with the terms and conditions of the approved maintenance agreement required by this article;
      6. The original signature and seal of the engineer inspecting the structural BMPs; and
      7. Digital photographs of the structural BMPs and pertinent components integral to its operation, including, but not limited to, inlet/outlet control structures, downstream receiving channel/area, embankments and spillways, safety features, and vegetation.

    An original inspection report shall be provided to the administrators beginning one year from the date of final inspection of the completed structural BMP and each year thereafter on or before the date of the record drawings certification.

    Ord. No. 2016/38 , 10-24-2016; Ord. No. 2021/04 , 1-11-2021; Ord. No. 2022/02 , 1-10-2022)

    Sec. 99-306. - Operation and maintenance agreement.

    1. Prior to the conveyance or transfer of any lot or building site requiring a structural BMP pursuant to this article, the applicant or owner of the site must execute an operation and maintenance agreement (see BMP manual for form) that shall be binding on all subsequent owners of the site, portions of the site, and lots or parcels served by the structural BMP. Until the transference of all property, sites, or lots served by the structural BMP, the original owner or applicant shall have primary responsibility for carrying out the provisions of the maintenance agreement.
    2. The operation and maintenance agreement must be approved by the administrators 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. If no subdivision plat is recorded for the site, then the operations and maintenance agreement shall be recorded upon the approval of a certificate of completion with the county register of deeds to appear in the chain of title of all subsequent purchasers under generally accepted searching principles. A copy of the recorded maintenance agreement shall be given to the administrators within 14 days following its recordation.

    Ord. No. 2016/38 , 10-24-2016; Ord. No. 2021/04 , 1-11-2021; Ord. No. 2022/02 , 1-10-2022)

    Sec. 99-308. - Records of installation and maintenance activities.

    The owner of each structural BMP shall keep records of inspections, maintenance, and repairs for at least five years from the date of the record and shall submit the same upon reasonable request to the administrator(s).

    Ord. No. 2016/38 , 10-24-2016; Ord. No. 2021/04 , 1-11-2021; Ord. No. 2022/02 , 1-10-2022)


    Code of Ordinances for Beaufort County, SC

    Beaufort County Stormwater Website