The City Council Monday took the first step toward adopting new development stormwater standards required by a federal Clean Water Act permit, directing staff to prepare code revisions that would apply to all construction projects.
Bellevue, along with most other Western Washington municipalities, is required to adopt new development stormwater standards by Aug. 15, as part of a Clean Water Act municipal stormwater permit to minimize stormwater pollution. More stringent stormwater codes are expected to reduce flooding and increase stream protection.
Under the stormwater permit, cities are required to adopt the state Department of Ecology’s 2005 Manual stormwater standards for development, redevelopment and construction projects disturbing one or more acres.
For projects disturbing less than one acre, cities have the option to adopt the state standards or retain existing ones. The council chose to adopt the state standards, resulting in one citywide standard for all projects, regardless of size.
Council members expressed concern at the meeting that the new stormwater standards could impact developers by increasing costs of smaller development projects. City staff pointed out the small percentage of projects potentially impacted and that costs could be reduced by choosing various site designs, such as minimizing impervious surfaces, preserving native vegetation and using natural drainage practices.
The city will revise development codes to comply with the new standards and bring the issue back to council for a vote in early August.
Feedback: Phyllis Varner, Utilities NPDES Permit Coordinator, 425-452-7683, firstname.lastname@example.org
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