City of Bellevue


The City of Bellevue 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 Bellevue 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 Bellevue will only provide construction permits to projects that establish a plan to manage stormwater runoff occurring during the construction process. The City of Bellevue, 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 Bellevue  has the authority to inspect stormwater facilities and practices in order to ascertain that they are properly maintained and functioning.

Excerpt from Bellevue Municipal Code

CHAPTER 24.06 STORM AND SURFACE WATER UTILITY CODE

24.06.015 Purpose.

This code is enacted as an exercise of the city of Bellevue’s (“city”) police power as set forth in section 11 of the Washington Constitution. The purpose of this code shall be liberally construed to:

A. Provide for the planning, security, design, construction, use, maintenance, repair and inspection of public and private storm and surface water systems;

B. Establish programs and regulations to assure the quality of the water, to preserve the integrity of the storm and surface water system, and to minimize the chance of flooding;

C. Protect the public interest in drainage and related functions;

D. Protect receiving waters or waters of the state from pollution, mechanical damage, excessive flows and other conditions, which may increase erosion, turbidity, or other forms of pollution, which reduce flow or which degrade the environment;

E. Comply with the requirements of local, state, and federal law, including the national pollutant discharge elimination system (“NPDES”) permit for municipal stormwater discharges;

F. Protect the functions and values of critical areas as required under the state’s Growth Management Act, Shoreline Management Act, and Part 20.25H LUC;

G. Provide for the enforcement of the provisions of this code, the engineering standards and related city manuals and code provisions; and

H. Provide for and promote the health, safety and welfare of the general public and not to create, establish, or designate any particular class or group of persons who may be especially protected or benefitted. (Ord. 5905 § 1, 2009.)

24.06.020 Applicability and compliance with other laws.

A. This code supplements and references certain provisions of Chapter 23.76 BCC, BCC Title 20, Chapter 1.18 BCC, and other city ordinances and regulations regarding protection of the storm and surface water system.

B. Approvals, decisions, and permits granted under this code are not waivers of the requirements of any other laws, nor do they indicate compliance with any other laws. Compliance is still required with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

C. Compliance with the provisions of this code, the engineering standards, permits or other approvals, rules promulgated by the director, or in manuals published by the Washington State Department of Ecology do not necessarily mitigate all impacts to the environment. The primary obligation for compliance with such regulations and standards is prevention of environmental harm, which ultimately is placed upon property owners and responsible parties as defined in this code and Chapter 1.18 BCC. (Ord. 5905 § 1, 2009.)

24.06.045 Authority of the utility.

The utility, by and through its director or his designee, including enforcement officers, shall have the authority to:

A. Develop, adopt, and carry out procedures as needed to implement this code, engineering standards and related manuals, and to carry out other responsibilities of the utility, including, but not limited to, procedures pertaining to the billing and collection of monthly drainage charges and procedures for periodic adjustment of fees and charges imposed pursuant to this code;

B. Prepare, adopt, update, administer and enforce as needed engineering standards to establish requirements for the design and construction of drainage facilities and requirements for protecting existing facilities during construction. The engineering standards shall be consistent with this code and adopted city policies;

C. Administer and enforce this code and all procedures and standards relating to the planning, acquisition, security, design, construction and inspection of new storm and surface water systems and any alterations thereof;

D. Enter into any contract pursuant to Chapter 35.91 RCW, the Municipal Water and Sewer Facilities Act, including contracts which provide for the reimbursement of owners constructing facilities (latecomer agreements) and agreements with private property owners for the extension of the drainage system (utility developer extension agreements);

E. Prepare, adopt, update, administer and enforce as needed maintenance standards to establish requirements for the maintenance of drainage facilities so they function as intended, protect water quality and provide flood control;

F. Develop and implement programs (including the private drainage inspection program), that administer, inspect, and enforce private storm and surface water systems to ensure continued compliance with provisions of this code. This program may include a requirement that property owners obtain third party inspections and certification of private systems and/or facility conditions, required maintenance, and system and/or facility performance;

G. Advise the city council, city manager, other city departments, and commissions on matters relating to the utility;

H. Prepare, revise as needed, recommend and implement a storm and surface water comprehensive plan for adoption by the city council. Prepare other planning studies as appropriate;

I. Coordinate development of a city-wide stormwater management program, as required by state and/or federal agencies, for review and adoption by the city council;

J. Establish and implement programs to protect and maintain water quality and to manage stormwater runoff within the storm and surface water system in order to maintain compliance to the maximum extent practicable with applicable water quality standards established by state and/or federal agencies;

K. Perform or direct the performance of financial review and analysis of the utility’s revenues, expenses, indebtedness, rates and accounting and recommend budgets, rates and financial policy for adoption by the city council;

L. Carry out such other responsibilities as required by this code or other city codes, ordinances or regulations consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan and the storm and surface water comprehensive plan;

M. Conduct public education programs related to protection and enhancement of the storm and surface water system;

N. Develop and implement a program that includes administration, inspection and enforcement of new provisions or modifications to this code relating to the storm and surface water system for activities listed under BCC 24.06.060 and 24.06.065 to ensure continued compliance of storm and surface water systems with the provisions of this code. Repair and/or replacement of private drainage facilities in kind are exempt from this program unless applicable under other portions of the code;

O. Enter into, to the extent allowed by law, an agreement with property owners for said owner to voluntarily contribute funds toward the construction of one or more drainage facilities that mitigate the impacts to the same receiving waters that have been identified as a consequence of the proposed new development or redevelopment;

P. Enforce the applicable provisions of this code should the director determine that a discharge from a site, real property, or storm and surface water system has exceeded, exceeds, or will exceed water quality standards at the point of assessment, or has caused or contributed, is causing or contributing, or will cause or contribute to a prohibited discharge or a known or likely known violation of water quality standards in the receiving water or a known or likely known violation of the city’s municipal stormwater NPDES permit, and cannot be adequately addressed by the required best management practices;

Q. Take enforcement action, to the extent allowed by law pursuant to Chapter 1.18 BCC;

R. Develop and implement an illicit discharge detection and elimination system program (IDDE) for storm and surface water systems;

S. Direct authorized representatives of the utility or enforcement officers to enter private property consistent with the provisions contained in BCC 24.06.130 for inspections, tests, or to carry out other duties imposed by this code;

T. Direct authorized representatives of the utility or enforcement officers to take necessary abatement action during an emergency situation, to conduct inspections, take remedial action, or to carry out other duties imposed or required by this code subject to the provisions of Chapter 1.18 BCC;

U. Develop drainage basin plans pursuant to BCC 24.06.140;

V. Prepare and update an emergency plan as required by state law, as part of the city’s emergency operation plan; and

W. Rely, reference, and condition projects during development review with compliance of other applicable chapters of the Bellevue city code not otherwise contained in this code, including but not limited to BCC Title 20 and Chapters 1.18 and 23.76 BCC. (Ord. 5905 § 1, 2009.)

24.06.065 Minimum requirements for new development and redevelopment.

A. Applicability.

1. The minimum requirements (MRs) contained in this section shall apply to new development, redevelopment, and construction activities that result in land disturbing activity or otherwise meet the thresholds defined herein; and

2. In addition to the minimum requirements of this section, property owners shall comply with all applicable provisions contained in the Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington (2005), engineering standards, Chapter 23.76 BCC (Clearing and Grading Code), BCC Title 20, and any other applicable codes or standards.

24.06.070 Additional requirements for new development and redevelopment.

The following additional requirements supplement the minimum requirements contained in BCC 24.06.060 and 24.06.065 and the engineering standards, and apply to all development or redevelopment activity subject to utility approval, regardless of whether such activity is subject to BCC 24.06.065.

A. General.

1. The property owner is responsible for the drainage design and performance of their private drainage facilities;

2. The drainage designer used by the property owner shall be a civil engineer licensed in the state of Washington, provided this requirement does not apply to single-family development or redevelopment that does not require a utility developer extension agreement per BCC 24.06.060(C);

3. Subject to approval by the utility, the property owner may contribute an equitable cost share, as determined by the director, to runoff-control or runoff-treatment facilities that serve multiple sites in lieu of providing such facility(s) on site; and

4. The utility may impose, on any development or redevelopment, requirements that differ from the requirements of this section based on adopted basin plans or other studies adopted by the city council; provided, that such alternative requirements provide an equal or greater level of protection than the requirements of this section.

B. Site Drainage.

1. All development and redevelopment shall provide for the control of stormwater runoff so as to minimize impact to downstream properties;

2. The property owner shall maintain natural drainage patterns and discharge drainage in a manner and location that existed prior to undertaking land/runoff altering activities, to the maximum extent practicable, unless the utility determines alterations would be beneficial and would not cause adverse impacts. The utility may require the property owner to complete an off-site capacity analysis per subsection D of this section;

3. Drainage that originates within a building or structure shall be discharged to the sanitary sewer;

4. For conveyance to a public or private surface water system, the property owner shall:

    1. Accept and convey existing stormwater runoff from upstream properties;
    2. Downstream property shall receive and convey waters that are historically tributary to such property;
    3. Use gravity conveyance, unless downslope conditions make gravity systems not feasible according to criteria in the engineering standards;
    4. Extend drainage conveyance to the extremes of the property being developed or redeveloped when the utility determines such extension is needed for the orderly extension of the drainage system;
    5. Design conveyance that, in conjunction with runoff control pursuant to flow control (MR7) requirements contained in BCC 24.06.065(E)(7), accommodates runoff from a 100-year, 24-hour storm, using methods contained in the engineering standards; and
    6. Ensure that improvements do not reduce or constrict the conveyance capacity or storage volume of existing drainage systems, including natural streams;

5. Drainage pipe setbacks shall originate from other utilities, structures, and buildings, and structures and buildings shall be set back from existing pipes, as required by the engineering standards; and

6. Regardless of whether the development or redevelopment requires city approval or review, the city is not liable for any impact, should it occur to downstream properties from runoff or for any impact to adjacent or downstream properties from natural drainage patterns and discharge.

24.06.105 Maintenance of drainage facilities.

A. Maintenance Responsibility.

  1. The utility shall maintain public drainage facilities;
  2. Property Owners of private drainage facilities, including but not limited to detention facilities, runofff treatment facilities and conveyance facilities, are responsible for the operation and maintenance of those facilities;
  3. In new subdivisions and short plats, maintenance responsibility for private drainage facilities shall be specified on the recorded subdivision or short plat or in a separately recorded document;
  4. If a private drainage facility serves multiple lots and the responsibility for maintenance has not been specified on the subdivision plat, short plat or other legal document, maintenance responsibility shall rest with the homeowners association, if one exists, or otherwise with the properties served by the facility, or, finally, with the owners of the property on which the facilities are located;

B. Maintenance Standards. Drainage facilities shall be maintained so that they operate as intended.

Maintenance shall be in accordance with the utility’s maintenance standards and in accordance with the project operation and maintenance manual, if one was prepared. (Ord. 5905 § 1, 2009.)

24.06.130 Code violations, enforcement, and penalties.

The enforcement procedures and penalties associated with violations of this code are set forth in BCC 1.18.075. (Ord. 5905 § 1, 2009.)

24.06.135 Right of entry for inspection.

A. An authorized representative of the utility may enter private property at all reasonable times to conduct inspections, tests or to carry out other duties imposed by the code, provided the utility shall first notify the proper owner or person responsible for the premises. If entry is refused, the director shall have recourse to every remedy provided by law to secure entry.

B. For inspection programs authorized by BCC 24.06.045, the utility may provide advance mailings of its intent to inspect properties consistent with such inspection programs; provided the utility receives no objection from the property owner, the city may inspect private facilities consistent with the terms provided in the advance mailings. (Ord. 5905 § 1, 2009.)

City of Bellevue Stormwater Resources

Bellevue Municipal Code- Chapter 24.06: Storm and Surface Water Utility Code

City of Bellevue Stormwater Page

City of Bellevue Stormwater Management Guide