City of Columbus


The City of Columbus, Georgia is in compliance with the federal Clean Water Act. The City of Columbus 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 Columbus will only provide construction permits to projects that establish a plan to manage stormwater runoff occurring during the construction process. The City of Columbus, 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 Columbus has the authority to inspect these stormwater facilities or practices to ascertain that they are being maintained properly.

INSPECTION AND ENFORCEMENT

1. Investigations. The Director of Planning, the Director of Engineering, the Director of Inspections and Code Enforcement and the City Arborist, independently and separately, shall have the power to conduct such investigations as may be reasonably deemed necessary to assure or compel compliance with the requirements and provisions of these this UDO under their respective administrative roles.

2. Entry onto Property. Each Enforcement Officer and their designees shall have the authority to enter at reasonable times upon any property for the purpose of investigation and inspection.

Entry for Purposes of Inspection. The entry or access to any property by an authorized representative or agent of the City, the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission, the Soil and Water Conservation District, or the Georgia Environmental Protection Division shall not be refused by any person for the purposes of inspection, and who presents appropriate credentials, nor shall any person obstruct, hamper or interfere with any such representative while in the process of carrying out his or her official duties.

Violation of Soil Erosion or Sedimentation Provisions.

Any violation of the provisions of these development regulations adopted pursuant to the Georgia Erosion and Sedimentation Act of 1975, as amended, shall be subject to the penalties or fines listed below.

Civil Monetary Penalties. Soil erosion or sedimentation violations shall be subject to a civil penalty assessed and collected by the City.

1. Maximum Penalty.

(A) Any person who violates any provisions of this UDO adopted pursuant to the Georgia Erosion and Sedimentation Act of 1975, as amended, or permit condition or limitation established pursuant to this ordinance or who negligently or intentionally fails or refuses to comply with any final or emergency order of the Engineering Director issued as provided in this UDO shall be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000.00 per day.

(B) For the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this UDO, notwithstanding any provisions in any City charter to the contrary, municipal courts or recorder's court shall be authorized to impose a penalty not to exceed $1,000.00 for each violation. Notwithstanding any limitation of law as to penalties which can be assessed for violations of county ordinances, any magistrate's court, recorder's court or any other court of competent jurisdiction trying cases brought as violations under this Section shall be authorized to impose penalties for such violations not to exceed $1,000.00 for each violation.

2. Separate Offense. Each day the violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.

LINKS:

Columbus Stormwater Management Program 2017-2022

Columbus Code of Ordinance