City of Newport News


The City of Newport News complies with the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act in order to protect the quality of water in the Bay. The Chesapeake Bay is one (1) of the most important and productive estuarine systems in the world, providing economic and social benefits to the citizens of Newport News and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Portions of Newport News are designated as Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas. The City of Newport News also has enacted a Stormwater Management Ordinance in order to both limit and manage the volume of stormwater runoff to control flood events and, through stormwater pollution control measures, to prevent degradation of the city's waterways. The City of Newport News 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 Newport News will only provide construction permits to projects that establish a plan to manage stormwater runoff occurring during the construction process. Stormwater fees will be collected by the City of Newport News and residential customers can qualify for credits by participating in hazardous waste recycling program. Businesses may also apply for stormwater fee adjustments. The City of Newport News, 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.

Stormwater Ordinance

Sec. 37.1-14. Service charge, billing, payment, interest, fee and lien.

(a)    The levied service charge shall be billed, due and payable in two (2) equal installments. The first (1st) installment shall be due on or before the fifth (5th) day of December and the second installment shall be due on or before the fifth (5th) day of June. Any parcel or dwelling unit owner who has remitted payment of the service charges and believes that it is incorrect may submit an adjustment request as provided for in this article.

(b)   The service charge is to be paid by the owner of each parcel or dwelling unit that is subject to the charge. The owner of each parcel or dwelling unit in the city, except undeveloped property, shall be mailed a statement for the stormwater service charges. The statements shall include a date by which payment shall be due. All statements shall be mailed at least thirty (30) days prior to the payment due date stated thereon. Payments received after the due date of the bill shall be subject to interest as established in this article.

(c)    The service charge due the city from property owners for stormwater management shall be based on the ERU rate of one hundred seventeen dollars ($117.00) per ERU per year. When applicable, the service charge shall be prorated at nine dollars and seventy-five cents ($9.75) per ERU per month.

(d)   Any bill which has not been paid by the due date shall be deemed delinquent. Unpaid service charges and accrued interest shall constitute a lien against the property, ranking on a parity with liens for unpaid taxes. All charges and interest due may be recovered by action at law and/or suit in equity. For delinquent charges, interest thereon shall commence on the first day of the month following the due date and shall accrue at the rate of ten (10) percent per annum until such time as the delinquent charges and accrued interest are paid.

(e)    When previously undeveloped properties are brought into the system or in the event of alterations or additions to developed multifamily property or developed other property that alter the amount of impervious surface and/or the number of dwelling units, a service charge will accrue as determined by the director:

  1. Upon substantial completion of the improvements; or
  2. In the event completion of the improvements is not diligently pursued, upon establishment of the impervious area or dwelling units that affect stormwater runoff. A statement will be issued and said charges will be prorated for the number months for which the parcel is subject to the service charge.

Sec. 37.1-15. Adjustment of service charge.

Adjustments:

(1)    The city recognizes that on-site stormwater control facilities and increased green area reduce peak stormwater runoff rates and the transport of pollutants. The city's stormwater management system is constructed and maintained for the benefit of everyone in the city. Each land owner in the city has an obligation to pay an equitable share of the stormwater management program costs. The partial waiver of service charges established in this section account for the efforts of individuals who install, operate and maintain a stormwater management facility that achieves a permanent reduction in stormwater flow or pollutant discharges. The amount of the waiver shall be based in part on the percentage reduction in stormwater flow or pollutant discharges, or both, from pre-installation to post-installation of the facility, as set for more fully below. No waiver shall be given to any person who does not obtain a stormwater permit from the department of conservation and recreation of the department of environmental quality when such permit is required by statute or regulations. The total maximum additive service charge adjustment shall be twenty-five (25) percent of the service charge for items contained in [subsections] (e)(2) and (e)(3).

(2)    a.    In order to be eligible and maintain eligibility for the following service charge adjustments, all of the following conditions shall be met:

  1. Applicant required to apply for and demonstrate to the satisfaction of the director that an adjustment is warranted;
  2. Service charge after adjustment shall be greater than one (1) ERU;
  3. Control facility shall be privately constructed, owned, operated and maintained;
  4. Control facility shall be covered under an on-going maintenance program approved by the director;
  5. Control facility shall be a permanent, on-site facility;
  6. Control facility shall operate at design efficiency;
  7. Service charge adjustment eligibility shall be certified by the owner and approved by the director every two (2) years; and
  8. Control facility shall be designed to meet or exceed the minimum criteria as established and maintained in writing by the director.

b.    Parcels utilizing stormwater control facilities that control the peak rate of discharge from a site in accordance with the following shall receive the service charge adjustment stated for the area controlled:

  1. Seventy-five (75) to one hundred (100) percent reduction in post development peak runoff rate—Fifteen (15) percent service charge adjustment;
  2. Fifty (50) to seventy-four (74) percent reduction in post development peak runoff rate—Ten (10) percent service charge adjustment; and
  3. Thirty (30) to forty-nine (49) percent reduction in post development peak runoff rate—Five (5) percent service charge adjustment.

c.     Parcels utilizing stormwater control facilities that provide structural stormwater pollution controls which serve at least eighty (80) percent of the developed portion of the site shall receive a service charge adjustment according to the following:

  1. Wet retention basin(s)—Fifteen (15) percent;
  2. Extended dry detention—Ten (10) percent; and
  3. Infiltration facilities—Five (5) percent.

(3)    In order to be eligible for the following service charge credits, all of the indicated conditions shall be met:

•  Applicant shall apply for and demonstrate to the satisfaction of the director that an adjustment is warranted; and

•  Service charge after adjustment shall be greater than one (1) ERU.

a.     Parcels providing green area (percentage shall be based upon the ratio of green area to developed area) shall receive the service charge adjustment specified as follows:

  1. Greater than ten (10) percent and up to and including twenty (20) percent green area—Five (5) percent; and
  2. Greater than twenty (20) percent of green area—Ten (10) percent.

b.    Parcels that are encumbered by a recorded public easement used exclusively for drainage purposes, the undeveloped area of which exceeds fifteen (15) percent of the parcel area with no portion of the encumbrance area being used to meet green area requirements or receive any other service charge adjustment, shall receive a one (1) percent service charge adjustment, not to exceed ten (10) percent of the service charge, for each one (1) percent of the easement area that exceeds fifteen (15) percent of the parcel area.

(4)    Service charge adjustments shall be given to parcels that meet the conditions established in [subsection] (e)(2)a. and for which a reduction in the city stormwater management program costs can be documented to the satisfaction of the director. This is a stand alone adjustment that will be considered separate and not added to any other service charge adjustment. Any such credit shall be awarded on the basis of a "betterment" test and the reduction in the city's stormwater management program costs. The total maximum credit for this adjustment shall be seventy (70) percent of the service charge.

(5)    A one hundred (100) percent service charge adjustment shall be granted upon approval of a request for those portions of parcels that are subject to and in compliance with the requirements of an individual federal or state industrial stormwater discharge permit, drain into a privately owned, operated and maintained storm drainage systems, and discharge directly into waters of the United States.

(6)    A fifteen (15) percent service charge adjustment off of the annual service charge shall be granted to the owners of developed, individually billed and owned residential property and dwelling units within multi-family residential property who provide evidence of participation in the household chemical collection program at least once in a billing year.

Sec. 37.1-22. Violations and penalties.

(a)    It shall be a violation of this article to:

  1. Discharge, or cause or allow to be discharged, sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes into the storm sewer system, or any component thereof, or onto driveways, sidewalks, parking lots or other areas draining to the storm sewer system;
  2. Connect, or cause or allow to be connected, any sanitary sewer to the storm sewer system, including any sanitary sewer connected to the storm sewer system as of the date of adoption of this article;
  3. Obstruct, block, divert, or otherwise alter the design capacity or specifications of any storm sewer system or to impede the efficient functioning of any storm sewer system without approval by the city manager, or designee; or
  4. Place, put, throw or deposit, or allow or cause to be placed, put, thrown or deposited, any limbs, leaves, wire mesh, compost, chips, construction debris, wood, or any other substance in the storm sewer system or in an area which drains into the storm sewer system.

(b)   The following activities shall not be considered a violation of this article.

  1. Water line flushing;
  2. Landscape irrigation;
  3. Diverting stream flows or rising groundwater;
  4. Public safety activities, including, but not limited to, law enforcement and fire suppression;
  5. Pumping of uncontaminated groundwater from potable water sources, foundation drains, irrigation waters, springs, or water from crawl spaces or footing drains;
  6. Lawn watering;
  7. Individual car washing on residential properties;
  8. Dechlorinated swimming pools discharges;
  9. Street washing;
  10. Any activity authorized by and in compliance with a valid Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) permit or Virginia Pollution Abatement (VPA) permit;
  11. Any activity by a governmental entity for the maintenance or repair of drinking water reservoirs or drinking water treatment or distribution systems; and
  12. Any activity by the city, its agents and employees, for the maintenance of lakes and other components of its stormwater management system.

(c)    A willful or knowing violation of the provisions of this article shall constitute a misdemeanor. Each day that a continuing violation of this article is maintained or permitted to remain shall constitute a separate offense.

(d)   Any person who, intentionally or otherwise, commits any of the acts prohibited by this article shall be liable to the city for all costs of containment, cleanup, abatement, removal and disposal of any substance unlawfully discharged into the storm sewer system.

(e)    Any person who, intentionally or otherwise, commits any of the acts prohibited by this article shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount not more than thirty two thousand five hundred dollars ($32,500.00) for each day that a violation of this article continues. Any civil penalties assessed by a court as a result of a summons issued by a locality as an approved VSMP authority shall be paid into the treasury of the city.

(f)    The city may bring legal action to enjoin the continuing violation of this article, and the existence of any other remedy, at law or in equity, shall be no defense to any such action.

(g)   The city manager, or designee, shall have authority to order that any activity found to be in violation of this article be stopped or conducted in such a manner as to avoid the discharge of sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes into the storm sewer system.

(h)    With the consent of any person who has violated or failed, neglected or refused to obey any ordinance, any condition of a permit, any order of the city, or any provision of this article, the city may provide, in an order issued against such person, for the payment of civil charges for violations in specific sums, not to exceed the limit specified in this section. Such civil charges shall be instead of any appropriate civil penalty that could be imposed under this section. Any civil charges collected shall be paid to the treasury of the city for the purpose of abating, preventing or mitigating environmental pollution.

(i)     The remedies set forth in this section shall be cumulative, not exclusive, and it shall not be a defense to any action, civil or criminal, that one (1) or more of the remedies set forth herein has been sought or granted.

Sec. 37.1-23. Inspections and monitoring.

The city manager, or designee, shall have authority to make such lawful inspections and conduct such monitoring of stormwater outfalls or other components of the storm sewer system as may be necessary or appropriate in the administration and enforcement of this article. The city may, at reasonable times and under reasonable circumstances, enter any establishment or upon any property, public or private, for the purpose of obtaining information or conducting surveys or investigations necessary in the enforcement of the provisions of this article. This authority shall apply only to those properties from which a discharge enters their municipal separate storm sewer.

Sec. 37.1-39. Maintenance.

(a)    Responsibility for the operation and maintenance of stormwater management facilities, unless assumed by a governmental agency, shall remain with the property owner and shall pass to any successor or owner. If portions of the land are to be sold, legally binding arrangements shall be made to pass the basic responsibility to successors in title. These arrangements shall designate for each parcel the property owner, governmental agency, or other legally established entity to be permanently responsible for maintenance. The documents prepared to accomplish the requirements of this subsection shall be reviewed and approved by the city attorney and be recorded in the land records.

(b)   In the case of developments where subdivision lots are to be sold, permanent arrangements satisfactory to the city manager, or designee, shall be made to insure continued performance of these obligations.

(c)    In the event that the stormwater management facilities are in need of maintenance or become a danger to public safety or public health, the property owner shall be notified in writing, advised of the corrective measures required, and given a reasonable period of time to take necessary action. If the property owner fails or refuses to perform such maintenance and repair, the city has the authority to perform the work and to recover the costs from the responsible person.

(d)   To ensure proper performance of the stormwater management facility between scheduled maintenance operations, the owner is responsible for inspecting the stormwater management facility on a semi-annual basis and after any storm which causes the capacity of the facility to be exceeded. All such inspection reports shall be appropriately sealed and signed by a professional registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia pursuant to Article 1 (§ 54.1-400 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia and submitted to the city manager, or designee, within thirty (30) days of the inspection.

(d)   Right-of-entry agreements or easements may be required from the applicant for purposes of inspection and maintenance by the city manager, or designee.

Sec. 37.1-40. Enforcement.

(a)    If it is determined that there is a failure to comply with the approved plan, notice shall be served upon the property owner by registered or certified mail to the address specified in the application or plan certification, or by delivery at the land development site to the agent or employee supervising such activities.

(b)   The notice shall specify the measures needed to comply with the plan and shall specify the time within which such measures shall be completed.

(c)    Upon failure to comply within the time specified, the permit or approval may be revoked and the property owner shall be deemed to be in violation of this article.

(d)   Any person who willfully or knowingly violates any provision of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to a fine or imprisonment for each violation, or both, as provided for in Section 62.1-44.15:49 of the Code of Virginia.

(e)    The city may apply to the circuit court to enjoin a violation or a threatened violation of this article as provided for in Sections 62.1-44.15:42 and 62.1-44.15:49 of the Code of Virginia without the necessity of showing that an adequate remedy at law does not exist.

(f)    Without limiting the remedies which may be obtained in this section, the city may bring a civil action against any person for violation of this article, or any condition of the permit or approval, or any provision of the local program. The action may seek to impose of a civil penalty of not more than thirty-two thousand five hundred dollars ($32,500.00) per day for each violation as provided for in Section 62.1-44.15:49 of the Code of Virginia.

(g)   With the consent of any person who has violated or failed, neglected or refused to obey this article or any condition of the permit or approval or any provision of the local program, the city may issue an order against or to such person for the payment of civil charges for violations in specific sums not to exceed the limit specified in subsection (f) of this section as provided for in Section 62.1-44.15:49 of the Code of Virginia. Such civil charges shall be instead of any appropriate civil penalty which could be imposed under subsection (f).

ARTICLE V. CHESAPEAKE BAY PRESERVATION

Sec. 37.1-49. Areas of applicability.

(a)    The general location of resource protection areas, resource management areas, and industrial waterfront and residential intensely developed areas are shown on the designated map adopted by city council. The map, together with all explanatory matter thereon, as adopted by the city council shall be a part of this article.

(1)    The components of a resource protection area are:

  • Tidal wetlands;
  • Nontidal wetlands which are connected by surface flow and contiguous to tidal wetlands or water bodies with perennial flow;
  • Tidal shores; and
  • A buffer area not less than one hundred (100) feet in width, located adjacent to and landward of the components listed in subsections a. through c. above, and along both sides of any water body with perennial flow. The full buffer area shall be designated as the landward component of the resource protection area notwithstanding the presence of permitted uses, encroachments and permitted vegetation clearing in compliance with section 37.1-51

(2)    The components of a resource management area shall consist of all lands within one hundred (100) feet landward of the landward boundary of the resource protection area buffer and in addition includes all land containing slopes greater than fifteen (15) percent, all areas within the one hundred (100) year floodplain and highly erodible soils. Council may designate other lands it deems important to maintenance of water quality as resource management area.

(3)    Industrial waterfront intensely developed areas (IWIDAs) are those portions of Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas so designated by the city council because of the intensity of industrial land uses located along the shoreline that are characterized by an absence of natural environmental features and a preponderance of impervious surface and bulkheaded or riprapped shoreline.

Industrial waterfront IDAs are areas further characterized as areas where little of the natural environment remains and development has severely altered the natural state of the area.

(b)   The Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Map is hereby declared to delineate the general location of Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas. Site specific delineation of Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas shall be required as provided in section 37.1-50. The city manager, or designee, shall have the final authority in cases of uncertainty to determine the extent of these areas by application of criteria set forth in this section.

Sec. 37.1-57. Enforcement.

(a)    Any person who violates any of the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00). Each day's continuance of such violation shall constitute a separate offense.

(b)   Any person who: (i) violates any provision of this article or (ii) violates or fails, neglects, or refuses to obey any final notice, order, rule, regulation or variance or permit condition authorized under such chapter shall, upon such finding by an appropriate circuit court, be assessed a civil penalty not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) for each day of violation. Such civil penalties may, at the discretion of the court assessing them, be directed to be paid into the treasury of the city for the purpose of abating environmental damage to or restoring Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas therein, in such a manner as the court may direct by order.

(c)    With the consent of any person who: (i) violates any provision of this article related to the protection of water quality in Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas or (ii) violates or fails, neglects, or refuses to obey any notice, order, rule, regulation, or variance or permit condition authorized under such chapter, the city may provide for the issuance of an order against such person for the one-time payment of civil charges for each violation in specific sums, not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) for each violation. Such civil charges shall be paid into the treasury of the city for the purpose of abating environmental damage to or restoring Chesapeake Bay Preservation Areas therein. Civil charges shall be in lieu of any appropriate civil penalty that could be imposed under subsection (b) of this section. Civil charges may be in addition to the cost of any restoration required or ordered by the city.

Stormwater Management Service Charge

 The City of Newport News Stormwater Management program is funded by a stormwater management service charge.  This service charge is based on the amount of impervious surface on a developed piece of land.  For example, a single-family residence in the city of Newport News has an average impervious area of 1,777 square feet.  This average, known as an Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU), is used to determine the monthly stormwater charge.

§  Owners of each single-family residence are charged for one ERU at the rate of $9.75 per month ($117.00 per year).

§  Multi-family residences have less impervious area per residence, so these owners are charged for $4.10 per month ($49.20 per year).

§  Business and commercial property owners are charged based on the amount of impervious area on their property as compared to the ERU.

    To calculate the stormwater fee for a commercial property, divide the square feet of impervious surface by 1,777 and multiply the result by $58.50.  Commercial properties are then billed for this amount twice per year.

For example, a commercial property with 20,000 square feet of impervious surface would be billed for $1316.26 per year (20,000 ft2/1,777 ft2=11.25, 11.25 x $58.50=$658.13, $658.13 x 2=$1316.26).  This system is designed to charge owners of developed property based on their contribution of stormwater runoff.

Supplemental documents:

Newsport News Ordinance 

Newport News Chesapeake Bay Preservation 

Newport News Stormwater Management Page

State of Virginia Documents:

Stormwater Management Website

Virginia Stormwater Management Handbook