City of Rockville / County of Montgomery


In December 1999, the EPA promulgated NPDES Phase II stormwater requirements.   As a result, many of the localities and State and federal agencies not permitted under Phase I were required to obtain NPDES permit coverage under the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). Approximately 60 cities and towns in Maryland with populations greater than 1,000 have been designated for coverage by EPA or the MDE.  Each Phase II municipality is required to implement the following six minimum measures: public education and outreach; public participation and involvement; illicit discharge detection and elimination; construction site runoff control; post-construction runoff control; and pollution prevention/good housekeeping. Implementation of these minimum control measures will help efforts toward improving the quality of Maryland’s streams, rivers, and Chesapeake Bay through the continued improvement of stormwater management and erosion and sediment control programs; the removal of illicit discharges; and public education.

MDE has issued an NPDES permit to the City of Rockville to control storm drain system pollutant discharges. MDE has drafted a permit designed to comply with the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulations and to control stormwater pollutant discharges from the County’s storm drain system. The permit is issued for five years.

Under the conditions of the permit, the City of Rockville is required to possess the legal authority to control storm drain system pollutants, continue mapping its storm sewer system, monitor stormwater discharges, and develop and implement comprehensive management programs. The permit also requires increases in impervious area treatment goals, the development of litter control programs, and the implementation of environmental site design for new and redevelopment projects to the maximum extent practicable. The City is also required to develop and implement plans to address stormwater waste load allocations established under EPA approved total maximum daily loads. Penalties for failure to comply with the terms of the permit are provided.

City of Rockville Stormwater Ordinance

Sec. 19-1. - Purpose and authority.

(a)        The purpose of this chapter is to protect, maintain and enhance the public health, safety and general welfare by establishing minimum requirements, procedures and maintenance responsibilities that control the adverse impacts associated with increased sedimentation and stormwater runoff as a result of grading and other land disturbing activities. Proper management of development-related stormwater runoff and construction-related erosion will work towards restoring, enhancing and maintaining the chemical, physical and biological integrity of streams and other natural resources minimize damage to public and private property and reduce the impacts of land development.

(b)        This chapter requires the maintenance of predevelopment runoff characteristics of land after development and the reduction of stream channel erosion, pollution, siltation and sedimentation and flooding, which will be achieved by identifying and assessing the natural characteristics on a site and then using sediment and erosion control measures and environmental site design (ESD) to the maximum extent practicable (MEP) and appropriate structural stormwater management practices when necessary. It contains specific policies and procedures that require the consideration of sediment control measures at the earliest stages in the planning process and the integration of sediment control and stormwater management measures into the development program.

(c)        This chapter satisfies the minimum requirements of Ann. Code of Md., Environment Article, Title 4, Subtitles 1 and 2, pertaining to erosion and sediment control and stormwater management.

(d)       This chapter will assist in meeting the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) and other local water body TMDLs as required by the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. Section 1251 et seq. and preserving water quality within the City.

(e)        This chapter will assist in minimizing soil erosion and preventing off-site sedimentation by using erosion and sediment control practices designed in accordance with the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 26.17.01, the 2011 Maryland Standards and Specifications (Standards and Specifications) and the Stormwater Management Act of 2007 (Act).

(f)        The provisions of this chapter pursuant to Ann. Code of Md., Environment Article, Title 4, Subtitle 1, are adopted under the authority of the Rockville City Code and will apply to all land disturbing activities occurring within City. The application of this chapter and the provisions expressed herein will be the minimum requirements and will not be deemed a limitation or repeal of any other powers granted by State statute. This chapter establishes a system of charges in accordance with Ann. Code of Md., Environment Article, § 4-204(d), to adequately and equitably finance the City's stormwater management, storm drainage and water resources programs.

(Ord. No. 19-12, 12-17-12)

ARTICLE II. - COMPLIANCE MONITORING AND ENFORCEMENT

DIVISION 1. - COMPLIANCE MONITORING

Sec. 19-7. - Inspections.

(a)        All work performed pursuant to a permit issued under this chapter will be periodically inspected for compliance with the terms and conditions of the permit, approved plans and supporting documents, this chapter and the regulations. The inspection will be performed by the Department.

(b)        The Department may, after proper identification, enter any property, public or private, to assess compliance with the requirements of this chapter, including a review of standards, permit conditions, construction inspections and maintenance requirements.

(c)        The Department may, at any time, after reasonable identification considering the circumstances, enter any property in emergency situations where the Department determines there is imminent substantial endangerment.

(d)       The owner must allow the Department ready access to all parts of the property for the purposes of observation, inspection, sampling and examination and copying of records relating to compliance with this chapter or any permit issued thereunder.

(e)        If the owner withholds or withdraws consent to enter or remain on private property, the Department may obtain an administrative or criminal search warrant, as may be applicable, from a court with jurisdiction to authorize such entry. Entry may be made without a search warrant where there are conditions on the premises that the Department determines represent imminent substantial endangerment or such other exigent circumstances exist that justify a warrantless search under the law.

(f)        Any temporary or permanent obstruction that in whole or in part prevents reasonable access to a public or private property to be inspected for compliance with this chapter must be promptly removed by, and at the expense of, the owner upon the written or verbal request of the Department and may not be replaced.

(g)        The Department may develop procedures, guidance and forms governing compliance monitoring.

(Ord. No. 19-12, 12-17-12)

DIVISION 2. - ENFORCEMENT RESPONSES, CORRECTIVE ACTIONS AND PENALTIES

Sec. 19-11. - Violations.

(a)   The following are violations of this chapter:

  1.   Failure to comply with any provision of this chapter or the regulations.
  2.   Failure to comply with, or significant deviation from, the terms or conditions of any issued permits.
  3.   Failure to comply with, or significant deviation from, any plans approved pursuant to this chapter.
  4.   Failure to comply with any executed agreements.
  5.   Failure to inspect SWM systems.
  6.   Failure to maintain SWM systems.
  7.   Failure to comply with the terms of any order, notice of violation, inspection report, or directive of the Department to stop work, to take corrective action, or pay fines.
  8.   Any person who makes a false statement or report to the Department will be deemed to have committed a separate violation of this chapter for each such false statement or report.
  9.   Creation of an imminent substantial endangerment to human health, safety or the environment.

(b)   Each day that a violation continues constitutes a separate and repeat violation.

(c)   Unless otherwise provided, a violation of this chapter constitutes a municipal infraction for which a municipal infraction citation may be issued under section 1-9 of the Code.

(d)   The Department will issue written notification of any violations to the owner, responsible personnel, applicant or other appropriate person, which describes the nature of the violation and any required action.

(e)   The Department may require additional engineering design or construction to bring the violations into compliance with the requirements of this chapter, the regulations or any permit issued thereunder.

(Ord. No. 19-12, 12-17-12)

Sec. 19-12. - Enforcement.

(a)   When a violation of this chapter is identified, the City may, in its sole discretion, take any or all of the following actions against the person causing the violation:

(1)   Issue any or all of the following administrative orders and fines:

a.     Abatement order to the person responsible for a violation to abate and eliminate the violation at the person's own expense and to the satisfaction of the City.

b.    Stop work order requiring all construction, business operation and other activities relating to the violation to be halted until the violation is corrected to the satisfaction of the City.

c.     Compliance order establishing a specific schedule for achieving compliance with monitoring and sampling requirements, management practices, pollution prevention practices, watershed improvements, treatment approaches, the abatement of pollution, the repair of any damage to Rockville infrastructure, monitoring requirements and other corrective actions established in the order as the Department deems necessary and to the satisfaction of the Department. Any records, including sampling results, measurements, photos, videos and other documentation required to be generated by the compliance order must be retained and made available to the Department upon request for a period of no less than three (3) years.

d.    An administrative fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) per violation per day.

e.     The issuance of any administrative order or fine under this section does not relieve liability for any previous or continuing violations. Further, the issuance of an administrative order or fine will not bar the Department from pursuing additional actions against a person in violation of this chapter.

f.     The City Manager may deny, suspend or revoke any permit issued under this chapter and any other permit related to the activity resulting in the violation or to the site on which the violation is occurring, until all violations are corrected to the satisfaction of the City, and may stop work and cease any and all inspections.

g.    The City Manager may withhold bonds or other securities if reasonable efforts to correct the violation have not been undertaken. The City may withhold or reduce bonds or other securities to satisfy fines owed for violations of this chapter and to recoup costs incurred by the City to correct violations of this chapter.

h.    The Department may impose additional engineering design, permits or construction requirements, including review and permit fees to bring the site into compliance with the permit or relevant law or regulation and/or may require a revision to the permit or the approved plans to accomplish this.

i.     The City may, in lieu of or in addition to other corrective measures authorized by this chapter, agree with the responsible person in violation to pursue other improvements in lieu of paying some or the entire administrative fine.

(2)   Proceed with judicial enforcement by:

a.     Filing a complaint requesting the issuance of a municipal infraction citation imposing a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) per violation per day.

b.    Instituting any appropriate civil or criminal action or proceeding to prevent, restrain, correct or abate any violation of this chapter or any administrative orders or directives issued hereunder.

(3)   Secure cost recovery as follows:

a.     Any person found to have violated this chapter must reimburse the City for all costs associated with the inspection, sampling, analyses, abatement and enforcement action resulting from any violation.

b.    All fines, penalties and costs owed to the City pursuant to this section may be transferred to a judgment, filed as a lien on the property of the person responsible for the violation and added to the tax bills for collection in the same manner as City taxes.

(4)   The penalties, fines and costs recovered by the City will be deposited into the City SWM fund.

(b)   The remedies listed in this chapter are not sequential or exclusive. The Department may take any, all or any combination of these actions.

(c)   In addition to any other remedy, sanction or penalty provided by this chapter, the Department may pursue any other remedies available under any applicable Federal, State or local law.

(d)   All decisions, findings, orders or directives issued by the Department pursuant to subsections (a)(1) and (3) of this section, except for a final decision of the Department on an appeal, must contain a notice of the right to appeal, as set forth in section 19-13 of this chapter.

(Ord. No. 19-12, 12-17-12)

ARTICLE IV. - STORMWATER MANAGEMENT

DIVISION 1. - IN GENERAL

Sec. 19-36. - SWM policy.

(a)   In the past, development has occurred for which no stormwater management (SWM) was been provided. Therefore, it is the legislative goal and policy of the City that eventually SWM is provided for all new and existing developed land within the City. To this end, no person may engage in a development activity without providing for SWM for such development as required by this chapter and the regulations.

(b)   The City recognizes the requirements of the Maryland Stormwater Act of 2007 and administrative rules promulgated thereunder. In general, stormwater controls required under this chapter ensure that all land disturbing activity complies with applicable water quality standards. The City supports effective and innovative SWM policies and practices to protect the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Accordingly, the City seeks opportunities to implement stormwater and watershed management by requiring environmental site design (ESD) to the maximum extent practicable (MEP) in both existing communities and new Developments with input from the Federal Government, State, civic associations, residents, businesses and developers, where appropriate.

(Ord. No. 19-12, 12-17-12)

DIVISION 2. - STORMWATER MANAGEMENT REQUIREMENTS

Sec. 19-40. - Scope.

(a)   Except as otherwise provided, the SWM provisions of this chapter and the regulations apply to any development that:

(1)   Involves five thousand (5,000) square feet or more of disturbed area;

(2)   Creates or replaces two thousand (2,000) square feet or more of impervious area on an single unit detached dwelling, townhouse or semi-detached dwelling lot;

(3)   Creates or replaces two hundred fifty (250) square feet or more of impervious area on property other than a single unit detached dwelling, townhouse or semi-detached dwelling lot; or

(4)   Requires Federal or State authorization for alteration of any floodplain, City waterway, stream buffer, wetlands or wetlands buffer.

(b)   Nothing in this section may be construed to change the scope or applicability of the erosion and sediment control provisions of this chapter and the regulations.

(Ord. No. 19-12, 12-17-12)

DIVISION 5. - MAINTENANCE AND INSPECTION AFTER CONSTRUCTION

Sec. 19-65. - Maintenance agreement and easement for private SWM systems.

(a)   Except as otherwise provided in section 19-66, the owner must execute an easement and inspection and maintenance agreement for SWM systems or watershed improvements in a manner acceptable to the Department and the City Attorney. The document(s) must:

(1)   Require the owner to inspect the SWM system.

(2)   Require the owner, or any other person or agent in control of such SWM system, to maintain in good condition and promptly repair and restore all above ground and underground SWM system components including landscaping. Such maintenance, repair and restoration must be in accordance with approved plans and applicable laws, standards, guidelines, policies and the regulations.

(3)   Provide for Department access to the SWM system at reasonable times for regular inspection to ensure that the system is in proper working condition. The easement must include sufficient provisions for access from a public road or right-of-way.

(4)   Provide that if after notice by the Department to correct a violation requiring maintenance work, satisfactory corrections are not made by the owner within a reasonable period of time as determined by the Department, the Department may perform all necessary work to place the SWM system in proper working condition. The owner of the SWM system will be assessed the cost of the work, which may be enforced by a lien on the property or which may be placed on the tax bill for all such property and collected along with ordinary taxes by the City.

(5)   Require all owners of properties served by the SWM system to be jointly and severally responsible to the City for the maintenance of the SWM system and liable for any costs incurred by the City pursuant to the agreement and all such properties are jointly and severally subject to the imposition of liens for said costs.

(6)   Prohibit the removal, replacement or alteration of the SWM system without prior written approval from the Department.

(7)   Prohibit the construction of structures, grading or installation of landscaping within the easement, except as allowed by the permit or approved by the Department.

(8)   Contain any other provision as may be required by the Department or the City Attorney.

(9)   Be binding upon all subsequent owners of land served by the SWM system.

(10) Be recorded by and at the expense of the owner in the land records of Montgomery County prior to the issuance of a SWM permit unless otherwise allowed by the Director.

(Ord. No. 19-12, 12-17-12)

Sec. 19-66. - Declaration of covenants for individual single unit detached, townhouse and semi-detached dwelling lots.

(a)   The owner of a single unit detached dwelling, townhouse or semi-detached dwelling lots on which a SWM system has or will be approved, permitted and constructed must execute a declaration of covenants for SWM systems in a manner acceptable to the Department and the City Attorney. The document(s) must:

(1)   Require the owner to inspect the SWM system.

(2)   Require the owner of a SWM system to maintain the SWM system in good condition and promptly repair and restore all above ground and underground SWM system components including landscaping. Such maintenance, repair and restoration must be in accordance with approved plans and applicable laws, standards, guidelines, policies and the regulations.

(3)   Provide for access to the SWM system at reasonable times for routine inspections by the Department to ensure that the SWM system is maintained in proper working condition. The covenant must include sufficient provisions for access from a public road or right-of-way.

(4)   Provide that if after notice by the Department to correct a violation requiring maintenance work, satisfactory corrections are not made by the owner within a reasonable period of time as determined by the Department, the Department may perform all necessary work to place the SWM system in proper working condition. The owner of the SWM system will be assessed the cost of the work, which may be enforced by a lien on the property or which may be placed on the tax bill for all such property and collected along with ordinary taxes by the City.

(5)   Prohibit the removal or alteration of the SWM system without prior written approval from the Department.

(6)   Prohibit the construction of structures, grading or installation of landscaping on, over or through the system except as approved by the Department.

(7)   Contain any other provision as may be required by the Department or the City Attorney.

(8)   Be binding on all subsequent owners of land served by the SWM system.

(9)   Be recorded by and at the expense of, the owner in the land records of Montgomery County prior to the issuance of a SWM permit unless otherwise allowed by the Director.

(Ord. No. 19-12, 12-17-12)

Sec. 19-67. - Additional responsibilities.

(a)   In addition to the actions required under sections 19-65 and 19-66, the owner of a private SWM system must:

(1)   At the owner's expense, obtain approval from the Department prior to the removal of a SWM system.

(2)   At the owner's expense, obtain any necessary permits and extinguish any SWM easement, declaration of covenants and/or maintenance agreement prior to removal, as directed by the Department. The extinguishment must be in accordance with the Code and in a manner acceptable to the Department and the City Attorney.

(3)   Inspect and maintain in good condition and promptly repair and restore any storm drain system associated with the SWM system.

(Ord. No. 19-12, 12-17-12)

Sec. 19-68. - City assumptions of private SWM systems.

(a)   Owners of private SWM systems may, in accordance with this chapter and the regulations, request that the City assume structural operation and maintenance responsibilities for private SWM systems.

(b)   In such instances, the City, at its sole discretion, may assume structural operation and maintenance responsibilities for any private SWM systems that meet the criteria established in subsection (c)(3) below which upon such assumption will thereafter be considered to be a public SWM system and may subsequently be modified or improved to meet the SWM objectives of the City.

(c)   The City Manager may delegate authority to the Director to accept private SWM systems.

(d)   The City may accept a private SWM system and assume structural operation and maintenance responsibilities only under the following conditions:

(1)   The SWM system must be certified by a professional engineer, at no expense to the City, as functioning properly in accordance with the original design specifications prior to acceptance.

(2)   The owner must grant the City an easement, in a form acceptable to the Department and the City Attorney, which provides access for inspection and maintenance and requires the owner to continue to inspect, maintain, replace and restore any of the non-structural elements of the SWM system as determined by the Department.

(3)   Unless otherwise permitted by the Department, the owner will be responsible for landscape and hardscape maintenance, trash removal and mowing. The private SWM system must either be a:

a.     System that provides SWM primarily for properties improved with single unit detached, semi-detached or townhouses dwellings, provided that each dwelling is located on a separate record lot;

b.    System that provides SWM for multiple properties; or

c.     System that has been identified for priority watershed improvement in a watershed management plan or assessment study.

(Ord. No. 19-12, 12-17-12)

Sec. 19-69. - Correction of unsafe or improper condition.

(a)   If the Director determines that the condition of any system providing SWM, watershed improvement, runoff conveyance or storm drainage presents imminent substantial endangerment because of an unsafe condition or improper maintenance, the Director may take such actions as may be necessary to protect the public and make the system safe.

(b)   The owner will be assessed for the costs incurred by the City as a result of the Director's action. Said costs will be assessed against any or all of the owners of the property served by said systems who will be jointly and severally liable for all said costs and whose property will jointly and severally be subject to a lien for said costs which may be placed on the tax bill of any and all such property and collected along with ordinary taxes.

(Ord. No. 19-12, 12-17-12)

Stormwater Utility Fee Overview

The Stormwater Management (SWM) Utility Fee is a charge for service assessed for all property owners, including homeowners, businesses, houses of worship, governments and schools. The utility fee is necessary for the City to comply with State and federal clean water requirements and to maintain stormwater conveyance and treatment systems.

This fee is structured to recover costs for the services the City must provide to protect public safety, property and the environment, and to share these costs among all property owners fairly and equitably.

The utility fee is based on the amount of impervious area (e.g, rooftops, driveways and parking lots) on each property. The fee helps pay for maintenance associated with the demand placed on the stormwater system (treatment facilities and/or storm drain pipes) because of runoff from impervious surfaces.

The cost to manage this system is being distributed to all property owners based on this fee. While the stormwater impact of any one property may seem small, the cumulative effect of impervious areas greatly affects stormwater runoff quality and rate of stream erosion.

July 2013 Stormwater Management Utility Fee rate is $ 99.65 per Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU).

DIVISION 3. - STORMWATER MANAGEMENT UTILITY FEE

Sec. 19-116. - SWM utility fee.

(a)   The City will charge an annual SWM utility fee on all improved real property in the City. The fee will be based on: the amount of impervious area on each property as determined by section 19-117; and the cost of implementing the City's SWM, storm drainage and water quality programs.

(b)   Except as otherwise provided, the minimum assessed SWM utility fee will be equal to the fee for one (1) ERU for all properties.

(c)   Except as otherwise provided in subsection 19-117(b), the SWM utility fee will be based on whole increments, rounded to the next highest number, of ERU calculated for properties.

(d)   Except as otherwise provided in subsection 19-117(b), the SWM utility fee will be calculated as follows:

(1)   Determine the impervious surface measurement in square feet for the property.

(2)   Divide the property's impervious surface measurement by the ERU in square feet.

(3)   Round the resulting ratio to the next highest whole number. This whole number is the number of ERU on the property.

(4)   Multiply the equivalent residential unit rate by the number of ERU for the property to obtain the fee in dollars.

(e)   Except as otherwise provided, impervious surface measurements for properties will be determined by the City using aerial photography, as-built drawings, field surveys or other appropriate engineering and mapping analysis tools.

(f)   The SWM utility fee provisions of this chapter and the regulations apply to all real property in the City, including government owned real property and real property that is tax exempt from property tax by Ann. Code of Md., Tax Property Article, Title 7, as amended.

(Ord. No. 19-12, 12-17-12)

Sec. 19-117. - Classification of property for purposes of determining the SWM utility fee.

(a)   Improved single unit detached dwelling lot fee. Except as otherwise provided, owners of all improved single unit detached dwelling lots will pay the fee equal to one (1) ERU regardless of the size of the lot or the impervious surface measurement of the improvements.

(b)   Townhouse and semi-detached dwelling lot fee. Owners of townhouses and semi-detached dwellings located on separate record lots and operated under a community association will be charged a fee calculated as follows:

(1)   Determine the sum total impervious surface measurement in square feet for all townhouse and/or semi-detached dwelling lots within the community association, excluding common areas held in joint ownership.

(2)   Divide the sum total impervious surface measurement by the ERU in square feet, rounding up to the next whole number, to obtain the total number of ERU.

(3)   Multiply the equivalent residential unit rate by the total ERU to determine the total fee due for the aggregated lots.

(4)   Divide the total fee for the aggregated lots by the number of townhouse and/or semi-detached dwelling lots within the community association. This is the amount billed to each lot's tax account.

(c)   Condominium properties. Owners of residential or commercial condominium will be charged a fee calculated as follows:

(1)   The SWM utility fee for a condominium property will be calculated as determined in subsection 19-116(d).

(2)   The property's fee will be divided equally among the property tax accounts for all units assigned to that condominium by the State Assessment Office or Montgomery County Department of Finance.

(3)   The City, at its sole discretion, may utilize alternative methodologies for billing fees associated with condominiums.

(d)   Other improvement lot fee. All other improved lots in the City will be charged in accordance with subsection 19-116(d).

(e)   Unimproved lot fee. No SWM utility fee will be charged to an unimproved lot.

(f)   Common areas. Common areas owned by a community association will be charged based on the sum total impervious surface measurement of the common areas in the manner prescribed in subsection 19-116(d). The fee will be billed directly to the community association. The City, at its sole discretion, may utilize alternative methodologies for billing fees associated with common areas.

(Ord. No. 19-12, 12-17-12)

Sec. 19-118. - Credits.

The City will adopt regulations establishing a system of credits against the SWM utility fee for private SWM systems owned and maintained by the property owner. See credit application below.

Rockville Stormwater Management Documents

City of Rockville Stormwater Ordinance

Rockville Stormwater Utility Page