City of Suffolk


The City of Suffolk has enacted a Stormwater Management Ordinance in order to ensure the general health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Suffolk and to protect the quality and quantity of state waters from the potential harm of unmanaged stormwater, including protection from any land disturbing activity causing unreasonable degradation of properties, water quality, stream channels, and other natural resources, and to establish procedures whereby stormwater requirements related to water quality and quantity should be administered and enforced. All of these policies help the City of Suffolk satisfy the requirements of their NPDES and VPDES permits, while parts the City of Suffolk are also subject to the rules of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (CBPA).

To prevent the adverse impacts of stormwater runoff, the city of Suffolk has developed a set of performance standards that must be met at development sites. These standards apply to any land development or land use conversion activity disturbing 2500 square feet or more of land in these areas designated as CBPA or 10,000 square feet in areas outside of CBPA designated areas. The boundaries for the CBPA and the applicable performance standards, outlined in § 31-611 of the Unified Development Ordinance, are available through the City of Suffolk Planning Department.

ARTICLE II. STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PROGRAM PROCEDURESAND REQUIREMENTS

Sec. 35-23. Stormwater facility maintenance agreements

A. Prior to the issuance of any permit that has a stormwater management facility as one of the requirements of the permit, the applicant or owner of the site must execute a maintenance agreement that shall be binding on all subsequent owners of land served by the stormwater management facility.

  1. The maintenance agreement shall provide for access to the stormwater management facility at reasonable times for periodic inspection by the director, or their contractor or agent, and for regular or special assessments of property owners to ensure that the facility is maintained in proper working condition to meet design standards and any other provisions established by this article. This includes the right to enter a property when a reasonable basis exists to believe that a violation of this article is occurring or has occurred, and to enter when necessary for abatement of a public nuisance or correction of a violation of this article. The easement shall be recorded by the property owner in the land records. Proof of recordation shall be provided to the director.
  2. Maintenance of all stormwater management facilities shall be ensured through the creation of a formal maintenance agreement that must be approved by the city manager and recorded into the land record prior to final plan approval. The agreement shall identify by name or official title the person(s) responsible for carrying out the maintenance. 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 sold, legally binding arrangements shall be made to pass the basic  responsibility to successors in title. These arrangements shall designate for each property owner, governmental agency, or other legally established entity to be permanently responsible for maintenance. As part of the plan approval, a schedule shall be developed for when and how often maintenance will occur to ensure proper function of the stormwater management facility.
  3. In the event that maintenance or repair is neglected, or the stormwater management facility becomes a danger to public health or safety, the City of Suffolk reserves the authority to perform the work and recover the costs from the owner.
  4. The maintenance agreement shall provide for inspections and maintenance and the submission of inspection and maintenance reports.

Sec. 35-28. Monitoring, reports, inspections, and stop work orders.

(a) The Director shall have authority to make such lawful inspections and conduct monitoring of stormwater outfalls or others components of the storm sewer system as may be necessary or appropriate in the administration and enforcement of this chapter.
(b) All stormwater management facilities must undergo inspections to document maintenance and repair needs and ensure compliance with the requirements of this article and accomplishment of its purposes. These needs may include; removal of silt, litter and other debris from all catch basins, inlets and drainage pipes, grass cutting and vegetation removal, and necessary replacement of landscape vegetation and any repair or replacement of structural features.
(c) At a minimum, a stormwater management facility shall be inspected on an annual basis by the City of Suffolk.
(d) Maintenance agreements shall be in-place and include plans for annual inspections to ensure proper performance of the facility between scheduled maintenance and should also include "failure to maintain" provisions.
(e) The city may require the person responsible for implementing the approved plan to monitor and submit reports as the city may require to ensure compliance with the approved plan and to determine whether the plan provides effective stormwater management. The person responsible for implementing the plan will maintain records of
all inspections and maintenance, to ensure compliance with the approved plan and to determine whether the measures required in the plan are providing effective stormwater management.
(f) In the event that the stormwater management facility has not been maintained and/or becomes a danger to public safety or public health, the Director shall notify the applicant, owner or person responsible for carrying out the plan by registered or certified mail to the address specified in the plan application or in the plan certification, or by delivery at the site of the development activities to the agent or employee supervising such activities. The notice shall specify the measures needed to comply with the plan and shall specify the time within which such measures shall be completed. Upon failure to comply within the specified time, the applicant, owner or person responsible for carrying out the plan
shall be deemed to be in violation of this article and shall be subject to the penalties provided by this article.
(i) The administrator 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 chapter.

ARTICLE III. VIOLATIONS

Sec. 35-51. Violations of chapter--Generally.

(a) If the administrator determines that there is a failure to comply with the permit conditions or determines there is an unauthorized discharge, notice shall be served upon the permittee or person responsible by any of the following: verbal warnings and inspection reports, notices of corrective action, consent special orders, and notices of violation. Written notices shall be served by registered or certified mail to the address specified in the permit application or by delivery at the site to the agent or employee supervising such activities.

  1. The notice shall specify the measures needed to comply and shall specify the time within which such measures shall be completed. Upon failure to comply within the time specified, a stop work order may be issued in accordance with this chapter or the permit may be revoked by the administrator.
  2. If a permittee fails to comply with a notice issued in accordance with this chapter within the time specified, the administrator may issue an order requiring the owner, permittee, person responsible for carrying out an approved plan, or the person conducting the land-disturbing activities without an approved plan or required permit to cease all land-disturbing activities until the violation of the permit has ceased, or an approved plan and required permits are obtained, and specified corrective measures have been completed.
  3. Such orders shall be issued in accordance with this chapter. Such orders shall become effective upon service on the person by certified mail, return receipt requested, sent to his address specified in the land records of the locality, or by personal delivery by an agent of the administrator. However, if the administrator finds that any such violation is grossly affecting or presents an imminent and substantial danger of causing harmful erosion of lands or sediment deposition in waters within the watersheds of the commonwealth or otherwise substantially impacting water quality, it may issue, without advance notice or hearing, an emergency order directing such person to cease immediately all land-disturbing activities on the site and shall provide an opportunity for a hearing, after reasonable notice as to the time and place thereof, to such person, to affirm, modify, amend, or cancel such emergency order. If a person who has been issued an order is not complying with the terms thereof, the administrator may institute a proceeding for an injunction, mandamus, or other appropriate remedy in accordance with this chapter and the Act.
  4. In addition to any other remedy provided by this chapter, if the administrator or his designee determines that there is a failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter, they may initiate such informal and/or formal administrative enforcement procedures in a manner that is consistent with this chapter and the Act.
  5. It shall be unlawful for any person to fail to comply with any stop work order or emergency order issued pursuant to this chapter and the Act. Any person violating or failing, neglecting, or refusing to obey any rule, regulation, ordinance, order, approved standard or specification, or any permit condition issued by the administrator may be compelled in a proceeding instituted in Suffolk Circuit Court by the City of Suffolk to obey same and to comply therewith by injunction, mandamus or other appropriate remedy.

(b) Violations for which a penalty may be imposed under this subsection shall include but not be limited to the following:

  1. No state permit registration;
  2. No SWPPP;
  3. Incomplete SWPPP;
  4. SWPPP not available for review;
  5. No approved erosion and sediment control plan;
  6. Failure to install stormwater BMPs or erosion and sediment controls;
  7. Stormwater BMPs or erosion and sediment controls improperly installed or maintained;
  8. Operational deficiencies;
  9. Failure to conduct required inspections;
  10. Incomplete, improper, or missed inspections;
  11. Discharges not in compliance with the requirements of 9 VAC 25-880-70 of the general permit;
  12. Illicit discharges; and
  13. Conducting a land-disturbing activity without proper permits.

Supplemental Documents:

State of Virginia Documents: