By Richard L. Gaw
New Garden Township has adopted a new stormwater management ordinance, in accordance with a mandate issued by the State's Department of Environmental Protection.
Under the ordinance, which became effective on Jan. 1, a permit will be required for all projects in the township that propose new, additional and replacement of impervious surfaces and or projects that involve the disturbance of property. Specifically, a zoning permit and a lot alteration permit will be required for projects that involve 999 square feet or less of impervious surface, and less than 5,000 square feet of earth disturbance. For projects that involve more than 1,000 square feet of impervious surface and more than 5,000 square feet of earth disturbance will require a zoning permit, a lot alteration permit and a stormwater management permit.
An impervious surface includes new construction, additions, roofs, buildings, storage sheds, driveways, patios, sidewalks, pool decking, parking lots, tennis or paved courts, athletic playing fields, and solid paved or concrete areas such as streets.
Don Suckstorf, the township's director of coding and zoning enforcement, said that there are provisions in the ordinance that can be submitted for small projects through the township, defined by Suckstorf as those that take up less than 2,000 square feet of impervious surface and less than 10,000 square feet of earth disturbance.
“This is a simplified approach, where the homeowner can look at that criteria and design a Best Management Practice without having to go to an engineer,” he said. “Once the homeowner goes over 2,000 square feet of impervious surface, he or she will need the help of an engineer. The biggest impact will be on the homeowner who is looking to install a a patio or a driveway on his or her property.”
Suckstorf said that after these permits are reviewed an approved by the township, the business or homeowner will then need to submit an operation and maintenance agreement, as well as submit their application to the Chester County Recorder of Deeds.
Permit applications can be obtained from the township's website (www.newgarden.org) under “Forms and Permits.” For additional information, contact the township's Codes Department at 610-268-2915, ext. 103.