18B — December 22 - January 12, 2018 — Industry Leaders— ODM — M id A tlantic

Real Estate Journal


I ndustry L eaders By Gary Brown, RT Environmental Services Stormwater Management Gets Attention


tormwater concerns from owners of exist- ing residences are mak-

area even if the issues are not on the property in question. It is one thing for a developer and redeveloper to take responsibil- ity for stormwater improve- ments on their planned devel- opment site, or even nearby roadways, but with stormwater laws and regulations becom- ing more complex and more costly, the ability to find sites where stormwater issues can be cost effectively resolved, is dwindling. Most New Jersey and Penn- sylvania locations where there is infill nor planned develop- ment on the fringe of existing

development areas have to deal with not just roadway, but stormwater right of way issues. A fundamental change over the last decade means that at development sites, civil and environmental engineers have to evaluate all or most of a water shed, in addition to the actual development site. This canmean that more “stakehold- ers” are drawn into public no- tices, information sessions, and participation prosthesis, with more calls for improvements to address stormwater concerns. It has been possible until the last five or ten years for en-

gineers designing stormwater improvements at developments to claim that their stormwater design does not cause any in- creased flows, but underlying questions about storm frequen- cies and sufficiency of existing infrastructure, or questions about experienced downstream inundation and damages, have caused more and more nearby residents to become more vo- cal. Citizen groups frequently retain lawyers and/or engineers to oppose particular develop- ments, unless perceived storm- water problems at the site and downstream of the site are fully

addressed. In Pennsylvania, Conserva- tion Districts and the Depart- ment of Environmental Pro- tection, as well as municipal governments, could not stop development at questionable sites until the last decade. After 2008, Pennsylvania required legal right of ways for taking stormwater from individual sites to adequate stormwater discharge locations, which may include stormwater intercep- tors, streams, and/or lakes. In New Jersey, criteria was changed significantly to pro- tect flood plains, after it was found that previously approved stormwater measures at devel- opments and redevelopments, were not adequate. In some instances, it was thought that improvements which go along with developments would be adequate to protect flood plains for fifty years or more. How- ever, many newly constructed facilities were found to be inadequate as to the sizing of stormwater infrastructure, and would last only 15 to 20 years. Delays related to stormwater, both technical and regulatory, are postponing development and redevelopment of prop- erties. Some of the reasons include: - There are no legal ease- ments for pipes, channels and sheet flow drainage paths down which water from a new de- velopment or redevelopment must flow; - Existing drainage infra- structure is failing and there are insufficient public funds for maintenance and upgrades; - There is a public percep- tion that drainage backups and climate change are getting worse, so new projects should be opposed; - There are conflicting local, county, state, and conservation district stormwater regulatory programs; and - There are too few regula- tory staff to handle increased numbers of applications and more complicated permit ap- plications. RT has been helping realtors, developers and redevelopers since the mid 1990’s, and we place importance on keeping abreast of all developments related to stormwater, as there remain initiatives and changes to guidance and regulations, much of which comes fromEPA and Washington. States have and continue to expand their stormwater programs, and continued on page 26B

ing it harder for realtors to help de- velopers and redevelopers find sites. De- velopers are encountering existing resi- dent percep-

Gary Brown

tions that believe there should be no more development in a particular area until exist- ing stormwater problems are completely solved in an entire

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TK Budd Facility Redevelopment Revitalization Call Us When You Need US Gary Brown, L.S.R.P, P.E. 800-725-0593 Walter Hungarter, P.E. 610-265-1510 Justin Lauterbach, Q.E.P. 724-288-4895 Chris Ward, L.S.R.P 856-467-2276 Call Us When You Need Us! 856-467-2276 Gary Brown, L.S.R.P. Chris Ward, L.S.R.P. Glenn Graham, P.G. RTENV@RTENV.COM

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