Wake Forest Unified Development Ordinance - July 2022

Erosion, Flood, Stormwater & Watershed Standards 12.7 Watercourse (Riparian) Buffer Areas


3. Riparian buffers shall be maintained for all perennial and intermittent streams, lakes and ponds in accordance with 12.7.1.B of this Ordinance. B. Location of Buffers 1. For the purposes of this section, intermittent streams, perennial streams, upper watershed drainageways that drain more than 5 acres, water supply impoundments, lakes, ponds, and wetlands shall be deemed to be present if the feature is indicated on the most recent versions of the following: a. United States Geological Survey 1:24,000 scale (7.5 minute quadrangle) topographic maps; b. A soil survey map prepared by the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture; c. The North Carolina Division of Water Resources (NCDWR) identification methodology for determination of perennial and intermittent streams; or d. Other site-specific evidence. 2. Wetlands may also be identified, as either a bordering or isolated wetland, using the 1987 Corp of Engineers Federal Unified Method and/or supplemental Corps- approved methodology. 3. In order to determine the amount of land drained by an upper watershed drainageway, USGS or Wake County topographic maps may be used. 4. Where obvious conflicts between actual field conditions and USGS and county soil survey maps exist, appeals may be made to the Administrator or, for appeals related to Neuse River Basin buffer requirements, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. 5. All surface waters shall be determined by a qualified person that has successfully completed the NCDEQ’s Surface Water Identification Training Certification course, its successor, or other equivalent training curriculum approved by the NCDEQ using the most recent version of Identification Method for the Origins of Intermittent and Perennial Streams and verified by qualified Town Staff and/or the NCDEQ. C. Buffer Measurement: The width of each required riparian buffer shall be measured perpendicular to the banks of the protected drainageway, beginning at the most landward limit of the top of bank or the rooted herbaceous vegetation. When no watercourse banks exist, the centerline of the watercourse shall be used. All building and structure setbacks shall be a minimum of ten (10) feet, agricultural activities shall be a setback minimum of ten (10) feet and all vehicular roads and parking lots shall be set back a minimum of five (5) feet from the edge of a riparian buffer. D. Surface waters that appear on the maps used to determine surface water classifications shall not be subject to the requirements of Section 12.7.1 if a site evaluation reveals any of the following cases: 1. Man-made or isolated ponds and lakes that are not part of a natural drainage way or hydraulically connected or have significant nexus to waters of the United States (WOTUS) as determined by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) that is classified in accordance with 15A NCAC 2B .0100, including ponds and lakes created for animal watering, irrigation, or other agricultural uses. A pond or lake is included as a part of a natural drainage way when its source is an intermittent or perennial stream or when it has a direct discharge point to an intermittent or perennial stream as determined by a qualified person in accordance with 12.7.1.B.5 of this Ordinance. Details can be found in the Town of Wake Forest’s Manual of Specifications, Standards and Design (MSSD) and Public Policy Manual .

Town of Wake Forest Unified Development Ordinance – July 19, 2022


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