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Fairfield storm water rules drafted

Richard D. L. Fulton

(3/14) The Fairfield Borough Planning Commission received a proposed ordinance generating new storm water run-off regulations at their March 12 meeting.

The draft ordinance was prepared by the Adams County Office of Planning and Development, and was based on new storm water regulations prepared by the county and signed-off on by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

County Planner Robert Thaeler reviewed some of the ordinance content at the planning commission meeting, but a detailed discussion was put off to allow commission members to study the draft preparatory to their April meeting and to obtain input from the borough engineer.

One important aspect addressed at the March 12 meeting was that the borough will need to develop a process for reviewing and granting some of the minor storm water permits, and to decide if a single administrator or a board will review and approve (or deny) them.

Storm water plans for large-scale development projects could be reviewed as part of a subdivision and land development (SALDO) review, Thaeler suggested.

However, he said, exempt projects and small-scale projects would require a process of their own.

"Itís these projects that could be exempted (as well as small-scale projects that would not involve a full-blown, development scale storm water review) that are the ones weíre going to have to figure out how to deal with," Thaeler said.

He suggested that those that could be exempted would simply be subjected to filling out a form, but that small scale projects, those requiring a zoning permit or a land use permit could have their storm water plans reviewed concurrently with the rest of the project.

"There is going to have to be some decisions made on how each municipality is going to administer this, administratively or by boards and councils," he said.

"I suspect every municipality (in Adams County) is going to handle that differently," Thaeler noted.

The now-state-approved storm water regulations governing Adams County were promulgated to reduce the impact that the Monocacy Plan rules were having on small property owners and developers as the result of excessive, Monocacy Plan-driven engineering requirements.

Discussions regarding the new storm water regulations will be continued at the borough Planning Commissionís April 9 meeting at 7 p.m.

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