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Fairfield stormwater goes to engineering

Richard D. L. Fulton

(4/11) The Fairfield Borough Planning Commission continued to work to complete a draft of new stormwater runoff regulations at their April 9 meeting that reflect current, state-approved county plans.

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

The borough Planning Commission received a proposed ordinance, which creates new stormwater run-off regulations at their March 12 meeting.

At the April 9 meeting, the commission elected to pass the draft ordinance on to borough Engineer Aaron Jolin, C.S. Davidson, for engineering based changes and recommendations.

The engineer will then pass the amended draft to county Planner Robert Thaeler to be put into a final form for final review by the borough Planning Commission, followed by a potential recommendation by the commission to the borough Council regarding adoption.

The estimated cost of the engineer work on the draft will run about $2,500, and will include a review of the zoning ordinance and the subdivision and land development ordinance to ensure that those documents do not contain conflicting mandates regarding the new stormwater management guidelines, a review of definitions used, and providing a list of recommendations for further consideration.

Thaeler said that the state will reimburse municipalities 75 percent of their accrued costs in working on new stormwater guidelines based on the state-approved county model, although "now they (the state) doesnít have any money (to put towards reimbursement)."

The state recently decided to abandoned Monocacy Plan-driven stormwater management and to allow countyís to develop county-wide regulations. The Monocacy Plan had stipulated that stormwater planning be done on a watershed-by-watershed basis.

The new rules as promulgated by the county not only change the focus of stormwater management from a watershed-centric concept to a county-wide concept, but also eliminates an extraneous and somewhat duplicative permitting process caused by the Monocacy Plan and soil conservation regulations.

The planning commission hopes to make a recommendation regarding adoption of the regulations to the borough Council by the councilís May meeting.

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