Below are guidelines for improving water quality and soil erosion
Investigate permeable/pervious parking. Consider offering density credits to builders using such parking, based on the quality of construction, and where practicable require pervious surfaces in government facilities, thereby reducing runoff.
Encourage shared/joint use parking. Try to reduce the number of parking spaces required by identifying opportunities to share parking, especially between uses that have differing peak parking hours.
Emphasize the use of retention and detention ponds. Amendments to the drainage ordinance can help turn such facilities into aesthetic and recreational assets, and can significantly affect the amount of water that enters streams and the speed at which is does so. This in turn will reduce erosion, pollution, and flooding.
Convert the present non-residential stormwater utility fee to an area of impervious surface basis. The greater the amount of impervious surfaces, the more water that is collected and converted into runoff. Like any other utility, we should charge higher fees to those high users of the system. Besides greater equity, higher fees will encourage efficiency and/or generate additional revenues to address drainage problems.
Use natural drainage wherever possible in new construction. Traditional bar ditches are essentially transportation vehicles only. As such they produce erosion, need frequent maintenance, and carry large amounts of pollutants to rivers and lakes. However, the use of vegetated swales (with 2’ to 4’ flat bottoms and slopes of less than 4%) instead of bar ditches, can curtail erosion and also reduce total runoff volumes due to percolation. Channeling runoff through vegetative screens has been shown to reduce the level of pollution by significant amounts. Oil/grit separators and infiltration basins are also tools that should be considered.
Establish maximum parking requirements. Most municipalities plan for parking so that ordinances require a minimum number of spaces. A maximum number can eliminate unnecessary construction that encourages runoff and pollution. A statutory maximum could be used in conjunction with joint use parking initiatives, requiring development to work together.
Examine appropriate street widths. Municipalities have traditionally built streets that are wider than necessary, especially in areas with slow speed limits. Smaller widths and limited on-street parking in residential areas reduces impervious surfaces. This does not appear to be a significant issue in Fairview, but a review should be conducted.
Continue active iSWM participation. NCTCOG’s Integrated Stormwater Management program is a joint project by the council of government and 45 municipalities to identify and implement best management practices in the field of stormwater management.
Forbid floodplain development. Fairview does this now, and should continue to rigidly protect its floodplain areas.