The City of High Point has enacted a Stormwater Ordinance in order to establish minimum stormwater management requirements and controls to protect and safeguard the general health, safety, and welfare of the public residing in watersheds within this jurisdiction. The City of High Point is the permitting authority for all land disturbing activities and requires the land owner to maintain all on-site stormwater control facilities and all open space areas (e.g. parks or “green” areas) required by the approved stormwater control plan. The City of High Point will only provide construction permits to projects that establish a plan to manage stormwater runoff occurring during the construction process. The City of High Point, under the NPDES program, also has the authority to inspect properties for noncompliance and can issue a notice of violation (NOV) for any deficiency or infraction onsite. Property owners are responsible for the maintenance of any stormwater facilities or practices located on the property. The City of High Point has the authority to inspect stormwater facilities and practices in order to ascertain that they are properly maintained and functioning.
Maintenance responsibility for stormwater management facilities and their access shall be vested with a responsible party by means of a legally binding and enforceable operation and maintenance agreement that is executed as a condition of plan approval, as provided for in Section 9-7-5(d)(3). Said agreement must be approved by the Enforcement Officer and shall be binding on all subsequent owners of the site, portions of the site, and lots or parcels served by the stormwater management facilities. In the case of participation in a regional runoff control program per Section 9-7-5(c), a binding contract or agreement shall be required for participation.
The operation and maintenance agreement shall require the owner or owners’ association to maintain, repair and, if necessary, reconstruct the stormwater management facilities, and shall state the terms, conditions, and schedule of maintenance for such. The owner of each stormwater management facility installed pursuant to this Ordinance shall maintain and operate it so as to preserve and continue its function in controlling water quality and quantity in accordance with the function for which it was designed. The operation and maintenance agreement shall refer the property owner or owners’ association to the City of High Point for specific maintenance requirements of stormwater management facilities. In addition, it shall grant to the City a right of entry in the event that the Enforcement Officer has reason to believe it has become necessary to inspect, monitor, maintain, repair, or reconstruct the stormwater management facilities. In no case shall the right of entry, of itself, confer an obligation on the City to assume responsibility for maintenance of the stormwater management facilities.
The Enforcement Officer shall have the responsibility to inspect the engineered stormwater control structures annually, as required by NC Environmental Management Commission, to record the results on forms approved or supplied by the North Carolina Division of Water Quality, to inspect any other stormwater management facilities as deemed necessary, and to notify the responsible property owner or owners’ association when maintenance or repairs are required. All required repairs and maintenance shall be performed within 90 days after such notice. In case of failure by the responsible party to perform the required maintenance or repairs within the stated period, the city may perform such maintenance or repairs and recover all costs attendant thereto from the property owner or owners’ association.
For all stormwater management facilities required pursuant to this Ordinance that are owned by a private property owner or an owners’ association, the required operation and maintenance agreement shall include all of the following provisions:
1. Acknowledgment that the owner or owners’ association shall continuously operate and maintain the stormwater management facilities.
2. Establishment of an escrow account, which can be spent solely for sediment removal, structural, biological or vegetative replacement, major repair, or reconstruction of the stormwater management facilities. If stormwater management facilities are not performing adequately or as intended or are not properly maintained, the City, in its sole discretion, may remedy the situation, and in such instances the City shall be fully reimbursed from the escrow account. Escrowed funds may be spent by the owner or owners’ association for sediment removal, structural, biological or vegetative replacement, major repair, and reconstruction of the stormwater management facilities.
a. Inspections and inspection programs by the City may be conducted or established on any reasonable basis, including but not limited to routine inspections; random inspections; inspections based upon complaints or other notice of possible violations; and joint inspections with other agencies inspecting under environmental or safety laws. Inspections may include, but are not limited to, reviewing maintenance and repair records; sampling discharges, surface water, groundwater, and material or water in stormwater management facilities; and evaluating the condition of stormwater management facilities.
b. If the owner or occupant of any property refuses to permit such inspection, the Enforcement Officer shall proceed to obtain an administrative search warrant pursuant to G.S. 15-27.2 or its successor. No person shall obstruct, hamper or interfere with the Enforcement Officer while carrying out his or her official duties.