The City of St. Petersburg has enacted a Stormwater Management Systems Ordinance in order maintain efficient, economic and safe operation of the separate storm sewer system for the protection of the health, safety, and general welfare of the public within the City. The City of St. Petersburg 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 St. Petersburg will only provide construction permits to projects that establish a plan to manage stormwater runoff occurring during the construction process. Stormwater fees will be calculated and collected by the city. Stormwater credits are available for properties that engage in stormwater best management practices. The City of St. Petersburg, 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 St. Petersburg has the authority to inspect stormwater facilities and practices in order to ascertain that they properly maintained and functioning.
16.40.030.9.2. - Violations; penalties; maintenance; restoration.
A. Any person who:
1. Commences or conducts an activity described in this section without prior approval of a drainage plan;
2. Deviates from an approved drainage plan; or
3. Fails to maintain drainage facilities under that person's ownership or control shall be guilty of a violation of this section.
B. Any activity undertaken in violation of this section shall be halted immediately after written notice by the City. The violator shall be required to restore any altered land to its undisturbed condition or restore it to such condition in which it would not shed stormwater in violation of the control requirements for stormwater runoff. In the event that restoration is not undertaken within 30 days, the City may perform restoration on the property. The cost of the restoration shall become a lien upon the property where such restoration occurred.
C. In those instances where a pond, or other water body, is entirely surrounded by private property so that the general public does not have access to use and enjoy the water body, maintenance of such ponds, or other water bodies, shall be accomplished by the City only with respect to drainage as a part of the overall drainage system of the City. If a violation exists as the result of a lack of maintenance of such pond or other water body, where it is entirely surrounded by private property owners, the City may perform necessary maintenance and charge the cost of such maintenance to said abutting property owners.
D. For the purposes of this section it shall be conclusively presumed that a violation exists when one or more of the following conditions exist:
1. Drainage facilities are not maintained properly so that as a result water has flooded or is reasonably likely to flood land not owned by the owner of the land on which the drainage facilities are located, or water has flooded or is reasonably likely to flood a building whether or not located on land owned by the owner of the drainage facilities.
2. Activity has been undertaken and as a result water has flooded or is reasonably likely to flood land not owned by the owner of the land on which the activity has taken place or a building or part thereof, whether or not located on land owned by the owner of the land on which the activity has taken place.
3. A pond or other water body entirely surrounded by private property has not been properly maintained and as a result water has flooded or is reasonably likely to flood land other than that owned by the owners of land directly abutting such pond or water body or a building or part thereof, whether or not located on land owned by the owner of land directly abutting such pond or body of water.
6.40.030.9.3. - Procedure for maintenance or restoration and placing of liens.
A. Notice. If the administrative official finds and determines that land has been altered in violation of this section or that drainage facilities or water bodies are not being maintained as required by this section, the record owner of the property shall be notified in writing and the notice shall demand that such owner cause the condition to be remedied.
The notice shall be given by first class mail, addressed to the owners of the property described, as their names and address are shown upon the record of the county property appraiser, and shall be deemed complete and sufficient when so addressed and deposited in the United States mail with proper postage prepaid. Notice shall also be posted upon the property on which the violation exists. Notice may be served by hand delivery to the owners of record of the property in lieu of mailing.
B. Appeals. Within ten days after the date of the notice, the owner or the designated agent of the owner may file an appeal to show that the violation alleged in the notice does not exist or has not occurred. The administrative official shall establish rules and regulations for the review procedure. The appeal shall be in writing and must be filed with the City Clerk. At the hearing the City and the owner or designated agent of the owner may introduce such evidence as is deemed necessary. The administrative official's decision shall be final and the owner will have exhausted all administrative remedies.
C. Condition may be remedied by City. If no appeal has been made or, if made, a hearing has been held and has concluded adversely to the owner and the condition described in the notice has not been remedied within five days following the date of the hearing, the administrative official shall cause the condition to be remedied. The costs of remedying the condition as well as such administrative and other costs as are necessary to remedy the conditions shall be charged against the property as a special assessment.
D. Preparation of preliminary assessment roll. After causing the condition to be remedied, the administrative official shall determine the cost involved in remedying the condition including all administrative and other costs as are necessary to correct the violation and shall determine the proportionate costs that each property should bear. The administrative official shall cause a preliminary assessment roll to be prepared containing a complete list of the properties upon which conditions were remedied, and of properties abutting ponds or water bodies which were maintained by the City, setting opposite each property the cost of doing such work, which shall be submitted to the City Council.
E. Public hearing on preliminary assessment roll. The City Council shall hold a public hearing on the preliminary assessment roll after publication of notice. One notice shall be published in a daily newspaper of general circulation in the City at least five days prior to the public hearing. Notice shall be mailed to each owner listed on the preliminary assessment roll by first class mail and shall be deemed complete and sufficient when mailed.
F. Approval of preliminary assessment roll. The City Council shall meet on the date and at the place specified in the notice and hear any and all objections that any person affected by such proposed assessment wishes to offer as to why said assessments should not be made final and shall correct any and all mistakes or errors appearing upon such preliminary assessment roll. The City Council shall then confirm the preliminary assessment roll, as submitted or as corrected, and the assessment roll shall then be final.
G. Amounts assessed constitute lien. When the preliminary assessment roll is confirmed by the City Council and made final, the amounts assessed against the respective properties shall, from the date of such confirmation, be and constitute a special assessment lien against the respective properties superior in dignity to all other liens and encumbrances of whatever kind and character save and except ad valorem taxes levied and assessed by the state, county or City and shall be of equal dignity with such taxes, and shall remain a special assessment lien against such properties until paid. Upon confirmation of the assessment roll by the City Council, the administrative official shall immediately cause the assessment roll to be filed in the office of the City Clerk and it shall be kept there for public inspection during business hours. The administrative official may file and record in the office of the clerk of the circuit court notice of the special assessment liens against the properties, showing thereon the amount and nature of the lien and a legal description of the property.
H. Interest on special assessment liens. The principal amount of all special assessment liens under this section which remains unpaid after 30 days from the date of confirmation of the special assessment by council shall bear interest at the rate of 12 percent per annum from the date of confirmation through the period of time which is two years after the date of confirmation. Interest at 18 percent, rather than at 12 percent, shall be charged on the principal amount for the period of time beginning two years from the date of confirmation of the special assessment by council until the principal and interest are paid in full. All interest shall also constitute a lien against the property assessed of equal dignity to the principal amount of the lien.
I. Records. The administrative official shall keep complete records relating to the amount payable for liens and interest and may from time to time send a statement of the principal and interest due upon such liens to the record owner of the property upon which the lien exists.
J. Enforcement of liens. At any time after the expiration of 30 days from the date of confirmation of the assessment roll, the City may proceed to foreclose the special assessment in the manner prescribed in F.S. ch. 173 or as otherwise permitted by law.
K. Action to abate taken pursuant to chapter declared cumulative. Any action taken pursuant to this section in regard to the maintenance or restoration of the conditions herein declared violations shall be considered cumulative and in addition to any penalties and other remedies provided elsewhere by law.
16.40.030.10. - Design standards for detention ponds, retention ponds and drainage ditches.
A. The purpose of this subsection is to establish minimum standards for the location, retaining walls and fencing of detention or retention ponds or drainage ditches. The design and appearance of detention or retention ponds or drainage ditches can take many different forms, ranging from engineered areas, typically found in commercial districts, to more naturalistic forms that are incorporated into the landscaped setting of neighborhood districts.
B. Stormwater management facilities such as detention or retention ponds or drainage ditches shall conform to the following standards:
1. Location. Detention or retention ponds or drainage ditches located within a NSM, NPUD, DC, CCT, CCS, CRT or CRS zoning district shall be located behind the principal building to the rear of the property or buried underground:
a. Where the topographical conditions or hydrology of a particular site prevents use of an underground vault and design constraints require the use of an alternative surface location, information shall be provided to the administrative official identifying the special conditions and circumstances that prevent compliance. A waiver to this locational requirement may be approved based on a determination by the administrative official that the waiver is supported by the technical data. The administrative official's final determination may be appealed to the Development Review Committee.
2. Retaining walls. Retaining walls shall comply with the following:
a. Retaining walls for a surface stormwater management system are prohibited within the DC, CCT, CCS, CRT or CRS zoning districts, however, where the hydrology or specific conditions of a site requires use of a retaining wall, information shall be provided to the POD identifying the special conditions and circumstances that prevent compliance. A waiver to this requirement may be approved based on a determination by the POD, that the waiver is supported by the technical data. The POD's final determination may be appealed to the Development Review Commission.
b. All retaining walls shall be constructed of decorative masonry block, including but not limited to, split-face CMU's.
3. Fencing. Any fence or wall (not including retaining walls) shall comply with the requirements of the fences, walls and hedges section and the following:
a. For detention or retention ponds or drainage ditches which are visible from a major street, or which are located within a DC, CCT, CCS, CRT or CRS zoning district, fences and walls shall be decorative or vinyl coated chain link (including stands, poles and rails);
b. All fencing shall be located behind the landscaping required by the landscaping section;
c. A gate shall be provided to allow access for general maintenance purposes.
Sec. 27-405. - Stormwater management system utility fee.
(a) Application and classification. A stormwater system utility fee is hereby imposed on each developed parcel within the City for services and facilities provided by the stormwater system. For purposes of imposing the stormwater system utility fees, all developed parcels within the City are classified either as a single-family residential parcel (SFRP) or as a non-SFRP. The administrative official shall maintain a list of parcels within the City and assign a classification of SFRP or non-SFRP to each parcel.
(b) Scheduled rates. The following uniform schedule of utility rates for services and facilities of the stormwater system is hereby established:
(1) A monthly stormwater system utility fee of $6.84 per month is established as the rate for each SFRP.
(2) For all other parcels an SFU equivalent shall be determined. This determination shall be based upon the total impervious area of the property divided by 2,719 square feet and then multiplied by the fee established for the SFRP. The total impervious area of the parcel and the number of SFU equivalent units shall be updated by the City based on any additions or deletions to the impervious area. For parcels that are not separately metered for potable water, the total bill will be sent to the account holder of the master meter. For developed parcels which are not billed for potable water service, the owner shall be billed separately.
a. For those parcels that have multiple meters for potable water, each metered account shall be billed based upon an on-site visit or a meeting with the owner of the property to determine the proportion of SFU equivalent units applicable to each metered parcel. For this determination, the proportion of the impervious area of the building applicable to each meter shall be the square footage of the space served by that meter divided by the total square footage of metered space.
Parking lots, nonmetered building spaces and other impervious areas appurtenant to the building shall be assumed to be proportionate to metered space. This calculation shall be done to the nearest tenth of a single-family average equivalent unit. Disputes concerning the determination of the proportion of the impervious area shall require the owner to notify in writing the administrative official of the disputes.
b. Disputes involving the total impervious area for a parcel or the proportionate amount assigned to a metered account based on an on-site measurement will be resolved by the administrative official. The administrative official may require the owner to provide a survey certified by a State registered professional land surveyor and verified as representing the impervious area currently on the parcel as the means for resolving a dispute.
(3) The fee for residential non-SFRP parcels determined under subsection (b)(2) of this section shall not exceed a per residential unit cost equal to the fee established in subsection (b)(1) of this section.
(4) For non-SFRP parcels meeting the following criteria, the fee determined under subsection (b)(2) of this section shall be applied as follows:
a. For those parcels that:
1. Prove a zero discharge of stormwater runoff, directly or indirectly, into stormwater system; and
2. Meet the stormwater quality and quantity requirements of chapter 16, then the monthly stormwater system utility fee shall be 63 percent of the established rate for each SFRP.
b. For those parcels that:
1. Prove zero discharge of stormwater runoff, directly or indirectly, into the stormwater system; and
2. Meet the stormwater quality requirements of chapter 16, then the monthly stormwater system utility fee shall be 82 percent of the established rate for each SFRP.
c. For those parcels that meet the stormwater quality and quantity requirements of chapter 16, then the monthly stormwater system utility fee shall be 92 percent of the established rate for each SFRP.
Where only a portion of a parcel meets the stormwater quality requirements of chapter 16, then the following formula shall be applied to determine the percent of the established rate for each SFRP: 0.92 + (0.08 percent of non SFRP property meeting quality requirement)
Sec. 27-406. - Collection methods.
(a) A stormwater system utility fee is to be paid monthly by the owner, tenant or occupant of each parcel which is subject to the fee. The owner, tenant, or occupant of a parcel subject to a stormwater system utility fee, who is a consumer of potable water shall be rendered a bill for the stormwater system utility fee at the same time and manner as for the potable water bill. Where the owner, tenant or occupant of a parcel subject to the stormwater system fee is not a consumer of potable water, the owner of the parcel shall be rendered bills or statements for the fees of the system, which bills or statements shall be payable at the same time and in the same manner and subject to the same penalties of a consumer of the other utilities of the City to pay the rates and charges imposed under the terms of this article. Failure to pay a stormwater system utility fee shall be grounds for discontinuance of all City utility services to the entity who has failed to pay such fee. The City may make collection arrangements with other governmental entities or other utilities for areas that are not served by City utilities other than the stormwater system.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article to the contrary, the owner of each developed parcel shall be held liable and responsible for all stormwater system utility fees attributable to that parcel, irrespective of whether the premises is occupied by the owner or a tenant.
(c) To the extent that it is not prohibited by law, the City shall have as security for the collection of stormwater system utility fees a lien upon the parcel to which the fees are attributable. Such liens shall become in full force and effect when the bill for the fee is past due and shall remain a lien until paid in full. No discontinuance of service nor any attempt to collect such utility fees, assessments or charges by any process shall in any way invalidate or waive the lien upon the premises. The City may foreclose such lien pursuant to the manner prescribed by law.
Sec. 11-26. - Enforcement; procedure; remedies.
(a) The administrative official may enter and inspect any property, premises or place, to investigate complaints, study and observe water pollution conditions, make appropriate surveys, tests and inspections at any reasonable time for the purpose of ascertaining compliance with this article. No person shall refuse immediate entry or access to the administrative official upon request for such entry or access for the purpose of inspection and upon presentation of appropriate credentials; nor shall any person obstruct, hamper or interfere with any such inspection. If requested, the owner of the premises shall receive a report setting forth all facts found which relate to compliance status.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to violate any of the provisions of this article, any lawful rules and regulations promulgated under this article, any lawful order of the administrative official, or any condition, limitation or restriction which is part of an operating permit.
Sec. 11-29. - Prohibitions against water pollution.
(a) Prohibitions against discharge. It is unlawful for any person to throw, drain, run or otherwise discharge into any of the waters of this City, or to cause, permit or suffer to be thrown, run, drained, allowed to seep, or otherwise discharged into such water any organic or inorganic matter which shall:
(1) Breach the values set forth in F.A.C. ch. 62-302;
(2) Cause water pollution; or
(3) Cause a nuisance or sanitary nuisance.
(b) Discharges affecting water quality. It is unlawful for any person to discharge sewage, industrial wastes, cooling water and solid wastes, or any other wastes into the waters of this City including, but not limited to, surface water, tidal salt water estuaries, or groundwater in such quantities, and of such characteristics as:
(1) May cause the receiving waters, after mixing with the waste streams, to be of poorer quality than the water quality standards set forth in F.A.C. ch. 62-302;
(2) To cause water pollution; or
(3) To cause a nuisance or sanitary nuisance.
(c) Wastes shall not be discharged into storm sewers. No sewage, industrial waste, or other waste shall be discharged into any sewer designed to carry stormwater.
(d) Compliance tests. Sampling points to determine compliance with this article shall be selected as follows:
(1) Sampling stations. Sampling stations may be required to be installed if reasonable access is not available.
(2) Surface water and tidal salt water. The sampling for compliance should normally be taken at a point at least 50 feet from the point of discharge of the waste stream. Where possible the samples should be taken upstream and downstream from the point of discharge.
(3) Groundwater. For compliance, samples shall be taken from wells nearest to and encircling the point of entry of a waste stream into the ground water table. Test wells may be required to be installed and maintained if existing sampling points are found to be inadequate.
(4) Methods. All samplings and analysis shall be conducted in accordance with accepted sanitary engineering practices.
Sec. 27-433. - Enforcement.
(a) If the administrative official determines that a discharge in violation of this division is occurring or has occurred, then the administrative official may order the immediate cessation of such improper discharge.
(b) The provisions of this division may be enforced through any remedy available to the City in law or in equity, including injunctive relief. The City shall recover its court costs and a reasonable attorney's fee in any legal proceedings commenced to enforce this division.