The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality stormwater permit requires the county to reduce pollutants in stormwater before flowing into nearby streams, lakes and rivers that lead to the Chesapeake Bay.
When it rains, millions of gallons of stormwater flow off our roofs, streets, and parking lots into the several hundred miles of pipes, ditches, and paved channels that carry stormwater to our streams and rivers transporting pollutants such as:
- Animal Waste
- Fertilizers and Pesticides
- Trash and Debris
- Vehicle Fluids
In efforts to comply with the permit and reduce the existing pollutants discharging to local waters and ultimately to the Chesapeake Bay, the county has developed a compliance plan that details the county’s program.
A stormwater utility was created in 2016 to support the compliance plan and meet its stormwater permit requirements. County residential and commercial properties pay a stormwater utility fee based on the amount of impervious area such as artificial structures (roads, sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, etc.) that are covered by impenetrable materials (asphalt, concrete, brick, stone, rooftops, etc.). These are areas of significant contribution of stormwater pollutants on the property. This fee is included as a separate line item on the real estate tax bill.
Do other municipalities have stormwater utilities?
Yes. In 2016, there were 21 municipalities in Virginia with dedicated funding charges for stormwater management. The average cost per household in other Virginia jurisdictions is $46 per year. Across the nation, there are over 1,500 municipalities with dedicated fees for stormwater management programs.
How are the collected funds being used?
The stormwater utility fee will provide funding to complete projects for compliance with the county's stormwater permit and Chesapeake Bay requirements. The projects that have already been implemented and completed are shown below.
Who pays the stormwater utility fee?
Developed residential and commercial (nonresidential) properties are subject to the stormwater utility fee. Undeveloped property, defined as any property that has less than or equal to two hundred fifty square feet of impervious area, does not pay a stormwater utility fee.
What is the fee based on?
The fee is based on impervious area represented as an equivalent residential unit (ERU), calculated as 2,800 square feet. An ERU is approximately equal to the average impervious area for all single family detached parcels in the county.
How much will I pay (fee rates)?
- Residential property owners pay $25 per year (one ERU) for single family detached homes.
- Townhome and condominium owners pay $7.50 per year (30% of one ERU)
- Commercial properties (e.g., nonresidential and rental multifamily properties) are charged based on the total amount of impervious area on the site and the resulting ERUs, at a rate of $25 per ERU per year.
- Commercial properties that drain to stormwater management facilities or participate in pollution reduction programs receive a partial credit in the stormwater utility fee as outlined in the credit policy.
- Exempt properties include
- Federal, state, local and public entities that hold a permit to discharge stormwater
- Undeveloped properties
Can I petition for an adjustment of my stormwater fee?
The stormwater utility ordinance allows for property owners to petition for adjustments to their stormwater utility fee. Grounds for adjustments of the fee are limited to the following:
- An error was made regarding the calculation of the square footage of commercial properties. The fee for developed residential properties is a flat fee and cannot be appealed.
- The property is exempt from the fee, but received a bill in error.
- The identification of the property owner billed is in error.
- There is a mathematical error in calculating the stormwater utility fee.
- An approved credit for commercial properties was incorrectly applied.
I believe that there may be an error to my fee. How do I make a request for an adjustment?
The property owner must complete and submit an application for adjustment to the Department of Environmental Engineering no later than December 5, 2018. Applications may be submitted by:
- Email: Stormwater Utility Team
Department of Environmental Engineering
P.O. Box 40
Chesterfield, Virginia 23832-00400
Chesterfield County Community Development Building (3rd Floor)
Department of Environmental Engineering
9800 Government Center Pkwy
Chesterfield, VA 23832-00400