Verona Planning Board Tackles Stormwater Management Ordinance

In a recent Verona Town Planning Board meeting, members engaged in a discussion on the development of new stormwater management regulations to ensure compliance with the MS4 permit. The proposed ordinance amendments aimed at enhancing the township’s stormwater management were the focus, with the board debating technical definitions and requirements for major and minor developments.

The board’s deliberation on the MS4 permit highlighted the urgency to create a municipal stormwater management plan. This plan involves coordination with township planners and engineers, and incorporates feedback from the Department of Public Works and H2M planners. The proposed ordinances under discussion necessitated a clear understanding of the definitions of major and minor developments as they relate to stormwater management, with suggestions made for clarifications in the language of the ordinance. The technical details, such as design standards and maintenance requirements for stormwater facilities, were also scrutinized to ensure that future compliance with the MS4 permit was achievable.

During the meeting, board members engaged in a nuanced debate over the ordinance amendment concerning minor developments. One of the significant technical changes proposed was the removal of the modified rational method for sizing detention basins, coupled with the introduction of mandatory soil testing for new impervious surfaces exceeding 1500 square feet. The complexity and potential administrative burden of these changes were not overlooked. The discussion extended to the necessity of implementing measures to protect stormwater management features from future development, with the board considering both administrative and legal measures. The consensus leaned towards an administrative approach as the primary measure, with the flexibility to require an easement if justifiable reasons arose.

The potential burden on homeowners, particularly the requirement to file annual reports on stormwater management for minor developments, was another area of concern. Board members suggested the creation of downloadable resources from the Township’s website to assist homeowners in maintaining smaller installations. The importance of a historical check for new applications was underscored, acknowledging the challenges in maintaining permit records across different departments. The debate culminated in the board’s contemplation of recommending an administrative measure as the primary method for protecting stormwater management features, preserving the option for an easement when necessary.

Another part of the meeting revolved around the need to send memos relating to a 10-day posting requirement for the ordinance change. The necessity of this requirement was questioned, particularly given that no substantial changes to the ordinance were perceived. The board also examined the ordinance’s applicability to residential major and redevelopment areas and its consistency with the master plan. Concerns were raised regarding the new affordable housing obligations and their possible impact on stormwater management compliance. The board considered the need to reevaluate zoning regulations and building heights to accommodate both affordable housing and stormwater management requirements. Additionally, the potential impact of a new law regarding accessory structures on single-family properties on stormwater management was acknowledged.

The importance of consistency in the board’s comments and recommendations was emphasized, as was the need to ensure that the proposed regulations would not conflict with the township’s master plan or affordable housing initiatives.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Christopher Tamburro
Planning Board Officials:
Tom Jacobsen, Alex Roman, Jessica Pearson, David Freschi, Al DeOld, Tim Camuti, Jesse Lilley, Jason Hyndman, Jeremy Katzeff, Chris Bernardo, Greg Mascera (Planning Board Attorney), Mr. Peter Ten Kate (Township Engineer), Kathleen Miesch (Planning Board Secretary)

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