Stormwater Bylaw and Regulations

Please note that online versions of Town bylaws and regulations should not be considered official versions. For an official version of any Town ordinance, please contact the Town Clerk.

The Stormwater Bylaw is attached at the bottom of this page, and can be found at this link. The Utility Regulations are displayed below.

MILTON STORMWATER UTILITY REGULATIONS

Purpose - These regulations have been adopted to govern the establishment of a Stormwater Utility and the collection of a Stormwater Management Fee pursuant to the authority granted the Milton Board of Selectmen under Chapter 21 of the General Bylaws of the Town of Milton.

Definitions -

IMPERVIOUS SURFACE(S): Areas which prevent or impede the infiltration of Stormwater into the soil in the manner in which it entered the soil, in natural conditions, prior to development. Common impervious surfaces include, but are not limited to, rooftops, buildings or structures, sidewalks, walkways, patio areas, driveways, parking lots, storage areas, swimming pools, hockey rinks, decks, compacted gravel and soil surfaces not specifically engineered and maintained to be permeable, awnings and other fabric or plastic coverings, and other surfaces which prevent or impede the natural infiltration of Stormwater runoff which existed prior to development.

MUNICIPAL STORM DRAIN SYSTEM: The system of conveyances designed or used for collecting or conveying Stormwater, including any road with a drainage system, street, gutter, curb, inlet, piped storm drain, pumping facility, retention or detention basin, water quality treatment structure natural or man-made or altered drainage channel, reservoir, waterway or other drainage structure that together comprise the storm drainage system owned or operated by the Town.

STORMWATER: runoff from rain, snowmelt, or stream of water, including a river, brook or underground stream.

STORMWATER MANAGEMENT SERVICES or STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PROGRAM: All services provided by the Town which relate to the:

(a) Transfer, control, conveyance or movement of Stormwater runoff through the Town;

(b) Maintenance, repair and replacement of existing Stormwater Management Systems and Facilities;

(c) Planning, development, design and construction of new, expanded or upgraded Stormwater Management Systems and Facilities to meet current and anticipated needs or to reduce the discharge of Stormwater pollutants to wetlands or waterways, ensure that the rate or volume of runoff discharged to wetlands or waterways approximates pre-development hydrology, or prevent or remediate flood damage;

(d) Regulation of the use of stormwater management services, systems and facilities on public or private properties in Milton; or

(e) Compliance with applicable state and federal stormwater management regulations and permit requirements.

STORMWATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM AND FACILITIES: Natural and manmade channels, swales, ditches, rivers, streams, creeks, branches, reservoirs, ponds, drainage ways, inlets, catch basins, pipes, headwalls, storm sewers, lakes and other physical works, properties and improvements which transfer, control, convey, detain, retain, treat or otherwise influence the movement of Stormwater runoff.

STORMWATER MANAGEMENT FEE: a charge for the use of the Stormwater Management Services of the Town of Milton.

STORMWATER UTILITY: A specific management structure for the Stormwater Management Fee, in which a municipal utility is established to administer the fee and the Stormwater Management Program for the Town of Milton similar to a water or sewer utility.

III.           Authority

These regulations have been adopted pursuant to the authority granted to the Milton Board of Selectmen under Chapter 21 of the General Bylaws of the Town of Milton.

Establishment of Stormwater Management Utility and Stormwater Management Fee

The Town of Milton hereby establishes a Stormwater Utility to administer Stormwater Management Services provided by the Town and further establishes a charge for the use of the stormwater management services of the Town to be known as the Stormwater Management Fee.

Receipts generated from the Stormwater Management Fee shall be deposited to a special revenue account to be known as the “Stormwater Utility Account” established in accordance with the authority granted by MGL c. 44, § 53F 1/2. The funds deposited to this account shall be used solely to fund the Stormwater Management Program.

The Board of Selectmen shall establish reasonable rates for the Stormwater Management Fee to defray the cost of administering and implementing the Stormwater Management Program of the Town consistent with the annual operating budget for the Stormwater Management Program as approved by Milton Town Meeting.

The initial rates, and any later modifications, shall be based upon recommendation of the Director of Public Works and shall be set by vote of the Board of Selectmen. A schedule of said rates shall be on file in the office of the Town Clerk.

The Stormwater Management Fee shall be assessed based on the number of units of impervious cover on each parcel. To simplify administration of the fee, similar parcels may be grouped into categories or tiers and the fee may be based on the average number of units of impervious cover for the applicable category.

The Stormwater Management Fee shall be billed at least annually, but not more frequently than in four quarterly increments.

The Board of Selectmen may also establish a system of credits that reduce the Stormwater Management fee for properties that demonstrate they have met performance standards established by the Director of Public Works for reducing the volume of stormwater generated, the peak rate of stormwater discharge, and/or the quantity of pollutants generated.

The collection of the Stormwater Management Fee shall be overseen and administered by the Director of Public Works, including the final determination as to the amount of impervious surface on a parcel and whether a parcel meets the criteria for a credit (if any).

In the event that a property owner believes the Stormwater Management Fee is improperly calculated or is otherwise in error, the property owner may, within thirty (30) days from the date of issuance of the Stormwater Management Fee bill, and after payment of the bill in full, apply to the Director of Public Works for an adjustment. The application for adjustment shall be supported by such information as is necessary for a reasonable person to conclude that it is more likely than not that the billing is in error. If the size of the area of impervious surface on the property or the applicability of a credit is in dispute, the Director of Public Works may request a site visit for him or his designee to inspect the property. The Director of Public Works shall have sixty (60) days from the date of application or completion of the site visit, whichever comes last, to consider the request for adjustment and render a written decision which may deny the adjustment, grant the adjustment in full, or grant the adjustment in part. If the Director of Public Works requests a site visit and the property owner declines access to the property, the adjustment request shall be denied.

VI.          Applicability

The Town finds that all real property in the Town contributes to runoff and either uses or benefits from the maintenance of the Stormwater Management System and Facilities. Therefore, except as provided in this section or otherwise provided by law, the Stormwater Management Fee shall be imposed on each parcel of residential property and each parcel of nonresidential property, whether occupied or not, including but not limited to public, municipal and tax exempt property..

No exception, credit, offset, or other reduction in Stormwater Management Fee  shall be granted based on age, tax status, economic status, race, religion or other condition unrelated to the cost of providing Stormwater Management Services and Facilities.

In the case of roadways which have not been formally accepted by the Town but which are not included within the boundaries of one or more individual parcels which such unaccepted roadways service, the impervious area of the unaccepted roadway shall be determined and allocated to the adjoining properties which benefit from said roadway.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Town establishes exemptions to the Stormwater Management Fee as follows:

Land that does not include impervious surfaces.

Railroad rights-of-way (tracks). However, railroad stations, maintenance buildings, and/or other improved property used for railroad purposes shall not be exempt from Stormwater Management Fee charges.

Public streets, highways and rights-of-way. However, maintenance buildings and/or other improved property used for road maintenance purposes shall not be exempt from the Stormwater Management Fee. All other State, Federal, and County properties are subject to the Stormwater Management Fee on the same basis as private properties.

Billing - Failure to receive a bill for a Stormwater Management Fee is not justification for non-payment. The property owner, as identified from public land records of the Town of Milton, shall be obligated to pay the appropriate Stormwater Management Fee for that property. If a property is unbilled, or if no bill is sent for a particular parcel of developed land, the Town may back bill for the fees as applicable for a period not to exceed one (1) year of charges, but no late fees or delinquency charges of any kind shall be charged or recovered from any property owner so back billed.

Stormwater bills shall be committed to the Town Treasurer / Tax Collector for collection. The Town Treasurer / Tax Collector shall notify the Director of Public Works monthly of the amounts collected, and shall keep records of all paid and unpaid Stormwater bills.

In any case of nonpayment of a stormwater bill for sixty (60) days after the same is due, the Town Treasurer / Tax Collector shall send a notice to the delinquent property owner, and shall inform the Director of Public Works in writing that such notice has been sent.

In accordance with the authority granted by M.G.L. Ch. 83 § 16A through 16F, charges for the Stormwater Management Fee, together with interest thereon and costs relative thereto, shall be a lien upon the real estate for which the Stormwater Management Fee  was billed. Such lien shall take effect by operation of law on the day immediately following the due date of such Stormwater Management Fee and, unless dissolved by payment or abatement, shall continue until such Stormwater Management Fee has been added to or committed as a tax in accordance with the requirements of M.G.L. Ch. 83 § 16C, and thereafter, unless so dissolved, shall continue as provided in M.G.L. Ch. 60 § 37.

In addition to the method of collection specified in M.G.L. Ch. 83 § 16A through 16F, the overdue charge may be collected through any other lawful means.

Appeals - In the event that a property owner fails to pay the Stormwater Management Fee as billed and the Town utilizes the process set forth in M.G.L. Ch. 83 § 16A through 16F to collect the unpaid charges, the property owner shall have the right to seek an abatement by filing an application for abatement with the Director of Public Works in accordance with the remedy specified in M.G.L. Ch. 83 § 16E with a copy delivered to the Board of Assessors. The application for abatement shall conform to the requirements for a notice of appeal as set forth in Section V hereof, and the process for a hearing before the Director of Public Works, including the applicable time limits, shall be as set forth in Section V hereof. In the event that the Director of Public Works denies the abatement, in whole or in part, he shall, in his written decision, include a statement notifying the property owner of the right to seek a review of the decision by the filing of an appeal with the appellate tax board of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts within three months of the date of the decision of the Director of Public Works.

Severability - The provisions of this Bylaw are hereby declared to be severable. If any provision, paragraph, sentence, or clause of this Bylaw or the application thereof to any property owner, establishment, or circumstances shall be held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the other provisions or application of said Bylaw to the extent permitted by law.

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