7/16/2020 3:33:00 PM Hearing on proposed impervious standards sought in Wyoming City on Internet July 28
The City of Wyoming and the Comfort Lake-Forest Lake Watershed District are communicating on rewording city ordinances for specific impervious surface rules.
Wyoming is considering increasing impervious surface limits and streamlining how some, mostly commercial, developments are reviewed and permitted.
Impervious surfaces, pavement and rooftops, have an impact on water quality, frequency of flooding and provide a direct path for run-off and contaminants, by helping build velocity and quantity.
Watershed District Managers last week discussed how the 25 percent impervious as a general standard for most lots, is important. “I’d like to know a little more about what the city is trying to accomplish,” Manager Jackie Anderson said of the changes.
Board President Schmalz added, any “creep upward (in hardscape coverage) will really hurt” referring to the area hydrology and water quality.
Comfort Lake-Forest Lake Watershed District Managers were asked by Wyoming to look at what’s being proposed and let the city know of concerns. The two organizations hope to avoid making any changes that could end up reducing watershed protections. The idea, says Wyoming’s Zoning Official Fred Weck, is to apply a Conditional Use Permit process in certain situations as a more efficient way to review projects versus the process to grant a variance.
According to the Watershed District engineer Greg Garske, of EOR, the city isn’t looking to bypass any WD rules. The main issue is how current impervious standards can conflict with development.
Applying Conditional Use Permit criteria instead of the Variance standards would improve project review and permitting efficiences-- but the watershed district right now is not automatically impressed.
The Watershed District Board is not required to be notified of CUP applications. A variance is mandated to go to the district, however, and it triggers additional stormwater management requirements.
Watershed District managers also want to see buffer standards continued, under any new processing of permits. Removal of vegetation and restoration need to be clarified in the new wording.
Wyoming City Building Official Weck said there is a public hearing via Zoom on the ordinance set for July 28.
There should be final wording for ordinance amendments available then.
Weck added that the exact proposed percentages allowed for impervious are being worked on. “We are not sure where it all ends up.” Preliminary revisions, that the district reviewed as proposed by Wyoming include: ~for residential areas increase impervious from 30 to 50 percent of gross area, and for non-residential uses allow 75 percent impervious up from 50 percent.
~ Building footprints go to 30 percent of buildable lot area. These are all for properties outside the “Shoreland District.”
~The projects in the shoreland district would be allowed impervious (hardscape and roof) up to 75 percent of the project site under the Conditional Use Permit.
The ordinance review is the result of the Wyoming planning commission being asked by the city council to look into this issue. Weck said no specific city development motivated this effort.