Storm Water Advisory Committee Considers Proposal That Would Increase Fees for Commercial Property Owners

At its regular meeting yesterday, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Storm Water Advisory Committee (SWAC) heard public comment on a staff proposal that would increase storm water fees for hundreds of commercial property owners in Charlotte and some surrounding towns.

City and County staff are proposing capping existing storm water fee credits for older commercial detention ponds at 71%, which is similar to a proposal defeated in 2012 that would have capped the credits at 75%. Presently, these older ponds are eligible for 100% fee credit under the ordinance. You can view more information about the proposal here.

Staff contends that a fee disparity exists, as on-site storm water ponds built under current regulations don’t receive sufficient credit for the additional flood control and surface water quality benefits they provide, compared to older basins constructed under the original requirements of the Post-Construction Controls Ordinance (PCCO).

The City estimates that roughly 350 properties will be impacted through lower fee credits, resulting in higher annual storm water fees for those property owners and their tenants.

REBIC opposes this proposal, and asked SWAC members last night to maintain the existing fee credit for all eligible commercial properties that constructed, and are properly maintaining, detention ponds as required by the ordinance in place at the time they were developed.

We also pointed out that many of the impacted owners have structured long-term, multi-year leases around their property’s budgeted operating costs, which include stormwater fees and any associated city credits. A sharp reduction in these credits, like those currently proposed, would be passed on to tenants as required in NNN leases, immediately affecting hundreds of small business owners across the city.

Comments against the proposal were also made by representatives from the Bissell Company and Childress-Klein Properties, both of which have significant numbers of commercial properties that would be affected by the fee credit proposal.

SWAC is expected to make a recommendation on the proposal at its January meeting. It would then go on to City Council for consideration.

For additional information, please contact Rob Nanfelt with REBIC at (720) 771-3825.

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