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Model Ordinances

Local ordinances are an important implementation tool for stormwater management and controlling nonpoint source pollution.  The Metro Water District’s five model stormwater management ordinances address a variety of stormwater-related issues including post-development (after construction) stormwater runoff, floodplain management, stream buffer protection, illicit discharge and illegal connections to the stormwater system and litter control.  Cities and counties within the Metro Water District are required to adopt the model ordinances or similar ordinances that are at least as effective.

Note: The model ordinances below may be downloaded in PDF or Word format by clicking on the appropriate links next to each title.

Model Ordinance for Post-Development Stormwater Management for New Development and Redevelopment

(PDF) (Word)

This model ordinance provides post-development stormwater management requirements for new development and redevelopment in a community. The ordinance defines requirements for development to address stormwater runoff quality and quantity impacts following construction resulting from the permanent alteration of the land surface as well as the nonpoint source pollution from land use activities.

Model Floodplain Management / Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance

(PDF) (Word)

Floodplain management involves the designation of flood-prone areas and the managing of their uses. It is also aimed at minimizing modifications to streams, reducing flood hazards, and protecting the beneficial uses of the floodplain such as water quality protection. Floodplain regulations and development restrictions can greatly reduce future flooding impacts, preserve greenspace and habitat, and protect their function in safely conveying floodwaters and protecting water quality. This model ordinance aims to help communities avoid potential flood damages by regulating future-conditions floodplains and providing building standards in flood-prone areas.

Model Stream Buffer Protection Ordinance

(PDF) (Word)

The loss of vegetation, increases in impervious surface and increases in stormwater runoff associated with urbanization can have severe impacts on streams, including scouring, bank collapse, increased erosion and sediment, loss of habitat and reduction in water quality. Stream buffers, along with other protection measures, can help protect streams and preserve water quality by filtering of pollutants, reducing erosion and sedimentation, protecting and stabilizing stream banks, preserving vegetation and providing both aquatic and land habitat. This model ordinance provides a framework for local governments to develop buffer zones for streams as well as the requirements that minimize land development within those buffers. It is the purpose of these buffer zone requirements to protect and stabilize stream banks, protect water quality and preserve aquatic and riparian habitat.

Model Illicit Discharge and Illegal Connection Ordinance

(PDF) (Word)

An illicit discharge is defined as any discharge to a storm drainage system or surface water that is not composed entirely of stormwater runoff (except for discharges allowed under an NPDES permit or waters used for firefighting operations). This model ordinance provide communities with the authority to deal with illicit discharges and establishes enforcement actions for those properties found to be in noncompliance or that refuse to allow access to their facilities.

Model Litter Control Ordinance

(PDF) (Word)

Litter found throughout our community often finds its way into our streams, rivers and lakes and detracts from our quality of life. Litter control ordinances provide a prohibition against littering and provide an enforcement mechanism with penalties for dealing with those found littering. This ordinance is modeled on the “Georgia Litter Control Law” (O.C.G.A. § 16-7-40 et. seq.) and contains a few additions to ensure that local governments in the District address the impacts trash and debris have on our water resources.

Additional Example Ordinance (Optional)

The following model ordinance is not required but is provided as an optional resource to local governments.

Model Conservation Subdivision/Open Space Development Ordinance

(PDF) (Word)

This model ordinance provides for conservation subdivisions in residential zones. This type of development can provide for the preservation of open space and greenspace for watershed protection and the nonstructural management of stormwater runoff.