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Proposed Amendments to Stormwater Regulations

At their May 8, 2018, meeting, the Village Council will review and consider changes to regulations for stormwater management for construction and development activities. The proposed regulations are intended to reduce the negative impacts of stormwater runoff caused by development activities, while continuing to accommodate residential redevelopment and additions to existing single family houses.

Meeting Summary: Real Estate Development Stakeholders

On April 24, 2018, Village staff presented a summary of the proposed regulations to local home builders, engineers and architects. The purpose of the meeting was to inform these key stakeholders about the potential regulation changes, obtain their feedback and encourage their participation in the review and approval process. The following three key questions were asked:

1. How many stormwater capital improvement projects has the Village constructed during the past 10 years?

Since 2008, the Village has completed approximately 60 stormwater capital improvement projects at a cost of about $35 million. The Village currently has plans to construct another 13 stormwater capital projects (2019 to 2022) at an estimated cost of about $15 million. 

These completed and planned projects reduce the frequency and severity of the flooding of structures and streets caused by moderate to severe rain events. More projects are expected to be identified and prioritized in 2019 and 2020. Additional information about stormwater capital projects can be found here:

2. Has there been an increase in the total amount of impervious area due to development activity?

Yes, development activity has increased the total amount of impervious area. From January 1, 2013, through April 27, 2018, the amount of impervious area in the Village has increased by 3.71% - an increase of 3,944,050 square feet from 106,181,396 square feet in January, 2013 to 110,125,446 square feet currently.

3. Has the Village spoken with the Village of LaGrange regarding their experience with similar regulations?

Yes. Village staff has spoken with LaGrange staff about their stormwater regulations.

Summary of LaGrange Discussion

  • On-site detention for new single family houses is required
  • Required volume is significantly less than the volume required in the draft ordinance
  • Many basins have clay soils with very slow infiltration rates
  • Basins are not connected directly into their combined sewer system (sanitary and storm)
  • Basins have overflow routes which flow into public streets when feasible
  • Owners of basins are encouraged to use portable pumps to use water held in the basins for irrigation purposes
  • The basins are functioning as expected and reduce the amount of stormwater runoff

More information about the LaGrange regulations can be found here:


Attendees of the April 24 stakeholder meeting offered several comments for consideration in the review and approval process. 

Responsibility for Providing & Maintaining a Stormwater Management System

  • Stormwater management is a long standing, Village-wide issue.
  • The Village should construct and maintain a properly sized, modern stormwater management system uniformly serving all areas of the Village.
  • All property owners should pay for the cost of constructing and maintaining the system, either through stormwater utility fees or taxes.
  • The Village should not require individual properties with single family houses to provide on-site detention. Basins serving neighborhoods are more effective managing runoff and more cost-effective to build and maintain.
  • Requiring private home owners to maintain basins is cost prohibitive.
  • Basins will not be well maintained.
  • The Village will incur expenses regulating the private maintenance of the basins.

Concerns About Effectiveness

  • Due to poor soils with low infiltration rates, the lack of availability of stormwater infrastructure and limited space for the basins (high water tables and small yard spaces), the basins will not effectively manage stormwater and mitigate stormwater runoff.
  • There will not be enough room on most lots to accommodate a typical new house and the required detention basins.
  • The basins will quickly fill up and will hold stagnant water for long periods of time.
  • The proposed regulations will not be effective because they do not affect many types of development which increase runoff such as driveways, patios and accessory structures.
  • Regulations should be based on the change in impervious area, not the type and cost of the project.

Negative Impacts to the Local Housing Market and Economy

  • The high cost of the regulations will reduce the value of residential properties Village wide.
  • The number of new houses and major additions constructed will decrease.
  • Residents will choose to build new houses and purchase existing houses in neighboring municipalities where the cost of regulations is significantly less.
  • The value of smaller lots (50' to 75' wide) will likely decline quickly and significantly as builders will avoid purchasing these properties for the construction of new houses.
  • The value of properties located more than 200 feet away from a storm sewer will decline quickly and significantly as builders will avoid purchasing these properties.
  • There will be an increase in the number of house remodels completed without a building permit. This will reduce the quality and value of the housing stock.
  • The threshold for requiring detention for additions is too low and should be significantly increased.
  • Over time the quality of the housing stock and neighborhoods will decrease.

Resident Reaction to Regulations

  • Residents will be frustrated with the impact of the regulations.
  • The cost of construction for new houses and additions will be higher than residents expect.
  • Permit review and issuance times will be longer than residents expect.
  • The variation process will create undue, unexpected delay and uncertainty.
  • Residents will not want to maintain the basin on their property.
  • Residents and builders will not be able to determine how large of a house may be constructed on a lot prior to preparing complete engineering plans with detention calculations and soils tests.
  • Existing residents planning to sell their properties to developers for the construction of a new house will be disappointed with the decrease in their property value and the reduction in potential buyers.
  • Existing residents expecting neighboring properties to be redeveloped or improved will be upset when the regulations result in the existing house remaining in its current condition.
  • Residents will be upset when neighbors constructing new houses or additions are required to make improvements in the street right-of-way in front of their properties (not directly adjacent to the construction site).
  • The Village will have a reputation of being difficult to work with.

Request for Further Involvement

  • Consider creating an ad-hoc committee of stakeholders to propose solutions to the issue.