(Continued from here.)
What stormwater management requirements will you need to meet?
This is going to be dictated mainly by the code requirements of your local municipality. An experienced contractor may be able to make recommendations for your particular project, and present that as an alternative option to your township.
Here is a partial list of some local townships that we’ve dealt with regarding stormwater management. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but should give some examples of what may be required for a patio or outdoor living area at your home:
- Robeson Township has a 500 sq.ft. exemption. There are 3 sections of the stormwater code that must be met after exceeding that exemption, and an engineer will be needed. Perc tests will also be required unless they are on file for your property.
- Uwchlan has a 400 sq.ft. exemption, and requires enough storage to store a 1″ rainfall.
- Upper Uwchlan has a 1,000 sq.ft. exemption.
- West Chester has a 400 sq.ft. exemption, and requires enough storage for a 1″ rainfall.
- East Earl Township has a 100 sq.ft. exemption, and capacity to store a 4″ rainfall.
- Brecknock Township has a 1,000 sq.ft. exemption.
- Manheim Township has a 1,000 sq.ft. exemption.
Stormwater regulations are constantly changing, so this list may become inaccurate rather quickly! Many municipalities have been very easy to work with on projects under 5,000 sq.ft. The contractor or the homeowner can collaborate with the code official to design a stormwater management system. Projects over 5,000 sq.ft. will typically require review from an engineer.
But do I really HAVE to get a permit?
In conclusion, I hope this helps explain some of the permitting requirements that may need to be met for your project. Please remember that it is really not worth trying to sneak this past your township! While we’ve not encountered this on our projects, I’ve met an individual who had to remove part of her patio… because her hardscape contractor “didn’t realize” that a permit was required and she exceeded the maximum impervious surface allowed for her home.
Many townships require a home inspection when the home is sold, so unapproved work is likely to be discovered eventually. And stormwater management is best built into the design; an add-on system will likely be more expensive and possibly unsightly! You might even consider a permeable pavement system to help with storm water management.
We’ve been working with various municipalities in Berks, Chester, Lancaster, and Delaware Counties over the last few years. To date, I’ve found that most have been very reasonable in their requirements! Mutual respect and good communication has been key in keeping the permitting process smooth (and really, isn’t that case for all things in life?)