From City of Raleigh Website:
Stormwater Utility Fee Information
When did the stormwater fee go into effect?
The City of Raleigh began collection of the stormwater fee on March 1, 2004. All owners or tenants of developed property within the City Limits are billed for these fees. Properties outside of the City’s corporate limits will not be subject to the fee. The City has revised the stormwater utility fee structure for single-family homes with impervious surfaces larger than 6,620 square feet. The new fee structure was implemented on the July 2008 utility bills.
Why use “impervious surfaces” in determining stormwater charges?
The fee structure reflects the amount of runoff each property contributes to the community’s stormwater runoff problem. The more hard (impervious) surface area on a property, the greater the amount of stormwater that runs off into our culverts and streams. Thus, the greater the demand is on the drainage infrastructure. The fee is set up so that properties that produce more runoff are assessed a greater stormwater fee.
How is the amount of impervious surface area on my property determined?
Tax records and aerial photographs are used to determine the amount of hard surfaces on each property.
Hasn’t the City always had storm drains?
The City has had storm drains for a long time. However, recent federal regulations requiring a comprehensive stormwater quality management program necessitate that the City take a more active role in managing stormwater. The utility fee enables the City to meet its responsibilities to manage the storm drainage system more closely, study the contents of stormwater, seek out and eliminate illicit connections and illegal discharges, enforce codes more strictly, and facilitate public awareness.
How was the stormwater rate for household utility fees developed?
Annual stormwater program costs were divided by total impervious area. A statistical sampling was taken of representative properties in Raleigh. Each property was measured and a median impervious surface area was determined to be 2,260 square feet. Therefore, 2,260 sq. ft. equals one Single-Family Equivalent Unit (SFEU).
How has the stormwater rate on my utility bill been established?
The monthly stormwater utility fee is calculated based on the amount of impervious surface on a developed parcel. Impervious surface is any hard surface that does not readily absorb water and impedes the natural infiltration of water into the soil. Common examples of impervious surfaces are roofs, driveways, parking areas, sidewalks, patios, decks, tennis courts, concrete or asphalt streets, and compacted gravel surfaces. In addition to single-family homes, the stormwater utility fee is assessed on multifamily, commercial and industrial properties. Fees fall into one of two rate categories; single-family or commercial. The current rates went into effect in July of 2008.
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