Groveport plans to protect waterways

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The village of Groveport plans to update its stormwater management policy to help protect the area’s waterways.

Groveport is situated among four major creeks – Little Walnut, Big Walnut, Blacklick, and Alum, as well as several smaller streams and drainage ditches – which are affected by stormwater runoff.

At its March 17 committee of the whole meeting, Groveport Village Council heard a report from EMH&T engineer Steve Farst outlining the updates, which he said were driven by Ohio EPA requirements.

"The only thing in your stormwater system should be stormwater," said Farst, who added the proposed updates would "provide for a better quality of life."

Farst listed five main points in the proposed updated policy:

•Drainage easements – This would clarify easements and strengthen the village’s ability to inspect and enforce maintenance obligations on property owners.

•Stream corridor protection – This involves establishing a conservation (preservation) zone alongside streams affecting developing lands. Farst said this change would establish a stream corridor boundary buffer zone that would be required to be set aside as land around it develops.

"This zone would allow a waterway to be natural," said Farst. "It allows a stream to recover a tree canopy and help the water quality. The corridor would give a stream the chance to do what it does naturally so it can move without damaging property."

Farst added that the corridor would, in many cases, match the floodplain.

Existing land uses would be grandfathered into the plan.

•Operation and maintenance of stormwater drainage facilities – This would clarify the operation, routine, and remedial maintenance responsibilities.

•Enforcement of operation and maintenance – This would involve establishing abatement procedures and a notification process to correct improper drainage. It would also establish a process for the village to recover the cost to fix improper drainage from a responsible owner who fails to do so.

•Illicit discharge and obstruction – This would prohibit illicit discharge into the drainage system and allow for the removal of an unnatural obstruction in the streamway.

Council will hear the second reading of the ordinance to update the stormwater management policy at its March 24 meeting.

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