LOS logo


Examples from WNC Communities

All of the communities with a NPDES Phase II permit have stormwater ordinances that address stormwater management including public outreach and education; illicit discharge detection and elimination; construction site runoff control; post-construction runoff control; and pollution prevention and good housekeeping. The following are a few examples communities that have incorporated innovative practices into their local ordinances to fulfill permit requirements.

The City of Asheville has adopted maximum impervious standards for all residential properties. Property owners may exceed the maximum limits by providing stormwater capture infrastructure.

Maximum impervious surface area for residential zones.

AVL Zoning

The City of Asheville also requires 30’ aquatic buffers for development, and erosion and sediment control measures for 500 sqft. of land disturbance. A formal control plan is required for 10,000 sqft. of land disturbance, a 3rd party inspector for 25,000 sqft. of land disturbance, and a re-vegetation bond for 5 acres of land disturbance.

Asheville’s steep slope ordinances (UDO 7-12-2 and UDO 7-12-4) set limits of disturbance based on the existing grade in two different elevation zones. All slopes greater than 2:1 slope and 5’ vertical height require a geo-technical certification. A geo-technical report is required for all slopes >36% or those that rate ‘high-moderate hazard’ on the Buncombe County Slope Stability Index Map (Henderson, Macon and Watauga counties also have landslide hazard maps available from the same NC DEQ website).

The City of Brevard is developing a new unified development ordinance (UDO) to complement its 2015 Comprehensive Plan. Several aspects of the UDO’s Environment section address stormwater management including: flood prevention, urban pollutants, steep slopes, sedimentation and erosion prevention, impervious area thresholds, stormwater design standards and first flush control, and surface water protection.

CodeBrevardHighlights from the UDO recommendations:

  • Addressing pollutants of concern for different land uses
  • Defining first flush water quality treatment requirements
  • Considering both 25-year and 100-year storms for flood prevention
  • Defining varied-width stream buffers based on adjacent land uses and impervious area
  • Continuing the fee-in-lieu of compliance program to fund stormwater control measures in higher-priority areas. The program should be based on a stormwater master plan for the entire city.


Black Mountain

Black Mountain
The Town of Black Mountain’s 2014 Comprehensive Plan Update features current policies and future goals, strategies and action items. The Environment chapter addresses open space, forest, and agricultural land preservation; steep slope protection; stormwater pollution; low impact development (LID); and surface water protection. Black Mountain also incorporates the NC DENR Conservation Planning Tool (included in the Green Growth Toolbox described below) into the development review process.

Town Hall







Rain garden and rain barrel at Black Mountain Town Hall. Source: Black Mountain Comprehensive Plan Update 2014, Chapter 3.


General Resources


The EPA’s Water Quality Scorecard is designed to help local governments protect water quality by removing barriers to green infrastructure, and revising and creating codes, ordinances, and incentives that facilitate it’s implementation at multiple scales.

Green GrowthWhile not stormwater-specific, the NC Wildlife Resources Commission’s Green Growth Toolbox offers model ordinances and NC-specific examples that address important stormwater management tools like stream buffers, and wetland, floodplain, and steep slope protection. The Town of Chapel Hill’s “rural buffer” may also be of interest to communities seeking to preserve farmland and natural resources, and redirect higher density growth to areas with existing storm sewer systems.

Operations & Maintenance
The Stormwater Equipment Manufacturers Association (SWEMA) has developed a Draft Best Management Practice (BMP) Maintenance Ordinance and a Maintenance Agreement. The ordinance is designed to help municipalities regulate both the inspection cycle and maintenance or repair of stormwater BMPs. SWEMA urges communities to adopt a stormwater ordinance that includes BMP inspection and maintenance.

Before After

Treatment device before and after maintenance. Source: SEMA.