Atlanta Bureau of Watershed Management Overhauls Stormwater Ordinance: Council for Quality Growth Voices Concerns

The Council for Quality Growth hosted Susan Rutherford, Watershed Manager for the City ofAtlantaand Cory Rayburn, Environmental Program Manager for the Bureau at our monthly Atlanta Advisory meeting.  They presented an overview of the proposed changes for stormwater management, many that would affect members of the Council for Quality Growth and some that caused concerns.   The Council for Quality Growth believes that a good management policy is needed in order to maintain a high water quality for the city and commends the Bureau for their work and sound management.  The Council however, has the following suggestions for the proposed ordinance, including:


  • The proposed ordinance should not more stringent than the Georgia Storm Water Management Manual with regards to definitions and minimum applicability standards for commercial and residential projects;
  • Adopt an ordinance that considers the context of the urban environment, planning requirements, and combined sewer basins prevalent inAtlanta;
  • Utilize existing applicability definitions from the Georgia Manual (Section, specifically the minimum development criteria, as well as exemption of routine maintenance activities such as resurfacing parking lots;
  • Removing the proposed Coastal Standards for Atlanta;
  • Provide clear and quantifiable definitions to avoid ambiguity such as “previously developed site”;
  • Clearly establish the meeting process for the proposed concept plan and consultation meeting;
  • Define clear protocol if stormwater infiltration requirements cannot be met due to soil conditions, site constraints or otherwise;
  • Relieve stormwater quality requirements for sites that discharge to a combined sanitary/storm sewer.

The Council will continue working with the city throughout the process and will keep our members informed and engaged as the issue moves closer to a hearing before the Atlanta City Council.  For more information regarding the current proposed ordinance, please click HERE.