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Avondale Estates City Commission to discuss land disturbance permit ordinance

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Avondale Estates City Commission to discuss land disturbance permit ordinance

Avondale Estates City Hall. Photo by Dean Hesse.

This story has been updated.

Avondale Estates, GA — The Avondale Estates City Commission will meet on Wednesday, July 26, at 5:30 p.m. for a regular meeting, followed by a work session. The city commission meeting will be held at Avondale Estates City Hall, 21 N. Avondale Plaza, and via Zoom.

During the work session, the city commission will discuss the land disturbance permit ordinance.

To join the meeting via Zoom, click here. To call in, dial +1-301-715-8592. The webinar ID is 823 9358 9042.

To view the meeting agenda, click here.

Public comments can be made either by attending the meeting in-person or through Zoom.

The ordinance aims to protect the city’s stormwater infrastructure and private property within Avondale Estates from the impacts of land disturbance.

The city’s zoning code sets a standard requirement for how much of a residential property one could fill and how much could be left open. But the city has seen an increase in stormwater runoff that’s impacting private property and the city’s stormwater infrastructure. City staff is aiming to tighten up the land disturbance permitting process and tighten up the guidelines.

The ordinance outlines situations where a land disturbance permit would be required, which includes any grading, building a new structure or addition, adding 1,000 square feet or more of impervious surface, adding impervious surface when structures exceed the maximum lot coverage, and land disturbance of 5,000 square feet of land.

The ordinance also provides for exemptions for home gardening or landscaping projects, grading or land disturbance on public property by the city, work on transportation projects, building a shed, and the maintenance or improvement of an existing structure that does not involve land disturbance or adding an impervious surface.

Additionally, the ordinance creates a minor land disturbance permit for grading an area of any size to address drainage and erosion control.

At the July 12 city commission work session, Assistant City Manager Shannon Powell outlined a few problems the city is facing when it comes to stormwater. The city has a form residents can fill out to report issues. The system was put in place in October 2022.

“In less than a year, we’ve had over 80 reports submitted to us or complaints, and of those, over 40 of them have been about stormwater,” Powell said. “It is a daily routine for us to have conversations about what’s happening on private property and in our own infrastructure.”

An outline of changes to land disturbance permitting attached to the July 12 agenda highlights three problems and possible solutions:

– Creating a new section that will assimilate new and existing land disturbance permit triggers and requirements, and provide reference to current requirements in the stormwater and tree protection ordinances.

– Creating a minor land disturbance permit requirement so that minor land disturbance must provide an erosion and grading plan that would prevent runoff from damaging other property.

– Reducing the threshold for a full stormwater management plan to 1,000 square feet of disturbance to protect city infrastructure and provide property from uncontrolled runoff.

Also, during the work session, the city commission will discuss the final plat requirement for a Toll Brothers townhome development. During the regular meeting, the city commission will discuss the city’s 2022 audit report and will consider amending an agreement with Clark Patterson Lee.

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