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Frequently Asked Questions


Erosion Control

When is an Erosion Control Permit Needed?
An erosion control permit is need from the City when the site disturbance is over 0.5 acre for commercial developments or over 1.0 acre for single family residence. If your site is over 1.0 acre you have to file for a erosion control permit with the City and a NCG01 Permit with North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. Visit our Erosion & Sedimentation page for more info.
What if my site is inside the Extra Territorial Jurisdiction?
The City’s jurisdiction is within the city limits, which does not include the ETJ (Extra Territorial Jurisdiction). Your site would fall under NCDEQ's rules for Erosion Control.
If my site is under the threshold do I still have to submit a financial responsibility form?
While you are not required to obtain an erosion control permit if you are under the site disturbance threshold, it is highly recommended that you submit a financial responsibility form so we know who to contact if there are any erosion issues from your site. Site under the threshold are not required to pay the related application fees. Please email your completed form to one of the Engineering contacts.
How often should I self-inspect my site's erosion control?
The landowner, the financially responsible party, or the landowner's or the financially responsible party's agent shall perform an inspection of the are covered by the plan after each phase of the plan has been completed and after the establishment of temporary ground cover.
What happens if my erosion control fails to comply with Best Management Practices?
If, through inspection it is determined that a person engaged in land-disturbing activity has failed to comply with 
The Act, this Ordinance, or rules, or orders adopted or issued pursuant to this ordinance, or has failed to comply with an 
approved plan, a notice of violation shall be served upon that person by registered or certified mail or other means 
reasonably calculated to give actual notice. The notice shall set forth the measures necessary to achieve compliance with 
the plan, specify a reasonable time period within which such measures must be completed, and warn that failure to correct 
the violation within the time period will result in the assessment of a civil penalty or other enforcement action. 
However, no time period for compliance need be given for failure to submit an erosion control plan for approval or for 
obstructing, hampering or interfering with an authorized representative while in the process of carrying out his official duties. If the person engaged in land-disturbing activity fails to comply within the time specified,enforcement action shall be initiated.
What is a Notice of Violation (NOV)?
Notice of violation; civil penalties. Any person who violates this ordinance, or who initiates or continues a land-disturbing activity for which an erosion control plan is required other than in accordance with the terms, conditions and provisions of an approved erosion control plan, is subject to fees as provided in the city's annual fee schedule.


When is a Stormwater Permit Needed?
Any activity that disturbs greater than one acre of land to establish, expand, or replace a single family or duplex residential development or recreational facility. For individual single family residential lots of record that are not presently part of a larger common plan of development or sale by the lot owner, the activity must also result in greater than ten (10) percent built-upon area. Any activity that disturbs more than one-half (½) acre of land in order to establish, expand or modify a multi-family residential development or a commercial, industrial, institutional or any other non-residential facility. Projects meeting the criteria listed above that replace or expand existing structures or improvements and that do not result in a net increase in built-upon area are not required to comply with this rule.
What is a Riparian Buffer?
Riparian buffer means an area of trees, shrubs, or other forest vegetation, that is adjacent to surface waters. Surface water shall be present if the feature is approximately shown on either the most recent version of the county soil survey report prepared by the Natural Resources Conservation Service or the most recent version of the 1:24,000 scale (7.5 min) quadrangle topographic maps prepared by the United States Geological Survey. These surface waters are also known as "Blueline Streams". Riparian buffers adjacent to features that do not appear on either of these maps shall not be subject to this chapter, except those areas determined by the stormwater administrator to be environmentally sensitive, shall be protected. Even though the City resides in the Tar Pamlico and Roanoke basins, the current stormwater ordinance applies to both basins within the City limits. A 50-foot wide riparian buffer shall be maintained directly adjacent to all perennial and intermittent streams, including lakes, ponds, and other bodies of water. View our Riparian buffers page here.
What are the development standards?
A minimum of eighty-five percent (85) average annual removal for Total Suspended Solids (TSS) through the use of any combination of structural or non-structural BMPs. Nitrogen and Phosphorus export standards: All development that meets the requirements of this division must limit nitrogen export to 4.0 pounds per acre per year (lbs/ac/yr) and phosphorus export to 0.4 pounds per acre per year (lbs/ac/yr). This may be achieved through, construction of allowable onsite or offsite stormwater management facilities, participation in an approved "regional" or "jurisdictional-wide" facility or strategy, dedication of "open space" and/or "conservation" easements. Pay a one-time offset payment using the latest nitrogen and phosphorus offset payment calculations and fee as specified in the Nutrient Offset Payments Rule. Development shall not result in an increase in peak stormwater runoff leaving the site from the pre-development conditions for the one-year-24-hour storm event. Runoff volume drawdown time shall be a minimum of twenty-four (24) hours, but no more than one hundred twenty (120) hours depending on the type of BMP used. View our development standards page here.
What are the exceptions to peak runoff control?

The overall impervious surface area is less than fifteen (15) percent of the total site and the remaining pervious portions of the site are utilized to the maximum extent practical to convey and control the stormwater runoff; and the increase in peak flow between the pre-development and post-development conditions does not exceed ten (10) percent; or the director of engineering makes a determination that stormwater detention at this particular location will increase flooding, accelerate erosion or negatively impact existing drainage problems in the area. In such cases, an alternate method of peak attenuation management may be required.

Is there a partial offset option?
Yes partial buy downs are possible, however you must have to use a primary Stormwater Control Measure and you will have to buy down whatever you cannot treat.
Are post-construction permits required?
Post-construction permits are required for all projects that required a stormwater permit. The permit shall replace the stormwater permit upon final acceptance of the stormwater system for the project. No lapse of permit coverage is allowed. The permit must be maintained for the life of the development or unless significant modifications in the development are made that changes the intent of the permit. Significant changes may include, but are not limited to, increase in the amount of impervious coverage or updates/modifications to the stormwater conveyance system. The developer/owner shall notify the city of the proposed changes and the stormwater administrator shall determine if such changes warrant an amendment to the approved permit or issuance of a new permit entirely.
Do I have to maintain the Stormwater Control Measure (SCM) on my newly purchased property?
Conveyance of the property containing the SCM system shall not terminate the original developer's obligations under this division and shall remain in effect with the future property owner.


What is the City's minimum size for new waterlines?
The minimum size for water is 8 inch.
How much water capacity do I need for my development?
Establishment Use by Customer Daily Capacity
Usage Gallons
Airports, also RR Stations, bus terminals (not including food service facilities) 5 gal/passenger
Barber shops 50 gal/chair
Bars, cocktail lounges (not including food services) 20 gal/seat
Beauty shops 125 gal/booth or bowl
Bowling alleys 50 gal/lane
Businesses (other than those similar to those listed in this table) 25 gal/employee
  Construction or work camps 60 gal/person
  Summer camps 60 gal/person
  Camp grounds without water and sewer hookups 100 gal/campsite
Car washes 450 gal/stall
Travel trailer/recreational vehicle park with water and sewer hookup 120 gal/campsite
Churches (not including food service, day care and camps) 3 gal/seat
Country clubs—Resident members 60 gal/person
  Nonresident members 20 gal/person
Day care facilities 15 gal/person
Factories (exclusive of industrial wastes)—Per shift 25 gal/person
  Add for showers—Per shift 10 gal/person
Food service facilities restaurants (including fast food)  40 gal/seat or
 40 gal/15 sq. ft. of dining area, whichever is greater
24-hour restaurants 50 gal/seat
Single-service (exclusive of fast food) 25 gal/seat
Food stands  
  (1) Per 100 square feet of total floor space 50 gal
  (2) Add per employee 25 gal
Hospitals 300 gal/bed
Laundries (self-service) 500 gal/machine
Marinas 10 gal/boat slip
  With bathhouse 30 gal/boat slip
Meat markets  
  (1) Per 100 square feet of total floor space 50 gal
  (2) Add per employee 25 gal
Motels/hotels 120 gal/room
  With cooking facilities in room 175 gal/room
  With restaurant (add restaurant and motel/hotel   figures)  
Nursing/rest homes—With laundry 120 gal/bed
  Without laundry 60 gal/bed
Offices—Per shift 25 gal/person
Residential dwelling units (including duplexes, apartments and condominiums)
  In determining the daily capacity usage of dwelling units, the flow rate shall be 120 gallons per day per bedroom. The minimum usage for each dwelling unit shall be 240 gallons per day and each additional bedroom above two bedrooms will increase the usage by 120 gallons per day. Each bedroom or any other room or addition that can reasonably be expected to function as a bedroom shall be considered a bedroom for design purposes. When the occupancy of a dwelling unit is expected to exceed two persons per bedroom, the daily capacity usage shall be determined by the maximum occupancy at a rate of 60 gallons per person per day per bedroom (with a 240 gallon per day minimum per dwelling unit).
Residential care facilities 60 gal/person
Restaurants  40 gal/ seat or
 40 gal/15 sq. ft. of dining area, whichever is greater
  Day schools  
    With cafeteria, gym and showers 15 gal/student
    With cafeteria only 12 gal/student
    With neither cafeteria nor showers 10 gal/student
  Boarding 60 gal/student
Service stations/convenience stores  
  With water closets or urinal 250 gal/water closet or urinal
  Without water closets or urinal 150 gal/1,000 sq. ft.
Stadiums, auditoriums, theaters, drive-ins 5 gal/seat or space
Stores shopping centers and malls—Note: If food service is included, add 40 gal/seat 120 gal/1,000 sq. ft.
Swimming pools and bathhouses 10 gal/person


When is a Sewer Permit Necessary?
Please download and review this document. "When is a Sewer Permit Necessary Document"
What is the City's minimum size for new sewer lines?
The minimum size for sewer is 8 inch.


When is a driveway permit necessary?
Driveway access permits are needed if a citizen/resident needs to install a second or brand new driveway access to city or state roads. Please go to our Driveway Access Permit Page to fill out an application.