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City of Delta steers clear of new utility charge

Delta has already undertaken a number of initiatives to improve stormwater management and groundwater recharge
delta stormwater management
Rain garden and curb cuts at the Chelsea Gate townhouse development on 72nd Avenue in North Delta.

No, the City of Delta won’t be imposing this additional charge on homeowners.

Council recently endorsed a staff report containing a series of recommendations for new stormwater management and groundwater recharge initiatives.

Among them is a voluntary trial program of disconnecting downspouts (roof leaders) and to discharge water to splash pads.

An evaluation of the effectiveness of downspout disconnection will take place for suitable larger lots that have sufficient yard space for infiltration opportunities.

Staff will also review possible changes to pervious area requirements.

Delta's zoning bylaw requirements for permeable surface and landscaping areas currently varies from 40 per cent for single-family homes to five per cent for industrial developments.

A staff report also went over a series of actions the city has already undertaken or plans to undertake, but an additional charge was not recommended.

“In Delta, stormwater management is funded from property taxes. Staff have reviewed the potential for a storm water utility charge and note that there are administrative and technical challenges if the charges are based on pervious area. Therefore, if a utility charge was to be implemented, it would be similar to the current approach based on property assessment. At this time, staff do not recommend pursuing a stormwater utility charge and support continuing with the current funding model for stormwater management in Delta,” the report states.

The report also notes that sustainable stormwater practices are encouraged wherever possible during discussions with developers about options to provide greener developments.

“Staff will continue to develop and strengthen education around implementation of best stormwater management practices and will continue to watch for opportunities to incorporate these best practices into future zoning and building bylaw reviews and discussions with the development community,” the report adds.