- Original Stormwater Management Utility Ordinance (Ordinance No. 14-07-021)
- Amended Stormwater Management Utility Ordinance (Ordinance No. 18-05-21)
- Berkeley County Permanent Stormwater Utility Rate Study Report
- National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Storm Water Discharges from Regulated Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4 Permit)
Stormwater Utility Fee
|Stormwater Utility Fee Credit & Appeals Manual|
|Stormwater Utility Fee Appeal Form (Appendix A)|
|Stormwater Utility Fee Credit Application Form (Appendix A)|
|Stormwater Utility Fee Reallocation Application (Appendix A)|
|Stormwater Utility Fee Credit Renewal Form (Appendix B)|
|Right-Of-Entry Agreement (Appendix C)|
|Maintenance Covenant (Appendix D)|
|Clemson Extension Service Rain Garden Manual (Appendix E)|
|SCDHEC Stormwater Management BMP Manual (Appendix F)|
|Clemson Extension Service Education Programs (Appendix H)|
Stormwater Utility Fee
It is an annual fee assessed on the developed properties in the unincorporated area of Berkeley County, City of Goose Creek, and City of Hanahan (via Inter-Governmental Agreements) to fund the County’s, Goose Creek’s, Hanahan’s, and the Town of St. Stephen’s Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) and to comply with the regulatory requirements of each respective entities MS4 Permit.
Under the federal Clean Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) rules and regulations mandate Berkeley County to comply with the MS4 Permit. The MS4 Permit requires the County to develop, implement, and enforce a Stormwater Management Program to reduce the discharge of pollutants from Berkeley County’s MS4 to the maximum extent practicable (MEP), to protect water quality, and to satisfy the appropriate water quality requirements of the Clean Water Act. Additionally, Berkeley County signed Inter-Governmental Agreements with the City of Goose Creek and the City of Hanahan that require the County to develop, implement, and enforce a Stormwater Management Program within each respective municipality.
Berkeley County’s Stormwater Management Program is responsible for all stormwater related activities such as construction and post construction inspections, storm sewer mapping, illicit discharge detection and elimination, water quality monitoring, sampling, and tracking, and other SWMP tasks required by the MS4 Permit. The goals of the program are to protect, maintain, and enhance water quality and the environment of the County, Goose Creek, and Hanahan as well as the short-term and long-term public health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of the County, Goose Creek, and Hanahan.
Stormwater Utility Fee is assessed based on the funding required to implement the SWMP in the County, Goose Creek, and Hanahan. Each year as part of the annual budget process, costs and revenues will be reviewed and adjusted to ensure a balance in SWMP funding. A Stormwater Management Utility Rate Study was performed to establish permanent stormwater utility fees and classifications. The permanent fee schedule will be based on the amount of impervious area a developed non-residential parcel contains. Section 7 of the amended Ordinance describes the permanent fee and classification system.
An area modified to the extent that natural infiltration into the natural soil has become impeded. Impervious surfaces are accounted for in private walkways, parking lots, driveways, rooftops, patios, sheds, etc. Below are examples of impervious surface.
All developed properties in the unincorporated area of Berkeley County, the City of Goose Creek, and the City of Hanahan, including properties containing single and multifamily residences, mobile homes, nonresidential (commercial or industrial) land uses, tax exempt and non-profit properties are charged with a Stormwater Utility Fee. The fee will not be imposed on agricultural lands, forestlands, or undeveloped lands.
The established average impervious surface area associated with single-family residential (SFR) properties will be assessed at 1 ERU and applied uniformly to all mobile home units and SFR units.
Non-residential properties will be assessed in multiples of ERUs based on actual impervious areas (subject to a 1 ERU minimum). This category of properties includes the following properties classified as:
- Commercial Property
- Industrial Property
- Institutional Property
- HOA Community Center Property
- Multi-Family to include Duplexes and townhomes not subdivided by parcel lines
- Tax-exempt and Non-profit
- Boat Slips (Dry Stack Marinas)
- Properties whose primary function is not a single-family residence
Common areas associated with mobile home parks, multi-family and single-family residential development will be assessed like non-residential properties and charged to the HOA or property management.
Yes, churches, schools, and non-profit organizations will pay a Stormwater Utility Fee.
The following table shows the annual fee, devised via a Stormwater Management Utility Rate Study. The study employs an impervious surface model utilizing, impervious ft2 ÷ 2,760 ft2/(ERU Fee) calculation, with modifiers and variables for agricultural land, forested land, and undeveloped land.
Example: A parcel containing 915,447 ft² (21.01 ac.) of impervious surface
915,447 ft² ÷ 2,760 ft² / ERU = 331.68 (rounded to nearest ERU = 332 ERU)
332 ERU x $36.00 / ERU = $11,952/year
|Property Class||Base ERU|
|Single Family Residential||1 ERU/Unit|
|Nonresidential (Commercial/Industrial)||Impervious ft2 ÷ 2,760 ft2/ (ERU Fee)|
|Multi-family||Impervious ft2 ÷ 2,760 ft2/ (ERU Fee)|
|Mobile Homes||1 ERU/Unit|
|Tax-exempt and Non-profit||Impervious ft2 ÷ 2,760 ft2/ (ERU Fee)|
|Monthly ERU Fee||$3.00|
|Annual ERU Fee||$36.00|
|*for parcels containing multiple residences on the parcel, an annual fee per unit will be assessed|
Yes, most communities in the coastal area have instituted a Stormwater Utility Fee including Charleston County, Dorchester County, City of Folly Beach, City of Isle of Palms, Town of James Island, Town of Lincolnville, Town of Sullivan’s Island, Town of Mount Pleasant, City of Charleston, City of North Charleston, Town of Summerville, Beaufort County, Town of Hilton Head, Georgetown County, Horry County, City of Conway, City of Myrtle Beach, and City of North Myrtle Beach.
Yes, the Stormwater Utility Fee can be appealed within thirty days of the mailing of the Tax Notice. The appeal procedure is explained in Section 13 of the amended Ordinance and within the Berkeley County Stormwater Utility Fee Credit & Appeals Manual. Please see the below link, Stormwater Utility Fee Credits & Appeals.