Larger Common Plans of Development

It is very well known the development community that projects over 1 acre in size are eligible for coverage under the Ohio EPA Construction General Permit #OHC000004 to control stormwater as part of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). Less well known is the larger common plan of development provision of that permit. It specifies that; “Construction activities…[that] will disturbless than one acre of land but are part of a larger common plan of development or sale that will ultimately disturb one or more acres of land are eligible for coverage under the Construction General Permit.“

The definition from the United States EPA 2017 Construction General Permit defines this phrase as:

A contiguous area where multiple separate and distinct construction activities may be taking place at different times on different schedule under one common plan.

The “common plan” of development or sale is broadly defined as:

  • Any announcement,
  • Pieced of documentation,
    • Including a sign, public notice or hearing, sakes pitch, advertisement, drawing, permit application, zoning request, computer design, etc.
  • Or physical demarcation
    • Including boundary signs, lot stakes, surveyor markings, etc.

Indicating construction activities may occur on a specific plot. A more specific definition clarifies the ambiguity of the term:

The larger common plan provision attempts to view development activity holistically. The provision advances the EPA’s water quality goals by identifying small development parcels and subjecting those parcels to the erosion & sediment control and water quality standards.

Understanding how the larger common plan provision applies is especially important within urban areas where small parcels, master planning, planned use developments, and redevelopment of assemblages are the norm. Additionally, given the challenges of redeveloping small lots it is strongly recommended that developers and planners discuss stormwater requirements early in the planning process with the goal of finding efficiencies, and cost/facility sharing opportunities.

For more information about this topic please contact Brent Eysenbach @ 216-524-6580 x1011

Blog author: Brent Eysenbach, Stormwater Program Manager

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