Updated Stormwater Regs Could Add Cost, Aboveground Tanks to New Homes – Arlington, Texas

Arlington, Texas 2021-04-07 15:30:58 –

Responding to increasing storms, floods, ongoing development, Arlington County Will be changed Rainwater management regulations for single-family homes Construction project..

The· New requirements — And how they were born — developers are worried.

Arlington’s Environmental Services Department requires developers to use tools such as water tanks to allow new homes to hold at least 3 inches of rain. This will affect applications submitted after September 13, 2021.

Currently, developers are only working on hooks to improve the quality of water outflows using rain gardens, planters, permeable driveways, and tree coverings.

DES staff tells ARLnow that the new system will manage more water, protect downhill assets, reduce plan approval times and provide homeowners with sustainable rainwater facilities. ..

In a statement, staff said the change “reflects a future-oriented and balanced response to a diverse customer base, including downhill neighbors, real estate owners and builders.”

However, some developers working in Arlington County say the changes blind them and they want more input. They anticipate a significant increase in the potential cost of homeowners, arguing that this shifts the burden to individuals rather than to blame the neighborhood or the county itself.

“There are widespread concerns about the deployment of this,” said Yuri Sagatov of Sagatov Homes. “I have a lot of questions and few answers. I’m waiting for more information from the county to see how the changes affect the property.”

Staff say these changes aren’t doing enough to protect real estate downhill, especially from development, from increased torrential rains, storms, and spills caused by new homes in the county. He said it was caused by a sense among the inhabitants.

A county survey last summer found that the soil under the new home was ten times less permeable than the soil under the existing home.

Using a tank that appears to be on the ground in the photo, the goal is to retain rainwater during flash flood events such as: July 8, 2019..

“Gravity storage tanks facilitate a strategy of slowly capturing and releasing spills as a more robust and reliable way to handle heavy rainfall,” said the DES memo.

It seems like a viable alternative to more expensive underground systems, but the challenge is to blend them aesthetically.

“They’re talking about a huge terrestrial cistern,” the owner of a remodeling company told ARLnow. “I think my neighbors hate this. They will be scary.”

Regarding involving developers during the process, county staff said that strengthening existing programs only required the county to consult with stakeholders. The county surveyed neighbors, homebuilders, and engineers in 2019 and met with engineers earlier this year.

“I wish they were in the room where they made this decision,” said Andrew Moore, president of Arlington Designer Holmes.

“It may be a good policy, but if we don’t have the ability to consider it, it’s not,” he added.

There will be opportunities for involvement before the plan is announced in the summer, county officials say. The staff didn’t say how much the homeowner and developer would cost, but due to new requirements, “in exchange for a large and lasting return on investment for the new homeowner and adjacent real estate. , Upfront investment under construction ”was added.

Ultimately, builders want to get clues and get an accurate picture of costs, said Chad Hackmann, regional partner at Alair Homes Arlington.

“We’re not trying to confuse the apple cart — we’re trying to work with them,” he said. “Arlington is where every builder wants to work. Even if the economy is moving south, it’s always decent here in Arlington.”

Despite concerns about rainwater changes, homebuilders are cautiously optimistic about one proposed change aimed at: Shorten the authorization process.. Long permit delays have been plagued by local developers for years.

Moore said it would take up to 105 days for such a permit to be secured, and attempts to improve these processes failed. He said county efforts to accelerate the review process are welcome.

“We want it to be a shorter time frame,” he said.

Via photo Arlington County

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