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Union County, North Carolina

Stormwater & Floodplain

Stormwater & Floodplain

Why is stormwater a runoff problem?

Stormwater can pick up debris, chemicals, dirt and other pollutants and flow into a storm sewer system or directly into a lake, stream, river, wetland or coastal water. Anything that enters a storm sewer system is discharged untreated into the water bodies we use for swimming, fishing and providing drinking water.

The effects of pollution:

  • Polluted stormwater runoff can have many adverse effects on plants, fish, animals and people.
  • Sediment can cloud the water and make it difficult or impossible for aquatic plants to grow. Sediment also can destroy aquatic habitats.
  • Excess nutrients can cause algae blooms. When algae die, they sink to the bottom and decompose in a process that removes oxygen from the water. Fish and other aquatic organisms can't exist in water with low dissolved oxygen levels.
  • Bacteria and other pathogens can wash into swimming areas and create health hazards, often making beach closures necessary.
  • Debris - plastic bags, six-pack rings, bottles and cigarette butts – if washed into water bodies, can choke, suffocate or disable aquatic life such as ducks, fish, turtles and birds.
  • Household hazardous wastes such as insecticides, pesticides, paint, solvents, used motor oil and other auto fluids can poison aquatic life. Land animals and people can become sick or die from eating diseased fish and shellfish or ingesting polluted water.
  • Polluted stormwater often affects drinking water sources, which in turn, can affect human health and increase drinking water treatment costs.

Is my property located in an area that is prone to flooding?

Every few years, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) prepares maps of areas susceptible to flooding. The latest version of Union County’s flood zone maps can be viewed by stopping by the planning office or viewing the 2014 FEMA Zones map on the County’s GIS/Maps webpage. To view the FEMA flood zones, click on the GoMaps 4.0 link on the County's GIS/Maps webpage. Open the 'map layers' dialog box, and select the 2014 FEMA zones layer under the Natural map layers heading. Then zoom in to the area on the map which you want to observe.

The regulations that apply to land within designated flood-prone areas can be found in Article 65 of the Union County Development Ordinance.

What does a stormwater or floodplain development plan review cost?

Stormwater Plan Reviews ‐ Residential

General Drainage: $200 + $10/total ac.*

General Drainage w/ Detention: $200 + $10/total ac.* + $300/stormwater management facility

Revisions to Approved Plans

Minor: $100

Major (Revisions that necessitate a re‐examination of calculations): $350

Stormwater Plan Reviews ‐ Non‐Residential

General Drainage: $250/disturbed ac.* (1 ac. min.)

General Drainage w/ Detention: $250/disturbed ac. + $300/stormwater management facility

Floodplain Reviews

Minor: $100

Flood Study (No‐Rise): $200 + $150/1000 ft. of study reach + $200/crossing

Major Encroachment Impact (per each CLOMR & LOMR): $200 + $250/1000 ft. of study reach + $200/crossing

(length of reach prorated, new or modified crossings)

Revisions (1st review and resubmittal included in above fees)

Next Revision: Half the initial plan review fee

Each Revision Thereafter: Full plan review fee

Final Plats

Minor: $25

Major: $10/lot or $150 if less than 15 lots with common area, roads, etc.

Surety Review (renewals, reductions, releases): $150


1 Length of reach prorated, minimum of 1000 ft.

2 Fee only applies to new or modified crossings

* Total acreage refers to the entire area of the parcel being developed

* Disturbed Acreage referes to only the area of new impervious surface (including gravel), plus areas of permanent or temporary grade change.

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Contact Information

Brian Hawkins, PE, CFM
Stormwater Engineer

500 N. Main St., Ste 70
Monroe, NC 28112

Email: Brian.Hawkins@unioncountync.gov
Phone: 704-283-3642
Fax: 704-292-2582

About Stormwater

The stormwater section strives to protect local water quality, control flooding and reduce impacts to private properties from developments by informing developers of federal, state and local regulations related to stormwater and floodplain management and as well as assistance through the plan approval process. This section’s responsibilities include stormwater plan review, FEMA floodplain development review and site inspections for subdivisions in unincorporated Union County and the Town of Hemby Bridge. This section recommends policy development and provides technical assistance regarding stormwater management and floodplain development within The Planning Division and to other Union County departments. Staff also responds to drainage complaints from the public as required and coordinates stormwater public education efforts.