Local News

Raleigh to Pursue Less Stringent Runoff Rules

Posted February 5, 2008 2:34 p.m. EST

— The City Council voted Tuesday to seek a less restrictive alternative to a state-mandated rezoning proposal intended to protect the Neuse River from excessive runoff.

The council's vote follows a recommendation from the city Planning Commission last week to meet minimum state standards for the runoff control so residents in a 5,000-acre portion of north Raleigh wouldn't be prevented from building additions or decks on their homes.

The regulations are aimed at protecting the Neuse River near the old Burlington Mills plant off Capital Boulevard. The state has designated the river as a water supply and wants the new rules to limit stormwater runoff from rooftops and driveways to increase water-quality levels.

A privately owned water intake at the Burlington Mills site is unused, but Franklin County officials have issued plans to use it to draw water from the Neuse.

Residents living in an area bounded by N.C. Highway 98 and Durant Road on the north and south and Falls of Neuse Road and Capital Boulevard on the west and east are affected by the new rules. The area includes the Wakefield Plantation, Bedford at Falls River and Falls River neighborhoods.

City staff members now have to write the new runoff rules, and a public hearing will have to be held on the proposal before it comes back to the City Council for a vote.

If the city doesn't implement stiffer regulations to control runoff, the state could levy $10,000 monthly fines.