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New Year Change Creates One-Stop Shop for Dane County Permit-Seekers

For more information contact:

Joanne Haas or Kevin Connors (608-224-3731

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 12/27/2006

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive
Landowners, builders and developers can apply and get technical assistance regarding Dane County’s nationally known erosion control and stormwater management ordinance under one roof thanks to some new year changes in two county agencies.

“This change is to eliminate the need to visit two county offices to get a construction site permit to develop in Dane County,” Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk said. “We demand strong environmental protection from landowners, builders and developers in this county, but a person should not have to go to two different county offices to apply for a construction site permit.”

Falk said of the transfer of all business regarding the ordinance to the Land and Water Resources Department offices facilitates a more time-efficient process to fulfill the requirements to meet the standards of the county’s erosion control and stormwater management ordinance.

“And to have the permitting as well as the staff to answer the technical questions in a one-stop shop, that helps protect our resources because it will mean more efficient implementation of the innovative ordinance,” Falk said.

The ordinance duties had been split between the Land and Water Resources Department, located at 1 Fen Oak Court (Lyman F. Anderson Agriculture and Conservation Center) in southeast Madison, and the Department of Planning and Development in the City-County Building on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in downtown Madison.

Kevin Connors, director of the Land and Water Resources Department, said the merging of all ordinance activity as of January 2 into one office “complements our Department focus on soil and water conservation. Other department staff in the field for work on other programs also will be better able to share information on sites, and follow up on citizen complaints and inquiries.”

Adopted 38-1 by the Dane County Board of Supervisors in 2001, the county’s ordinance followed 11 public hearings and hundreds of hours of meetings with private citizens, developers, local elected leaders, builders and more. The stormwater standards mirror the County’s long-held high priority to craft effective and long-term answers to the problems linked to stormwater run-off.

Run-off occurs after a rain or from melting snow. The water travels over construction sites, and other areas, picking up all sorts of materials which end up in lakes and streams. These materials may include metals, oils, pesticides and more.

Dane County’s ordinance is among the very few in the country which addresses temperature in its policy. There are regulations to ensure cold-water streams, and the fish which live in these delicate waters, are protected from run-off that has the real potential of increasing the water temperature and thereby killing the fish.

“People in Dane County care about their water, and this office change also will help the county with inspection and enforcement of our innovative stormwater and erosion control ordinances,” Falk said.

Several new forms and resource materials also are now available on the County Web site (www.danewaters.com/resource/stormwater.aspx) as a result of this program change:

-- A completely updated and expanded Dane County Erosion Control and Stormwater Management Manual, including 40 control practices that can be used alone or in combination to meet ordinance requirements
-- Revised permit application forms

Dane County’s Erosion Control and Stormwater Management Ordinance (Chapter 14 of the County Code of Ordinances) includes countywide standards for the quantity and quality of water that runs off land under construction in urban and rural areas, including farms. The ordinance is administered by Dane County in the unincorporated areas (towns) and in the Villages of Black Earth, Mazomanie and Shorewood Hills. All other cities and villages within the county administer the county minimum requirements as part of their local ordinances.

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