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Old 04-18-2012, 06:26 AM
 
Location: DC
6,512 posts, read 6,436,022 times
Reputation: 3114

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
Storm water and sewer systems are separate or should be, the water in storm water drains is not treated.
Actually for many cities you're wrong. Storm systems and sewer systems interconnect during heavy rains and raw sewage ends up in the storm water system. In addition many cities are required by the EPA to treat storm water runoff.
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:36 AM
 
29,988 posts, read 37,133,594 times
Reputation: 12760
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
We get taxed now in DC for having hardscape rather than permeable pavement.
Is that a retroactive tax or does it only apply to new construction?
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:32 AM
 
22,769 posts, read 26,156,301 times
Reputation: 14558
Quote:
Originally Posted by lcouncil View Post
I recently completed a project that included private home owners on the upper west side of NYC. (Townhomes/Brownstones) The idea being pushed is for home owners to remove the current slabs of concrete they have in their back yards and have it replaced with green space (grass/dirt). This in turn will reduce the amount of run off water, flooding, and is more sustainable (etc.). BUT, the coordinator wants the city to give subsidies to the home owners which will entice them to actually update their backyards.

Do you think this is a good concept?

Are there other (cheaper) ways to have private home owners create sustainable yards?

This is specifically for urban areas such as the upper west side of NYC where I previously researched.

Any ideas?

Thanks!!
Sure, do what we do: Charge people a monthly fee for impervious surface.


Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
Storm water and sewer systems are separate or should be, the water in storm water drains is not treated.

Some cities have a "CSO" (combined sewer and stormwater system)

Other cities have a seperate sewer / stormwater system.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lifelongMOgal View Post
Is that a retroactive tax or does it only apply to new construction?
Technically it isnt a tax, it's a fee for service. Thing is, most people don't consider stormwater a "service rendered," because they just never think about what happens to the water when it leaves their property.

DC was in a sort of comical situation, where the Federal legislature had basically mandated cities have a "stormwater fee", but the Federal government refused to pay the fee on its own facilities. I'm not real sure how the DC stormwater fee works, but most cities just bill for whatever is developed impervious. Old building, new building, parking lot... doesn't matter.. it all generates runoff.

Last edited by le roi; 04-18-2012 at 11:41 AM..
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Watkinsville, GA
381 posts, read 928,621 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ehiesl View Post
I vote tax break. They give tax breaks for other "sustainability"-related reasons like owning/creating a wildlife habitat on your property, so why not for this? No subsidy, I don't want to be paying for someone else's enjoyment of their own private yard, what do the rest of us really get out of that?

A tax break IS a subsidy.
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:47 AM
 
Location: DC
6,512 posts, read 6,436,022 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifelongMOgal View Post
Is that a retroactive tax or does it only apply to new construction?
Applies to all property. It is getting built into water bills.
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Old 04-19-2012, 07:57 AM
 
Location: DC
6,512 posts, read 6,436,022 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by le roi View Post
Some cities have a "CSO" (combined sewer and stormwater system)

Other cities have a seperate sewer / stormwater system.
There is a third, which I have presented, where during normal operation the systems are split, but during periods of high rainwater runoff, they merge.
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:06 AM
 
22,769 posts, read 26,156,301 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCforever View Post
There is a third, which I have presented, where during normal operation the systems are split, but during periods of high rainwater runoff, they merge.
right, that's called a CSO.
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:55 PM
 
Location: DC
6,512 posts, read 6,436,022 times
Reputation: 3114
Several cities -- Chicago might have been first -- have put in deep storage facilities to hold the runoff until it can be treated. I think DC is installing one of those now.
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Old 04-20-2012, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 8,617,662 times
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The state & fed could add a number of sustainable landscaping projects to the existing list of "green" tax deductions on personal income.

The city/county could offer a limited time property tax reduction to offset the homeowner expense for qualifying improvements.

The city or the utility could offer interest-free loans for qualifying improvements, just like some do for efficiency upgrades of hot water heaters, dryers, windows, etc.

The city could solicit contractors to provide a set of improvement packages at reduced cost to the homeowner, maybe even cut a tax break for the businesses who do them pro bono (if not already tax deductible as a charitable donation).

The city could partially/wholly absorb the costs of these improvements into its maintenance and improvement budget, make them mandatory, offer the homeowners a limited choice of which improvement package they want, and penalize homeowners who refuse. (A bit heavy-handed, but it would achieve the objective).

Improvements like these don't just benefit the individual homeowners, and it is short-sighted to believe that. In addition to the storm water and waste water issues already discussed, replacing asphalt with green spaces also reduces the heat index which reduces city-wide power consumption for AC reducing pressure on the grid and possibly reducing brown-outs and the necessity for grid expansion; green spaces help reduce smog and improve air quality thus lowering many health related issues and costs; edible landscape provides food security and fortifies the communities disaster resiliency. All these factors benefit the city as a whole: the gov't, the utility companies and the residents/consumers.
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Old 04-24-2012, 12:01 PM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
2,117 posts, read 5,306,453 times
Reputation: 3517
A better idea, IMO .... many cities require X number of trees to be planted on a lot.

Then again my idea of a sustainable yard does not include grass. There is nothing sustainable about grass unless it's being used as a roof.
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