Decrease stream bank erosion, provide floodwater storage, increase wildlife habitat, provide passive recreation areas and filter sediments and pollutants in runoff.
Maintain a 75-foot average (50-foot minimum with allowances) riparian buffer along each marsh and state waterway.
If the marsh or state waterway is listed in the 305(B)/303(D) Impaired Streams Segment document or in the local comprehensive plans as impaired, maintain the buffer as required by authorities.
Do not make the post-construction water quality worse than predevelopment levels.
- Marshes and state waterways are defined by the environmental consultant for the project or local issuing authority.
- Offline naturalized stormwater detention ponds are NOT held to this buffer requirement.
- Buffers are calculated from the edge of the delineation and must be preserved in both area and vegetation.
- Buffers will be required on both sides of the riparian delineation (when applicable) or to the projects side of the riparian edge if located along a site boundary.
Allowances within the buffer:
- Pervious or impervious trails of 8-foot maximum width and small pavilions of no more than 500 ft2 are allowed for nature appreciation and recreational opportunities. Minimal grade changes to buffer area are allowed if required to enable community access to water.
- For projects crossing a stream, minimize the number of waterway crossings. Construct all crossings to meet the following criteria:
- Stabilize bank prior to and immediately after construction
- Build the crossing perpendicular to the flow of water
- Design the crossing to occur at only one point along the waterway
- Do not use traditional culverts with inverts
- Employ minimally intrusive construction practices
- Where a marina is proposed, design and require operations to adopt the Clean Marina Best Management Practices of University of Georgia (UGA) Marine Extension Service, or local equivalent.
- For all projects intending to develop docking facilities:
- Construction of docking facilities is not permitted in areas of sensitive natural resources, as defined in your habitat analysis conducted as part of the ECC-required Site Analysis Packet.
- Docking facilities must meet the Department of Natural Resources requirements.
- Communal docks must be used with the ratio of 10 lots = 1 docking facility.
- The maximum length of any one communal docking facility cannot exceed 1,000 feet.
- No docking facility can extend past property lines or dock corridor lanes. Docks and piers must end at the first navigable stream or 1,000 feet, whichever is less.
- Narrative indicating the intended strategy for preserving and restoring the buffer, any expected activities within the buffer, potential restoration needs and the local buffer requirements.
- If restoration or any activity must occur within the buffer: Submit a plan created by a qualified biologist, environmental agency, professional landscape architect or professional engineer explaining the reasons and methods of mitigation for any disturbance to the riparian buffer, and plans for buffer restoration if previously impaired.
- Permitted site plan which clearly indicates buffer protection.
- Construction documents containing a protection plan as part of the erosion control plan, dictating that appropriate barriers (orange tree protection fence, wire-backed silt fence, etc.) must be installed prior to ALL land development activities.
- Controlling documents (conservation easement, deed restriction or local ordinances) clearly addressing all buffer areas in permanent protection.
- Inspection by an ECC Technical Advisor.
- Stream Crossings:
- Narrative indicating the planned strategies for meeting the requirement. Include an explanation of how stream crossings were minimized in the design of the community, wherein they exist and how they meet the aforementioned criteria.
- Permitted site plan that indicates the stream crossing location and specifications.
- If choosing a local Clean Marina Program, provide a narrative describing how the program is equivalent to the UGA program, and provide an electronic copy of program requirements.
- Narrative or registration material indicating the project has engaged with the Clean Marina Program or local equivalent.
- Proof of Clean Marina Program or local equivalent certification.
- Narrative indicating how the project's docking facility management plan meets the Department of Natural Resources requirements.
- Conceptual site plan that indicates the location of all docking facilities.
- Construction documents that contain a docking facility management plan.
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