Minnesota Pollution Control Agency releases video on common plan of development

MPCA shares examples of common plan development activities that require permit coverage. | Photo: MPCA

This Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) released a video to educate homebuilders and developers on proper management of projects under the common plan of development rubric.

Since March 2003, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has required all construction projects disturbing over one acre of land to obtain an NPDES/SDS stormwater permit. In addition, owners or operators also need permit coverage for smaller projects that are part of a larger common plan of development or sale that collectively will disturb one or more acres.

A common plan of development or sale means a contiguous area where multiple separate and distinct land-disturbing activities may be taking place at different times, on different schedules, but under one proposed plan. This term covers subdivisions, phased projects or any combination of construction activities. “One plan” is broadly defined as any announcement or piece of documentation (including a sign, public notice or hearing, sales pitch, advertisement, drawing, permit application, zoning request, computer design, etc.) or physical demarcation (including boundary signs, lot stakes, surveyor markings, etc.) indicating construction activities may occur on a specific plot.

Under these standards, for projects with more than a single entity owning the entire development and controlling development-related activities that fall under the Minnesota Construction Stormwater Permit, each parcel must have an appropriate water management plan.

In these cases, the original project applicant and each individual property owner must complete a subdivision registration form that transfers duties and responsibilities covered under the stormwater pollution prevention plan to each property owner. Submission of these forms transfers responsibilities to the new property owners.

According to the MPCA, the agency has witnessed increased noncompliance for common plan of development/subdivision projects. Typically these projects are new, single-family home subdivisions and are required to submit subdivision registration forms for each lot. The agency says this requirement is often overlooked, leading to enforcement cases against the developers, builders and even the homeowners themselves.

To view the video, visit housingindustrynews.org