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Local Government

Revision of McHenry County's stormwater ordinance heading into final stretch

The rewrite of the county’s Stormwater Management Ordinance could move to the County Board by year’s end.

The board’s Natural and Environmental Resources Committee and the county’s Stormwater Commission are in the process of reviewing the rewrite, board committee Chairwoman Michele Aavang, R-Woodstock, said after a Thursday joint meeting. But the ordinance has some stops to make before it goes to the County Board for a vote.

The 10-year-old ordinance, which is enforced countywide, is undergoing a review to simplify it, streamline the permit and review process, and eliminate unduly burdensome provisions that do little to accomplish the ordinance’s goals of protecting the environment, encouraging sustainable development and mitigating damage from floods.

“I think the main goal has been to clarify the inconsistencies in the document. There were a lot in it,” Aavang said.

The next step in the process is an Aug. 18 presentation to the municipalities that are certified under the law to enforce the ordinance. Concerns raised will be addressed at another joint meeting of the committees, after which the ordinance will be reviewed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to ensure compliance with state and federal law.

Barring any major changes in the wake of the state and federal review, the ordinance will go back to the Aavang’s committee for recommendation to the full County Board, which would vote on it after a 30-day review.

The update will also incorporate changes as a result of the county’s 2030 Land Use Plan and its Water Resources Action Plan, which were ratified in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

The ordinance is one of several going before the County Board. It will vote Tuesday to approve an overhaul to its purchasing ordinance, and will vote later this month or early September on a Unified Development Ordinance.

On the Net

You can learn more about proposed changes to the McHenry County Stormwater Management Ordinance at www.bettersmo.com.

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