Stormwater Development Review

Email us for general inquiries regarding Stormwater Development Review, questions regarding BMP maintenance, or to obtain appropriate staff to answer more specific questions.

The Stormwater Development Review section is tasked with reviewing zoning, site plans, stormwater impact analyses, preliminary plats, construction drawings, engineering calculations, and final plats to ensure proposed development is in compliance with the city ordinances which regulate stormwater quality and quantity, stormwater best management practices, stream buffers, floodplain analysis, etc. The section also ensures post-development stormwater compliance through annual BMP maintenance certifications, inspections, and enforcement.

Basis for Stormwater Management Program

Non-point sources of water pollution, such as runoff from development, streets, and parking lots can contribute significantly to water quality problems. State and federal laws require that Durham develop, adopt, and enforce comprehensive stormwater management programs. Durham's Stormwater Management Program includes reviewing proposed new development plans, ensuring the development is consistent with the approved plans, managing stormwater infrastructure and implementing water quality programs.

Stormwater Impact Analysis (SIA)

Developers are required to prepare a stormwater impact analysis for each new development. If the proposed development results in an increase in the rate of stormwater runoff from the pre-developed site for the 1-year storm or in excess of 10% from the 2-year and/or 10-year storms, then on-site stormwater facilities for quantity control may be required. Refer to the Reference Guide for Development (PDF) for these requirements.

Nutrient Management

The Neuse River Nutrient Sensitive Waters Strategy and Falls Water Supply Nutrient Strategy are the state's comprehensive approach for reducing pollutants and nutrients in 2 of Durham’s 3 regulatory basins (Lower Neuse, Jordan, and Falls Basins). These strategies established goals of reducing nitrogen and phosphorus levels in the basins in order to offset the potential for eutrophication. In order to achieve this goal, new developments throughout the basins are required to control stormwater runoff in order to reduce the nitrogen and phosphorus that they contribute to the basins’ watershed.

For projects in the Neuse River Basin outside of the Falls Basin, some or all of the following Excel spreadsheets must be used to demonstrate compliance with the nutrient requirements:

For projects in the Falls Basin, the following Excel spreadsheet must be used to demonstrate compliance with the nutrient requirements:

Development in FEMA Floodplains

Development in the "100 Year Floodplain" (floodplain) is regulated through federal requirements from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the City/County Flood Damage Protection Ordinance and Natural Resource Protection Standards. Building requirements, land use provisions, zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, and other enforcement applications are key elements to these rules.

Criteria & Stormwater Performance Standards for Development

Stormwater Utility Fee Credit Manual

A revision has been made to the Stormwater Utility Fee Credit Manual.  If you have questions about the revision or stormwater utility fee credits, contact Stormwater Services at 919-560-4326 and ask to speak with someone in Stormwater Development Review.  If you have questions about your current stormwater utility fee, contact Durham One Call at 919-560-1200.

Manual Files

Stormwater Permit Fees

Effective July 1, 2018, the Stormwater Permit Fee for Stormwater BMPs (Best Management Practices) is $3,700 per BMP and $800 per level spreader.  


For commercial/non-single family projects, an alternate security/surety calculated at 20 times the maintenance cost of the facility/ies as calculated under City Requirements may be accepted.  Download the Annualized Maintenance Costs for BMPs Spreadsheet for more information.  Note: Owners who select this option are not eligible for withdrawals from the Stormwater Facility Replacement Fund.

Stormwater Facility Replacement Fund

For single family projects and commercial/non-single family projects, the Stormwater Facility Replacement Fund Payment will be calculated to be 25% of the stormwater control measure construction cost and must be submitted as a cash or check payment made payable to the City of Durham.  Download the BMP Engineering Cost Estimate Spreadsheet for more information.

The Stormwater Facility Replacement Fund is used for the purchase, design, construction, reconstruction, and repair of stormwater facilities that have paid into the Stormwater Facility Replacement Fund.  For information, see Chapter 70, Article XI of the city code or contact Stormwater Services at 919-560-4326.