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DeKalb County, Illinois

Minutes of the Stormwater
Management Planning Committee

June 27, 2013

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The DeKalb County Stormwater Management Planning Committee (SMPC) met on June 27, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. in the DeKalb County Administrative Building, Conference Room East, in Sycamore, Illinois. In attendance were Committee members Joel Maurer, Norm Beeh, Pat Vary, Bill Lorence, Paul Miller, Joe Misurelli, Paul Stoddard, Roger Steimel, and Donna Prain. Also in attendance were Mike Richolson, Mike Konen, Greg Millurg, Don Willrett, John Emerson, Richard Biddle, Gerald Frieders, and County Engineer Nathan Schwartz and Planning and Zoning Department staff Rebecca Von Drasek.

1. Roll Call -- Mr. Miller noted that Committee members Tom Thomas, John Laskowski, and Mark Biernacki were absent.

2. Approval of Agenda -- Mr. Lorence moved to approve the agenda, seconded by Mr. Beeh, and the motion carried unanimously.

3. Approval of Minutes -- Mr. Misurelli moved to approve the minutes of the March 28, 2013 meeting, seconded by Ms. Vary, and the motion carried unanimously.

4. Wetlands Refinement:

Mr. Miller explained that the County's GIS maps currently include layers for topography (two-foot contour intervals), soil types, and wetlands. The contours were developed using LIDAR, and the soil types from official soil maps for the County. The depicted wetlands are based on data provided by the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). The wetland data is important because the Countywide Stormwater Management Regulations, as well as regulations of the NRCS and the US Army Corps of Engineers, include requirements related to the protection of wetlands. When a grading project is proposed for an area that includes a wetland, or in proximity to a wetland, a wetland delineation is required, and the project may have to be altered to include protection or mitigation elements. The wetland data on the GIS maps can be used to alert property owners who are undertaking a grading project of the need for a formal wetland delineation.

Mr. Miller noted in many cases the wetland data is based on a survey from 1987 and aerial photographic evidence of darker soils. He suggested a review of depicted wetlands so that many of the discrepancies between the boundaries of wetlands and the boundaries of soil types, as well as the contour data could be addresses. Because the requirement to undertake a wetland delineation increases the costs, time, and limits of grading projects, a better depiction of wetlands on the GIS maps will better serve property owners, planners, regulatory agencies, and developers

Mr. Miller introduced Mike Richolson from the NRCS, and Mr. Richolson introduced Mike Konen from NIU. Mr. Richolson made a short presentation explaining that wetland are areas where there is at least seven days of ponding and seven days of saturation, or 14 days of ponding or saturation. The Committee discussed a project whereby the limits of the depicted wetlands can be refined using aerial photography and soils information, along with contour data. Mr. Richolson agreed to work with Mr. Konen to have students update the digital slides so that the GIS maps may better match the contours.

Ms. Vary made a motion to support the update the wetlands layer of the GIS maps, seconded by Mr. Lorence and the motion carried unanimously.

5. Dredging in Floodplains:

Mr. Schwartz made a brief presentation to the Committee explaining his findings on the issue of maintenance dredging of waterways within the floodplain. Mr. Schwartz noted that the as an MS4 agency the County is required to enforce all the adopted regulations, and explained the regulations require that dredged materials be removed from the floodplain limits. He informed the Committee that Kane County allows the silted material to be place within the floodplain under certain conditions. He also explained that County staff is considering petition the Division of Water Resources for an interpretation.

Mr. Miller reported that McHenry County is drafting a county-wide permit to address these issues and plan to submit to the Division of Water Resources, with the hope that the State agrees to with an interpretation permitting the material.

Mr. Beeh provided the Committee with a handout detailing the Statewide Permit #11. He explained that Ogle County staff provided this information as the method he would use to dredge his property.

The Committee briefly discussed if this Statewide Permit would or would not allow the material to be piled along the waterways edge if the waterway were in the floodplain. It was noted that the terms of the Statewide permit do not accommodate the typical practice of placing “spoil” on top of the banks and feathering it out into the surrounding fields.

Mr. Miller noted that the State's Water resources Department has said that DeKalb County's interpretation was correct that the material must be removed from the floodplain. He highlighted the Committee's concern for the Drainage Districts and staff's efforts to find a less costly option.

Ms. Prain noted that the McHenry and Kane County have expressed interest in approaching the State with alternatives.

Ms. Vary observed that the number of agencies involved with water issues makes the issue difficult to find alternatives.

The Committee agreed to reaching out to other MS4 Counties to find out if there is another interpretation or alternatives regarding dredging within the regulatory floodplain. Mr. Schwartz agreed to reach out to his counterparts in Kane and McHenry Counties with the idea of a joint effort to draft a new statewide permit that would allow maintenance dredging.

6. Letter of Appreciation

Mr. Miller provided the Committee with a draft of the Letter of Appreciation for Mr. Biernacki. He noted that Mark Biernacki has served on the Stormwater Management Planning Committee as the municipal representative for Area 4 since the Committee's formation in 2006. Mr. Biernacki retired as City Manager for the City of DeKalb on June 14, 2013.

The Committee noted their appreciation of Mr. Biernacki's efforts and supported the correspondence.

7. Next Meeting:

The Committee will next meet September 26, 2013 at 3pm in the Conference Room East.

8. Adjournment -- Mr. Lorence motioned to adjourn, seconded by Ms. Vary, and the motion carried unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Paul R. Miller, AICP
Chairman, DeKalb County Stormwater Management Planning Committee


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