PWSA Stormwater Code & Ordinance Review/Update

Project Overview

Together, the Department of City Planning and Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) are leading a process to update City ordinances and create a unified City Stormwater Management Code. The process will include technical analysis, stakeholder engagement, and expertise to review and evaluate all applicable regulatory and municipal stormwater policies, processes, and codes for consolidation and improvement options across agencies. The goal is to develop an implementable revised Code, supporting policy and process recommendations, and guidance materials aligning with other important City initiatives regarding green stormwater infrastructure, complete streets, and resiliency. Additionally, municipal stormwater management requirements are necessary for compliance with federal and state mandates. The City undertook the first round of code updates, which went into effect in March of 2019, in order to comply with Pennsylvania Act 167 and the Allegheny County Model Stormwater Management Ordinance. However, it was understood that more comprehensive analysis, community engagement, and additional recommendations were needed for the consolidation and improvement of municipal stormwater policies, processes, and codes.

Core Services Performed:

  • Stakeholder Outreach & Coordination
  • Municipal Outreach
  • Meeting Planning
  • Project Update Reporting

Client: Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority

Prime AKRF

Timeline:  2019-2021

Outreach & Recording

By improving ordinances, review processes, policies, and guidance material, stormwater management City-wide can be improved to create clearer, more user-friendly codes for developers and designers. Based on recommendations resulting from input, analysis, and expertise through this project, regulations and processes will likely change. This is a highly technical process that will not directly impact most citizens and the intent for the general public is to inform them of the work and project goals. For stakeholders and agencies more directly involved with stormwater management, the intent is to consult with and involve them in the update process to ensure broad support from the people who will be most impacted by code changes.

E. Holdings, Inc., as part of a consultant team led by AKRF, is providing outreach and stakeholder coordination support. Due to the technical nature of this project, outreach will be tailored to engage focus groups of designers, developers, engineers, contractors, watershed groups, and large property owners as well as coordinating with the City agencies. Throughout this process we will ensure transparency and information sharing, as this stormwater code will be used throughout the Pittsburgh region.

Goals of the outreach and stakeholder coordination include:
  • Generating buy in from developers
  • Establishing clear code requirements, development standards, administrative processes and steps for compliance
  • Identifying key participants and groups to be engaged as part of the planning process
  • Identifying preferred methods of communication, engagement, and information sharing
  • Articulate an outreach strategy according to the City’s guidelines provided by the Public Engagement Strategy