This caught our eye and we know what has to be done and why is it won't be solved in Maryland or any other State anytime soon. In the 1999 Clean Water Act there was a provision for Storm Water Management Pond testing and standard levels that must be maintained. The only problem is that no one ask or even thought for one minute about who owns the majority of them.
Did you guess? If your read our StateofCommunities.org blog you sure would know the answer. Common Interest Communities are the owners of these in most cases. The Congress that decided to establish the testing and maintaining of these ponds~ don't have to pay the bills in these communities. We're pretty sure that most CIC have no idea about this, most Counties are scrambling to comply with the State's demand, and the FEDs are fining everyone.
Here is the major issue. Almost no one has put all the pieces to the problem together into workable solution. If the Associations don't have the funds and most will not even have a clue about this issue how are they going to fix them. Another Special Assessment because the Congress stuck them with an UNFUNDED MANDATE
BTW all to often these ponds where already environmental hazards created by the developers. Which once they reach the magic number of units sold leave they get to turnover the community, aka they bugged out. Leaving a new group of homeowners with a lot responsibility including these ponds. The cycle just gones on because of the nature of board turn over, new local officials and a lack of any communication plan.
BTW the Gov response is to fine them except in the case of Montgomery County and we believe a possible solution.
Way back in 2001 then Montgomery County Chairman Ike Leggett had the vision to put together legislation that allowed the County to fund a program in which the County could enter into an agreements with these communities to take over roles mandated by the Clean Water Act. We recommend that anyone that is serious about cleaning these ponds take a look at it. BTW all new CICs in Montgomery County are required to have this agreement in place.
We think the hallmark of this was a parthership with Community Paperworks and the Department of Environmental Resources. It was established to help with the assembling of the land records, communication to the associations, running meetings to approve the agreements. In some cases extra work is required because the developer many not have deeded the land over to the community or the records where never filed in the first place.
This is something that clearly is still vexing Maryland and every other state and it is time to look into this solution that what established in Montgomery County and both the International Community Association and Community Paperworks look forward to working with all officials and CICs; So that Clean Water is not an unfunded mandate and a working solution is co-created.