If you own a stormwater facility and would like to transfer it into the County's Stormwater Facility Maintenance Program, use the guidance outlined here.
The transfer process has three stages:
- Stage 1: Gather Documents and Contact DEP
Gather information to prepare the application.
- Stage 2: Submit Application
Submit the completed application and required documents for DEP and County Attorney review.
- Stage 3: Record Documents
Finalize the transfer by recording the documents and obtaining a certified copy.
Once you have completed these stages, Montgomery County becomes the only entity responsible for structural maintenance of the facility. You (the property owner) however, remain the owner of the facility and continue to be responsible for nonstructural maintenance around the facility, such as trash removal and grass cutting.
DEP highly recommends that you contact the Department before you submit your transfer paperwork to ensure that all the necessary documents have been prepared and to learn more about the transfer process.Residential and select non-residential facilities are eligible for transfer into the Countyís maintenance program.
Stage 1: Gather Documents and Contact DEP
A variety of documentation is required for the transfer. This documentation helps to ensure that you are the verified owner and that the former owner (in many cases the developer) transferred the common area property, such as the stormwater facility, as required. The documents required include:
- Stormwater easement and covenants
- Information on the stormwater facility
- Information on property location
Use the following outline as a guide for gathering the appropriate information for the application:
- List the number and types of stormwater facilities the property has (excluding drains) and the numbers of the property parcel(s) (tax account number(s)) on which the facilities are located.
- Note that storm drains are not part of the Stormwater Facility Maintenance Program and may not be transferred.
- Much of this information can be found on the maintenance/inspection letters provided by DEP annually or every 3 years.
- If unknown, contact DEP for the stormwater facility numbers (each stormwater facility has a number, which is separate from the property parcel number).
- Provide a deed for the property.
- Was the property transferred from the developer to the homeowners's association? A deed will determine whether the developer transferred the common property. A copy of the original deed that shows transfer of the parcel from the developer to the property owner is a vital document.
- DEP has discovered many properties that were not transferred years after completion of the development.
- Provide the appropriate easements and covenants for the stormwater facility or facilities. The easement defines the boundaries within which DEP will have legal authority to access the property to inspect and structurally maintain the facility. The covenant defines the stormwater responsibilities of the homeowners' association and DEP.
- If your facility has an existing "Grant of Stormwater Management Easement and Right-of-Way" and "Declaration of Covenants Inspection/Maintenance of Stormwater Management Facility," complete the Amendment of Declaration of Covenants and attach the text description of the easement area (metes and bounds) as Exhibit A, the graphic depiction of the easement area as Exhibit B, and the original Declaration of Covenant as Exhibit C.
- If your facility does not have an existing stormwater easement or covenant, complete the Grant of Stormwater Management Easement and the Declaration of Covenant documents. If requested, DEP can help provide the required easement metes and bounds (Exhibit A to the easement) and graphic depiction (Exhibit B to the easement) for the facility. The new Declaration of Covenant will be Exhibit C to the easement. Please be sure to request this service in a written letter when submitting your application documents to DEP. If you are a Condominium owner, please contact DEP prior to submitting your application because additional documents are required with your application.
- Consider hiring an attorney. DEP suggests that property owners hire an attorney to assist in researching and preparing documents to complete the transfer process. An Attorney can be especially helpful if the deed can't be located.
- Provide your most recent tax bill.
Do you need help? DEP is happy to assist you with this process. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 311 and provide the location of the stormwater facility. DEP can provide the structure type, the facility number, and insight into what to expect during the transfer process.
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Stage 2: Submit Application to DEP
Once most or all of the information described under Stage 1 has been collected, fill out the Stormwater Facility Maintenance Transfer Application form. Instructions for filling out the form are available. You must complete, sign, and notarize all the appropriate transaction documents, such as grants of easement, declaration of covenants, or covenant amendments. Submit the application form and supporting documents for legal review by DEP and the Montgomery County Office of the County Attorney.
After legal review and certification, the County Attorney returns the documents to DEP for submission to the County Administrative Officer. After the County Administrative Officer has signed the documents, DEP returns the fully executed documents to you so they can be recorded in the land records (see below).
NOTE: Although DEP encourages homeowners' associations to submit transfer documents as soon as possible, transfer documents will not be forwarded to the County Administrative Officer until the facility has an approved final inspection and the facility is in as-built condition. However, DEP review of the transfer documents can occur concurrently with repair work to bring the facility to as-built condition.
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Stage 3: Record Documents
Once DEP returns the fully executed documents to you, the transfer process is almost finished. All that remains is for the signed documents to be recorded at County Land Records. You must record the document with County Land Records and receive a certified copy. Be sure to record only documents that have been signed and approved by the County. You can obtain a certified copy of a recorded document by taking a document that has been numbered and indexed to Room 219 of the Judicial Center at 50 Maryland Avenue in Rockville, Maryland.
The official approval letter will not be sent out until you obtain a certified copy of the recorded documents from County Land Records and submit the copy to DEP. Once DEP receives the certified copy of the recorded documents, Montgomery County becomes the only entity responsible for structural maintenance of the stormwater facility.
The time needed to complete the full transfer process varies depending on:
- Whether the application was completed correctly and, if not, how quickly corrections were submitted to DEP
- Whether you signd and notarized the application as requested and provided a copy of the deed, property tax bill, easement information, and amended covenant or new covenant
- The number of transfer applications currently being processed
Before submitting your application to DEP, contact us at email@example.com or call 311 to confirm that you have all the information you need to submit an application.
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