Stormwater Management Permits

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The McHenry County Stormwater Management Ordinance (SMO) was adopted in 2004 to minimize the effect of development on stormwater runoff throughout the County. Since 2005, the City has been certified by McHenry County to enforce the Stormwater Management Ordinance. As a certified community under the SMO, the City can regulate development under its own Crystal Lake Stormwater Ordinance (CLSO). One of the requirements to remain a certified community is that the City must maintain a stormwater ordinance that is at least as restrictive as the SMO. The City adopted its current ordinance at the end of 2004, and it took effect on January 1, 2005. The current CLSO is based largely on and is very similar to the County SMO. 

How do I know if I need to obtain a Stormwater Management Permit for my project? 
If your project meets any of the regulated development criteria listed in the Crystal Lake Stormwater Ordinance, a stormwater management permit is required. The most common triggers for a project to need a stormwater management permit include, but are not limited to, 5,000 square feet of ground disturbance, work in flood hazard areas or work in wetlands.

What type of development is required to obtain a Stormwater Management Permit?
In addition to submitting a building permit application, a stormwater management permit application should be completed. Depending on the development classification and project complexity, City staff or the City’s stormwater consultant (Christopher B. Burke Engineering) will complete the stormwater management technical review.

Do I need a Stormwater Management Permit if I am doing alterations to my single family home that is located within the Crystal Lake Watershed?
If your home is located within the Crystal Lake Watershed and the alterations you are doing are not located within a flood hazard area, wetland or waters (lakes, ponds or streams) and you are not disturbing more than 5,000 square feet or 50 percent of a lot/parcel, a Stormwater Management Permit is not required. A trench drain may be necessary to ensure the added impervious area that is being added to your property is infiltrated back into the ground. 

How do I know if the City’s stormwater consultant will be needed to complete the technical review? 
In general, City staff can complete the following reviews:

  • General Permit Number 1: Authorizing Routine Projects
  • General Permit Number 2: Authorizing Single Family Homes
  • Redevelopment of an existing site where stormwater detention is currently accounted for.

All other technical review types would be completed by the City’s stormwater consultant.

What needs to be submitted for a Stormwater Management Permit?
Submittal requirements are outlined in the Crystal Lake Stormwater Ordinance

Is a pre-application meeting required?
A pre-application meeting between the applicants engineer and the City Stormwater Consultant is highly recommended early in the process for major development, watershed area specific development, wetland and waters development and flood hazard area development. City staff has found that projects which meet early in the process move quicker as the engineer has a better understanding of the requirements. Contact the Engineering Division at 815-356-3605 to set up a pre-application meeting.

What is the cost of the Stormwater Management Permit? 
If the stormwater management technical review is completed by the City’s stormwater consultant, the consultant fee reimbursement acknowledgement form should be submitted with the Stormwater Management Permit application. The applicant is required to reimburse the City for the fees incurred. 

If City staff completes the reviews, the cost of the Stormwater Management Permit is outlined in the City Code.
It should be noted that the fee for the Stormwater Management Permit is in addition to the standard fee required for a Building Permit.

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