Do I Need a Watershed Development Permit?

The Lake County Watershed Development Ordinance (WDO) regulates new development including government projects, residential, commercial and industrial development, public roads as well as some home additions and the redevelopment of existing sites. New development meeting one or more of the following criteria for typical development will need a Watershed Development Permit. There are instances where a development may be exempt from certain portions of the WDO.

Typical Development Requiring a Watershed Development Permit

  • The project is in a floodplain or a floodprone area
  • The project may impact a wetland
  • The project will disturb more than 5,000 square feet of soil
  • The project will hydrologically modify site drainage

I Need a Permit. Where Do I Go?

If you plan to develop in a Certified Community (PDF), obtain a WDO permit application from the municipality. If you plan to develop in an unincorporated area of the county, contact Lake County Planning, Building and Development (PB&D), 847-377-2081.

If you are developing in a Non-Certified Community (PDF), SMC is the WDO permitting agency. You are strongly encouraged to set up a pre-application meeting with SMC by calling 847-377-7700.

The Watershed Development Permit is usually separate from a local building permit. However, a Certified Community may have included the Watershed Development Permit within its own current site development or building permit procedures, so check with the community.

In Addition to the Watershed Development Permit

SMC provides a permit submittal checklist and other submittal guidance. These are available in PDF format.

How Much is a Permit Review Going to Cost?

Certified Communities and PB&D set their own permit review fee schedules. Contact the appropriate agency for current review fees.

See SMC's Permit Application Fee Schedule (June 2, 2016) (PDF) for Non-Certified Community permit review and isolated wetland review, or you can obtain a copy by calling 847-377-7700.