Permits & Approvals

Update on SMC's PJD's

​To: Enforcement Officers, Certified Wetland Specialists and Other Interested Parties:

On August 16, 2018, the 2015 Clean Water Rule (CWR) went back into effect in Illinois and 21 other states per a South Carolina District Court’s decision.  What does this mean for the Jurisdictional Determination (JD) process?  Until further notice, the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission (SMC) will perform preliminary wetland jurisdictional determinations (PJD’s) based on the definition of waters of the United States (WOUS) outlined in the CWR, with supplemental guidance from the USACE as may become available.
SMC’s wetland staff will perform PJD field reviews in the company of a representative from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Chicago District (USACE).  Areas not meeting the WOUS definition in the CWR will be considered Isolated Waters of Lake County (IWLC), unless such areas meet the exclusion criteria listed under the definition of IWLC in Appendix A of the Lake County Watershed Development Ordinance (WDO, as amended). 

See SMC’s fillable form (PDF) for requesting a PJD and/or boundary verification of IWLC. If you have any questions regarding SMC’s PJD services, please contact our wetland specialists: Glenn Westman 847-377-7718, or Juli Crane 847-377-7708.

Permitting Overview

SMC administers the countywide Lake County Watershed Development Ordinance (WDO). The WDO was adopted to ensure that new development does not increase existing stormwater problems or create new ones. The WDO establishes minimum countywide stormwater management, including floodplains, detention, soil erosion/sediment control, water quality treatment, and wetlands.

SMC has delegated WDO permitting authority to Certified Communities for incorporated areas; and the Lake County Planning, Building and Development Department (PB&D) for unincorporated areas. SMC is the permitting authority for Non-Certified Communities. A Watershed Development Permit is required for major and minor development in the county.

Even in Certified Communities, however, certain floodplain and floodway development applications are forwarded to SMC for review and approval.

Types of Permits Issued by SMC

Soil Erosion/Sediment Control Approval

A U.S Army Corps of Engineers-generated SE/SC review and site inspection process for impacts to Waters of the U.S.

Earth Change Approval

SMC oversees earth change approvals (i.e., grading permits) in Non-Certified Communities.

Base Flood Elevation (BFE) Approval

SMC reviews and approves hydrologic and hydraulic models to estimate the base flood elevation resulting from critical storm events.