Permits & Approvals

Update on SMC's PJD's
​To: Enforcement Officers, Certified Wetland Specialists and Other Interested Parties:

On October 9, 2015, the U.S Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit issued a STAY of the new federal Clean Water Rule (CWR) (PDF) - the STAY is effective nationwide. 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) using the pre-CWR JD guidance (i.e., Rapanos, 2007 Corps JD instructional guidebook).

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). Jurisdiction of Waters of the U.S (WOUS) will be determined following the pre-CWR JD guidance referenced above. Areas not meeting the WOUS criteria 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).

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.