Planning and Development - Dennis Sandquist, Director

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Stormwater Management Permit Requirements

Post Date:09/20/2013 10:33 AM

The McHenry County Department of Planning and Development receives frequent inquiries regarding if and when stormwater management reviews and permits are required for building and other construction projects.  McHenry County requires that every building permit application, including permits for agricultural exempt structures, receive a stormwater management review.    The purpose of the stormwater review is to determine if a stormwater permit is required. 

The McHenry County Stormwater Management Ordinance also requires stormwater management permits for certain construction projects that do not require a building permits. Examples of non-building projects which could require a stormwater permit range from small projects such as regrading a lot to fill a low spot or installing a replacement septic system to large projects such as replacing a bridge across the Fox River.

The same standards apply for determining if a project requires a stormwater management permit, regardless of whether a project requires or does not require a building permit.  Stormwater permits are required for:

1.  Any development that is located partially or completely in a flood hazard area; or,

2.  Any development that is located partially or completely within the boundary of a wetland; or,

3. Any development that hydrologically disturbs 5,000 square feet or more; or,

4. Any development that hydrologically disturbs 50% or more of a parcel; or,

5. Any development that results in an additional 20,000 square feet of impervious area since the effective date of this Ordinance; or,

6. Any development on a lot or parcel of land platted after December 1, 2014 that results in impervious area exceeding the design parameters of an existing stormwater management facility; or,

7. Any development that is part of a larger common plan of development that, as a whole, would constitute regulated development.

Any property owner with a question regarding whether their project requires a Stormwater Management Permit is encouraged to contact the Department of Planning and Development by email at or by phone at (815) 334-4560 for additional information.  Property owners within a certified community (full list can be found here) are encouraged to contact their municipality.

A formal determination that a project does or does not require a permit requires submission of a stormwater management review application and payment of a $75 fee. Additional information is available on the McHenry County Department of Planning and Development website.

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