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Planning and Development - Division of Water Resources

Do I Need a Stormwater Management Permit?

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If your project meets any of the seven regulated development criteria, a Stormwater Management Permit is required.  

1. Any development that is located partially or completely in a flood hazard area; or
2. Any development located partially or completely within the boundary of a wetland or waters; 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.

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 floodplain areas, and work in wetlands.  Similarly, if your home is in the floodplain and you plan on completing home improvements, a permit may be required.  If you need assistance determining if a permit is necessary for your project, please contact our division at 815-334-4560.

Where Do I Submit My Permit Application?

If you plan on developing in a Certified Community, please obtain a Stormwater Management Permit Application from the community.  

For Stormwater Management Permits Applications in unincorporated McHenry County and Non-certified Communities, you may submit the documentation the following ways:

  • Online (click here to be taken to the permit application page)
  • Through the mail/delivery service 
  • In person (at this time only drop-off is allowed, no face-to-face discussions will happen)

The Stormwater Management Permit is sometimes separate from a local building permit.  However, the permitting authority may include the Stormwater Management Permit within its site development or building permit procedures.  If a building permit is required in an unincorporated area of McHenry County, the permits will be combined.  Please check with the municipality for further direction.

Stormwater Management Permit Application & Fee Schedule

Click here for a copy of the Stormwater Management Permit Application.  All permit submittals shall include the County's application.  The fee schedule for Stormwater Management Permits may be found here.  If you would like to expedite your permit, for an additional fee, please click here for additional information.

To make an online payment (service fees apply), please click here.

Permitting checklists can be found here to help guide you to the requirements of a Stormwater Management Permit Application.

Additional Permitting Requirements

In some instances, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may also require a permit for the work.  Their permit process can be initiated through their website at:  Brielle Cummings is the wetland specialist for McHenry County (312-846-5545  [email protected]).

If the work is within the Chain-of-Lakes, the Fox River, or other floodway areas, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources - Office of Water Resources may also require a permit for the work.  Their permit process can be initiated through their website at:  You may also contact them at 847-608-3100 x32025.

Work in a road right-of-way may also require a permit or authorization from the respective road authority.  Please contact the local road jurisdiction to verify permitting requirements.

Wonder Lake Area Projects

If a project is adjacent to, appears to be within, or touches the lake bottom of Wonder Lake, the Wonder Lake Master Property Owners Association (MPOA) requires authorization.  Please contact the MPOA through Dick Hilton at 815-653-3912 or 815-653-1000 or [email protected].  The MPOA website ( also has additional information. 

Please note, a Stormwater Management Permit from McHenry County Department of Planning & Development (P&D) will only be issued after notarized written approval from the MPOA is obtained and forwarded to P&D.  In some cases, no MPOA authorization will be needed - these instances will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by P&D.

*The MPOA has requested all applicants provide a current plat of survey depicting the position of the current parcel shoreline relative to the platted MPOA lakebed; the surveyed footprint of the existing seawall; and the location of the proposed seawall relative to the MPOA lakebed boundary. 


If you would like to contact the Water Resources Division with your questions, please visit our office, call us at 815-334-4560, or email the division at [email protected].

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