Site Planning

Soils, Wetlands, Floodplains

Before beginning any type of construction, it’s best to do your research first. Know what type of soil you have and typical infiltration rate, erosion potential and depth to groundwater. It is particularly important to determine whether your site contains protected areas such as wetlands or floodplains that may require a permit to complete your project.  Contact or stop by the Erie Conservation District to pick up a free copy of the Soil Survey of Erie County, or check out the online Soil Survey.

Design Plan Review and Fees

Follow these important steps to ensure compliance with your construction site.

Develop a Plan

Develop a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3) for the construction site. Submit the proposed site plans including the SWP3, runoff calculations, and desired BMP specifications to our office and the Erie County Engineer’s Office for review for any site disturbing 1,000 square feet or more.  For more information and guidance, check out the Ohio EPA General Construction Permit for Large and Small Construction Sites.

Submit Notice of Intent

Submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) to Ohio EPA requesting coverage for your discharges under the general permit if disturbance is greater than 1 acre.

Submit Fees

Submit the appropriate fees to our office at time of plan review:

1,000 sq. ft. to 1 acre $250.00
1 acre to 5 acres $500.00
Greater than 5 acres $800.00

Wait to Receive Approval

Wait until you receive approval from the Erie County Engineer’s Office and the Ohio EPA approval letter stating that you are covered under the general permit before commencing work on the site.

Proceed with Construction

Proceed with construction, including regular maintenance and inspections of sediment and erosion controls and storm water management facilities on site.

Green Developments

Better Site Design

Better Site Design is a publication produced by the Center for Watershed Protection which encourages more environmentally-friendly development. This manual, published in 1998, discusses 22 principles for implementing better site design development and the rationale behind each principle. The manual proposes changes to local regulations that will better manage storm water runoff, preserve and enhance natural areas, and reduce the overall amount of pollution going into our local water bodies. Some of the 22 principles covered are:

  • Preserving natural areas
  • Natural area conservation
  • Site reforestation
  • Stream and shoreline buffers
  • Open space design
  • Disconnecting and distributing runoff
  • Soil compost amendments
  • Disconnection of surface impervious cover
  • Rooftop disconnection
  • Grass channels
  • Storm water landscaping
  • Reducing impervious cover in site design
  • Narrower streets
  • Slimmer sidewalks
  • Smaller cul-de-sacs
  • Shorter driveways
  • Smaller parking lots

To learn more, check out the Better Site Design Manual (Part 1Part 2).

 Balanced Growth

We all want to see economic growth and development in Ohio, yet we do not want to see our water resources negatively impacted to achieve such growth. Ohio’s Balanced Growth Program strives to protect and restore Lake Erie, Ohio’s watersheds, and the Ohio River while promoting economic growth and ecological health through Low Impact Development (LID). The goal of the program is to link land-use planning to the health of watersheds and major bodies of water. Check out to learn more. For more information on Low Impact Development, go to

Sustainable Energy-GEO

Green Energy Ohio (GEO) is a non-profit organization promoting sustainable energy policies and practices throughout Ohio. As a renewable energy advocate, Green Energy Ohio demonstrates clean energy and green design during their yearly guided tours that are free and open to the general public. To learn more about Green Energy Ohio, check out their website at