New Development Stormwater Requirements

Stormwater Quality Requirements for Development Projects

Water Quality regulations for Priority Projects include Low Impact Design (LID) on-site retention requirements and Hydromodification Management measures which can be significant elements in the site design of your project and therefore it is crucial that they are considered early in the design process.

All development/redevelopment projects, regardless of priority, shall implement the site design and source control principles, where applicable and feasible, to maximize infiltration, provide retention, slow runoff, and reduce pollutants at the sources. 

All priority projects shall meet the Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP) and Hydromodification Management Plan (HMP) requirements as described in the documents and tools below.  The project's WQMP is a plan for minimizing the adverse effects of urbanization on site hydrology, runoff flow rates and pollutant loads.  Hydromodification management measures address the changes in the magnitude and frequency of stream flows and associated sediment load due to urbanization or other changes in the watershed land use and hydrology and the resulting impacts on receiving channels, such as erosion, sedimentation and potential degradation of in-stream habitat.

To determine if your project is a priority project, use the WQMP Checklist Priority Development Project (PDP) Criteria.

Note:  The Preliminary WQMP (pWQMP) is required as part of the Project Application.  An application will not be deemed complete without a WQMP.  It should be noted that the WQMP is not a "conceptual" document in the normal sense of the word and requires detailed engineering sizing calculations and location details for selected BMPs.

The following updated documents and tools will assist you in preparing an acceptable Water Quality Management Plan for your project.  

Documents and Tools for WQMP/HMP Preparation:

  • City of Laguna Niguel BMP Design Manual 
  • South Orange County Model WQMP describes the water quality requirements and the process to develop the project's WQMP.
  • South Orange County WQMP template is available here.
  • Technical Guidance Document/Cover Memo for Using the TGD in South Orange County is the technical resources companion to the Model WQMP and the WQMP Template and is the "how" to meet the requirements in the Model WQMP and how to use the WQMP Template to prepare your project's WQMP.  The cover memo highlights the key differences associated with applying the TGD in North versus South Orange County, with guidance, either as footnotes or as text insertions, on key topics that relate to South Orange County criteria.  It is important to read and understand this as you begin to develop your project's WQMP.  This document is bookmarked and internally linked for easy navigation.
  • Laguna Niguel O&M Plan Template will help you prepare an acceptable O&M Plan as part of the Final WQMP. Please note that the O&M will be a separate, stand-alone, user-friendly document and includes a BMP site plan.
  • Hydromodification Management Plan describes the hydromodification requirements and the process to develop the project's hydromodification management measures, when applicable. To download the South Orange County Hydrology Model and Guidance Manual, visit the OC Watersheds webpage.