San Diego

New Permit Programs

New Development Requirements

The Municipal Storm Water Permit places special emphasis on development and construction activities in the City. Opportunities for incorporating new, modern and well-integrated pollution prevention facilities into new development and redevelopment are an important part of the City's storm water and runoff management effort. The effort includes the creation of the following guiding documents described below.

Regional Best Management Practices (BMP) Design Manual

The City, along with other government agencies, professional engineers and members of the local development community has developed a new Regional Best Management Practices (BMP) Design Manual that conforms to the 2013 Municipal Storm Water Permit (Order No. R9-2013-0001, as amended by R9-2015-0001 and R9-2015-0100).

The Manual supersedes the existingPDF icon San Diego County-wide Model Standard Urban Runoff Storm Water Management Plan (SUSMP) and provides technical guidance and regional standards for pollutant and flow control requirements for new development and significant redevelopment. For further information and questions regarding the Regional BMP Design Manual, please contact Eric Mosolgo with the City of San Diego at (858) 541-4337 or at [email protected].

City of San Diego Storm Water Standards Manual

In addition to the regional effort and in accordance with the Municipal Permit, the City has updated its own Storm Water Standards Manual (Manual). The Manual is consistent with the concepts, compliance approaches and performance standards of the Regional BMP Design Manual. However, the City updated only City-specific requirements to customize the Regional BMP Design Manual for its local jurisdiction. Additionally, the Manual will contain Alternative Compliance, Phase I and construction sites requirements.

Offsite Storm Water Alternative Compliance Program for Meeting New Development Requirements

The Municipal Permit provides Offsite Alternative Compliance, as an option for Priority Development Projects in lieu of implementing onsite structural BMPs to comply with pollutant control and hydromodification management requirements. The City will implement the alternative compliance program in two phases:

  • Phase I: Applicant Implemented Alternative Compliance Projects where the project applicant would propose an offsite alternative compliance project and be fully responsible for the project’s design, construction, operation, and long-term maintenance. Phase I implementation coincides with February 16, 2016, the effective date of the Storm Water Standards Manual Update.
  • Phase II: Independent Alternative Compliance Projects includes another option, a credit trading system. This phase is currently in the initial planning stage.

PDF icon Offsite Alternative Compliance Schedule

PDF icon Alternative Compiance Program Technical Advisory Committee Members

PDF icon Phase II Progress Update Meeting Agenda

PDF icon Phase II Progress Update Presentation

For further questions regarding Alternative Compliance, please contact Eric Mosolgo at (858) 541-4337 or at [email protected].

Watershed Management Area Analysis (WMAA)

The Municipal Permit requires the development of WMAA, as part of the Water Quality Improvement Plans and a Water Quality Equivalency study required to utilize the optional Alternative Compliance Program (ACP). The Storm Water Copermittees have collaborated on these studies as regional efforts.

The WMAA is an optional supplement to the Water Quality Improvement Plans (WQIPs) and is a necessary step toward establishing a program for Alternative Compliance. The WMAA provides further analysis of watershed conditions, including existing stream conditions and dominant watershed processes, in order to determine where offsite projects can be built that will provide a water quality benefit equal to or greater than doing the water quality improvements on development sites.

The WMAA also provides the necessary analysis to determine if hydromodification management controls are not critical for certain areas of the watershed. Once these non-critical areas are identified, development projects will be allowed an exemption to the HMP requirements.

The WMAA also provides further analysis of what are known as coarse sediment yield areas within the watershed that are prone to producing sediments that can clog downstream areas, which provides a stronger basis for development requirements that will protect those areas or mitigate impacts to those areas.

This is a regional effort led by the County of San Diego that is complete and has been submitted to the Regional Board in June 2015.  For further information and questions regarding the WMAA, please contact Sheri McPherson with the County of San Diego at (858) 495-5257 or at [email protected].

Water Quality Equivalency (WQE)

In order to have an effective Alternative Compliance Program that authorizes offsite mitigation projects that provide equal or greater water quality benefits than on site compliance, the WQE  Study is necessary. The City, along with the County of San Diego, City of Chula Vista and the City of San Marcus collaborated to perform this WQE study.

The study contains currency formulas to assess the benefits of different project types for offsite mitigation. The study produced a WQE guidance document outlining the formulas and guidelines on how to evaluate equivalent offsite mitigation projects. The City will use the WQE Guidance Document in establishing the City’s local Alternative Compliance Program.

The Regional Water Quality Control Board accepted the WQE Guidance Document in December 2015. For further information and questions about WQE, please contact Sheri McPherson with the County of San Diego at (858) 495-5257 or at [email protected].

You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.