Highland Lakes Watershed Ordinance
The Highland Lakes Watershed Ordinance helps protect water quality from stormwater runoff from development throughout the Highland Lakes region. Stormwater runoff from development can contain pollutants such as sediment, oil and grease, pesticides, herbicides, and nutrients. Through the ordinance, LCRA regulates development to manage stormwater runoff around the Highland Lakes.
To reduce the impact of stormwater pollution, the ordinance requires development within the area to incorporate measures and best management practices to protect water quality and reduce creek erosion by requiring:
- Approved water quality management facilities (vegetated filter strips and/or water quality basins) to collect stormwater runoff.
- Buffer zones that remain free of development. Read the Property Owner’s Guide to Buffer Zones.
- Temporary erosion and sediment controls.
- Permanent systems to minimize sediment migration from the site.
LCRA encourages the use of native and/or adapted plants and limiting the use of chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers on landscapes.
Quarries and mines covered under the HLWO must implement measures similar to other development. Read the fact sheet.
Small development projects and small quarry/mine activities located outside a creek buffer zone may be authorized without a permit by submitting a written notification and erosion/sediment control plan.
- Highland Lakes Watershed Ordinance
- Map of inspection regions and phone numbers of program staff
- Conservation landscaping stormwater credits
- Technical manual: Guide for engineers and developers
- Section I – Development
- Chapter 1 – Permitting Requirements and Procedures
- Chapter 2 – Development Activity Meeting Water Quality Protection Performance Standards
- Chapter 3 – Erosion and Sediment Control Best Management Practices
- Chapter 4 – Development Activity Permanent Water Quality Treatment Best Management Practices
- Chapter 5 – Permanent BMP Maintenance Guidelines
- For dredge and fill activities, see the Highland Lakes Dredge and Fill Ordinance Technical Manual
- Section II – Quarry and Mine Activity
- Download Excel worksheet to calculate water quality volume and the size of permanent water quality management features under the Highland Lakes Watershed Ordinance
- HLWO Technical Manual Policy Bulletin – BMP Details
- Fee schedule