Highland Lakes Watershed Ordinance | LCRA Highland Lakes Watershed Ordinance | LCRA

Highland Lakes Watershed Ordinance

LCRA is accepting public comments on a proposed new dredging ordinance that will establish rules for commercial dredging on the Highland Lakes for the first time, and a proposal to move all dredging requirements, currently found in the Highland Lakes Watershed Ordinance, to the new Highland Lakes Dredge and Fill Ordinance. LCRA also is accepting comments on a new dredging fee schedule.

The LCRA Board of Directors is expected to consider the proposed changes at its Nov. 17 meeting in Austin.

Review the proposed changes:

Written comments may be submitted here through Friday, Sept. 24.

LCRA will hold a public meeting to accept comments on the proposed changes from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 15. The meeting will be in Building A at LCRA’s Dalchau Service Center, 3505 Montopolis Drive, in Austin. Comments will be limited to five minutes each. Anyone who has submitted written comments does not need to also submit comments during the meeting.

If the proposed changes are approved by the LCRA Board later this year, the new dredging ordinance and updates to the watershed ordinance will take effect Jan. 1, 2022.

On Feb. 24, 2021, the LCRA Board adopted a one-year moratorium on commercial dredging activities on the Highland Lakes. Read the LCRA Board resolution and the LCRA news release.

LCRA plans to review the Highland Lakes Watershed Ordinance in the spring of 2022 and will seek public comment on potential additional changes to the ordinance at that time.

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, 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 adapted plants and discourages the use of chemicals on landscapes, which may have a negative impact on water quality.

Quarries and mines covered under the HLWO must implement measures similar to other development. Read the fact sheet.

Dredge and fill standards apply to activities such as:

  • Shoreline stabilization.
  • Retaining walls.
  • Removal of sediment from lakebeds.

Small projects may be authorized without a permit by submitting a written notification and erosion/sediment control plan.

Submit questions, comments or complaints through Contact LCRA.

Read more information on the complaint process for this program. View 2020 complaint statistics.

Ordinance Documents

Erosion and Sediment Control Guidance