​Local governing bodies adopt and maintain regulations to promote public health and safety, minimize public and private losses due to flood conditions, and protect surface waters and the natural functions of floodplains. The State legislature authorizes local governments to adopt and enforce ordinances to address local needs and to meet federal and state requirements.

Stormwater Management Permit

This is intended to be a general summary of the application process. Variations may occur. For specific details, refer to the Post-Construction Administrative Manual​.

  • Required for development and/or redevelopment activities.

  • Issued by Mecklenburg County Land Development in coordination with the jurisdiction.

  • Governs the design, installation, and construction of stormwater management and control practices on the site, including structural Best Management Practices (BMPs).

  • Without a permit, each day of a continuing violation constitutes a separate offense and an additional fine of up to $5,000 per ​day.        

Steps for Permit and Plan Review

Concept Plan

  • Pre-submittal or Pre-resubmittal meetings required for Concept Plans. Please refer to Town & ​County Plan Intake Checklist for specifics.

  • A Land Development Application must be filled out electronically and uploaded into the Electronic Plan Management (EPM) system. Additionally, the following items should be included where applicable:

    • Plans and calculations (must be sealed by professional designer)

    • Address verification form signed by County GIS Department

    • Traffic Impact Study/Analysis (TIS/TIA)

    • Fee payment submitted with first submittal

  • Follow the Plan Review Ch​ecklist.

  • As part of the Concept Plan application, the applicant can request an optional consultation meeting with staff.

  • Applicants can request an exemption from buffer requirements on certain stream buffers shown on ​PO​LARIS​. Use the Stream Reach Evalu​ation Form​ to request the exemption.

  • Mitigation Options

    • To provide flexibility and reduce compliance costs, mitigation options are available on a case-by-case basis. Mitigation allows the applicant to request permission to create storm water management devices off-site or apply for payment-in-lieu of creating storm water management devices.

    • To request off-site total phosphorus mitigation, the applicant must use the Mecklenburg County Site Evaluation Tool (SET) to perform the required calculations. Mitigation forms must be submitted as part of the Concept Plan Application and can be found in Appendix 6 of the Post-Construction Administrative Manual. A request for Mitigation could increase the plan review schedule by up to 90-calendar days.

Stormwater Management Permit (SWMP)

  • Pre-submittal or Pre-resubmittal meetings required for Storm Water Management Permit. Please refer to Tow​n & County Plan Intake Checklist for specifics.

  • A Land Development application must be filled out electronically and uploaded with the following into the Electronic Plan Management (EPM) system:

    • Design Proce​dure Form for each BMP (if applicable)

    • BMP Maintenance C​ov​enant and Plan* (if applicable) - *Submit documents into the Electronic Plan Management (EPM) system for review. Following approval, these documents must be recorded at the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds Office and a copy of the recorded documents uploaded into the EPM system during the SWMP review and plat review stages.

  • Staff will review the Permit Application and associated submittals within 21 calendar days. Submittals that do not comply will be returned with "redlines." According to Post-Construction regulations, the applicant has 60 calendar days to resubmit their corrected plan submittal or otherwise face starting all over with additional fees.

  • As project plans are approved in the Electronic Plan Management (EPM) system, electronic stamps are placed on the plans and the applicant receives an email with an approval letter from Mecklenburg County
    stating the next steps to take and, if applicable, an NPDES Packet (if grading > 1 acre). Electronically approved stamped plans are then available for downloading and printing.

​Permit Issuance/Pre-Construction Conference 

  • The Stormwater Management Permit will be issued following approval of plans and applications.

  • Once the applicant has received the Permit, it is valid for three years or until construction is completed.

  • After the Permit has been issued, staff will initiate and conduct a pre-construction conference.    

Construction, Inspections and Plats     

  • Staff will conduct on-site inspections during development and/or construction.

  • Written notice will be issued for site deficiencies.   

  • Submit final plats and associated easements into the Electronic Management Plan (EPM) system for review and approval.   

  • Following approval, the plats and easements must be recorded at the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds Office and an electronic copy of the recorded plat emailed to the County Plat Reviewer to upload into the Electronic Management Plan (EPM) system.

Stormwater Bonds and Certificates of Occupancy​

  • A BMP Installation Bond (Performance Bond) must be submitted if a Certificate of Occupancy is needed prior to the completion of the Stormwater Management structure(s). 

  • A two-year BMP Maintenanc​e Bond​ must be submitted prior to the final approval and release of the project.

Final Inspection and Approval of BMPs      

  • After construction of required BMPs, an as-built survey must be prepared in accordance with the As-Bui​lt Checklist.

  • An engineering certification must be prepared by the applicant's design engineer declaring that the BMPs are in compliance with previously-approved plans.

  • Follow the Compliance Checklist​.     

  • Submit completed as-builts through EPM (Electronic Plan Management system).

  • Staff will review the documents and perform an inspection of the project site for compliance with all Post-Construction Ordinance (PCO) requirements including BMP installation.

  • Once compliance is confirmed, the BMP installation bond will be released and an As-Built Approval email will be sent to the design engineer.

Long-Term BMP Maintenance 

  • All BMPs must be inspected annually by a registered professional engineer or landscape architect within one year of receipt of as-built approval.

  • Submit the completed BMP Maintenance ​and Inspection Checklist for each BMP within two weeks following completion of the inspection and any associated maintenance activities.

  • Please note a transfer of BMP maintenance is not allowed in the Town of Cornelius.

  • Submit the BMP Maintenance and Inspection Checklist to:
    Mecklenburg County
    Land Use & Environment Services Agency
    Permitting and Compliance Program
    2145 Suttle Ave.
    Charlotte, NC  28208
    Attn: Heather Davis

Appeals and Variances

  • An appeal may be initiated by any aggrieved person affected by any decision, order, requirement or determination relating to the interpretation or application of the Post-Construction Stormwater Ordinance (PCO), including penalty assessment.

  • A Requ​est for Appeal form must be submitted to Mecklenburg County.

  • A variance from the Ordinance requirements may be requested by submitting a Petition for V​ariance​ to Mecklenburg County.

  • Submit forms and documents to:

    Mecklenburg County
    Land Use & Environment Services Agency
    Water Quality Program
    2145 Suttle Ave.
    Charlotte, NC  28208
    Attn: Stormwater Administrator​​

​​Mecklenburg County Soil Erosion & Sedimentation Control Ordinance (enforced in Cornelius, Huntersville, Matthews, Pineville and unincorporated areas of the County)
City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control Ordinance Policies and Procedures
County Land Development Standards Manual includes more information about erosion control (applies to Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Matthews, Mint Hill and Pineville and their ETJs.) 
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Certified Site Inspector (CMCSI) class​es​ and other erosion control initiatives.

​ Floodplain Development

Floodplain​ Regulations Technical Guidance Document 
Floodplain Per​mit Application Quick Guide

Storm Water Management
Storm Water Design Ma​nual
Photo Book of Storm Water Fe​atures​

Water Quality Buffers (stream and lake buffers)
Water Qu​ality​ ​Buffe​rs Implem​entation Guidelines​​​​ 

Water Quality BMPs and IDDE
Charlotte-Mecklenburg BMP Design M​​anual​ 
BMP Maintenance Handbo​ok​ 
Icon for document typesIllicit Discharge Detection & Elimination Policies and Procedures
Post-Construction Storm Water Controls
Post-Construction Administrative Manua​l – City of Charlotte  
Post-Constr​uction Permit Flow Chart – City  
Post-Construction Admin​istrative Manual – County and Towns ​
Post-Construction Permit Flow Cha​rt – County and Towns 
Post-Construction P​olicy for Public Transportation Projects - County and Towns 
Water Quality Buffer Implement​ation Guidelines - City, County and Towns 
Soil Media Sampling Guidelines (7/23/21) 
How to use POLARIS f​or Post-Construction Ordinance information​ (City, County and Towns)

County Site Evaluation Tools
Mecklenburg County Site Eval​uation Tool  
Site Evaluation Tool Model Documentation 2005  
Site Evaluation Tool User Manual and Guidance
Surface Water Improvement & Management (SWIM)
Water Quality Buffer Impleme​ntation Guidelines 

Sediment and Erosion Control
Sediment and Erosi​on Policies and Procedures ​
Mecklenburg County Land Development Standards Manual (six Towns, refer to Series 3000) 
Erosion Control – Goo​se and McDowell Watersheds
Lakes and water supply protection
Water Quality Buffer Im​plementation Guidelines​  
Mecklenburg Count​y Drinking Water Supply Watershed Protection Requirements  
Protecting ​Water Quality in our Lakes
Pond Pol​icy
Creek maintenance
Storm Water Services’ ​Maintenance of Major System Streams
Storm Water Fee Credit policies, manual and application form
County Lin​e Fee Credit Policy 
Catawba Rive​r Fee Credit Policy 
Pond Fee​ Credit Policy  
Multi-family and comme​rcial BMP Fee Credit Manual and Application Form​