Watershed Determinations

There are instances where an existing watershed boundary is not correct in regards to the property in question. There may be evidence that the property in question is not within the drainage basin of the reservoir and that the site lies beyond a ridgeline forming a barrier which prevents stormwater runoff from flowing off the site, in the direction of the reservoir. In this case, establishing the correct boundary in relation to the site is critical for the development.  This is a rare request so please work closely with staff to work through the process.


Presubmittal Meeting

The first step is to request a Presubmittal Meeting with the Growth Management Team. This meeting is to discuss the determination once it is ready to move forward towards application submittal. Please note that presubmittal meetings are only good for 6 months from the time they are held until application submittal.

Application Submittal

Once these requirements have been met, a formal Watershed Determination Application can be formally submitted to the Box.com customer portal.  To ensure timeliness and accuracy, please use the most current applications and forms found on this website. Please note that presubmittal meetings are only good for 6 months from the time they are held until application submittal. 

Staff Review / Report

The Planning Director, based on documentary evidence provided, may conclude that the request to change the boundary is valid. If the supporting evidence is deemed conclusive, and the request valid, a staff report from the Planning Department is prepared for the appropriate elected body.

The staff report will include all pertinent evidence and a request that that the elected body grant the Planning Director permission to forward the evidence and request for a boundary adjustment to the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission (EMC) via the Department of Environmental Quality, Stormwater Permitting Division.

Environmental Management Commission Review

The EMC will review the request and then either grants the local government permission to change the boundary or declines to do so. If the EMC grants permission to change the boundary, staff reports the result to the elected body and makes the approved change to the boundary.

Forms and Presubmittal Meetings

Growth Management Presubmittal Meeting:

Pre-submittal meetings are required before application submittal. Pre-submittal meetings are meant to provide the applicant with direction and guidance around the application requirements, identify any potential issues that may arise with the site and/or proposal, and talk about the appropriateness of the proposal for the area.

The pre-application triage meeting can be scheduled at the Acuity Pre-submittal Scheduling Portal.  
Pre-application documents can be submitted in the Growth Management Document Submittal Portal.

Application Forms


Payment Portal

Submittal Portal

Use the portal below to complete your request for a Watershed Determination. If the online form is not working, please use the direct Submit files for Watershed Determination Application link.