Erosion Control and Storm Water - Permitting

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“Do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you”
– Wendell Berry


The Eau Claire County Department of Planning and Development – Land Conservation Division issues permits for erosion control and/or storm water management.



A permit may be required when proposed land development activity in unincorporated areas will expose soil to erosion or increase storm water runoff – and the activity meets any of the following permit thresholds:   

  • 4,000 square feet of land disturbance (e.g. – grading, filling, new construction)

  • 400 cubic yards of excavation or fill

  • Disturbs a slope of 20% or greater

  • 300 lineal feet of new utility or other open channel disturbance (unless utility is plowed in outside of ditch line)

  • All new CSM, land division, or subdivision (as defined by local codes)

  • All sites where at least 0.5 acre of impervious surface is added (rooftops, pavement, graveled driveways, etc.)

  • Other sites, regardless of size, that the Land Conservation Division determines are likely to cause an adverse impact to an environmentally sensitive area or other property.


The applicant must first determine what permit they are required to obtain.  You may either contact the Land Conservation Division directly, or follow the guidelines below to decide which permit is necessary for you.


Small Site Erosion Control

Typically a Small Site Erosion Control permit involves land disturbing activities ranging from 4,000 square feet up to 1.0 acre.  A project of less than 4,000 square feet will not require a permit unless it is in an environmentally sensitive area or the land is undergoing a division (CSM, land division, or subdivision).

Small Site Erosion Control Permit Application

Large Site Erosion Control

Typically a Large Site Erosion Control permit involves land disturbing activities of more than 1.0 acre.

Large Site Erosion Control Permit Application

Storm Water Management Plan

The Storm Water Management Plan permit is an additional permit that must be obtained for any project that incorporates more than 0.5 acre of impervious area.

Storm Water Management Plan Permit Application


  • Staff must approve or deny applications within 30 business days.

  • If staff requests additional information, the 30-day time line will start again when the Department receives the new information.

  • Permit Timeline Flowchart



  • An appeal of a decision by the Land Conservation Division staff must be made in writing and submitted to the Board of Land Use Appeals within 30 calendar days of the date of decision.


  • New land divisions that meet any of the triggers listed above for storm water management plans are required to obtain a Preliminary Review Letter prior to asking for action on a preliminary plat or other zoning approvals.  Obtaining conceptual/general review comments on these plans will help facilitate other plan review and approval processes.  It also allows the applicant to proceed through those processes without committing the resources needed to complete final engineering designs and construction plans or line up contractors, which are all needed to obtain a permit.  Certification of compliance with this ordinance is also required before recording new land divisions at the Eau Claire County Register of Deeds.

  • Other permits from local, state or federal agencies may also be required. 




Plans are required for new business and residential developments.  Permit applications are available at the Planning & Development Office located at the County Courthouse.  Site and Plan reviews are performed by the Land Conservation Staff.  Contact the Land Conservation Office at 715-839-6226 for additional information or status updates related to plan review.