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Plan Approval Process


The requirement to incorporate LID measures into the design plans of new development and redevelopment projects in order to mitigate stormwater quality impacts is implemented through the City’s plan review and approval process.

Below are the steps for Low Impact Development approval once the reviewer has determined LID are required as part of the planned new or redevelopment:

Department of Building and Safety Process

Applicants must submit design plans to LADBS personnel for review and approval prior to issuance of building/grading permits. LADBS personnel determine if the project requires stormwater mitigation measures and refer applicable projects to WPD for review and approval. LADBS issues the applicant a “Clearance Worksheet” that identifies all of the outstanding approvals from City agencies. A building/grading permit will be issued once all corrections have been completed and clearances are obtained, including for stormwater requirements.

Outlined below are some guidelines for project applicants to follow in submitting design plans for review and approval.

Step One - Submit design plans

The project applicant submits the design plans to LADBS. During the plan review process, LADBS plan check engineer will review the design plans and determine if the project is subject to the LID provisions. If the project is subject to LID provisions the plan check engineer will refer the applicant to the Department of Public Works, LA Sanitation (LASAN).

Department of Public Works, LA Sanitation
To ensure compliance with all City Codes, it is recommended that the architect, civil engineer, plumbing engineer, and/or landscape architect coordinate at the early stage of the project design. Also WPD plan-checking staff is available for consultation regarding the applicable requirements based on the project concept.
Step One - Identify appropriate BMPs
Identify, evaluate, and incorporate into the plan documents the appropriate BMPs for the project categories listed in Section 3 of the Planning and Land Development For Low Impact Development (this should link to the section where the Handbook is posted).

Step Two– Submit LID plans to LASAN for review

All projects must provide the following:
• One (1) set of plans (plot/site, architectural building elevations, utility, mechanical, plumbing, grading and landscape plans).
• Plans must include, but not limited to, at least the following:
• Volume calculation (by tributary area)
• Location of all BMPs on plans, including elevations and drainage patterns.
• Detailed drawings of all BMPs, including model, size, and capacity
• Landscaping areas
• Stormwater Summary Form (Appendix D)
• Stormwater Observation Report Form (Appendix D)
• Manufacturer’s product specifications to verify that the selected BMP model can adequately handle the design volume.
• Stormwater Summary Form (Appendix C)
• Stormwater Observation Report Form (Appendix D)
• Draft Covenant & Agreement (C&A) Form (Appendix D) and 8.5”x11” Plot Plan clearly showing BMP size and location(s).

For residential projects 5 units or more and all other projects, the following additional items must be submitted for review and approval.
• LID Report which at a minimum include, but not limited to, at least the following:
• Existing site conditions
• Scope of work (Proposed site conditions)
• Discussion on feasibility screening (infiltration, capture & use, and high efficiency biofiltration)
• Volume calculation (by tributary area)

Based on project size and type the following plans may also be required for review and approval:
• Utility, mechanical, plumbing, grading and landscape plans.

Step Three – LASAN Approval

LASAN plan-checking staff will review the submitted documents and identify corrections. Once all LID requirements have been met, WPD staff will stamp the approved plans, sign the applicant’s clearance worksheet, and clear the project in the LADBS plan check tracking system, known as the Plan Check and Inspection System (PCIS).


To ensure that all stormwater related BMPs are constructed and/or installed in accordance with the approved LID Plan the City requires a Stormwater Observation Report (SOR) to be submitted to the City prior to the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O).

All projects reviewed and approved will require a SOR which shall be prepared, signed, and stamped by the engineer of record (for example, a California-licensed civil engineer, architect, or qualified professional) responsible for the approved LID Plan, certifying that:

1. They are the engineer or architect responsible for the approved LID Plan and;
2. They, or the designated staff under their responsible charge, have performed the required site visits at each significant construction stage and at completion to verify that the BMPs shown on the approved plan have been constructed and installed in accordance with the approved LID Plan.

Project applicant (or engineer/architect/contractor) is required to bring the SOR form, approved stamped plans and photos of the BMPs taken during various construction phases to the LA Sanitation’s public counter. An original SOR needs to be submitted (not a photocopy). The Certificate of Occupancy will be issued by LADBS after all required clearances are obtained, including the one by LASAN plan-checking staff. At that stage the project has been determined, through the normal inspection process, to be built in accordance with the approved plan, including the construction and/or installation of appropriate stormwater-related BMPs and the project has been determined to comply with all applicable codes, ordinances, and other laws.