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Storm Water Management Program (SWMP)Creeks Division

Storm Water (SWMP) Requirements for New Development and Redevelopment

Development and redevelopment projects within the City of Santa Barbara are required to install permanent storm water protection best management practices (BMPs) as described in the City's Storm Water BMP Technical Guidance Manual (TGM). A summary spreadsheet detailing the changes to the TGM adopted in 2020 and a list of exemptions and partial exemptions (Appendix J) is available below, as well as the previous (2013) version of the TGM. 

2020 Technical Guidance Manual
Frequently Asked Questions
Applicant Training Video

Final Changes Matrix (2020)
Final Appendix J (2020)

2013 Technical Guidance Manual
2013 SWMP Trigger Flow Chart 


City of Santa Barbara Storm Water Management Program (SWMP)

The federal Clean Water Act’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II regulations govern storm water discharges from small municipalities that operate storm drain systems. The State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board), and the Regional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCB), are responsible for implementation of NPDES regulations. 

The City's Storm Water Management Program (SWMP) details how the City will protect water quality by listing a series of Best Management Practices (BMPs) and Measurable Goals that the City must meet each year. The City of Santa Barbara has been implementing a SWMP since 2006 in compliance with the prior General Permit. The Creeks Division has provided overall coordination and administration of the SWMP since its adoption, and submits Annual Reports to the Central Coast RWQCB.

View SWMP documents on the State Water Resources Control Board's webpage.

Regulations for Development/Redevelopment Projects

The 2013 General Permit update established storm water quality regulations for development and redevelopment projects, which include “post-construction requirements” (PCRs) for storm water management developed by the Central Coast RWQCB. The Central Coast PCRs included a provision for municipalities to propose continued implementation of a pre-existing program for post-construction requirements in lieu of the new Central Coast post-construction requirements. 

After careful review of the new PCRs, City staff decided to apply for an exemption from the Central Coast PCRs, and to continue implementing the existing City program. Due to the built-out status of the City and the type of development and redevelopment we experience here, the City’s existing program provides greater protection for water quality than the new Central Coast PCR program. In addition, the City had been formally and successfully implementing the existing post-construction storm water requirements for projects since July 2008. 

More Information

For more information on the City's Storm Water Management Program, please contact Jim Rumbley.

Last Updated: Jan 26, 2021
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