San Lorenzo Creek Watershed Archive

Planning and Regulation

Planning Authority - San Lorenzo Creek Watershed

Alameda County — Most of the San Lorenzo Creek Watershed lies within an unincorporated area of the county, where the county's land use policies and ordinances apply. The county's general plan includes:

  • Conservation Element (1976)
  • Castro Valley General Plan (1985; revision pending 2011)
  • Eden Area General Plan (2010)
  • Fairview Area Specific Plan (1997)
  • General Plan for the Central Metropolitan, Eden, and Washington Planning Units (1981)
  • Specific Plan for Areas of Environmental Significance (1976)
City of Hayward — A major segment of San Lorenzo Creek courses through the City of Hayward, where the land use policies and ordinances of the city apply. The municipal code does not address creek protection, only regulation of construction alongside creeks (see Chapter 9: Building Along Watercourses).

City of San Leandro — The mouth of San Lorenzo Creek at San Francisco Bay is within the City of San Leandro, where the land use policies and ordinances of the city apply. The city's municipal code includes Chapter 3-15: Storm Water Management and Discharge Control, which contains Sec. 3-15-220: Watercourse Protection.

County Regulation

General Ordinances

Alameda County Clean Water Program — covers the San Lorenzo Creek watershed.

Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District — Zone 2 within the district's jurisdiction is the San Lorenzo Creek watershed.

San Lorenzo Creek Watershed Task Force

The San Lorenzo Creek Watershed Task Force, created by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors in 2007 to review the county's ordinances concerning creeks, issued its final report and recommendations on June 27, 2011. The report was presented to the county planning commission and then on Nov. 5, 2012 to the board's Transportation and Planning Committee.

The board committee directed the county's Public Works Agency to proceed with amending the county's Watercourse Protection Ordinance in keeping with the recommendations of the task force and planning commission. In addition, the Planning Department was directed to take relevant recommendations into consideration in the implementation of policies and programs pertaining to watercourses in the county's general plan.

Regional, State, National Regulation

California Streambed Alteration Program — the state's Department of Fish and Game regulates activity in creeks.

S.F. Bay Area Regional Water Quality Control Board — A state board and nine regional boards are responsible for protecting California’s water resources. California is divided into nine regions based on major watersheds, and each region has a board responsible for that region. The state board implements state laws and regulations concerning water quality, stormwater runoff, and water conservation, while the regional boards develop watershed management policies appropriate to their regions and have approval authority for any land development that impacts local creeks.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - San Francisco District — The Corps must approve plans to cover or alter a creek. See Corps Permits.

U.S. and California Laws

General Information

Berkeley Creek Task Force — The task force examined creek regulation in the City of Berkeley (2004 - 2006).

Riparian Buffers

[Revised June 27, 2018]