Local Land Use Planning

The Urban Level of Flood Protection Criteria report was developed in response to requirements from the Central Valley Flood Protection Act of 2008 to strengthen the link between flood management and land use.

This Act does not specify any enforcement authority for the urban level of flood protection, but instead relies on the due diligence of cities and counties to incorporate flood risk considerations into floodplain management and planning. However, the law tasked the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) with developing criteria that cities and counties could use to make findings related to an urban level of flood protection. The law also provides that cities and counties may develop their own criteria as long as it is consistent with the criteria developed by DWR. In this context, DWR developed the criteria to satisfy legislative requirements without interfering with local land use authority, while providing reasonable details and flexibility, and promoting prudent floodplain management in concert with other State law provisions related to smart growth and climate change adaptation strategies.