City of Crystal Lake, IL
McHenry County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Crystal Lake as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
General penalty — See Ch. 1, Art. II.
Stormwater management — See Ch. 595.
Zoning — See Ch. 650.
[Adopted 7-15-1975 by Ord. No. 978]
The following performance guidelines are hereby established and shall apply to all property within the Crystal Lake Watershed:
A. 
The natural groundwater flow hydraulics of the Crystal Lake Watershed shall be preserved. Thus present groundwater levels must be maintained.
B. 
Urban developments shall be designed to preserve present natural drainage patterns and local groundwater recharge conditions. All drainage systems shall be designed to recharge to the groundwater locally. No surface drainage systems shall flow directly to Crystal Lake.
C. 
Stormwater management systems for developed areas shall be designed to protect the quality of surface and groundwater discharges.
D. 
Development intensities and associated local area drainage design shall be restricted to those plans with natural surface drainage management systems capable of complete local recharge of the one-hundred-year design storm.
E. 
Natural areas of runoff detention and groundwater recharge shall be protected from urban development through dedication or acquisition.
F. 
Water supply systems using only the bedrock aquifers shall be required for all urbanized areas of the Watershed where sewage collection systems are to be provided.
G. 
Leaktight designs shall be used in sanitary sewer construction to minimize stormwater and groundwater infiltration.
H. 
Septic tank disposal systems shall be prohibited in the outwash soil area, with the exception of existing farming activities.
[Adopted 3-2-1976]
A. 
An area defined by the City of Crystal Lake, Illinois, as being the primary recharge source for the lake known as "Crystal Lake" is hereby recognized as the Crystal Lake Watershed.
B. 
The Comprehensive Plan is amended to include guidelines for development within the Crystal Lake Watershed.
The purpose of the Watershed Districts is to establish areas of controlled land use practices and management policies which will regulate development within the Crystal Lake Watershed through designation of zoning districts in which land will be classified in order to protect the water quality and the natural recharge conditions of the Watershed. By protecting the water quality and the natural recharge conditions of the Watershed, recreational and aesthetic values of the land will be maintained, the water supply will be protected, groundwater levels will be maintained, the natural beauty and processes of the Lake will be preserved, and in general, the public health and welfare of the community will be protected. Development within the districts will be carefully examined and controlled to ensure that these conditions are maintained. Planned unit developments are encouraged. No development will be permitted in the districts that would have an adverse effect upon these conditions.
The following objectives may be achieved by defining the Crystal Lake Watershed and controlling development within this area:
A. 
Preserve and improve the quality of the Lake water and natural beauty of the Lake and its surroundings.
B. 
Conserve natural conditions, wildlife, and open spaces for the education, recreation and general welfare of the public.
C. 
Protect the Crystal Lake aquifer recharge conditions, both the quantity and the controlled discharge rate, and preserve the naturally regulated flow dynamics of the aquifer supplying Crystal Lake.
D. 
Improve the quality of the surface and subsurface discharges to the Lake by limiting nutrients and other contaminants.
E. 
Reduce the amounts of accumulated in-place nutrients contained in Crystal Lake's sediments.
F. 
Regulate urban and rural watershed land use practices so that they will be consistent with optimum water resource protection.
A. 
The Crystal Lake Watershed encompasses the following environmental zones:
(1) 
Marsh/wetland;
(2) 
High water table outwash and muck;
(3) 
Deep water table outwash;
(4) 
Morainal slope; and
(5) 
Existing urbanized area.
B. 
These zones were classified by the Crystal Lake Watershed Resources Management Study which was accepted by the City of Crystal Lake.
The following are management policies and land use practices designed to protect the natural hydrological and water quality management system of the Crystal Lake Watershed from harmful effects of improper use and development. These policies and practices are as follows:
A. 
The natural groundwater flow hydraulics of the Watershed shall be preserved and groundwater levels maintained.
B. 
Urban development shall be designed to preserve present natural drainage patterns and local groundwater recharge conditions, requiring that drainage systems be designed to recharge groundwater within the Watershed without direct overland flow exceeding present conditions.
C. 
Stormwater management systems for developed areas shall be designed to protect the quality of surface and groundwater discharges.
D. 
Development intensities and associated local drainage design shall be restricted to those plans with natural surface drainage management systems of complete local recharge within the Watershed of the one-hundred-year design storm.
E. 
Natural areas of runoff detention and groundwater recharge shall be protected from urban development.
F. 
Water supply systems using only bedrock aquifers shall be required for all urbanized areas of the Watershed where sewage collection systems are to be provided.
G. 
Leaktight designs shall be used in sanitary sewer construction to minimize stormwater and groundwater infiltration and contamination.
H. 
Septic tank disposal systems shall be prohibited in the outwash soils area, with the exception of existing farming activities.
All sanitary sewage, water supply and drainage systems constructed in the Watershed must meet the specifications and design criteria established by the Crystal Lake Watershed Resources Management Study which was accepted by the City of Crystal Lake. All other ordinances of the City of Crystal Lake regulating development which are not in conflict with the Crystal Lake Watershed Resources Management Study remain in effect.
The following are land use restrictions for each zone as established by the Crystal Lake Watershed Resources Management Study which was accepted by the City of Crystal Lake.
A. 
Marsh/wetland. The marsh/wetland area is a vital hydrological adjunct to Crystal Lake. It is an overspill area. Because the water-holding capacity of its soil and vegetation is so high, it serves as a "sponge" that controls water quantity. In passing through the marsh, the water is filtered by the vegetation and so improved in quality. Any attempt to drain and fill the marsh would seriously disrupt the hydrological balance of the Watershed. This should be zoned W-1 Watershed District 1 - Marsh/Wetland - Special Critical Hazard Zone. This area should not be urbanized.
B. 
Shallow water table outwash. This zone contains soil types of peat and muck, poorly drained tills, poorly drained outwash and well-drained outwash. Urbanization would likely produce irreversible negative impacts on Crystal Lake. If urbanization were permitted, positive drainage facilities would be necessary to lower the water table or to carry runoff away from the developed area to protect building foundations. Such procedures would require a direct surface outlet to the Lake, which is not recommended. The preponderance of poorly drained soils compounds the problem of developing drainage facilities capable of controlling pollutant discharges and surface runoff. This should be zoned W-2 Watershed District 2 - Farming.
C. 
Deep water table outwash. This zone comprises approximately 1,000 acres of relatively permeable surface soils overlying highly permeable sands and gravels. The water table is typically at least 10 feet below the surface; the topography is relatively flat. The underlying sands and gravels are a critical recharge unit of the Crystal Lake system. Controlled urbanization is possible here, but the amount of land covered with impervious surfaces must be restricted in order to preserve the existing subsurface recharge pattern. The range of soil percolative capacities expected from most soils in this zone indicates that no more than 20% of the land be covered with impervious surfaces. Within this limit of 20%, natural drainage systems are capable of achieving recharge of all surface runoff locally. Within this limit, the soils can filter potential pollutants from the runoff of developed areas. However, specific local drainage design techniques will be required to eliminate the need for stormwater piping systems. A public sanitary sewer system is required to prevent possible contamination of the sand and gravel aquifer recharging Crystal Lake. To avoid decreasing the quantity of water reaching the lake, water for any development must come from bedrock aquifers. This should be zoned W-3 Watershed District 3 - Estate.
D. 
Morainal. Intensive urbanization of the morainal area would pose potentially severe environmental problems, including soil erosion. Stormwater now discharges to numerous localized sinks; the water eventually percolates into the ground. Even moderate urbanization is likely to upset this delicate drainage system. Because such disruptions would necessitate a positive stormwater drainage system, continuation of the present low-intensity zoning classification of the area is to be enforced. Limiting development to large lot estates will preserve the natural beauty and diversity of the landscape. Even with low-intensity development, development site and highway drainage must be carefully collected and recharged to preserve the present recharge conditions. The nature of the morainal soils and the distance of groundwater movement to Crystal Lake make the morainal region acceptable for on-site sewage disposal systems if development is limited. The water supplies can be drawn from the local shallow aquifer because, after filtering through the soil, the flows will return to the same aquifer. On-site waste disposal systems for individual parcels must be based upon suitable on-site conditions as determined by proper public health officials. Selected morainal subareas could be developed at higher densities if on-site investigations establish adequate infiltration capacities, suitable slope conditions, and groundwater depths capable of meeting the drainage requirements set by the Crystal Lake Watershed Management Study. Public sewer and water would be mandatory for higher density areas. This should be zoned W-4 Watershed District 4 - Estate 1.
E. 
Existing urbanized areas. Opportunities to improve on-site groundwater recharge are limited in the fully developed area of the Watershed; however, there are a number of things that can be done to reduce the nutrient and pollutant discharges to the Lake:
(1) 
Improved housekeeping practices, frequent street sweeping, controlled use of salt for road deicing in winter, and maintenance of vegetated ground covers.
(2) 
Septic tank systems in all densities greater than one dwelling per acre must be eliminated as early as possible in the lower portion of the Watershed. This area would have been zoned as open space if it was not developed.
(3) 
Stormwater that flows directly into the Lake through the City's stormwater sewer system should be diverted to land treatment areas and then returned to the Lake through subsurface flows.
(4) 
On-site stormwater percolation should be encouraged.
(5) 
Restricted use and practices for lawn fertilizer application should be instituted.
(6) 
The agricultural drain tile entering the northwest corner of the Lake should be modified to include the construction of a sediment trap treatment lagoon at its lower end.
(7) 
The agricultural drain tiles throughout the Watershed should be located and repaired where necessary.
(8) 
There are some vacant areas in the urbanized zone. Geological information should be obtained from the site. Development guidelines using the aforementioned information and data from the Crystal Lake Watershed Resources Management Study will be developed.
F. 
Exceptions. An applicant desiring to use or develop lands in any zone apart from the policies and guidelines herein imposed or as imposed by the Crystal Lake Watershed Resources Management Study shall have the opportunity to present competent and admissible evidence and testimony to rebut the presumption of validity of such classifications and analyses, if so desired, and that the Crystal Lake Watershed Stormwater Management Design Manual prepared by Hey & Associates, Inc., as may be amended and updated from time to time, shall be used as design practices for the design for stormwater management systems on properties located within the Crystal Lake watershed.
[Amended 11-6-2007 by Ord. No. 6285]