Since 1999 CRWP has worked with member communities to implement riparian and wetland protection through local zoning regulations. In 2003, many communities included riparian and wetland setbacks as best management practices in their Phase II Stormwater Management Programs. Numerous communities have adopted and are currently implementing these regulations. Implementing communities include the Cities of Aurora, Independence, Kirtland, and North Royalton, the Villages of Chagrin Falls and Hunting Valley, Lake County, Bainbridge and Auburn Townships, Summit County, six Summit County townships, and six Summit County municipalities.

CRWP completed this project to ensure that communities have the most recent technical support for the public health and safety benefits of riparian and wetland protection and to address concerns about potential differences between state recommendations on riparian setback widths and those implemented at the local level.

This project:

  • Analyzed and collected research on riparian and wetland functions and the appropriate setbacks to maintain these functions as land is developed.
  • Reviewed CRWP recommended riparian and wetland setback widths for consistency with most recent technical data.
  • Compared CRWP recommended riparian setback widths to those generated by the meander belt width approach to determining riparian setbacks as recommended ODNR Division of Soil and Water Conservation.
  • Evaluated the effectiveness of existing riparian and wetland setback regulations adopted by CRWP member communities and others throughout the Lake Erie Basin.

CRWP updated our technical support document Riparian Setbacks Technical Information for Decision Makers (pdf 500KB, published in 2006). This document was initially drafted in February 1998. The updated document incorporates new research and also includes technical support for wetland setbacks.

This report is been prepared by the Chagrin River Watershed Partners under award NA03NOS4190052 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Office of Coastal Management.

For more information on riparian and wetland setbacks, visit the Model Regulations page.