Land Use Program
The purpose of the Environmental Health Division’s (EHD) Land Use Program is to review proposed discretionary projects and determine if there are any adverse effects to public health or the environment.; The Environmental Health Division review is generally focused on the following areas:
- Domestic water supply
- Wastewater disposal
- Hazardous materials/waste
- Solid waste
- Vector control
The Environmental Health Division also issues permits and certifications related to: Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS), also referred to as septic systems; domestic water quality for water wells; food facilities; public swimming pools; organized camps; hazardous materials/waste facilities; and solid waste operations.
The following forms may be required for the discretionary permit processing:
- Septic tank pumping report form
To check the function of existing septic systems, this form must be completed and submitted with your discretionary permit application.
- Composting questionnaire
For proposed composting operations, this form must be completed and submitted with your discretionary permit application.
The following forms may be required for completing a project, obtaining a parcel map recordation and/or building permit:
- County Service Area 32
County Service Area 32 is a septic monitoring and maintenance district for commercial and alternate septic systems.
- Water Supply Certificate
To verify public water supply for subdivision projects only.
- Sewer Service Certificate
To verify public sewer service for subdivision projects only.
- Certification of Water Quality (Water Wells)
In order to obtain a building permit, an approved supply of potable water is required. The Environmental Health Division reviews and certifies water quality from a water well.
- Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems OWTS, also called Septic Systems)
In order to obtain a building permit, an approved method of sewage disposal is required. The Environmental Health Division (EHD) reviews the design and issues permits to install septic systems. The EHD also reviews the capacity and/or setbacks of existing septic systems for remodels and additions of structures. A Full Certification is required when the applicant is proposing to increase the volume of home additions waste water entering the system, for example, by adding bedroom equivalents and/or plumbing fixtures. The following forms may be required to obtain approval for the OWTS your project:
- Application for Onsite Wastewater Treatment System
- Certification of Existing Onsite Wastewater Treatment System
- Bedroom Equivalents and Fixture Units Worksheet
- Septic Tank Sizing Criteria
- Hazardous Materials Business Plan
An inventory of hazardous materials/waste is required when a certain quantity is stored on site.
- Solid Waste Operations
The Environmental Health Division (EHD) permits certain types of solid waste operations including landfills, waste transfer stations, composting facilities and chipping and grinding operations. See the EHD website for more information.
- Food Facilities
A permit to construct and operate a food facility is required from the Environmental Health Division (EHD). See the EHD website for more information.
- Public Swimming Pools
A permit to construct and operate public swimming pools is required from the Environmental Health Division (EHD). See the EHD website for more information.
The below informational brochures with varying subject areas that may be helpful to you. Please click on the links below for more information.
- The Land Use Process
This document contains information regarding the components of the Environmental Health Division’s Land Use Program.
- FAQ - Septic Systems and Thomas Fire Rebuilds
- FAQ- Onsite Water Wells and Fire Rebuilds FAQ- Onsite Water Wells and Fire Rebuilds
- FAQ: Septic Systems and Woolsey-Hill Fire Rebuilds
Guidelines & Standards
- Water Quality Testing
This document contains requirements for evaluating water quality for projects utilizing a water well for the water supply.
- Soils Report Requirements
This document contains requirements that must be included in a soils report for projects utilizing Onsite Sewage Treatment Systems (septic systems).
- Individual Sewage Disposal System Technical Information Manual
This document contains requirements for Onsite Sewage Treatment Systems (septic systems).
Several ordinances and regulations may pertain to a given project. A link to the specific ordinances and codes are provided here:
- Ventura County Ordinance Code
- Ventura County Subdivision Ordinance
- Ventura County Building Code
- California Health and Safety Code
- California Code of Regulations
Policies enforced by the Environmental Health Division that pertain to review of discretionary projects are listed below:
- Ventura County Sewer Policy
The County Sewer Policy requires that any subdivision, or change in land use requiring land use permits and having a direct effect upon the volume of sewage be connected to the public sewer system.
Environmental Health Division Fee Schedules
Please click the link above to view all Environmental Health Division (EHD) fee schedules. Most EHD permit fees are payable directly to EHD at the EHD Public Counter, except for Land Use fees for discretionary project reviews. These fees are collected by the Planning Division with your discretionary permit application.
For a list of discretionary project fees, please visit the EHD fee schedule webpage and select the link titled Land Use Program Fees.
What is the difference between a water/sewer availability letter and a will-serve letter?
Water and/or sewer availability letters are required to be submitted with a discretionary project review application at the beginning of the process. Availability letters indicate that a public water supply or public sewer is available with sufficient capacity to serve a proposed project.
A will-serve letter is an agreement/assurance between a Ventura County resident and the water and/or sewer purveyor to provide water and/or sewer service. Water will-serve letters must be approved by the Public Works Agency prior to a property owner obtaining a building permit from the Building and Safety Division.
For subdivisions, there is a specific form referred to as the Environmental Health Division Water Supply Certificate or Sewer Service Certificate for Subdivisions. These forms are also available at the Environmental Health Division counter.
I had my water well tested when I drilled it, can I use the old water quality test?
The water quality test is considered current when the test was performed within one (1) year of project submittal. Please contact the Environmental Health Division’s Land Use Coordinator to verify the use of old test data.
My lot is vacant and doesn’t have a water well on it yet, do I have to drill a well before I submit my discretionary permit application?
With the exception of a Conditional Certificate of Compliance project, a domestic supply of water must be verified during the review process. In most cases, a well must be drilled prior to project submittal in order to provide the necessary tests for the project review. Please contact the Environmental Health Division’s Land Use Coordinator to verify the requirements.
My lot is vacant and doesn’t have a sewer connection available. A septic system will be installed in the future, do I have to get a soils report done before I submit my discretionary permit application?
With the exception of a Conditional Certificate of Compliance project, a feasible method of sewage disposal must be demonstrated during the review process. A soils report, which demonstrates that a septic system is feasible for the project, is required at the time of project submittal.
What is a County Service Area 32 (CSA 32)? Why do I need a CSA 32?
A CSA 32 is a septic monitoring and maintenance district established for property owners that have an alternate type of Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (OWTS, also called a septic system); or for OWTS serving commercial and industrial facilities.
Why is my project subject to the requirements of the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Board)?
Your project may require a waste discharge requirements (WDR) issued by the Regional Board. Projects which may require a WDR include but are not limited to the following:
- Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems- The Regional Board is responsible for discharges from OWTS in the County which are not allowed to be authorized by the Environmental Health Division’s Local Agency Management Program for Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (LAMP). These include:
- a. Any OWTS listed in Section 9.4 of the State OWTS Policy.
- b. OWTS serving entities under the jurisdiction of the California Department of Housing Community Development.
- c. Facilities which utilize a package treatment plant.
- Solid Waste Facilities and Operations- if your project includes a solid waste facility or operation (i.e., waste transfer or processing station, a composting facility, a transformation facility, and a disposal facility), A site specific or general WDR may be required. Visit the Regional Board website for more information: https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/losangeles/water_issues/programs/ground_water_permitting/index.html
If the requirements relate to stormwater discharge permits, please contact the Watershed Protection District for more information.
General EHD Information (805) 654-2813
Environmental Health Website
EHD Public Counter
Hall of Administration,
Mon-Fri 7:30am – 5pm
Fri 8am – 5pm
For Land Use/Discretionary Projects