Permitting is a general term used by the District to refer to any written authorization made by the District. Floodplain Use Permits (FPUPs) are the most common type of permit the District issues.  Other permits may include review and approval of Development Plans, Subdivision Plats, Improvement Plans, and the review and approval of Development Services Department Activity Permits. 

HELPFUL TIP:  You can check on the status of permits by visiting the Development Services Department Permit Search pageThe search drop-down near the top of the page can be used to change which type of permit or record to search within.

In general, Floodplain Management personnel process permits for private, single-lot development, whereas Development Review personnel process permits for commercial development and multi-lot subdivisions.  

Floodplain Management (Single-lot) Permitting

Floodplain Management staff process permits for single-lot improvements, including such activities as: site-built structures, manufactured homes, accessory structures, walls, fences, septic systems, grading, or any other activity within a regulatory floodplain, erosion hazard area or regulated riparian habitat. Most development activities also require a Development Services Department (DSD) Activity Permit, which should be initiated before applying for an FPUP.  An FPUP Application Guide has been created to assist customers in providing the District with all of the information necessary to properly process a permit.  

Development (Multi-lot and Commercial) Permitting

Development Review staff process permits for multi-lot subdivision and commercial development subdivision plats, development plans and improvement plans for impacts to floodplains or regulated riparian habitat.  In most cases, Development Review staff receive plans for review through the Development Services Department.  The District has created guidance documents and a Subdivision and Development Review page to assist the public in providing the District with all of the information necessary to facilitate the review of these plans.  

Riparian Habitat Protection

Riparian Habitat is the community of plants found along watercourses or washes. Riparian habitat can range from a narrow band of grasses and shrubs along an ephemeral desert wash to a closed canopy of large mature trees along a perennial stream.  Riparian vegetation slows flood flows, provides erosion protection for river banks, improves water quality, and provides numerous economic benefits, recreational opportunities, and aesthetic values.  Protecting this resource is an important aspect of sound floodplain management and has many benefits for our land, water, and quality of life.  To learn more about the regulations protecting riparian habitat and the District's role in protecting riparian habitat, please visit the Riparian Habitat Protection page and the Riparian Habitat tab of the Rules and Procedures page.

Facility Impact Permit

On December 18, 2018, the Pima County Board of Supervisors approved a new chapter of the Pima County Code, 2018-FC1- Flood Control District Lands and Facilities Regulations. The chapter outlines procedures to authorize impacts to District lands and facilities, including restoration lands, drainageways, basins and bank protection within incorporated and unincorporated portions of Pima County.

The effective date of the regulations is January 18, 2019. Any use of or work on or impacting District owned land or infrastructure will require a Facility Impact Permit on or after this date. Previously, these types of activities would have been permitted through a Right-of-Way Use Permit.


Visit the Facility Impact Permits webpage or contact the District for more information about the requirements to impact or conduct activities on District owned property or infrastructure.

Regulatory Bill of Rights

Notice to Permittees

Arizona Revised Statutes § 48-3644 Prohibited acts by district and employees; enforcement; notice

A. A district shall not base a licensing decision in whole or in part on a licensing requirement or condition that is not specifically authorized by statute, rule, regulation, ordinance, executive order or delegation agreement. A general grant of authority does not constitute a basis for imposing a licensing requirement or condition unless the authority specifically authorizes the requirement or condition.

B. Unless specifically authorized, a district shall avoid duplication of other laws or executive orders that do not enhance regulatory clarity and shall avoid dual permitting to the maximum extent practicable.

C. This section does not prohibit district flexibility to issue licenses or adopt ordinances or regulations.

D. A district shall not request or initiate discussions with a person about waiving that person’s rights.

E. This section may be enforced in a private civil action and relief may be awarded against the district. The court may award reasonable attorney fees, damages and all fees associated with the license application to a party that prevails in an action against the district for a violation of this section.

F. A district employee may not intentionally or knowingly violate this section. A violation of this section is cause for disciplinary action or dismissal pursuant to the district’s adopted personnel policy.

G. This section does not abrogate the immunity provided by section 12-820.01 or 12-820.02.

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Regional Flood Control District

201 N. Stone Avenue, 9th Fl.
Tucson, AZ 85701

Phone: (520) 724-4600
Fax: (520) 724-4621

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