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Between 2005 and 2009, the Puget Sound Partnership, through its consultant, AHBL inc., provided free technical assistance to help 36 local governments in Washington State's Puget Sound basin integrate low-impact development (LID) into their codes. This effort is believed to be the largest of its kind in the United States.
Low-impact development is a stormwater management strategy that emphasizes the use of natural site features along with small-scale engineered facilities which are distributed in a manner that attempts to replicate natural hydrologic patterns. Because conservation of natural site features and the use of "green stormwater infrastructure" are hallmarks of the LID approach, this "back to the future" approach to stormwater management often has an aesthetic appearance similar to the drainage strategies of yesteryear.
This issue of Zoning Practice explores the land-use and engineering requirements that often serve to inhibit or preclude the use of LID techniques and how the Puget Sound Partnership has been helping communities in Washington State integrate LID techniques and requirements into local codes and requirements.
About the Author
Wayne Carlson, FAICP