Low Impact Development, or "LID", is a series of construction practices designed to mimic natural infiltration
of stormwater on developed sites. These practices include rain gardens, narrow roads, pervious concrete, and
vegetated roofs. Because LID promises to reduce traditional stormwater detention costs and allows homes to be
marketed as "green", developers across the state have been incorporating LID into their projects. However, LID
remains expensive and frustrating. The technology is still new, infiltrating soils are hard to find, long-term
maintenance can be problemmatic, and most jurisdictions are slow to embrace--or even understand--LID.
Despite these problems, several Western Washington jurisdictions will be the first in the nation to have mandatory
LID in their local codes. In 2008, the Pollution Control Hearings Board issued decisions on appeals of the
Department of Ecology's three municipal stormwater permits. For Phase I jurisdictions (Seattle, Tacoma, King, Pierce,
Snohomish, and Clark), the Board held that construction projects must use LID "where
feasible." The Board did not require LID in Western and Eastern Washington Phase II jurisdictions; however, it directed those jurisdictions to pave the way for LID. In response to the Board's decisions, Ecology revised
the municipal permits (which dictate the content of local erosion ordinances) but left the details out. These
details, including which LID practices will be used, what makes them "feasible," how well they must perform, and
when they must be instituted by local governments, will be hammered out by two advisory committees--Technical
and Implementation--created by Ecology. Ecology named BIAW to the Implementation Committee. BIAW will use
its seat at the table to keep LID requirements grounded in reality--LID technology must be available and affordable,
the market receptive, and local governments on board.
"LID: Open Wide and Swallow"
"Low Impact Development:
Brace Yourself for Impact"
Member Survey: LID Questions for Developers and Builders
Draft LID Requirements Released August 2, 2010 NEW
Power Point Presentation: "A Builder's Introduction to LID"
Department of Ecology LID Web Site