Weiner speaks on "Low Impact Development"
Vol. 36, No. 15 August 09, 2004
Using Low Impact Development (LID) to Reduce Storm Water Runoff
Bruce Goodson, chair, James City County (Va.) Board of Supervisors, makes a point at the Using Low Impact Development Approaches to Reduce Storm Water Runoff workshop.
Has environmentally sensitive development, or LID (low impact development), been successfully implemented in counties across the country? Can it work in your county? Two county officials who have "been there and done that" shared their experiences about leading their counties’ efforts to introduce low impact development.
New Castle County (Del.) Council Member Robert Weiner and Stafford County (Va.) Supervisor Pete Field described the background behind their approaches in implementing conservation-based development in their counties, the political process in seeing these approaches through, the particular barriers to overcome, and the economic benefits of conservation over conventional development in their counties.
Fields described how Stafford County encouraged LID in new development to reduce storm water runoff from developed sites. Low impact development attempts to preserve — to the extent possible — the parts of the landscape that trap storm water runoff from the site and filter runoff pollutants which would otherwise discharge into nearby streams.
Education was important in this endeavor. Fields said the nonprofit group Friends of Rappahannock led a number of educational and consensus-building workshops aimed at educating Stafford County staff, elected officials and the general public on the principles of LID. The prime objective of the workshops was presenting the idea that "with LID, everyone can be a winner."
Councilman Weiner presented how New Castle County revised its development regulations and process by incorporating conservation design principles into its Unified Development Code (UDC). The UDC required all new development subdivision design to explore and implement, where practical, storm water runoff through infiltration and recharge, provide open space linkages, protect critical habitats and enhance water quality and supply.
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