PO Planner: Low Impact Development Makes Economic Sense

Port Orchard’s Director of Planning James Weaver is excited about last night’s adoption by the city council of an ordinance that will incorporate low-impact development guidelines into the city’s Storm Water Design Manual.
Low impact development is an optional way for builders and designers to meet storm water runoff requirements. The ordinance adds to their “toolbox,” Weaver said.
Guidelines in the manual will outline methods to reduce the amount of storm water runoff generated on developed sites. Topics covered include site design, permeable and nonpermeable surfaces, dispersion of runoff, vegetated roofs, excavation, bioretention facilities and soil retention.
The practice makes sense economically and ecologically, Weaver said. For example, a developer could conceivably avoid having to install a storm water detention pond by using permeable pavement that absorbs runoff. This in turn would increase the amount of usable land on the site.
Weaver praised the Homebuilders Association of Kitsap County for taking the lead in establishing uniform low-impact standards to be adopted and implemented by Kitsap County and its four incorporated cities. Check the association’s Web site for information on its Low Impact Development (LID) Standards Implementation Project. Having uniform standards will help streamline the annexation process as local cities grow by taking on areas of unincorporated Kitsap, Weaver said.

If you work in the construction industry, have you found low-impact development to be cost effective?
If you are or have recently been in the market for a new home, how important is low-impact development to you? Would you be willing to pay more to live in a home or apartment that was constructed using LID standards?

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