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Low Impact Development Code Update

 

Thurston County recently updated its development codes to encourage the use of low impact development (LID) practices in new construction. This review was required under provisions of the county’s stormwater permit, which is regulated by the Washington Department of Ecology. The goal of this code update is to make LID the preferred and commonly used approach to site development. Thurston County also updated its Drainage Design and Erosion Control Manual to meet state guidelines.

What is LID?

Low impact development (LID) is a stormwater and land use management strategy that strives to preserve and mimic the natural hydrology of a site by integrating conservation, use of existing natural features, and stormwater management practices into a project design. Specific LID practices include reducing impervious surfaces, retaining tree cover and existing native vegetation, installing rain gardens or permeable pavement, and using bioretention and soil amendments to help slow and treat stormwater runoff on site.

Thurston County partnered with Thurston Regional Planning Council to coordinate our LID code review. For more background on this project, visit http://www.trpc.org/466/Stormwater-LID-Code-Integration

View an interactive map of LID development in Thurston County.

LID Code Revisions

The Thurston County Board of Commissioners approved changes to development regulations that support LID – these changes go into effect on December 31, 2016. The revisions aim to minimize new impervious surfaces, loss of trees and native vegetation, and overall stormwater runoff from new development. The changes affect standards for parking, landscaping, impervious surfaces, setbacks, open space, clearing and grading, and include other clarifying revisions.

Planning Commission Review

The Planning Commission held background work sessions on LID from January through June. A public hearing on proposed changes to Chapters 14, 18, and 20 was held on June 15, 2016. These changes mostly apply outside the Urban Growth areas of Olympia, Lacey, and Tumwater.

A public hearing on proposed changes to TCC 21,22,23 was held on August 17, 2016:
NOTE: The Planning Commission is no longer accepting comments on this draft after the 8/17/2016 public hearing.

Contact Us

Interested Parties: If you would like to be added to our Web Mail list, please click here. Staff contact: Allison Osterberg, Senior Planner. Phone: (360) 754-3355, x7011 E-mail: osterba@co.thurston.wa.us.

 

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