LID Code Updates

Through a Proposition 84 Stormwater Grant provided by the California State Water Resources Control Board 25 municipalities are receiving assistance to update their municipal codes to remove barriers to Low Impact Development (LID) implementation. The emphasis of the grant is code revision assistance to remove barriers to LID and integrate LID requirements within the local regulatory structure (e.g., codes and ordinances). The project is a joint effort between CASQA, the Central Coast LID Initiative, and the Local Government Commission. The project’s main deliverables include: adoption-ready code language for 25 municipalities; training for municipal staff who review and approve LID projects; outreach to local government leaders (e.g., elected officials) whose support is crucial for LID Code adoption; publication of case studies and sample LID Code language for the broader California MS4 community; development of standard LID plans and specifications for reference in the updated codes; developing information about potential funding options, which is one of the primary barriers to LID. The Grant Project Team included Project Manager/Co-Technical Lead Daniel Apt, Co-Technical Lead Dr. Darla Inglis, Project Director Geoff Brosseau, with LID technical assistance to the 25 municipalities supported by Wayne Carlson and Brittany Port of AHBL, as the project’s primary consultant.


Below are some resources that have been developed or augmented as part of this grant effort. Additional resources and other deliverables are forthcoming and will be posted to this webpage soon.

Municipal Landscape Gap Analysis Tool for Review of Planning & Development Standards and Procedures for LID Implementation

This document is intended to assist permittees with the review of those portions of municipal codes detailing landscaping requirements and considerations which should be implemented to protect environmental quality.

The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) adopted a statewide general permit for Small MS4s in order to efficiently regulate stormwater discharges (General Permit No. CAS000004). Section E.12 of the General Permit for Waste Discharge Requirements (WDRs) for Storm Water Discharges from Small MS4s (Permit) requires permittees to administer a post-construction stormwater management program that includes low impact development (LID) runoff standards for regulated projects. Section E.12.J directs permittees to review their local planning and permitting process to assess any gaps or impediments impacting effective implementation of the post-construction requirements. The Permit prioritizes the analysis of the landscape code, which is described as that portion of the municipal code detailing landscaping requirements and revisions which should be implemented to protect environmental quality. This initial emphasis is established through the requirement that permittees conduct an analysis of the landscape code to correct gaps and impediments impacting effective implementation of post-construction requirements within the first year of the effective date of the Permit (Section E.12.J(ii)(a)).

The Comprehensive Municipal Gap Analysis Tool for Review of Planning & Development Standards and Procedures for LID Implementation

The Comprehensive Municipal Gap Analysis Tool will help users evaluate their entire municipal regulatory framework for LID barriers and areas for improvement as required by the Permit.

Sample Municipal Code Update

This sample municipal code update was performed as part of the grant Round 1 assistance. The sample code update is from the City of Gonzales and includes redline changes to their landscaping chapter, street trees and tree protection chapter, and a new water efficient landscaping chapter.

LID Code Update Webinar

The Grant Project Team developed the LID Code webinar about the lessons learned and tips regarding removing barriers to LID in municipal codes. The webinar identifies where to look within municipal codes to remove barriers to LID, provides resources and tips for integration of LID into municipal codes, and shares lessons learned from CASQA’s Prop 84 Grant project.

Case Studies

Several case studies were developed as part of CASQA’s Prop 84 Grant project representing the 2 rounds of assistance for the municipalities. The two files below include several case studies for each round.

Green Streets

As part of CASQA’s Prop 84 Grant project technical resources were developed for the development of green streets which are included below.

Financial Barriers to LID and Stormwater Management

Financial barriers were also identified as a primary barrier to LID implementation. Two white papers were developed by SCI Consulting in collaboration with the Grant Project Team with the first white paper covering LID and stormwater funding barriers and opportunities in California and the second white paper covering the use of Triple Bottom Line analyses to support LID and stormwater management objectives. The white papers were presented for input at a roundtable meeting hosted by the STORMS Funding Subcommittee and then the papers were finalized and are posted below.

Municipal Government Leadership Forums

It was recognized that one of the primary barriers to LID was lack of support for LID from elected officials and municipal government leaders likely due to a lack of understanding of LID. To help remove this barrier the Local Government Commission, supported by the grant project team, hosted four local government leadership informal dinner forums to educate local leaders about LID and provide a venue for open discussion about questions and concerns regarding LID. Please see the summary of the forums below.

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