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Low Impact Development Principles

Low Impact Development (LID) is an innovative, ecosystem-based approach to land development and stormwater management. The LID philosophy is modeled after nature: manage rainfall at the source.

LID's goal is to mimic a site's natural hydrology by using design techniques that allow water to soak into the ground, filter, store, evaporate, and contain runoff close to its source, resulting in a natural hydrologic landscape and a protected watershed. Techniques are based on the fact that stormwater management should not be seen as stormwater disposal. LID is a versatile approach that can be applied equally well to new development, urban retrofits, and revitalization projects.

Five Basic Principles of Low Impact Development:

  1. Conserve natural areas
  2. Minimize development impacts
  3. Maintain site runoff rate and control small storms
  4. Use integrated management practices (control volume and pollutant loads)
  5. Implement pollution prevention, proper maintenance, and public education programs

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