Development may substantially increase impervious surfaces (streets, driveways, parking lots, sidewalks) and therefore increase stormwater runoff. Low Impact Development seeks to reduce the amount of impervious surfaces compared to traditional development and mitigate increases in stormwater runoff through innovative practices and site planning.
Low Impact Development is a style of developing a neighborhood or urban area that attempts to mimic the natural water cycle as much as possible, promoting keeping water on site and allowing it to soak into the ground. The intent of Low Impact Development is to preserve the pre-development hydrology so that the development does not have negative impacts on a downstream water resource. Often Low Impact Development incorporates landscape features that hold and infiltrate stormwater while offering space for increased vegetation.
Low Impact Development practices can be applied to open spaces, rooftops, parking lots, sidewalks and medians. With proper planning and construction, Low Impact Development can be implemented on a community-wide scale for new development or redevelopment projects.
Low Impact Development Projects in Dakota County
For more information on Low Impact Development projects, contact Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District or the Vermillion River Watershed Joint Powers Organization.
Low Impact Development features are often evaluated for county buildings and facilities too. Topics such as stormwater management, pervious pavement, native landscaping, diversion of roof drains for infiltration, and stormwater reuse are considered during design work as a part of the Dakota County Building Design Standards.