Low Impact Development

LID improvements at Yauger ParkLID is an approach to land development (or re-development) that works with nature to manage stormwater as close to where it falls as possible.

LID employs principles such as preserving and re-creating natural landscape features, and minimizing imperviousness to create functional and appealing site drainage that treats stormwater as a resource rather than a waste product.

By implementing LID principles and practices, stormwater can be managed in a way that reduces the impact of built areas and promotes the natural movement of water within an ecosystem.

LID Code Revisions New Flag

The following regulations were passed by Olympia's City Council on July 12, 2016 in order to make LID stormwater techniques the commonly used approach to site development.

LID Regulations:

Low Impact Development Code Revisions Project

The Washington Department of Ecology recently included provisions in the 2013-2018 Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit that require revisions to the City’s codes and standards to make low impact development the “preferred and commonly-used approach to site development”.

The revisions were designed to minimize impervious surfaces, native vegetation loss, and stormwater runoff in all types of development situations. Specifically, the permit requires the City to:

  1. Review, revise and make effective local development-related codes, rules, standards, or other enforceable documents to incorporate and require LID principles and LID best management practices (BMPs).
  2. Adopt a drainage manual equivalent to Ecology’s 2012 Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington external link.

  • August 1, 2013 Complete
    Department of Ecology re-issues Olympia its Municipal Stormwater Permit requiring code revisions to support Low Impact Development techniques.
  • Spring 2014 - Spring 2015 Complete
    Staff reviews current codes for potential LID updates.
  • Summer 2015 Complete
    Draft code revisions reviewed by the LID Technical Workgroup and public.
  • September 2015 - December 2015 Complete
    Utility Advisory Committee review and recommendation to City Council.
  • January 2016 - March 2016 Complete
    Planning Commission review and recommendation to City Council.
  • Spring 2016 - Summer 2016Complete
    City Council review of Low Impact Development regulations.
  • December 1, 2016
    LID regulations take effect.

Other Documents


Contact Steve Thompson at 360.753.8397 or sthompso@ci.olympia.wa.us