County sponsors LID workshop

Kitsap County will hold a Low Impact Development (LID) workshop next week designed to explain the process of building homes that lessen the ecological damage on the water supply.

"We're hoping this event will help to educate the public about the potential of LID policy," said South Kitsap Commissioner Charlotte Garrido. "I also hope the county commissioners will be able to learn a bit more about this ourselves, to determine what kind of policy we should implement."

Guest speaker WSU Extension LID Specialist Curtis Hinman literally wrote the book on LID.

Himnan published a workbook about LID planning and policy in 2005, that has been updated and rewritten for use in several local jurisdictions.

The workshop expects to provide an overview of design guidelines, science, construction details, and practical experience needed to properly design, build and maintain LID practices.

Elected officials, engineers, planners, landscape architects, local jurisdiction staff, and allied disciplines that plan, review, build and maintain LID projects are encouraged to attend, according to Garrido.

The purpose of LID is to control the flow of stormwater runoff, using limits imposed by the Department of Ecology.

While the results are mandated, the path to accomplishing them is not specified.

Contractors can accomplish LID limits any number of ways, but the workshop is meant to discuss ways that can be accomplished economically.

One of the most important questions to be addressed is whether LID regulations should be imposed on smaller properties.

"The geology of Kitsap County is such that it may be difficult to build to LID specifications on properties smaller than an acre," Garrido said.

"In a lot of cases, a home can be built to LID specifications less expensively than how it was done before," said Kitsap Homebuilders Association Executive Director Art Castle.

The Homebuilders represent has about 400 members, its membership decreasing because of the sluggish market.

Membership is voluntary, but the organization attempts to add value by providing an easy path to LID compliance.

The association has installed examples of LID-friendly technologies outside of its Bremerton office, including various styles of pervious surfaces which allow the water to flow through the pavement rather than run off the sides of the area.

Non-pervious services cause a greater amount of oil and pollutants to enter the groundwater, according to Castle.

"LID minimizes the impact of new construction to a point similar to the pre-development conditions," Castle said. "This is a tremendous benefit to the environment."

The workshop will take place from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 19. in the Board of Commissioners chambers in the Administrative Building on the Courthouse campus in Port Orchard.

Admission is free and no registration is required.

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