Low Impact Development Code Integration and Standardization of Stormwater Regulations

Whatcom County has just completed updating its codes and standards to be consistent with the Low Impact Development (LID) principles condition of the 2013-2018 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit.  As a Phase II Permittee, the County was required to review and update its development codes and standards to make LID the preferred and commonly used approach to site development within the geographic areas of the County covered by the NPDES Permit (cross-hatched areas in the map below).

A secondary goal was to simplify the County’s stormwater regulations (there were currently six different sets of regulations for eight different geographic areas of the County). The ordinance included revisions to the County’s development codes and standards, adoption of the 2014 Ecology Stormwater Manual (outright in urban (NPDES) areas of the County and with raised thresholds in the rural areas), and restructuring of the watershed/stormwater management areas.
An unofficial, unsigned copy of the ordinance can be found here (the official one to be added when a copy is available). Staff is now in the process of updating our forms, applications, websites, and information brochures and should be done within a few weeks.