LID - Low Impact Development

New Landscape Features that treat storm water and infiltrate water on your property.  TRY IT! LID1

Low Impact Development (LID) What is it?

Storm water that is not absorbed into the ground accumulates debris, chemicals and other polluting substances that are harmful to our local water ways.

Land development typically increases impervious surface area, which reduces the natural infiltration of storm water into the ground. Impervious surfaces are areas that have been modified where storm water percolation into underlying soils is reduced or prohibited; examples include concrete, asphalt, and rooftops. This process can have negative impacts on our water quality by increasing runoff which contributes to erosion, flooding, loss of habitat, and decreased aquatic biological diversity.

In order to reduce these impacts, Low Impact Development (LID) storm water features, were created. LID features are permanent, small scale, specialized landscapes that capture, treat and infiltrate storm water runoff. The soil and plants within these features filter storm water by removing pollutants as nutrients. Swales, planters, and rain gardens are all examples of LID features that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing.  

LID features are required for all projects that are creating or replacing 10,000 sf or more of impervious surface.


 How do I take care of these LID features? LID2

As the owner or manager of a property with LID, it is your responsibility to properly maintain the LID features each year before the rainy season begins. This requires that all trash, sediment and debris be removed, any dead plants be replaced, and the overflows and overflow pipe inlets are cleared. Regular maintenance ensures that LID features will perform as designed by:

  • Allowing storm water to properly infiltrate into the ground
  • Preventing pollutants in storm water overflow from entering creeks and waterways 

Want to install a LID feature? Check out these webpages to learn how to begin! 

Slow it. Spread it. Sink it. is a great resource to further understand storm water runoff around your home or property and includes “Do it yourself” techniques! 

Check out the Sonoma Marin Saving Water Partnership here for landscape design templates, and a water smart plant guide! 

Please refer to for further information.

LID Documents  

Low Impact Development Design Manual 

Determination Worksheet Form for Town of Windsor

Storm Water Low Impact Development Submittal (SW LIDS)Coversheet and Checklist Form for Town of Windsor

LID Owner Maintenance Description Checklist  

LID Owner Maintenance Inspection Form

LID: Instruction for Completing Private DOC

LID: DOC Related to Maintenance of Private Storm Water LID BMPS

LID: DOC Related to Maintenance of Common Area Storm Water LID BMP

LID: Fillable Notary Declaration

LID: Template for Stormwater Maintenance Plan for Private Land


The major pollutant expected from construction sites is erosion-related, where large amounts of sediment laden water flows into storm drains.

  • Construction sites <1 acre of land disturbance are required to prepare Erosion and Sediment Control Plan (ESCP).
  • Construction sites >1 acre of land disturbance are required to prepare a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plant (SWPPP). 
  • All projects must implement and maintain proper BMP’s.

 Construction Documents 

ESCP (Erosion and Sediment Control Plan) or SWPPP (Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan) Review Checklist Form for Town of Windsor

Site Inspection Form