Lakeville Low Impact Development Study

[Graphic: Diagram of a stormwater integrated management practice in a parking lot.]

A stormwater retention system integrated into the design of a parking lot.

Courtesy Rice Creek Watershed District

From January through December 2006, FMR partnered with three watershed organizations, the Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the City of Lakeville and the design firm Emmons and Olivier Resources to evaluate the effectiveness of Low Impact Development (LID). Low Impact Development is an approach to land development that incorporate various best management practices to protect water and other natural resources while accommodating growth.

This project provided a side-by-side comparison of a traditional “sprawl-style” development design and a LID design, evaluating the effectiveness of the LID solution. Our results have been astounding — better environmental outcomes, more open and park space, more livable communities, higher profit for the developer and a higher tax base for the city. Using Low Impact Development really does allow us to have our cake and eat it too.

These results provide state and local decision makers, city staff, developers and other stakeholders with an example of how a conventional development proposal can be modified to meet natural resource and community goals, including economic growth and development.

This innovative project was a finalist for the 2006 Minnesota Environmental Initiative award in the Land Use category.

Growing pains

Minnesota is growing. People are moving to our state, while Minnesota children are growing up starting families of their own. If we are to accomodate this growth, we have to build new houses, shops and roads. Unfortunately, the costs of this development are often borne by one of our state’s most treasured resources — our lakes, streams and rivers. Minnesota’s waters are becoming polluted. In 2006, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency listed about 2,200 of our lakes, rivers and streams as impaired. We must find solutions for protecting our treasured water resources while accommodating growth and development.

How does Low Impact Development work?

[Graphic: Diagram of a stormwater integrated management practice on a residential yard.]

Stormwater retention systems can be integrated into the landscape of residential yards to reduce runoff.

Courtesy Rice Creek Watershed District

LID is a set of recommended best practices for managing stormwater runoff in a way that emphasizes decentralized infiltration of runoff, reducing impervious surfaces (such as parking lots, rooftops and roads) and, as much as possible, mimicking the natural pre-development hydrologic conditions of the site.

Find out more about this study

More Detailed Comparison Information:

General Information about Low Impact Development

For more information, contact Kevin Biehn at Emmons and Olivier Resources. Contact Info