Suburban Nation Tag

How Proposed Regulations May Impact Local Ordinances

The upcoming regulations will hopefully result in more design flexibility and better stormwater quality. However, for these regulations to work to their fullest extent, localities will need to make changes to development ordinances to fit with the new approach. Here are some examples: The most cost effective way for developers to reduce runoff volume is to never build pavement. However, the local ordinances often drive the need for pavement through required parking, road width, fire access, road and other factors. There is very good discussion of this in the book Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream. A few localities in Virginia have started the process of reducing requirements for pavement in their ordinances, but there is a long way to go. The new regulations use sheet flow across undeveloped and landscaped areas as a way to reduce runoff volume. It makes a lot of sense...

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