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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

LID Passes! (At least another round)

In rounding out unfinished business from 2010, a nice bit of news about the City Council passing a LID ordinance for Los Angeles before the calendar year ran out.  (Or, at least an important directive to prepare a full, legal ordinance to vote on and officially enact sometime in early 2011.)  LA Creek Freak has the details:
At its final meeting of the year, yesterday, Friday December 17th 2010, the Los Angeles City Council passed “LID”  Low Impact Development. You can read some earlier background at Creek Freak and elsewhere, but basically it means that, in the city of Los Angeles, new development (and substantial redevelopment) will need will need to be more sustainable in regards to rainwater. Buildings, landscapes, parking lots, etc. will need to slow, detain and store and/or infiltrate water on-site, instead of speeding it into storm drains, creeks, rivers, and the sea.

This took a while. L.A. Creek Freak started reporting on the city of L.A. efforts in September 2009, attended a workshop in October 2009, and reported on the Public Works Board passing LID  in January 2010. Plenty more excellent coverage is available at Heal the Bay’s Mark Gold’s Spouting Off.

It also took a great deal of effort from the city’s Board of Public Works and the Bureau of Sanitation’s Watershed Protection Division – in conjunction with city environmentalists, especially Heal the Bay, TreePeople, and Green L.A. Coalition. Some developers and building industry folks have opposed LID because it can make make some construction more expensive. Ultimately, though there had been opposition at earlier hearings, LID passed council with no elected’s nor public speaker’s opposition. It slipped in quietly via the consent calendar.

There are still a few steps before the mass proliferation of creek-friendly developments, too – the motion that passed directs the City Attorney to prepare the regulations, then those get adopted and take effect… stay tuned.

. . . .
Pretty exciting to recognize not only that environmental advocacy and education worked to pass the measure, but effectively worked (in conjunction with the support of environmentally engaged council members) to sway the entire City Council.   This bodes well for official passing of the final, legal measure once the City Attorney prepares it for the City Council.  Congrats to all of supporters of the measure, and the tireless organizations who helped move it forward.  The watershed, and I, thank you.  

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