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April 20, 2015

Low Impact Development Toolkit

The Cities of Mesa and Glendale, with a grant from the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona (WIFA), have partnered to develop this Low Impact Development (LID) Toolkit, with the support of consulting planners and designers and the input of city agencies.LID ToolkitThe Toolkit is intended to identify current stormwater management practices and national and regional LID

best practices, ultimately providing a living document with simple, updatable tools, that can guide the city and their businesses and residents, toward more sustainable stormwater design practices.

While the Cities of Mesa and Glendale are distinct entities with their own development and stormwater management challenges, goals and policies, there are enough similarities - in their maturity, development potential, geography and proximity to the metro area - that practices and recommendations from this effort can be readily applied in both communities, as well as elsewhere

in the Valley. Representatives from both cities’ engineering, transportation, planning, environmental, and parks agencies generously contributed their ideas, concerns and challenges.

City policies can either encourage or discourage the use of LID tools. As with other cities in the Valley, Mesa and Glendale have adopted a modified form of Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) standards for guiding development policy and implementing public works projects. This Toolkit includes some practices that are not currently recognized by MAG or the Cities, but should be

reviewed and adopted before being acceptable for use. Many cities have already adopted incentives for both public and private development to encourage increased LID use. For the developer and builder, benefits can include expedited reviews, tiered fees, and even exceptions to certain planning requirements such as overall density, setbacks, parking, and landscaping requirements. For

homeowners, potential incentives include rebates, and reduced landscape water use. The Cities’ role in this effort is to lead by example -- by providing funding for pilot projects in highly visible areas to increase public awareness, by updating and supporting policies that encourage more sustainable stormwater management, and by considering the integration of LID into all municipal projects. View the toolkit here.