Stormwater regulations changed for the new year

Kitsap County’s Department of Community Development is revising development-related codes, and is introducing a new stormwater management design manual, which came into effect Dec. 31, 2016.

The development regulation changes are prompted by the Washington State Department of Ecology requirement to integrate Low Impact Development (LID) principles and best management practices with local development requirements.

The intent of the revisions is to make LID the preferred and commonly-used approach to site development. The revisions are designed to accomplish three major goals:

  • Minimize impervious surfaces.
  • Minimize native vegetation loss.
  • Minimize stormwater runoff in all types of development situations.

In compliance with the goals of the permit, Kitsap County Board of Commissioners adopted a new stormwater design manual, as well as revisions to applicable codes. Changes to the County Code included these sections:

  • Title 12 — Stormwater and Drainage has been updated
  • Title 16 — Land Division and Development was slightly modified to make LID the preferred method.
  • Title 17 — Zoning was modified in regards to parking and landscaping requirements to facilitate implementation of LID.

The Kitsap County stormwater regulations include the following Design Manuals:

  • Kitsap County Stormwater Design Manual:
  • 2012 Low Impact Development Technical Guidance Manual:
  • 2012 Stormwater Management Manual for Western Washington (updated 2014):

Low-impact development is a stormwater and land-use management strategy that strives to mimic natural hydrologic processes to reduce the amount of stormwater that runs off a site. LID strategies include conservation, use of on-site natural features, site planning and distributed stormwater management practices that are integrated into a project design.

Low impact development treats stormwater as close to its source as possible. For a new house, this may mean installing a rain garden to treat roof runoff and providing native vegetation along a driveway to allow the rain that falls on the driveway to disperse into the vegetation. Site planning prior to construction will assist the developer in creating a project using low impact development techniques.

For more information, visit or contact Shawn Alire,

— Edited by Michelle Beahm