Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Fayetteville Planning Commission forwards low-impact development ordinance to City Council with unanimous vote of approval
Please click on images to see examples of erosion problems on sites where low-impact construction methods were not adequately utilized and where the geology and geography of sites are not fully understood before removal of vegetation and grading are allowed.
Truly historic unanimous vote moves low-impact development ordinance to City Council agenda. The Town Branch Neighborhood has been working to make low-impact development features a requirement of developments in south Fayetteville for a decade. Web site documents early years of Town Branch neighborhood's fight for low-impact development We have had little success as developers proposing projects listened to our pleas for protection of the Town Branch from erosion and our residents' property from flooding but had no motivation to follow through. City ordinances have actually discouraged innovative and less costly ways of managing stormwater. One important thing is having low-impact plans drawn up BEFORE removing vegetation or grading land. As in the recently approved hillside-development plan, the soil on a site must be considered first. If the geography and geology of a site are not fully studied and taken into account, low-impact development cannot occur. So here it is at last: A chance for the Fayetteville City Council to approve a good ordinance to encourage developers to protect our watershed, wildlife, property and human lives. My hope is to live long enough to see a revision of the currently proposed ordinance making low-impact development mandatory and anything less only by special council dispensation. This ordinance as proposed can help Fayetteville meet federal and state regulations and protect the quality of water in both Beaver Lake and Lake Tenkiller in Oklahoma. Please click on Skip Descant's byline to view full story online in the Northwest Arkansas Times. Obviously, Skip meant to write "pervious" rather than "impervious" in its lead. Otherwise, this is a fine story. Impervious means that water cannot soak in. One key factor in low-impact development is keeping the water where it falls and allowing it to soak in, filter the water and replenish the ground water naturally.