Smart Growth Publications

Letter to the Editor: Drinking Water, the Other Land Use Story, is a letter to the editor from HRWC published July 2005 in the Ann Arbor News as an Other Voices commentary. The commentary addresses the effect of land use and sprawl on drinking water and the water quality of the Huron River.

Low Impact Development (LID): Low Impact Development is a new approach to managing runoff from development that emphasizes conservation and use of on-site natural features to protect water quality. SEMCOG has published a LID manual for the State of Michigan: Low Impact Development Manual for Michigan: A Design Guide for Implementers and Reviewers (PDF, 21.27 MB).

Guidebook: How Much Development is Too Much? Guidebook on Using Impervious Surface and Gravel Road Capacity Analysis to Manage Growth in Rural and Suburban Communities and accompanying CD-ROM provide communities with new tools to develop defensible standards to better manage growth. The guidebook instructs communities on how to determine the traffic capacity of gravel roads and the threshold of impervious surface area above which local streams will begin to degrade.  Contact Kris Olsson for the CD.

Market Approach to Watershed Protection: Potential Impacts of Transfer of Development Rights for Michigan Communities, The Huron River Watershed Scenarios and accompanying CD provides local information on the only land use planning tool that specifically links increased densities in appropriate areas with actual, permanent protection of open space and farmland in rural areas. Contact Elizabeth Riggs for the CD.

HRWC White Paper:“Watershed Planning: Determining Impervious Surface Capacity to Better Manage Growth at the Rural/Urban Fringe” (pdf file is 1,808kb). This white paper describes research about the link between development, impervious surfaces, density, and water quality. It provides the scientific background for the methodologies and recommendations given in the Guidebook, “How Much Development is Too Much?”.

HRWC Newsletter Article: Learn more about the connection between land use and water quality in the HRWC article Speaking Up for Density.

Citizen’s Guide to Land Use Planning: HRWC’s guide to helping your community enact watershed friendly practices ( Chapter 1 and Chapter 2).

Smart Growth for Clean Water: Published by the Michigan Environmental Council.  Describes how smart growth tools work to protect water quality and reduce stormwater runoff.  Includes innovative strategies for NPDES Phase II Stormwater Management in Michigan. Smart Growth for Clean Water

Tools for Land Use Planning

SEMCOG’s guidebook for local communities for ordinances and policies for a livable Southeast Michigan.  Land Use Tools and Techniques

DEQ’s guidebook: Filling The Gaps: Environmental Protection Options For Local Governments

EPA’s guidebook on how density and smart growth are great for stormwater management

MDEQ’s Smart Growth for Clean Water

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