Rainy Morning L.I.D. Workshop at Augustus Hawkins Park

October 14, 2009 § 5 Comments

Wetlands at Augustus Hawkins Nature Park

Wetlands at Augustus Hawkins Nature Park

L.A. Creek Freak was happy to train and bike down to Augustus F. Hawkins Natural Park for a city of Los Angeles Low Impact Development (LID) workshop this morning.

The highlight of the trip was exploring parts of the park while it was lightly raining. I hadn’t visited the site since 2005, when I wrote about it as a side trip in my book. The 8-acre park is located at the intersection of Compton and Slauson Avenues in South L.A. – two blocks west of the Slauson Metro Blue Line Station.

The park opened around 2002. It incorporated some of healthy older trees already at the site. The older and newer trees have grown tall and stately. The park features a nature center, picnic area, and paths that wind and spiral through areas of restored native vegetation. The landscape has grown in a great deal, and looked really lush in the rain.

Today’s LID workshop, the last of four scheduled, had about 30 people in attendance, including representation from developers, architects, consultants and engineers, all trying to wrap their heads around the new ordinance.

The workshop presentation was by Shahram Kharaghani, the head of the city Sanitation Bureau’s Watershed Protection division. The description of the ordinance is pretty much the same as what creek freak described in this earlier post. Kharaghani asserted that the city is doing the new LID requirements in advance of them being required as part of the city’s stormwater permit, which is due to be renewed in 2010.

LID is anticipated to consist of an ordinance and a handbook, which Kharaghani stated would be on-line in draft form “soon.”Kharaghani stressed that LID apply to everything public and private, and that the rainwater features prioritized will be natural ones.

While slides showed a seemingly orderly flowchart decision tree, questions revealed the gray areas open to some interpretation. It’s not completely clear exactly how green roofs, treatment of off-site run-off, hillside development, single-family home best management practices (BMP’s) etc. will be handled, but perhaps the soon-to-be online documents can offer additional guidance.  It appears that the main bottom-line standard is the capture of that 85th percentile rainstorm on site.

Kharaghani anticipated that LID requirements would take effect approximately February 2010 – first they go before the Public Works board, city council and mayor for approval.

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