SBC Publication Wins Sustainability Award

Sierra Business Council (SBC) is pleased to announce that the Placer County Low Impact Development (LID) Guidebook, which SBC developed in partnership with Placer County, cbec, inc. Eco Engineering, and CKB Environmental Consulting, Inc. was recognized with the Outstanding Sustainable Stormwater Project Award at the California Stormwater Quality Association (CSQA) at its 9th annual Stormwater Conference.

PlacerCountyLIDguidebookIn 2004, Placer County identified Low Impact Development (LID) as a mitigation strategy for the County Aquatic Resource Program – a comprehensive strategy for state and federal environmental regulatory compliance on projects covered by the Placer County Conservation Plan. In 2008 the County sought and secured grant funding from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy to develop a LID guidebook to describe application and adaptation of LID techniques to the county’s unique environmental conditions, and to promote more widespread use of LID throughout the County.

In 2008, Placer County retained Sierra Business Council and a team of technical consultants including cbec, inc. Eco Engineering (CBEC), and Carmel Brown, P.E., of CKB Environmental Consulting, Inc. (CKB) to prepare the document, with advice and assistance by county planning and engineering staff. A Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of local stakeholders and technical professionals was also established to provide oversight, content and direction to the effort. TAC workshops were conducted at various locations in the study area during development of the Guidebook to build awareness, share knowledge, create the tools included in the guidebook, and review and comment on draft versions of the document.

The LID Guidebook report was completed in April 2012 after being edited and reviewed by the TAC and Placer County staff. The Guidebook provides planning and design guidance to promote and encourage the application of appropriate and cost effective LID principles and strategies for new and redevelopment projects in the Sierra Nevada. Various tools have been developed for use with this Guidebook, including the planning and design checklist, selection matrix, and site design and runoff management fact sheets. These tools are formatted as “pull-out” documents in an appendix to provide a quick reference. The Guidebook is a “living” web-based document that can be updated by County staff. It is available for download at:

A pilot redevelopment project in the Tahoe Basin (Homewood) was selected and used by the TAC to apply, study and refine the various planning and design tools included in the Guidebook (Appendix B of the Guidebook presents the results of the pilot study). In addition, several case studies were included in the guidebook in Appendix C.

The LID Guidebook complements the existing resources of nearby jurisdictions and organizations including the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the Sierra Nevada Alliance, the Town of Truckee and the Sacramento Stormwater Quality Partnership. The Guidebook provides developers with a toolkit for implementing LID in the higher elevation Sierra Nevada.

This project is tied directly to implementing Placer County’s NPDES Phase II permit, development of the Placer County Conservation Plan (PCCP) covering HCP/NCCP/Clean Water Act Section 401 and 404 regulations, long-term adoption of comprehensive water quality BMPs, and amendments to and adoption of new policies and ordinances addressing storm water management. This project is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Consumes, American, Bear, and Yuba Watersheds IRWMP.

SBC hopes that this recognition by the California Stormwater Quality Association will result in more communities implementing recommendations contained within the Low Impact Design Guidebook in their efforts to adapt low-impact development strategies.