Low Impact Development Technical Design Manual

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The City of Santa Rosa and most development projects in the City must meet requirements to reduce storm water pollution, protect water quality of our local waterways and promote groundwater recharge.  The City has provided design guidelines for permanent storm water features in a series of manuals since July 13, 2005.  The current revised Manual to provide those development design guidelines will be approved and required of all new development on May 3, 2017.

Low Impact Development is a design approach that integrates specialized landscape features into the urban environment.  Runoff is directed into these features where it can soak into the ground.  This approach mimics the storm water benefits of the natural environment.  Specialized swales, planters, and raingardens provide beauty while also slowing runoff and removing pollutants.  Plants and microbes that live in healthy soil use pollutants as nutrients, removing them from runoff.

NOTE: Development projects that received discretionary approval prior to July 13, 2005 are exempt from following the manuals and guidelines.  The table below is provided to guide the use of the correct Manuals, determination worksheet, storm water calculator and other tools that are applied to your development project. 

Manuals & Related Documents


What date did the project receive discretionary approval?


  1. 5/3/2017 - Present
  2. 7/1/2010 - 5/2/2017
  3. 7/13/2005 - 6/30/2010
For more information or to report issues with downloading the documents, please contact Heaven Moore, Supervising Engineer via email or call 707-543-4530.