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== Desktop Analysis of Background Information ==
As you begin gathering and reviewing background information, determine any existing infrastructure gaps and planned upgrades, resident concerns, previous community greening efforts, past water usage and past problems with basement flooding. The following sources of information should be considered when conducting a desktop analysis:
* Watershed studies
* Subwatershed studies
** Soil characterization
** Groundwater levels
==Local bylaws and regulations==
Be sure to know the relevant local bylaws before developing recommendations. Some LID features may contravene local regulations. Below are some examples of typical bylaws and their potential impact on LID planning:
|Typical Bylaws |General Provisions May Include: |Impacts on LID Options:
Sets minimum requirements for privately owned properties
* Restricts low-lying areas, including those that have been excavated and accumulate water, and requires that they be drained, filled and graded so that water drains to a storm sewer or ditch.
* Requires that all landscaped areas be maintained in a reasonable condition relative to the neighboring environment
|Can preclude the some LID practices, such as bioretention facilities designed be both low-lying and including ‘shallow’ surface ponding. Such bylaws can also prohibit other BMPs which rely on naturalizing landscapes.
|Sewer use |Although generally limited to sanitary sewers, many municipalities now include stormwater within this by-law. It generally requires all stormwater be discharged to an approved outlet and regulates the contents of the discharged water. |May not permit direct discharge of roof water to the municipal storm sewer system. This can include overflow from rainwater harvesting tanks and similar devices.
Prevents accumulation of water on an individual property within any depression
* Often in response to mosquito breeding and West Nile Virus concerns.
* Accumulation is typically defined by a determined period of time (e.g. 48 hours)
|Boulevard planting |Regulates the type of vegetation that can be planted within the boulevard area |
Bio-swales or vegetated swales may be constrained by plant-type and plant-height restrictions along municipal boulevards
|Roof leader policies (often part of property standards bylaws)
Regulates the collection and allowable discharge location of roof drainage
* May specify outlet distance from building foundation and may prohibit discharge to storm sewers, impervious surfaces and property boundaries
Progressive roof leader policies can encourage the implementation of rain gardens,
soakaways, rain barrels , and other LID practices.
After concluding a desktop analysis, visiting the neighbourhood in question for field reconnaissance is be ideal. Be sure to look for:
* Neighbourhood characteristics – general impressions
* General lot characteristics:
* Rooftop / drainage characteristics
* Best management practices info
This list is not meant to be exhaustive - keep your eyes open for other relevant factors, and let us know if there's anything we should add.