Community

Planning For Future Development

The reconstruction of impervious surfaces can be simpler than you think – sometimes it is the small things that can make all the difference. Did you know that we average 10 parking spaces in an urban area for every 1 car? Two-thirds of all impervious coverage is to provide habitat for cars – parking lots, driveways, roads, and highways. Here is a list of steps the public and planning officials could consider in planning for future development that could lower the percentage of impervious cover in your community, county, and watershed.

  • Narrower residential road widths
  • Reduced road lengths
  • Hourglass streets
  • Cluster development
  • Shared driveways
  • Angled parking with one way flow traffic
  • Smaller parking stalls
  • Reduced parking space ratios for some uses
  • Shared parking facilities in commercial areas
  • Shorter residential driveways
  • Reduced cu-de-sac radii
  • Cul-de-sac donuts
  • Vertical parking structures
  • Two or three story buildings
  • Stream buffers
  • Grass swales rather than curb/gutters
  • Open space requirements (residential)
  • Open space landscaping requirements (commercial)
  • Sidewalks only on one-side of street
  • Reduced side and rear yard setbacks
  • Decrease distance between lots (frontage)
  • Hammerhead-shaped turnarounds
  • Rear yard grading to buffer
  • Permeable spillover parking areas


  • Suggestions for steps a community could take to control impervious cover were made by Tom Schueler during an interview titled Water Laws.