Steep slope protection | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED ND: Built Project | v1 - LEED 1.0 pilot

Steep slope protection

SLLc8 | Possible 1 point


Minimize erosion to protect habitat and reduce stress on natural water systems by preserving steep slopes in a natural, vegetated state.


Option 1

Avoid disturbing portions of project sites that have pre-project slopes greater than 15%;

Option 2- For previously developed sites only

On portions of project sites with pre-project slopes greater than 15%:

    a. treat any fractions of the site that have not been previously developed by complying with the requirements for sites that are not previously developed set forth in Option 3;


    b. restore native plants or adapted plants to 100% of any previously developed slopes over 40%; 60% of any previously developed slopes between 25%-40%; and 40% of any previously developed slopes between 15%-25%;

Option 3

On portions of project sites with pre-project slopes greater than 15% that are not previously developed sites:

  • do not disturb slopes greater than 40% and do not disturb portions of the project site within 50 feet of the top of the slope, and 75 feet from the toe of the slope;
  • limit development to no more than 40% of slopes between 25%-40%, and to no more than 60% of slopes between 15%-25%.
  • locate development such that the percentage of the development footprint that is on pre-project slopes less than 15% is greater than the percentage of buildable land that has pre-project slopes less than 15%.

For all three options, those portions of project sites with slopes up to 20 feet in elevation (toe to top) that are more then 30 feet in any direction from another slope greater than 15% are exempt from the requirements, although more restrictive local regulations may apply.

For Options 2 and 3, develop CC&Rs, development agreements, or other binding documents that will protect the specified steep slope areas in perpetuity.

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