Chapter 14.02   STORMWATER UTILITY [1]

Sections:


14.02.010   Purpose.

It is the finding of the city that the stormwater and surface water management utility is necessary in order to promote public health, safety, and welfare by establishing and operating a comprehensive approach to surface and stormwater problems. The purpose of the rates and charges established herein is to provide a method for payment of all or any part of the cost and expense of maintaining and operating stormwater control facilities, all or any part of the cost and expense of planning, designing, establishing, acquiring, developing, constructing, and improving any of such facilities, or to pay or secure the payment of all or any portion of any issue of general obligation or revenue bonds issued for such services. These rates and charges are necessary in order to promote the public health, safety and welfare by minimizing uncontrolled surface and stormwater, erosion, and water pollution, to preserve and utilize the many values of the city's natural drainage system including water quality, open space, fish and wildlife habitat, recreation, education, urban separation and drainage facilities, and to provide for the comprehensive management and administration of surface and stormwater.

(Ord. No. 901, § 9(Exh. B), 4-23-2009)

14.02.020   Definitions.

The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter:

1.

"City" shall mean the City of Black Diamond, Washington.

2.

"Connection charge" shall mean that fee charged by the utility to property which is developed which reflects a proportionate share of the utility's capital costs attributable to the newly developed property.

3.

"Developed" shall mean that condition of real property altered from its natural state by the addition to or construction on such property of impervious ground cover or other manmade physical improvements such that the hydrology of the property or a portion thereof is affected.

4.

"Drainage facility" shall mean the system of collecting, conveying, and storing surface and stormwater runoff. "Drainage facility" includes but is not limited to a constructed or engineered stream, pipeline, channel, ditch, swamp, lake, wetland, closed depression, infiltration facility, retention/detention facility, erosion/sedimentation control facility, and other drainage structures and appurtenances that provide for drainage.

5.

"Equivalent residential unit" shall mean and be equal to three thousand square feet of impervious ground cover and is the measure of impervious ground cover to be used by the utility in assessing service charges and general facility charges against each parcel of property.

6.

"Impervious ground cover" shall mean those hard surfaced areas either which prevent or retard the entry of water into the soil in the manner that such water entered the soil under natural conditions preexistent to development, or which cause water to run off the surface in greater quantities or at an increased rate of flow than that present under natural conditions preexistent to development, including without limitation such surfaces as roof tops, asphalt or concrete sidewalks, paving, driveways and parking lots, walkways, patio areas, storage areas, oiled macadam or other surfaces which similarly affect the natural infiltration or runoff patterns existing prior to development, provided, gravel surfaces without an impervious surface underneath the gravel shall not be considered impervious ground cover for purposes of this chapter.

7.

"Parcel" shall mean the smallest separately segregated unit or plot of land having an identified owner, boundaries and surface area which is documented for property tax purposes and given a tax lot number by the King County Assessor.

8.

"Service area" means the incorporated areas of the City of Black Diamond.

9.

"Service charge" shall mean the monthly rate levied by the utility upon all developed real property within the boundaries of the utility.

10.

"Surface and stormwater" shall mean water originating from rainfall and other precipitation that is found on ground surfaces and in drainage facilities, streams, springs, seeps, ponds, lakes and wetlands as well as shallow ground water.

11.

"Surface and stormwater management services" shall mean the services provided by the public works department, including, but not limited to, basin planning, facilities maintenance, regulation, financial administration, public involvement, drainage investigation and enforcement, aquatic resource restoration, surface and stormwater quality and environmental monitoring, natural surface water drainage system planning, intergovernmental relations and facility design and construction.

12.

"System" shall mean the entire system of storm drainage facilities owned by the utility or over which the utility has control or right of use for the movement and retention of storm and surface waters, including both naturally occurring and manmade facilities.

13.

"Undeveloped" shall mean that condition of real property unaltered by the construction or addition to such property by man of impervious ground cover or physical manmade improvements of any kind which change the hydrology of the property from its natural state.

14.

"Utility" shall mean the City of Black Diamond Stormwater and Surface Water Management Utility.

(Ord. No. 901, § 9(Exh. B), 4-23-2009)

14.02.030   Stormwater and surface water management utility created.

The city council creates and establishes for and on behalf of the citizens of the city a stormwater and surface water management utility, in accordance with and subject to the laws of the state, including the establishment of rates and charges therefor. The city council further establishes that the stormwater and surface water management utility boundaries shall coincide with the legally established boundaries of the city's corporate limits.

(Ord. No. 901, § 9(Exh. B), 4-23-2009)

14.02.040   Utility administration authority.

The city's stormwater and surface water management utility herein created shall be administered by the city's public works department in such a manner as the city council shall provide.

(Ord. No. 901, § 9(Exh. B), 4-23-2009)

14.02.050   Future growth.

It is the finding of the city that effective and comprehensive management of surface and stormwater runoff must include anticipation of future growth and development in the city, and that this growth and development shall guide the design and improvement of the surface and stormwater management system. Service charge revenue needs shall be based upon both the present and future requirements of the surface and stormwater management system, and these needs shall be considered when determining the rates and charges of the utility.

(Ord. No. 901, § 9(Exh. B), 4-23-2009)

14.02.060   Developed properties.

It is the finding of the city that developed properties contribute to an increase in surface and stormwater runoff to the surface and stormwater management system. This increase in surface and stormwater runoff results in the need to establish rates and charges to finance the city's activities in stormwater and surface water management. Developed properties shall be subject to the rates and charges of the surface water management utility based on their contribution to increased runoff based on the amount of impervious surface areas.

(Ord. No. 901, § 9(Exh. B), 4-23-2009)

14.02.070   Calculation of impervious ground cover—ERUs.

A.

The city shall calculate the impervious ground cover of each parcel of developed real property, except single-family residential, duplex, triplex, and fourplex, to determine the number of equivalent residential units contained therein; three thousand square feet of impervious ground cover shall equal one equivalent residential unit (ERU). Each developed parcel of property shall be deemed to contain a minimum of one ERU.

B.

Classification of a given developed property shall depend on its actual use, not its zoned use, according to the following:

1.

All detached single-family homes, manufactured homes and mobile homes, when each is used only as a residence, are considered "single-family residential" for purposes of this section and shall be deemed to contain one equivalent residential unit.

2.

All duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes, when each is used only as a residence, are deemed to contain one equivalent residential unit for each unit within the complex.

3.

All other developed real properties within the utility boundaries shall have the number of ERUs contained thereon determined by dividing the number of square feet of impervious ground cover on each property by three thousand square feet/ERU; the total thus obtained will be rounded to the nearest half.

4.

Where a property is being used for both residential and non-residential purposes, the property shall be classified based on which type of use is dominant on the site. Dominant use shall be determined based on factors including, but not limited to, the amount of square footage devoted to the use, and whether the non-residential use involves customers or employees coming to the site and/or storage of commercial materials onsite.

5.

For purposes of this section, any developed property that is unoccupied shall be classified according to the use to which the property was most recently put prior to becoming unoccupied.

(Ord. No. 901, § 9(Exh. B), 4-23-2009)

14.02.080   Undeveloped real property.

Properties remaining in an undeveloped condition are deemed not to make use of the services of the utility or of the facilities of the system beyond that used by such property in the natural state. Therefore, no service charge shall be imposed upon undeveloped real property.

(Ord. No. 901, § 9(Exh. B), 4-23-2009)

14.02.090   Public street rights-of-way.

City, county, and/or state roadway rights-of-way are exempt from service charges and general facility charges.

(Ord. No. 901, § 9(Exh. B), 4-23-2009)

14.02.100   Connection charges.

A connection charge shall be assessed against an owner of real property at the time of issuance of a development permit for any onsite storm or surface water drainage structure or facilities which attach or connect to, or otherwise drain into, the system of drainage facilities or where any additional surface or stormwater runoff is generated and delivered or transported through either natural or person-made watercourses to the utility's system of storm and surface water facilities.

(Ord. No. 901, § 9(Exh. B), 4-23-2009)

14.02.110   Service charge rates.

A.

Service charges are hereby imposed on each parcel of real property within the city served by or to which is available for service the stormwater and surface water management utility.

B.

The following service charge rate is hereby established for all parcels of real property in the city, subject to any credits as described in subsection C, below:

1.

Fourteen dollars per ERU per month.

2.

Effective January 1, 2014, the service charge rate shall increase to sixteen dollars per ERU per month.

C.

Credits. Where applicable, the following credits may be applied in calculating the service rate for a parcel of real property within the City of Black Diamond:

1.

Department of ecology permit credit. Any customer within the City of Black Diamond that is required to obtain a general or individual wastewater permit from the Washington State Department of Ecology shall receive a credit, prorated monthly, in the amount paid each year for such permit toward the amount owed to the City of Black Diamond under this chapter. In order to qualify for this credit, the business must provide the city with a copy of the department of ecology permit and proof of payments along with a letter to the city utility clerk requesting the credit.

2.

Storm pond investment credit. Any customer that is assessed a stormwater utility fee under Section 14.02.070(B)(4) and that constructs and has approved by the city a storm water detention/retention facility shall be eligible for a credit toward the storm water utility rate for the site served by the facility, subject to the following:

(a)

To qualify for a credit, the detention/retention pond and associated facilities must adequately perform storm water treatment functions through the use of such methods as oil/water separators, bioswales, wet ponds, cartridge filter systems, or other means. The city may revoke any credit granted under this section upon a determination that the facilities are out of compliance with this section.

(b)

The owner of record must provide the city's public works department with a copy of the facility's "as built" plans, stamped and signed by the owner's engineer, to verify that the drainage system has adequate capacity to meet the design criteria for which the owner is requesting a credit. The engineer shall also provide a stamped and signed operations manual for the retention/detention pond. New capacity calculations, "as built" plans, and a new operations manual shall be provided to the city if the retention/detention pond is increased or decreased in size.

(c)

Annually by January 1 of the year preceding the year for which the credit is being requested, each owner of record shall provide a certified statement on a form provided by the city verifying that all required maintenance has been performed in accordance with the operations manual. Once every five years, the certified statement shall be stamped and signed by the owner's engineer.

(d)

The owner of record shall provide the city with a "hold harmless" statement on a form provided by the city that indemnifies the city from any loss arising from the construction and maintenance and operation of the retention/detention pond and associated private drainage facilities for both the quantity and quality of water runoff from the owner's property. This statement shall be signed by the owner and will be recorded with the county auditor by the owner of record. The owner of record shall provide a copy to the city showing the county auditor's recording number stamped on it before the credit will be given by the city.

(e)

Each owner of record must enter into an agreement that allows the city to enter upon the owner's property to inspect the retention/detention pond and associated drainage facilities and verify all information submitted by the owner and his or her engineer. The agreement shall be on a form provided by the city and shall be recorded with the county auditor by the owner. The owner shall provide a copy to the city showing the county auditor's recording number stamped on it before the credit will be given by the city.

(f)

Credit shall be given as follows:

(1)

Retention facilities:

a.

One hundred-year storage: Eighty-five percent credit.

b.

Fifty-year storage: Forty percent credit.

c.

Twenty-five-year storage: Twenty percent credit.

d.

Ten-year storage: Ten percent credit.

(2)

Detention facilities:

a.

One hundred-year storage facility with release rate of fifty percent of the predevelopment discharge rate for a two-year storm: Eighty-five percent credit.

b.

Fifty-year storage facility with release rate of fifty percent of the predevelopment discharge rate for a two-year storm: Forty percent credit.

c.

Twenty-five-year storage facility with release rate of fifty percent of the predevelopment discharge rate for a two-year storm: Twenty percent credit.

d.

Ten-year storage facility with release rate of fifty percent of the predevelopment discharge rate for a two-year storm: Ten percent credit.

(Ord. No. 901, § 9(Exh. B), 4-23-2009; Ord. No. 990, § 1, 12-20-2012; Ord. No. 1008, § 2, 7-11-2013)

14.02.120   Billing—Interest added to past due accounts—Collections authorized.

A.

Stormwater and surface water management utility charges shall be computed on a monthly basis. The amount billed shall be included on the city utility bill.

B.

In addition to any other fees or charges authorized by law, the city is authorized to add interest to the amount of any delinquent stormwater utility charges and associated fees at the rate of six percent per annum, as computed on a monthly basis.

C.

Pursuant to chapter 19.16 RCW, as currently enacted or hereafter amended, the city may assign any delinquent charges and associated fees to a collections agency; the collections agency may add fees or charges to the original amount assigned to collections as allowed by law. No debt may be assigned to collections until at least thirty calendar days have elapsed from the time that the city attempts to notify the person responsible for the debt of the existence of the debt and that the debt may be assigned to collections if the debt is not paid. Notice of potential assignment to collections shall be made by personal service or regular first class mail to the last known address of the person responsible for the debt, provided, inability to ascertain a current mailing address shall not prohibit the debt from being assigned to collections.

(Ord. No. 901, § 9(Exh. B), 4-23-2009)

14.02.130   Periodic review of charges and fees.

The charges and fees established by this ordinance and any other ordinances of the city council establishing charges and fees for the stormwater and surface water management utility shall be reviewed periodically by the mayor or his or her designee. As part of such review, the finance director, in conjunction with the public works director, shall present to the city council a yearly budget for the utility and propose amendments to any rates and charges necessary to enable the city to pay all costs to be incurred by the utility.

(Ord. No. 901, § 9(Exh. B), 4-23-2009)



FOOTNOTE(S):


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Editor's note— Ord. No. 901, § 9(Exh. B), adopted April 23, 2009, amended Ch. 14.02 in its entirety to read as herein set out. Former Ch. 14.02, §§ 14.02.010—14.02.130, pertained to similar subject matter, and derived from Ord. 872, § 2 (part), adopted 2008. (Back)