Chapter 13.40
CONNECTIONS TO CITY SEWER SYSTEMS

Sections:

13.40.010    When required.

13.40.020    Permit.

13.40.030    Connection and facilities fees.

13.40.040    Line extensions to facilitate connections.

13.40.050    Installation of connecting lines along street or alley.

13.40.060    Connection with sewer not in street upon which property located.

13.40.070    Inspection of lines prior to connection.

13.40.080    Compliance with building code, etc.

13.40.090    Annual review of facilities fees and connection charge prescribed by chapter.

13.40.100    Discontinuance of service at request of consumer.

13.40.110    Policy when sewer user fees paid when no connection to sewer systems exists.

13.40.010 When required.

(1) Whenever a sewer is available to any property in the city, the owner of the property shall be required to cause the buildings on his premises to be connected with such sewer, either directly or through some private sewer, the connection to be made as determined by the city manager and within one month after notice to connect has been given to the property owner by the city manager.

(2) If any property owner fails or refuses to comply with this section, the city may, at its option, cause the necessary work to be done to make the connection and the amount so expended, including the fees and charges prescribed by this chapter, shall be recoverable against such property owner.

(3) For the purposes of this section, a sewer is deemed available to any single-family housing structure in the case where the city sewer main is either (a) situated on the particular property, or (b) a 90-degree lateral connection from the city sewer main to the nearest property line of a parcel would not exceed 100 feet. For any property used for multifamily dwellings or for any business, commercial or industrial use, a sewer is deemed available where the city sewer main is either (a) located on the particular property, or (b) a 90-degree lateral connection from the city main to the nearest property line of a parcel would not exceed 300 feet. Notwithstanding the foregoing, however, if the straight line distance from the point of connection to the sewer main to the nearest part of the structure to be served exceeds (a) 200 feet in the case of a single-family structure or (b) 600 feet in the case of a multifamily, business, commercial, or industrial structure, the property owner may connect with such sewer, but is not required to do so.

(4) In the case where sewer is not available to a particular property as defined in subsection (3) of this section, and sewer later becomes available to said property and provided that the property has a connection to an approved septic tank as set forth in SCC 13.35.030, the owner of the property shall have the option to either (a) have such connection made in accordance with the requirements of this chapter, or (b) elect to have such connection made within five years of the date such sewer becomes available to said property (the “delayed connection”). If the property owner elects to delay the connection, the property owner shall execute a document on a form approved by the city (the “delayed connection form”) indicating the election and agree to connect within such period at the prevailing connection and facilities fees existing at the time such connection is made plus five percent if said connection is made within 12 months of the date sewer is available, or plus 10 percent if said connection is made more than 12 months of the date sewer is available but less than 24 months of said date, or plus 15 percent if said connection is made after 24 months of the date sewer is available but less than 36 months of said date, or plus 20 percent if said connection is made more than 36 months of the date sewer is available but less than 48 months of said date, or plus 25 percent if said connection is made after 48 months of the date sewer is available. If the property owner elects to delay the connection as provided herein, the property owner shall agree that the “delayed connection form” will be recorded in the deed books in the clerk’s office of the circuit court of the city of Staunton, Virginia, at the property owner’s expense in such fashion as to constitute notice to any subsequent owner of said property and to establish a lien for such fees against the said owner and property.

(5) Application for such “delayed connection” shall be made to the director of public works for the city of Staunton on the form set forth in subsection (4) of this section.

(6) Exception for Certain Property. The city recognizes that certain properties in the city are presently not connected to a sewer that is presently available to said property. As long as these properties have a working septic system, installed prior to January 1, 1995, pursuant to SCC 13.35.030, such property shall not be required to connect to the existing sewer now available to said property. Upon the failure of such septic system, however, as determined by the health department of the city, such property shall be connected to the sewer system of the city if sewer is available to said property, as set forth in subsection (1) of this section, and no new septic system shall be authorized for such properties. This exception shall not apply to a property where sewer was previously not available prior to January 1, 1995, but has become available since that date by a new sewer line installed. In such case, the provisions of subsection (4) of this section shall apply. (Code 1964, §§ 19-6, 19-13; Code 1985, § 22-16; Ord. 12-08-94; Ord. 7-26-95).

State law reference – Authority of city to require sewer connections, Code of Virginia, § 15.2-2122.

13.40.020 Permit.

No connection shall be made in any manner to the city’s sanitary sewerage system, unless the owner of the property first secures a permit from the city manager for each building, including accessory buildings, to be so connected. The city manager shall, for such purpose, use a suitable bound book containing blank permits, with duplicate stubs, in which all permits shall be recorded by him. (Code 1964, §§ 19-9, 19-19; Code 1985, § 22-17).

13.40.030 Connection and facilities fees.

(1) Connection Fees.

(a) The charge for all connections shall be $2,100. This cost includes the service connection from the main to the right-of-way line, to be paid in advance of such connection. The foregoing notwithstanding, the director of public works may require that a higher deposit be made, prior to connection, if, in his opinion, the cost of such particular connection is likely to exceed $2,100. Such deposit may be made in cash, by bond with corporate surety, or by a letter of credit payable to the city approved by the director of public works. If such higher deposit is made and the actual cost exceeds the deposit, the individual requesting the deposit shall owe the difference to the city which shall be due and payable within 30 days of billing; or, if the actual cost is less than the deposit, the city shall refund the difference to such individual within 30 days of completion of work.

(b) Where the service connection is installed by the developer, the city will inspect the installation of the service. The developer shall be responsible for all direct costs related to inspection, plus 30 percent of actual cost to cover overhead and indirect cost.

(2) Off-Site Facilities Fee.

(a) The off-site facilities fee for all applicants is to cover the cost of present and future capital facilities constructed. Capital expenditures include, but are not limited to, treatment facilities, sewer mains, and pump stations. The off-site facilities fee shall be assessed all connectors to an existing or proposed establishment of a sewer system as set forth in the schedule of facilities fees under subsection (2)(g) of this section. All monies collected as “off-site facilities fees” under this section shall be deposited in a special account of the sewer enterprise fund to be known as the “sewer facilities fees account.” Funds unexpended and remaining in this special account, at the end of each fiscal year, shall carry forward to succeeding fiscal years. Monies shall be disbursed from this special account to pay the costs of such present and future capital facilities, and related existing and future debt service with respect thereto.

(b) Off-Site and Oversize Main Credit Policy. Credits will be allowed against the off-site facilities fee for off-site extension in excess of 300 feet and/or line size in excess of minimum size required to serve the development. No credit will be allowed where a main size greater than minimum size in diameter is required to adequately serve the owner. Credits will be computed based on public bids for the subject construction or a schedule of rates determined for the construction of sewerage systems established annually by the director of engineering and utilities.

(c) The city council may by separate agreement with a developer enter into a reimbursement agreement for off-site facilities which may be required by the city and which would not be covered by the off-site and oversize main credit policy in subsection (2)(b) of this section.

(d) The total connection fee(s) and facilities fee(s) for affected lots as shown on the final plat as approved by the planning commission shall be submitted to the city no later than the date of consideration of said final plat by city council. The connection fee(s) and facilities fee(s) shall be paid by certified or cashier’s check. In the event final plat approval is not obtained by the applicant, such connection fee(s) and facilities fee(s) shall be returned to the applicant without interest within five business days of the final plat consideration, unless the applicant requests the aforementioned fees to remain in the city’s possession pending modifications and resubmission of the final plat for approval by city council.

The total connection fee(s) and facilities fee(s) for development requiring final plan approval by the building official shall be submitted to the city prior to said final plan approval. The connection fee(s) and facilities fee(s) shall be paid by certified or cashier’s check.

The total connection fee(s) and facilities fee(s) in cases of increased sewer services that do not require any form of plan approval shall be paid at the time when service is requested. The connection fee(s) and facilities fee(s) shall be paid by certified or cashier’s check.

(e) The city council may, by resolution, waive a portion of the facilities fees for sewer facilities installed under federal- or state-funded sewer projects. The portion of the fee that is waived shall be indicated as city financial participation in the sewer project.

(f) The city council may, by resolution, authorize the off-site facilities fee to be waived entirely or to be paid from the general fund for those commercial or industrial owners which the city council determines would be in the best interest of the city’s economic development and which would generate significant employment.

(g) Schedule of Sewer Facilities Fees.

Water Meter Size (Inches)

EDU*

Facilities Fee

5/8"

1

$6,850

3/4"

1.5

$10,280

1"

2.5

$17,130

1 1/2"

4.375

$29,970

2"

8

$54,800

3"

16

$109,600

4"

25

$171,250

6"

50

$342,500

*Equivalent Dwelling Unit.

(h) Total Connection and Facilities Fee.

(i) The total fee due by the owner to the city shall be the appropriate facilities fee and the connection fee. A connection fee shall be due for new connections only. Facilities fees shall be due for both new structures and additions to existing structures which add one-half equivalent dwelling units (EDU) or more to an existing structure.

The EDU, as set forth herein, shall be considered the same as the equivalent dwelling connection (EDC) as defined and derived in the latest Virginia Health Department Waterworks Regulations.

The facilities fee due shall be determined, first, by establishing the EDU demand on the system, and second, by the meter size set forth in subsection (g) of this section, which will accommodate such demand. Such fee is due regardless of need for change to an existing water meter.

(ii) The minimum fee for any connection shall be that established for a standard residential connection with a five-eighths-inch meter.

(iii) If connections are made to sewer lines outside the city limits, or if the connecting lines come from outside the city limits, the total fee for such connections shall be 50 percent more than the fee for a resident of the city for service within the city and such shall be paid before any permit is issued authorizing the connection. The applicant shall sign an agreement to the effect that he will guarantee payment of an annual sewage rental fee. (Ord. 2016-14; Ord. 2011-11; Ord. 2007-04; Ord. 2006-07; Ord. 2004-18; Code 1964, §§ 19-10, 19-20; Code 1985, § 22-18; Ord. 1-24-85; Ord. 2-11-88; Ord. 2-9-89, § 1; Ord. 3-22-90, § 1; Ord. 2-28-91; Ord. 6-25-91; Ord. 2-27-92; Ord. 9-10-92; Ord. 12-16-93; Ord. 4-27-95; Ord. 3-14-96; Ord. 4-13-00; Ord. 4-12-01; Ord. 4-11-02).

13.40.040 Line extensions to facilitate connections.

(1) On any request for a sanitary sewer connection with the city’s sewerage system, where a line is available in the street, a regular connection fee and facilities fee will be charged and the sewer line will be extended to the edge of the property line or easement line. The applicant will be responsible for the initial construction on private property beyond the property line or easement line. The maintenance of the sewer service line, once the connection is complete all the way to the main, will be the responsibility of the property owner.

(2) On any request for a sanitary sewer connection with the city’s sewerage system, where the end of the sewer line must be extended along the city street prior to the lateral leaving the main sewer line to extend to the right-of-way line, the actual direct cost of the main line extension, plus 30 percent to cover overhead and indirect expenses, plus the connection fee and facilities fee shall be charged to the applicant.

(3) On any request for a sanitary sewer connection with the city’s sewerage system, where a line is not in the street but available in the vicinity, a regular connection fee and facilities fee will be charged for the connection. The applicant will be responsible for easement costs and the cost of the construction of the sewer line beyond its termination point, or the city will install the sewer to the applicant’s property line for the actual cost, plus 30 percent to cover overhead and indirect expenses. The extended sewer line, if on private land, must be installed with a permanent easement between the main sewer line and the applicant’s boundary line.

(4) All sewer lines and connections which connect to the city’s sanitary sewerage system must be inspected and approved by the city. The developer shall be responsible for all direct costs related to inspection, plus 30 percent of the actual cost to cover overhead and indirect cost. This subsection does not apply to installation made by the city.

(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the city shall not be required to extend any sewer line along a street which is not a part of the street system maintained by the city until satisfactory bond has been furnished, conditioned upon the satisfactory improvement of the street in accordance with specifications for similar improvements set forth in SCC Title 17.

(6) Notwithstanding the foregoing, however, the city council may, by resolution, authorize the off-site sewer extension to be wholly or in part paid by the city from the general fund and/or sewer utility fund for those commercial or industrial owners which the city council determines would be in the best interest of the city’s economic development and would generate significant employment. The city manager is authorized to approve such cost share arrangement, without such council resolution, provided the city’s cost or share meets the guidelines and parameters set forth by city council for dealing with developers, if the particular project, in the opinion of the city manager, proves to be in the best interest of the city as set forth above and is in accordance with the comprehensive plan and zoning requirements. (Code 1964, §§ 19-7, 19-16; Code 1985, § 22-19; Ord. 1-10-91; Ord. 2-28-91).

13.40.050 Installation of connecting lines along street or alley.

No lines to be connected with a public sewer shall be installed along any public street or alley of the city by any person, except the city’s employees, under the direction of the city manager, who shall in all cases prescribe the size of such lines and the depth that they shall be laid. These lines, when installed, shall become the property of the city. (Code 1964, § 19-15; Code 1985, § 22-20).

13.40.060 Connection with sewer not in street upon which property located.

The owner of a lot on a street or public alley along which there is no public sewer may, with the permission of the city manager, connect his sewer with some other accessible public sewer, either along the streets and alleys of the city or through private property and, if desirable and convenient, through a private sewer already in existence; provided, however, that no such connection shall be made over or through private property or by means of a private sewer already in existence, without the consent of the owner of such private property or private sewer. (Code 1964, §§ 19-8, 19-19; Code 1985, § 22-21).

13.40.070 Inspection of lines prior to connection.

Before a sewer connection is made by the city pursuant to a permit issued under SCC 13.40.020, it shall be the duty of the plumbing inspector to inspect all outside sewer lines to the street, to ascertain if all requirements have been met. If the plumbing inspector shall ascertain that all requirements have been met, he shall approve the permit and turn it over to the proper authority who will make the requisite connection. (Code 1964, § 19-11; Code 1985, § 22-22).

13.40.080 Compliance with building code, etc.

If connection is made to the city sewer system by any person, either inside or outside the corporate limits of the city, such person shall comply strictly with the technical requirements of the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code and the applicable provisions of this code, and have all sewer and water piping inspected and approved by the plumbing inspector and secure all required permits. (Code 1964, § 19-12; Code 1985, § 22-23).

Cross reference – Building code, Chapter 15.10 SCC.

13.40.090 Annual review of facilities fees and connection charge prescribed by chapter.

Facilities fees and connection charges prescribed by this chapter shall be reviewed by the director of public works during the first quarter of each calendar year and presented to the city council for updating. (Code 1964, § 19-10.1; Code 1985, § 22-24; Ord. 12-13-90; Ord. 2-28-91; Ord. 2-23-95).

13.40.100 Discontinuance of service at request of consumer.

An owner or tenant of property supplied with sewer may discontinue the use thereof by giving the director of public works notice in writing, one week prior to such discontinuance, of his desire to have sewer service discontinued and the water meter removed. In such case, the water meter will be removed, the finance department shall be notified by public works, and a final bill rendered. The minimum charge prescribed by SCC 13.45.030 will be made, however, as long as the water meter remains connected, whether any sewer is provided to the premises or not. (Code 1985, § 22-25; Ord. 4-27-89; Ord. 5-24-01).

13.40.110 Policy when sewer user fees paid when no connection to sewer systems exists.

(1) It is the responsibility of the property owner (or tenant upon the premises) to determine whether or not the property is connected to the city sewer system. If such person is not certain their property is so connected, the city will, upon written request to the director of public works, without charge, determine if said property is so connected.

(2) In any case where the property owner (or tenant upon the premises) has paid sewer “user fees” as defined and set forth in SCC 13.45.010 through 13.45.070, and where such property was not connected to the city systems, the city will refund to said person the sewer user fees so paid by said person, but such refund shall be limited to the actual amounts paid in error by such person during the immediately preceding 36 months, without interest.

(3) If the case set forth in subsection (2) of this section is discovered, and where sewer connection is otherwise required under SCC 13.40.010, the property owner shall have such connection made pursuant thereto, and pay the connection fee and facilities fees required by SCC 13.40.030. Notwithstanding the foregoing, however, in any case where the property owner (or tenant), including their predecessors in title, have erroneously paid sewer user fees continuously since prior to November, 1990, the date of the Draper Aden Associates Water and Sewer Systems Study, the facilities fee shall be waived, if the property owner (or tenant) presents evidence of such situation prior to October 13, 1995. (Code 1985, § 22-26; Ord. 4-13-95).