Chapter 13.24
STORM AND SURFACE WATER UTILITY

Sections:

13.24.010    Purpose.

13.24.020    Utility established.

13.24.030    Jurisdiction.

13.24.040    Transfer of property.

13.24.050    Definitions.

13.24.060    Storm and surface water utility fund.

13.24.070    Utility rate policy.

13.24.080    Powers and authority.

13.24.090    Fee imposed.

13.24.110    Utility service charge calculation.

13.24.120    Undeveloped real property.

13.24.130    Service charges.

13.24.131    Rate reductions.

13.24.132    Property exempt from service charges.

13.24.140    Billing and payment.

13.24.150    Service charge adjustments and appeals.

13.24.170    Lien for service – Interest.

13.24.180    Inspections – Right of entry – Emergency.

13.24.010 Purpose.

It is the purpose of this chapter to provide for revenue for the city’s storm and surface water management program to plan, manage, design, construct, revise, maintain, use and carry out activities related thereto and pursuant to requirements of the NPDES Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit. This chapter provides these revenues by fixing rates and charges pursuant to RCW 35.67.020 for the furnishing of service to those served or receiving benefits, or to be served or to receive benefits from, any drainage facility or contribute surface water runoff within the city. This authority is being invoked to minimize property damage, promote and protect the public health, safety, and welfare, minimize water quality degradation by preventing siltation, contamination and erosion of the city’s waterways, protect aquifers, ensure the safety of city roads and rights-of-way, assure compliance with federal and state regulations, surface water management, and water quality regulations and legislation, promote educational and recreational opportunities, encourage the preservation of natural drainage systems, and foster other beneficial public uses. (Ord. 2015-20 § 2, 2015)

13.24.020 Utility established.

A storm and surface water utility was created and established by Ordinance No. 86-27, passed on July 16, 1986. The utility is administered under direction of the city manager or designee. (Ord. 2015-20 § 2, 2015)

13.24.030 Jurisdiction.

The city has jurisdiction over all storm and surface water facilities within the city. No modifications or additions shall be made to the city’s storm and surface water facilities without the prior approval of the city.

The requirements of this chapter apply to all parcels of real property within incorporated Bainbridge Island, including public and private property. (Ord. 2015-20 § 2, 2015)

13.24.040 Transfer of property.

All properties, property rights and interests of every kind or nature owned or held by the city, however acquired, insofar as they relate to or concern the storm or surface water system of sewerage have been transferred to the storm and surface water utility, including by way of example and not limitation, all properties, rights and interests acquired by adverse possession or by prescription in and to the drainage and storage of storm or surface waters over and under lands, watercourses, streams, ponds and sloughs to the full extent of inundation caused by the largest storm or flood condition. (Ord. 2015-20 § 2, 2015)

13.24.050 Definitions.

The following words when used in this chapter have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

A. “Agricultural land” means land primarily devoted to agricultural operations.

B. “Agricultural operation” means any facility or activity for the production or intent of production for commercial or family use purposes of dairy, apiary, livestock, camelids, ratites, vegetable or animal products, and crop products including, but not limited to, ornamental crops. Incidental vegetable gardening, landscaping and keeping common pets by single-family residential properties are not defined as agriculture.

C. “Commercial use” means the providing of goods or services for compensation.

D. “Developed” means that condition of real property altered from its natural state by the creation or addition to hard surfaces; expansion of a building footprint, addition or replacement of a building or other structures; structural development including construction, installation or expansion of a building or other structure; replacement of hard surface that is not part of a routine maintenance activity; and land disturbing activities (such as clearing or grading).

E. “Flow control facility” means a facility designed to meet Minimum Requirement No. 7 as defined in Chapter 15.20 BIMC.

F. “Hard surface” means an impervious surface, a permeable pavement or a vegetated roof.

G. “Impervious surface” means a non-vegetated surface area which either prevents or retards the entry of water into the soil mantle as under natural conditions prior to development. A nonvegetated surface area which causes water to run off the surface in greater quantities or at an increased rate of flow from the flow present under natural conditions prior to development. Common impervious surfaces include, but are not limited to, roof tops, walkways, patios, driveways, parking lots or storage areas, concrete or asphalt paving, gravel roads, packed earthen materials, and oiled, macadam or other surfaces which similarly impede the natural infiltration of stormwater.

Lawns, pastures, agricultural land, native vegetation, and landscaped areas, including playgrounds with soft ground cover meeting the definition of pervious surface in Chapter 15.20 BIMC, are not impervious surfaces. Permeable pavement is not considered to be an impervious surface.

H. “Impervious surface unit (ISU)” means the average estimated amount of impervious surface on a single-family residential parcel. For the purposes of calculating the service charges in BIMC 13.24.130, an ISU is defined as 3,000 square feet of impervious surface and is the unit of measurement used by the utility in assessing service charges.

I. “Landscaped areas” means those areas of any property type that are planted with trees, shrubs, or other vegetation, including the soil or bedding material areas associated with the plantings.

J. “Low intensity development” means any development, excluding single-family, which creates or has existing impervious surfaces that cover less than 15 percent of the parcel.

K. “Multifamily” means any residential structure designed for occupancy by multiple-family households in rented or leased apartments.

L. “On-site stormwater management facility” means low impact development best management practices designed to meet Minimum Requirement No. 5 as defined in Chapter 15.20 BIMC.

M. “Other developed property” means all property developed for other than single-family residential uses. Such other developed properties include apartments, municipal, commercial, retail, industrial, manufacturing, maintenance, utility, recreation, agriculture, park, school, marina, religious, convalescent center, and any other private or public purposes, including properties with commercial operations that may also contain one or more residences.

N. “Service charge” means the fee levied by the utility.

O. “Single-family residential” means individual single-family homes, mobile homes, condominiums and duplex homes.

P. “Stormwater treatment facility” means a facility designed to meet Minimum Requirement No. 6 as defined in Chapter 15.20 BIMC.

Q. “Structure” means any manmade assemblage of materials extending above or below the surface of the earth and affixed or attached thereto.

R. “Undeveloped” means that condition of real property unaltered by construction on, or addition to, such property of impervious surface or physical manmade improvements of any kind in excess of 100 square feet that change the hydrology of the property from its natural state.

S. “Utility” means the storm and surface water utility established by Ordinance No. 86-27, passed on July 16, 1986.

T. “Way-of-travel” means a roadway of whatever sort, including, but not limited to, avenues, boulevards, circles, courts, roads, drives, lanes, loops, places, tracts and ways, which is capable of carrying vehicular traffic. (Ord. 2016-28 § 7 (Exh. B), 2016: Ord. 2015-20 § 2, 2015)

13.24.060 Storm and surface water utility fund.

There is hereby designated a storm and surface water utility fund into which all revenues, charges, grants, fees, and revenue from other sources shall be deposited and from which all expenditures related to the city’s storm and surface water utility shall be paid. This fund shall be kept in the manner prescribed by state law and city policy as to accounting and reporting procedures and requirements.

The storm and surface water utility shall be accounted for as a separate enterprise fund of the city and all annual utility service charges shall be used solely for storm and surface water utility purposes, including: compliance with requirements of the city’s NPDES Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit, carrying out of applicable portions of the city’s storm and surface water management plan (SWMP), and oversight and administration of certain functions and requirements described in Chapters 15.20, 15.21 and 15.22 BIMC.

The city council shall set the utility’s service charge at a level sufficient to fund the capital projects, accumulation of reserves, infrastructure maintenance, debt service and operating expenses (including, without limitation, intergovernmental transfers and state and local taxes) of the utility. (Ord. 2015-20 § 2, 2015)

13.24.070 Utility rate policy.

The charges for utility services shall be as set forth in this chapter and shall be adequate, except in cases of emergency, to provide for administration, engineering, legal services, system operations, and maintenance expenses; debt service requirements; funding of reserve accounts; and system improvement projects. The rate structure for establishing the amount of service charges assessed against each parcel of developed real property within the boundaries of the utility shall be based upon the amount of impervious ground cover contained within each parcel except single-family residential. Except for those properties set forth in BIMC 13.24.132, all public entities and public property shall be subject to charges for storm and surface water utility services to the same extent as private persons and property. The rate for services shall be charged whether the premises are occupied or vacant; provided the site contains impervious ground cover. (Ord. 2015-20 § 2, 2015)

13.24.080 Powers and authority.

The city hereby elects to exercise all lawful powers and authority for the planning, design, construction, maintenance, administration, operation, acquisition, and condemnation of property rights and regulation of storm drainage and surface water runoff systems including, without limitation, all lawful powers to fix, alter, regulate, and control the charges and conditions of the use thereof. (Ord. 2015-20 § 2, 2015)

13.24.090 Fee imposed.

The owners of all real property in the city which contributes drainage water to and which benefits from the city’s stormwater utility shall pay a service charge as set forth in this chapter. (Ord. 2015-20 § 2, 2015)

13.24.110 Utility service charge calculation.

A. Three thousand square feet of impervious ground cover shall be equal to one impervious surface unit (ISU).

B. Each parcel of developed single-family residential property is deemed to contain one equivalent ISU.

1. Single-family residential parcels that contain an additional structure that is equal to or exceeds 3,000 square feet of impervious ground cover will be assessed an additional service charge for each such structure (as defined in BIMC 18.36.030.247).

C. Other developed property parcels will be assessed utility service charges in accordance with subsection D of this section.

1. Other developed property parcels within mixed-use condominium properties that include both residential and nonresidential properties will be deemed to contain one equivalent ISU per condominium unit.

D. The utility shall determine the actual number of ISUs contained on multifamily and other developed property parcels, and these accounts shall pay a service charge to be calculated as follows: actual impervious ground cover/3,000 square feet x single-family service charge. In making the calculation, fractions shall be rounded to the nearest whole number but not less than one ISU per developed property. (Ord. 2015-20 § 2, 2015)

13.24.120 Undeveloped real property.

Those properties remaining in an undeveloped condition are deemed not to make use of the services of the utility or its facilities beyond that used by such property in the natural state and accordingly, no service charge shall be imposed on such properties. (Ord. 2015-20 § 2, 2015)

13.24.130 Service charges.1

Pursuant to the rate policy set forth in BIMC 13.24.070, and in accordance with the basis for a rate structure set forth in BIMC 13.24.110, there is levied upon all developed real property within the boundaries of the utility storm and surface water utility service charges which shall be collected from the owners of such properties at a charge per ISU that shall be adopted by ordinance and published in the city’s combined fee schedule. The minimum charge will be one ISU per developed property, unless otherwise noted in this chapter. (Ord. 2015-20 § 2, 2015)

13.24.131 Rate reductions.

For parcels, excluding single-family residential properties:

A. A parcel with compacted gravel surfaces used by vehicles as a way-of-travel or parking is eligible for a service charge that is 75 percent of the rate for impervious surfaces set forth in BIMC 13.24.130;

B. For any property other than a single-family residence (including mobile homes, condominiums and duplexes), if the property owner (1) has been required by either the city or Kitsap County since January 1, 1985, to construct an on-site stormwater management, stormwater treatment, or flow control facility as a condition of the property’s development or (2) has constructed voluntarily since January 1, 1985, an on-site stormwater management, stormwater treatment, or flow control facility serving the property and exceeding city standards at the time of construction, the city may at its sole discretion reduce by up to 50 percent of the storm and surface water service fee charged for the property pursuant to BIMC 13.24.130. For parcels that construct qualifying green infrastructure (low impact development) as on-site stormwater management, stormwater treatment, or flow control in accordance with Chapter 15.20 BIMC, the city may, at its sole discretion, reduce the utility service fee charged by up to 50 percent for the property pursuant to BIMC 13.24.130.

C. Any low intensity development that creates or has existing impervious surfaces that cover less than 15 percent of a parcel will be eligible for a rate reduction of 50 percent, at the city’s sole discretion.

D. In order to obtain a rate reduction pursuant to subsections B and C of this section, the parcel owner must submit the required forms that demonstrate the qualification for a rate reduction by November 15th of a given year. If approved, the rate reduction will become effective in the calendar year following the request.

E. The rate reduction authorized by this section will not reduce the total storm and surface water utility service fee to less than 50 percent of the fee required pursuant to BIMC 13.24.130, and will not be used in conjunction with any other rate reduction authorized by this title. The minimum ISU charge per developed property is one ISU.

F. Low income senior and disabled citizens who meet the requirements set forth in Chapter 13.16 BIMC are entitled to a reduction in service charges as established by city resolution. (Ord. 2016-28 § 7 (Exh. B), 2016: Ord. 2015-20 § 2, 2015)

13.24.132 Property exempt from service charges.

The following categories of property are exempt from storm and surface water utility service charges:

A. City-owned ways-of-travel, all of which are part of the storm and surface drainage system pursuant to the city’s NPDES Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit. This exemption does not apply to a city-owned road that is an adjunct to a city developed property, such as NE Henshaw Place adjacent to City Hall, and which is therefore charged a storm water fee pursuant to BIMC 13.24.130 as part of a developed property;

B. Private ways-of-travel which meet all the requirements and have been named in accordance with BIMC 12.16.050.A, including:

1. Ways-of-travel that serve two or more properties other than the tract of which it is a portion; and

2. Ways-of-travel for which an easement has been granted by recorded deed; and

C. State of Washington highway. (Ord. 2015-20 § 2, 2015)

13.24.140 Billing and payment.

All property subject to rates and service charges pursuant to this chapter shall be assessed annually by the Kitsap County assessor on behalf of the city in conjunction with the county’s property tax bill. Properties which do not receive a property tax statement will receive a separate rate and service charge billing statement. Storm and surface water utility fees billed pursuant to this section shall be due and payable semiannually on the same dates each year that the county’s property tax bill is due and payable (April 30th and October 31st), and shall be delinquent if not paid by the due date. All delinquent accounts billed pursuant to this section will be subject to a monthly penalty charge of one percent of the amount that is delinquent. (Ord. 2015-20 § 2, 2015)

13.24.150 Service charge adjustments and appeals.

A. Any person billed for service charges under this chapter may apply for a service charge adjustment with the director of finance no later than November 15th of the year of the bill. The applicant shall state the specific conditions and facilities on the site which the applicant feels warrant adjustment of the service charge as applied to the property. However, filing of such a request does not extend the period for payment of the charge.

B. A request for service charge adjustment may be granted or approved by the director of finance only when one of the following conditions exists:

1 The acreage of the parcel charged is in error; or

2. The parcel is nonresidential and the actual impervious ground cover of the parcel is more than 50 percent of an impervious service unit (ISU) greater than or less than the estimated or measured impervious ground cover used in determining the charge; or

3. The service charge was otherwise not calculated in accordance with the terms of this chapter; or

4. The parcel is undeveloped.

C. The property owner shall have the burden of proving that the service charge adjustment should be granted.

D. Decisions on requests for a service charge adjustment shall be made by the director of finance based on information submitted by the applicant and by the public works department within 30 days of the adjustment request, except when additional information is needed. The applicant shall be notified in writing of the director’s decision.

E. If the director of finance finds that a service charge should be adjusted, then an amended bill shall be issued which reflects the adjusted service charge.

F. The public works director or finance director may initiate review of a storm water utility service charge to any parcel. (Ord. 2015-20 § 2, 2015)

13.24.170 Lien for service – Interest.

Pursuant to RCW 35.67.200 et seq., the city shall have a lien for delinquent and unpaid storm water sewer charges. A sewer lien shall be effective for a total not to exceed one year’s delinquent service charges without the necessity of any writing or recording of the lien with the county auditor. Enforcement and foreclosure of any sewer lien shall be in the manner provided by state law. Interest on the unpaid balance shall be eight percent per annum or higher rate as authorized by law. (Ord. 2015-20 § 2, 2015)

13.24.180 Inspections – Right of entry – Emergency.

The engineer or other city officials or employees of the city may enter any building or property to perform duties imposed by this chapter in accordance with Chapter 1.16 BIMC. (Ord. 2015-20 § 2, 2015)


1

Code reviser’s note: Ord. 2016-23, Section 1, states: “The charge per impervious surface unit (ISU) for the City’s storm and surface water utility fees under Section 13.24 of the Bainbridge Island Municipal Code shall be $169.00 per ISU for 2017.”