Chapter 15.36
WATER AND SEWER SERVICE OUTSIDE CORPORATE LIMITS

Sections:

15.36.010    Policies for expansion or extension of city water and/or sewer service outside corporate limits.

15.36.020    Wholesale services to districts and associations.

15.36.030    Requests for contracts for direct retail service or wholesale service – Procedure.

15.36.040    Criteria for determining whether services should be provided.

15.36.050    Boundary review board approval required.

15.36.010 Policies for expansion or extension of city water and/or sewer service outside corporate limits.

The city council adopts the following policies regarding the extension or expansion of water and/or sewer service outside the city’s corporate limits:

A. Historically, the city has contracted to provide retail water and/or sewer service directly to some customers outside the city’s corporate limits. The city does not intend to terminate any such water or sewer service that is in existence as of the ordinance codified in this chapter’s effective date. For purposes of this chapter, “in existence” means the property is currently receiving service and/or has a fully signed, valid, and recorded utility service zone agreement. However, the city will not modify, expand, or extend this existing direct retail water and/or sewer service except as provided in subsections (B) and (C) of this section and BMC 15.36.040.

B. The city will provide new direct retail water and/or sewer service to areas within the city’s urban growth area only after the area’s annex to the city. The city will not modify, extend, or expand direct retail water and/or sewer service in the city’s urban growth area without annexation unless the city council determines that such modification, extension, or expansion is necessary to protect basic public health and safety and the environment.

C. The city will not modify, extend, or expand direct retail water and/or sewer service outside the city’s urban growth area unless the city council determines that such modification, extension, or expansion is necessary to protect basic public health and safety and the environment and the modification, extension, or expansion will not permit urban development.

D. The city has also contracted to provide wholesale water and/or sewer service to some districts and associations outside the city’s corporate limits. The city will continue to provide wholesale water and/or sewer service in accordance with the terms of these contracts. The city will not extend or expand wholesale city water and/or sewer service unless the city council determines that such extension or expansion meets the requirements of BMC 15.36.020 and 15.36.040. [Ord. 2011-05-025; Ord. 2004-09-063; Ord. 8982 § 70, 1981; Ord. 8728 § 3, 1979].

15.36.020 Wholesale services to districts and associations.

A. All contracts for wholesale water and/or sewer service, whether new or extensions of existing agreements, shall be executed by the mayor as provided in Bellingham City Charter Section 5.02. In no event shall the mayor execute such contracts without the express authorization of the city council. Requests for such wholesale service contracts shall first be directed to the director of public works, and shall thereafter be processed as provided in BMC 15.36.030. Existing contracts with districts and associations for water and/or sewer service may be renewed or extended and contracts negotiated with newly formed districts or associations, but all such contracts shall be subject to the terms and conditions of this chapter.

B. All new contracts as well as existing contracts being negotiated for renewal relating to sewer service shall include provisions specifically providing the maximum quantities of effluent that will be accepted for transmission and treatment. All new contracts as well as existing contracts being negotiated for renewal relating to water service shall include provisions specifically providing the maximum quantities that will be supplied at the point of distribution.

C. All new contracts as well as existing contracts being negotiated for renewal relating to wholesale sewer services shall include provisions requiring the district or association to comply with all state and applicable local laws pertaining to the extension of sewer services in rural areas, including but not limited to the Growth Management Act provisions codified in RCW 36.70A.110(4) and the district’s or association’s comprehensive sewer plan as approved, or conditionally approved, by the Washington State Department of Ecology pursuant to RCW 90.48.110. [Ord. 2014-02-007; Ord. 2011-05-025; Ord. 2004-09-063; Ord. 8982 § 70, 1981; Ord. 8728 § 4, 1979].

15.36.030 Requests for contracts for direct retail service or wholesale service – Procedure.

All requests for retail or wholesale water and/or sewer service outside the city corporate limits shall be made to the director of public works and shall include a fee as set by city council resolution. The director shall review each request for compliance with the city’s policies regarding the modification, extension, or expansion of water and/or sewer service as stated in BMC 15.36.010. If the director determines that the request does not comply with the policies, the director shall notify the applicant that the request is denied. If the applicant requests that the denial be reviewed by the city council, such request along with the director of public works’ recommendation shall be forwarded to the city council for review.

If the director determines that the request meets the city’s policies regarding the modification, extension, or expansion of water and/or sewer service as stated in BMC 15.36.010 or the applicant requests city council review of the director’s denial of the request, the request along with the director’s recommendation shall be presented to city council for review. As part of its review of the request, city council may request that the public works department prepare a feasibility report regarding the provision of water and/or sewer service based on system related criteria and/or that the planning and community development department prepare an impact report with recommendations addressing those criteria set out in BMC 15.36.040.

Following further consideration of the matter by the city council, the city attorney shall be advised as to whether or not a contract for water and/or sewer service should be prepared and what terms should be included in the contract for services. In making its determination, the city council shall consider the recommendation of the administrative departments, the policies set out in BMC

15.36.010, and the criteria set out in BMC 15.36.040, as well as any other applicable statutes, ordinances, or policies and procedures of the city.

City council shall consider a motion to authorize the mayor to execute a contract for the modification, extension, or expansion of water and/or sewer service only after the formal contract has been prepared and presented to the city council for review. [Ord. 2011-05-025; Ord. 2004-09-063; Ord. 8728 § 5, 1979].

15.36.040 Criteria for determining whether services should be provided.

The criteria to be considered in determining whether water and/or sewer service should be provided are:

A. The consistency of the proposed development with the following land use plans, regulations, statutes, and development standards acceptable to the city:

1. Consistency with the goals, policies and land use designations in Whatcom County’s adopted subarea plan for the area; the applicable goals and policies in Bellingham’s comprehensive plan; and the provisions of the city/county interlocal agreement related to annexation and development in Bellingham’s urban growth area;

2. Consistency with all city design and development standards and environmental regulations;

3. Consistency with the city water and sewer extension policies in BMC 15.36.010; and

4. Consistency with all relevant state statutes and regulations, including the Growth Management Act;

B. The expected impact such development might have on city streets and arterials as currently developed;

C. For property located within the Lake Whatcom watershed, whether the proposed development might be expected to adversely impact the watershed;

D. Whether or not adequate consideration has been given to retention and discharge of stormwater so as to preclude adverse impact upon the city; and

E. Whether it is in the best interests of the city to authorize the requested extension or expansion of water or sewer services even though sufficient capacity is available within existing transmission lines. [Ord. 2011-05-025; Ord. 2004-09-063; Ord. 9461 § 2(B), 1985; Ord. 8728 § 6, 1979].

15.36.050 Boundary review board approval required.

As required by RCW 36.93.090(4) relating to the jurisdiction of the county-wide boundary review board, no extension of permanent water and/or sewer services outside city’s existing service area, as defined in RCW 36.93.090(4) shall be approved unless the initiators thereof have gained the approval of the Whatcom County boundary review board. For the purposes of this section, “extension of permanent service” shall be deemed to be limited to that service which requires the installation of additional water mains or sewer mains whether to be a part of the city’s system or a district’s or association’s system.

While it shall be the obligation of the requesting party to process the application through the boundary review board, such requests should not be made in advance of the city’s approval to provide service and in the event the applicant gains the approval of the board prior to city approval, the city reserves the right to refuse or to condition any such service. [Ord. 2011-05-025; Ord. 2004-09-063; Ord. 10899 § 2, 1997; Ord. 9461 § 1, 1985].