Chapter 13.40
SURFACE WATER MANAGEMENT PROGRAM

Sections:

13.40.010    Authority.

13.40.020    Purpose.

13.40.030    Applicability.

13.40.040    Policy.

13.40.050    Rate structure.

13.40.060    Rate adjustments and appeals.

13.40.070    Billing procedure.

13.40.080    Delinquencies and foreclosures.

13.40.090    Administrative procedures.

13.40.100    Report of revenue and expenditure analysis.

13.40.110    Penalty.

13.40.010 Authority.

A. There is hereby created and established the surface water management program of the City under which the provisions of this chapter shall be carried out.

B. The program created in this section shall be administered by the City.

C. Whenever necessary to examine the property characteristics of a particular parcel for the purposes of implementing this chapter, the city manager may enter any property or portion thereof at reasonable times in compliance with the following procedures:

1. If the property or portion thereof is occupied, the city manager shall present identification credentials, state the reason for entry and request entry;

2. If the property or portion thereof is unoccupied, the city manager shall first make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other persons having charge or control of the property or portion thereof and request entry; and

3. Unless entry is consented to by the owner or person in control of any property or portion thereof, the city manager, before entry, shall obtain a search warrant as authorized by the laws of the State of Washington.

D. The city manager is authorized to enforce this chapter, the ordinances and resolutions codified in it and any rules and regulations promulgated thereunder pursuant to the enforcement and penalty provisions of Chapter 1.20 KMC.

E. The program may provide services related to surface water and stormwater management, 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. The program may contract for services with interested municipalities or special districts including but not limited to sewer and water districts, school districts, port districts or other governmental agencies. [Ord. 16-0428 § 8 (Att. E).]

13.40.020 Purpose.

It is the finding of the City that the surface water management program is necessary in order to promote public health, safety and welfare by establishing and operating a comprehensive approach to surface water and stormwater problems which would reduce flooding, erosion and sedimentation, prevent and mitigate habitat loss, enhance groundwater recharge and prevent water quality degradation. This comprehensive approach includes the following elements: basin planning, land use regulation, construction of facilities, maintenance, public education, and provision of surface water and stormwater management services. It is the finding of the City that the most cost-effective and beneficial approach to surface water and stormwater management is through preventative actions and protection of the natural drainage system. In approaching surface water and stormwater problems, the surface water management program shall give priority to methods which provide protection or enhancement of the natural surface water drainage system over means which primarily involve construction of new drainage facilities or systems. 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 surface water and stormwater management services 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 water 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 water and stormwater. [Ord. 16-0428 § 8 (Att. E).]

13.40.030 Applicability.

Developed parcels within the City shall be billed each year for surface water and stormwater management services pursuant to RCW 36.89.080. [Ord. 16-0428 § 8 (Att. E).]

13.40.040 Policy.

A. It is the finding of the City that basins are shared with other municipalities and cities. In order to achieve a comprehensive approach to surface water and stormwater management, the City and municipalities within a specific basin should coordinate surface water and stormwater management services. In addition, the program may contract for services with interested municipalities.

B. It is the finding of the City that many of the difficulties found in the management of surface water and stormwater problems are contributed to by the general lack of public knowledge about the relationship between human actions and surface water and stormwater management. In order to achieve a comprehensive approach to surface water and stormwater management, the City should provide general information to the public about land use and human activities which impact surface water and stormwater management.

C. It is the finding of the City that developed parcels contribute to an increase in surface water and stormwater runoff. This increase in surface water and stormwater runoff results in the need to establish rates and charges to finance the City’s activities in surface water and stormwater management. Developed parcels shall be subject to the rates and charges of the surface water management program based on their surface water and stormwater percentage of impervious surface coverage on the parcel and the total acreage of the parcel.

D. It is the finding of the City that undeveloped parcels do not contribute as much as developed parcels to an increase in surface water and stormwater runoff into the surface water and stormwater management system. Undeveloped properties shall be exempt from the rates and charges of the surface water management program.

E. It is the finding of the City that maintained drainage facilities mitigate the increased runoff contribution of developed parcels by providing on-site drainage control. Parcels served by retention/detention facilities which were required for development of the parcel pursuant to Chapter 13.35 KMC and approved by the City or can be demonstrated as required in KMC 13.40.060 by the property owner to provide detention/retention of surface water and stormwater to the standards in Chapter 13.35 KMC shall receive a discount as provided in the rates and charges of the surface water management program, if the facility is maintained at the parcel owner’s expense to the standard established by the department.

F. It is a finding of the City that open space properties provide a benefit to the surface water and stormwater management system by the retention of property in an undeveloped state. Open space properties shall receive a discount from the rates and charges to encourage the retention of property as open space.

G. It is a finding of the City that the majority of parcels are residential. The administrative cost of calculating the service charge individually for each residential parcel and maintaining accurate information would be very high. A flat charge for residential parcels is less costly to administer than calculating a separate charge for each parcel. Therefore, residential parcels shall be charged a flat charge based upon an average amount of impervious surface allowed per maximum impervious percentages set forth in Chapter 18.21 KMC.

H. City streets and State highway programs provide substantial annual programs for the construction and maintenance of drainage facilities, and the streets systems and their associated drainage facilities serve as an integral part of the surface water and stormwater management system. City and State streets will not be charged a service fee.

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

J. It is the finding of the City that basin plans are essential to establishing a comprehensive approach to a capital improvement program, maintenance of facilities and regulation of new developments. A plan should analyze the measures needed to control surface water and stormwater runoff which results from existing and anticipated development within the basin. The measures investigated to control runoff should include land use regulation such as setback requirements or community plan revisions which revise land use densities as well as the use of drainage facilities. A plan also should recommend the quantity and water quality runoff control measures required to further the purposes set forth in KMC 13.40.020, and community goals. The institutional requirements and regulations, including but not limited to land use management, funding needs, and incentives for preserving the natural surface water drainage system should be identified in the plan. The proposed ordinances and regulations necessary to implement the plan shall be transmitted to the council simultaneously with the plan.

K. It is the finding of the City that areas with development related surface water and stormwater problems require comprehensive management of surface water and stormwater. The use of low impact development best management practices and principles represent the City’s preferred and commonly used approach for site development.

L. It is the finding of the City that additional surface water and stormwater runoff problems may be caused by new land use development if not properly mitigated both through protection of natural systems and through constructed improvements. The Surface Water Design Manual, this title and KMC Titles 15, 18 and 19 have been adopted by the City to mitigate the impact of land use development. Further mitigation of these impacts is based on expertise which continues to evolve as new information on our natural systems is obtained and new techniques are discovered. The surface water management program, through reconnaissance studies, basin plans, and other special studies, will continuously provide valuable information on the existing problems and areas of the natural drainage system that need special protection. The City is researching and developing methods to protect the natural drainage system through zoning, buffering and setbacks to alleviate existing problems. Setback and buffering measures allow natural preservation of wetlands and stream corridors to occur, alleviate erosion and water pollution and provide a safe environment for the small mammals and fish which inhabit critical areas. Based upon the findings in this subsection, and as information and methods become available, the city manager, as appropriate, shall draft and submit to the council regulations and development standards to allow protection of the surface water and stormwater management system including natural drainage systems.

M. The program will maintain long-term fiscal viability and fund solvency for all of its related funds. All required capital and operating expenditures will be covered by service charges and other revenues generated or garnered by the program. The program will pay all current operating expenses from current revenues and will maintain an operating reserve to minimize service impacts due to revenue or expenditure variances from plan during a fiscal year. This reserve will be calculated based on the historic variability of revenue and expenditures. The program will adopt a strategic financial planning approach which recognizes the dynamic nature of the program’s fiscal operating environment. Long-term projections will be updated in the program’s adopted strategic plan. One-time revenues will be dedicated to one-time-only expenditures and will not be used to support ongoing requirements. The program’s approach to financial reporting and disclosure will be comprehensive, open, and accessible.

N. The program shall prepare an annual, multi-year capital improvement program which encompasses all of the program’s activities related to the acquisition, construction, replacement, or renovation of capital facilities or equipment. All proposed new facilities will be subject to a consistent and rigorous needs analysis. The program’s capital facilities will be planned and financed to ensure that the benefits of the facilities and the costs for them are balanced over time.

O. The program will manage its debt, if any, to ensure continued high credit quality, access to credit markets, and financial flexibility. All of the program’s debt management activities will be conducted to maintain at least the current credit ratings assigned to the City’s debt by the major credit rating agencies and to maintain an adequate debt service coverage ratio. Long-term debt will not be used to support operating expenses. The program will develop and maintain a central system for all debt-related records which will include all official statements, bid documents, ordinances, indentures, leases, etc., for all of the program’s debt and will accurately account for all interested earnings in debt-related funds. These records will be designed to ensure that the program is in compliance with all debt covenants and with State and Federal laws.

P. It is the finding of the City that surface water, groundwater and stormwater impact public properties, rights-of-way, and privately owned properties within the City. Unless the City agrees to maintain and operate a drainage facility in accordance with this section, a drainage facility shall be a private facility, and the person or persons holding title to the property shall be responsible for operation and maintenance of the drainage facility. The City may assume ownership, maintenance and/or operation of drainage facilities only if the following conditions have been met:

1. The drainage facility is located within a right-of-way; or

2. The drainage facility is not located within a right-of-way; and:

a. All necessary easements or dedications entitling the City to properly access, operate and maintain the facility have been conveyed to the City;

b. The facility is located on residential property or properties;

c. The facility is required for reasons beyond the control of the residential property owner;

d. The facility does not contain waters of the State;

e. The facility is not required primarily as a result of impacts associated with groundwater;

f. The facility is not required primarily as a result of runoff from neighboring private properties; and

g. Before assuming maintenance of privately maintained drainage facilities, the City will consider:

(1) The cost of assuming maintenance and operations;

(2) The public benefit of assuming maintenance and operations; or

3. Operation and maintenance of the drainage facility will contribute to protecting or improving the health, safety and welfare of the community based upon review of the existence of or potential for:

a. Flooding;

b. Downstream erosion;

c. Property damage due to improper function of the facility;

d. Safety hazard associated with the facility;

e. Degradation of water quality or in-stream resources; or

f. Degradation to the general welfare of the community. [Ord. 16-0428 § 8 (Att. E).]

13.40.050 Rate structure.

A. The service charge revenue needs of the program are based upon all or any part, as determined by the city council, of the cost of surface water and stormwater management services or to pay or secure the payment of all or any portion of any issue of general obligation or revenue bonds issued for that purpose.

B. There is hereby imposed upon all developed properties in the City annual service charges as imposed by the city council by resolution. [Ord. 16-0428 § 8 (Att. E).]

13.40.060 Rate adjustments and appeals.

A. Any person billed for service charges may file a “request for rate adjustment” with the City within three years of the date from which the bill was sent. However, filing of such a request does not extend the period for payment of the charge.

B. Requests for rate adjustment may be granted or approved by the city manager only when one of the following conditions exists:

1. The parcel is owned and is the personal residence of a person or persons determined by the county assessor as qualified for a low-income senior citizen property tax exemption authorized under RCW 84.36.381. Parcels qualifying under this subsection shall be exempt from all charges imposed in KMC 13.40.050;

2. The acreage of the parcel charged is in error;

3. The parcel is nonresidential and the actual impervious surface coverage of the parcel charged places it in a different rate category than the rate category assigned by the City;

4. The parcel is nonresidential and the parcel meets the definition of open space in KMC 13.32.580. Parcels qualifying under this subsection will be charged only for the area of impervious surface and at the rate which the parcel is classified under using the total parcel acreage;

5. The parcel is served by one or more retention/detention facilities required pursuant to Chapter 13.35 KMC, or can be demonstrated by the property owner to provide detention/retention of surface water and stormwater to the standards in Chapter 13.35 KMC, and is maintained at the expense of the parcel owner to the standards required by the City. Parcels served by facilities permitted: (a) prior to September 1, 1998, shall receive a 10 percent reduction, (b) on or after September 1, 1998, and prior to January 1, 2010, shall receive a 20 percent reduction, (c) on or after January 1, 2010, and prior to December 31, 2016, shall receive a 30 percent discount, and (d) on or after December 31, 2016, shall receive a 40 percent reduction. Larger parcels, which are partially served by a facility, may receive a partial reduction based on the percentage of the parcel served, with only the portion of the parcel being served by the facility receiving the reduction;

6. The service charge bill was otherwise not calculated in accordance with this chapter.

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

D. Decisions on requests for rate adjustments shall be made by the city manager based on information submitted by the applicant and by the City within 30 days of the adjustment request except when additional information is needed. The applicant shall be notified in writing of the city manager’s decision. If an adjustment is granted which reduces the charge for the current year or two prior years, the applicant shall be refunded the amount overpaid in the current and two prior years.

E. If the city manager finds that a service charge bill has been undercharged, then either an amended bill shall be issued which reflects the increase in the service charge or the undercharged amount will be added to the next year’s bill. This amended bill shall be due and payable under KMC 13.40.080. The city manager may include in the bill the amount undercharged for two previous billing years in addition to the current bill.

F. Decisions of the city manager on requests for rate adjustments shall be final unless, within 30 days of the date the decision was mailed, the applicant submits in writing to the city manager a notice of appeal setting forth a brief statement of the grounds for appeal and requesting a hearing before the city hearing examiner. The examiner’s decision shall be a final decision pursuant to KMC 19.30.070. [Ord. 16-0428 § 8 (Att. E).]

13.40.070 Billing procedure.

A. All property subject to charges of the program shall be billed based on the property characteristics existing on November 1st of the year prior to the billing year and at the rate as set forth in KMC 13.40.060. Billing year is the year that the bills are sent. The service charge shall be displayed and billed on the annual property tax statement for the parcel and shall be mailed to the name and address shown on the real property tax roll at the time annual property tax bills are prepared. Parcels which are exempt from property taxes and do not receive an annual property tax statement will receive a bill only for the service charge. If a payment less than the sum of the total property tax plus service charge or less than the sum of one-half of the property tax plus one-half of the service charge is received for a combined property tax and service charge, and the parcel owner has not otherwise specified, the city manager shall first apply the payment to the annual property tax of the parcel pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 84.56 RCW and then apply any remaining amount to the service charge.

B. The total amount of the service charge shall be due and payable to the city manager on or before the thirtieth day of April and shall be delinquent after that date; however, if one-half of such service charge is paid on or before the said thirtieth day of April, the remainder shall be due and payable on or before the thirty-first day of October and shall be delinquent after that date.

C. Parcel characteristics affecting the service charge which are altered after November 1st of any year shall not be a basis for calculation of the service charge until after December 31st of the following year. [Ord. 16-0428 § 8 (Att. E).]

13.40.080 Delinquencies and foreclosures.

A. Delinquent service charges shall bear interest as provided in RCW 36.89.092 at the rate of 12 percent per annum, or such rate as may hereafter be authorized by law, computed on a monthly basis from the date of delinquency until paid. Interest shall be calculated at the rate in effect at the time of payment of the charges regardless of when the charges were first delinquent.

B. Pursuant to RCW 36.89.093, the City shall have a lien for delinquent service charges, including interest thereon, against any property subject to service charges. The lien shall be superior to all other liens and encumbrances except general taxes and local and special assessments. Pursuant to RCW 36.89.093, such lien shall be effective and shall be enforced and foreclosed in the same manner as the foreclosure of real property tax liens as provided in RCW 36.94.150. The City may commence to foreclose a surface water management service charge lien after three years from the date surface water management charges become delinquent. Pursuant to RCW 36.94.150, collections shall include costs of foreclosure in addition to service charges and interest. [Ord. 16-0428 § 8 (Att. E).]

13.40.090 Administrative procedures.

The city manager shall develop administrative procedures relating to the implementation of this chapter. This includes but is not limited to procedures for the imposition and collection of service charges and/or for filing of liens and initiation of foreclosure on delinquent accounts and the collection of the debt service portion of the service charge in areas that annex or incorporate. [Ord. 16-0428 § 8 (Att. E).]

13.40.100 Report of revenue and expenditure analysis.

The surface water management program shall report to the city council every three years regarding the results of a revenue and expenditure analysis for capital improvement projects in the City. [Ord. 16-0428 § 8 (Att. E).]

13.40.110 Penalty.

Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished as set forth in Chapter 1.15 KMC. [Ord. 16-0428 § 8 (Att. E).]