Chapter 16.50


16.50.010    Purpose.

16.50.020    Findings.

16.50.030    Definitions.

16.50.040    Levy of charge for storm drainage services.

16.50.050    Adjustment of charge.

16.50.060    Bill procedure.

16.50.070    Lien.

16.50.080    Administration and enforcement.

16.50.090    Administrative appeal.

16.50.100    Deposit of collection.

16.50.110    Severability.

16.50.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this Chapter is to establish a drainage utility for managing and funding the operation and maintenance of the City storm water program in order that storm and surface waters may be properly drained and controlled to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the City’s inhabitants; to protect the waters of the United States, and to insure compliance with applicable federal and state laws and permits. This Chapter shall be known as the DRAINAGE UTILITY ORDINANCE of the City of Galt, and shall be referred to herein as the “drainage utility ordinance.” (Ord. 2002-11, Added, 10/15/2002)

16.50.020 Findings.

The City Council hereby finds as follows:

A.    The City maintains a system of storm and surface water management facilities within the incorporated area of the City, including but not limited to inlets, conduits, manholes, channels, ditches, drainage easements, retention and detention basins, infiltration facilities, overland release corridors, and other components as well as natural waterways.

B.    Those elements of the City’s storm and surface water management system that provide for the collection, storage, treatment, and conveyance of storm drainage are of benefit and provide services to all developed property within the incorporated area of the City.

C.    The cost of operating and maintaining the storm water management system, including necessary repairs, should, to the extent practicable, be allocated in relationship to the benefits enjoyed and services received therefrom.

D.    Erosion and the discharge of nutrients, metals, oil, grease, and other substances into and through the storm drainage system is resulting in a degradation in water quality.

E.    The public health, safety and welfare are adversely affected by poor water quality and flooding resulting from inadequate storm drainage management practices.

F.    The storm drainage management practices necessary to protect water quality are largely established by federal and state statutes, regulations and permitting requirements.

G.    Real property either uses or benefits from the presence and operation of the storm drainage management system.

H.    The use of the storm drainage system is dependent on factors that influence runoff, including land use and impervious area.

I.    The City has the authority under applicable law, including, but not limited to, Health and Safety Code section 5471 to prescribe, revise and collect fees, tolls, rates, rentals and other charges for facilities and services furnished by it in connection with its storm drainage system.

J.    The Legislature, through the adoption of applicable law, including, but not limited to, Health and Safety Code section 5471, has specifically authorized the City to provide storm drainage services as a utility function for which service charges may be levied.

K.    A fee to fund storm drainage services offers a reliable and consistent source of revenue that is locally controlled. (Ord. 2002-11, Added, 10/15/2002)

16.50.030 Definitions.

The meanings ascribed to the terms set forth in this section shall govern the interpretation of this Chapter.

A.    Administrative charge: shall mean the charge imposed by the City’s consolidated utility billing service for the actual cost of billing for, and collection of, storm drainage service fees.

B.    Director: shall mean the City of Galt Director of Public Works, his/her designee.

C.    City: shall mean the City of Galt.

D.    City storm drainage system: shall mean the system of storm and surface water management facilities, including but not limited to inlets, conduits, manholes, storm sewers, channels, ditches, drainage easements, retention and detention basins, infiltration facilities, overland release corridors and other components as well as natural waterways, within the unincorporated area that is either owned or operated by the City.

E.    Developed parcel: shall mean any parcel of land altered from its natural state by the construction, creation or addition of impervious area.

F.    Exempt use: shall mean the use of any public or undeveloped property and the use of any other parcel for any of the following purposes: agricultural land used for crops or pasture, aquatic farms, orchards, City-maintained drainage ditches, property within a floodplain recognized by the City on which improvements are prohibited, and levees.

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

H.    Person: shall mean any individual, firm, company, association, society, partnership, corporation, organization, group or public agency.

I.    User: shall mean the owner of a parcel of real property that is charged for storm drainage services. (Ord. 2002-11, Added, 10/15/2002)

16.50.040 Levy of charge for storm drainage services.

City Council may levy on any parcel, subject to applicable law, within the boundaries of the City of Galt, a storm drainage service fee to be calculated based on the approximate pro-rata cost share impact of the parcel with development on storm drainage. Rates and charges for drainage services shall be fixed from time to time, by resolution of the City Council, subject to applicable law. (Ord. 2002-11, Added, 10/15/2002)

16.50.050 Adjustment of charge.

A.    Whenever the owner of any parcel is subject to a storm drainage service fee, other than parcels classified as a single-family residential use, he/she may file an application with the director to have the fee levied on such parcel reduced by means of one of the following mechanisms: (1) by designing, constructing and maintaining, at the owner’s expense, storm drainage detention facilities approved by the director; (2) demonstrating to the satisfaction of the director that less than five percent (5%) of the parcel area drains into a City storm drainage system; or (3) demonstrating to the satisfaction of the director that the actual impervious area of the parcel is at least ten percent (10%) less than that calculated using the impervious factor for the parcel’s use classification.

B.    After receipt and review of the application, the director shall either deny any reduction in the fee or approve a reduced fee calculated pursuant to subdivision C hereof. The director, in approving any reduction in the otherwise applicable fee, may attach reasonable conditions to any such approval. If the applicant is dissatisfied with the action of the director, he/she may file a petition pursuant to section 16.50.100 hereof.

C.    Any storm drainage facilities constructed by a parcel owner pursuant to this section shall meet the standards set forth in the City’s improvements standards. Upon approval of any reduction in the otherwise applicable fee pursuant to this section, the revised fee shall be calculated on the basis of the equivalent contributing parcel area.

D.    The fee for a parcel may be adjusted for the impact of any additional development on the parcel upon completion of construction.

E.    Any adjustment of charges may be initiated by either the director or by the owner of a parcel subject to the storm drainage service fee. If the director denies any adjustment proposed by an owner or an owner objects to an adjustment proposed by the director, any adjustment shall be made pursuant to the procedure set forth in section 16.50.100 hereof. Any debit adjustments shall be added to the charge in the succeeding billing period. Any credit adjustments shall first be credited against the previous balance and then any remaining credit shall be applied to subsequent charges. No debits or credits shall be made for any period more than three (3) years prior to the date that an adjustment is proposed by the director or requested by the owner of record pursuant to section 16.50.100. (Ord. 2002-11, Added, 10/15/2002)

16.50.060 Bill procedure.

A.    Whenever a storm drainage service fee is levied, it shall be billed as part of the City’s consolidated utility billing service in the same manner as for water service in Chapter 13.08. Alternatively, the fee may be collected by any procedure available to the City under applicable law. Specific billing procedures as appropriate, delinquency charges, and deposits will be further detailed in the service fee schedule.

B.    The storm drainage service fee shall be based on the use of the parcel as determined by the director. For each parcel of property there shall be only one unit for purposes of billing for storm drainage services. The charge may be divided among tenants of condominium or multi-family residential dwelling units if separate utility accounts exist for water services and if approved by the director.

C.    The storm drainage service fee shall be billed to the owner of record of the parcel, to the successor in interest of such person, or to such person’s designees if approved by the director and separate water accounts exist. The owner of record shall remain liable for any delinquent fees.

D.    Application of fees shall be based on current parcel numbers, square footage and use codes on record in the county assessor’s office, unless the director determines that the actual use of the parcel is different than the use reflected in the use codes in which case the fees shall be based on the actual use of the parcel. (Ord. 2002-11, Added, 10/15/2002)

16.50.070 Lien.

A.    The City shall notify the assessee shown on the latest equalized assessment roll whenever delinquent and unpaid fees, which would become a lien on the parcel pursuant to subdivision B remain delinquent and unpaid for sixty (60) days.

B.    Whenever a storm drainage service fee and any penalties are levied pursuant to this Chapter, they shall constitute a lien upon the parcel subject to the fee; as provided for in applicable law, including, but not limited to, Health and Safety Code section 5473.11; if the fee remains delinquent for a period of sixty (60) days and the City has notified the assessee of the parcel shown on the latest equalized assessment roll of the delinquent fees and the lien provided by this section.

C.    The lien provided herein shall have no force or effect until a certificate specifying the amount of the unpaid fees is recorded with the county recorder.

D.    Any delinquent storm drainage service fees and penalties may be collected on the tax roll in the same manner and at the same time as property taxes are collected. (Ord. 2002-11, Added, 10/15/2002)

16.50.080 Administration and enforcement.

The director shall be responsible for the administration and enforcement of the provisions of this Chapter. The director shall have the authority to adopt rules and regulations not inconsistent with provisions of this Chapter for purposes of carrying out and enforcing the payment, collection and remittance of the fee herein levied. (Ord. 2002-11, Added, 10/15/2002)

16.50.090 Administrative appeal.

A.    Any owner who disputes the amount of a levied storm drainage service fee charged to his/her parcel, the classification of the property in terms of its use, any adjustment proposed by the Director, or any other determination affecting the property made by or on behalf of the City pursuant to this Chapter may appeal with regard to any such issue. Any appeal petition may only be filed once in connection with the issue or issues presented in the petition, except upon a showing of changed circumstances sufficient to justify the filing of such additional petition.

B.    Any appeal petition shall be in writing, signed by the owner under penalty of perjury and filed with the City Clerk. The petition shall include the following information: (1) a complete description of the factual basis for the appeal; (2) the legal basis for the appeal; and (3) the remedy sought by the appellant.

C.    The hearing shall be set and conducted pursuant to section 21.03.060. The hearing officer shall make and serve by mail written findings of facts based upon all relevant information presented in the appeal petition or at the hearing, shall make a determination of issues based upon such findings and, if appropriate, an order setting forth an appropriate remedy subject to the limitations set forth in subdivision E of section 16.50.060. The determination of the hearing officer shall be final. (Ord. 2006-07, Amended, 06/06/2006; Ord. 2002-11, Added, 10/15/2002)

16.50.100 Deposit of collection.

There is hereby created in the City treasury a special revenue account. All storm drainage service fees collected by the City shall be deposited in such account. The revenue deposited in such account from any fees collected, shall be used only for management and execution of the City storm water program including prevention of storm water pollution; compliance with drainage related federal and state laws and permits; and the acquisition, construction, reconstruction, maintenance, and operation of drainage facilities. (Ord. 2002-11, Added, 10/15/2002)

16.50.110 Severability.

If any section, subsection, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this Chapter or any part thereof is for any reason held to be invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the validity of the remaining portion of this Chapter or any part thereof. The City Council of the City hereby declares that it would have passed each section, subsection, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause and phrase thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, subdivisions, paragraphs, sentences, clauses or phrases be declared invalid. (Ord. 2002-11, Added, 10/15/2002)