Chapter 4.20


4.20.140    Water and wastewater development impact fees.

4.20.140 Water and wastewater development impact fees.

A. Purpose. In order to implement the goals and objectives of the San Luis Obispo general plan, and to provide adequate water supply and treatment facilities, and wastewater collection and treatment facilities, to serve new development in the city of San Luis Obispo and to mitigate the impacts of that new development, certain public facilities and improvements must be, or had to be, constructed. The city council has determined that development impact fees are needed in order to finance these facilities and improvements and to pay for new development’s fair share of the construction costs of these facilities and improvements. In establishing the fee described in the following sections, the city council has found the fee to be consistent with the city’s general plan land use ordinance and policies and, pursuant to Government Code Section 65913.2, has considered the effects of the fee with respect to the city’s housing needs as established in the housing element of the said general plan land use ordinance.

B. Water and Wastewater Development Impact Fees.

1. A water development impact fee and a wastewater development impact fee is hereby established as a condition of any new development for which any of the following approvals or permits is required:

a. Approvals of land divisions pursuant to Title 16 of this code, including approval of lot line adjustments, certificates of compliance, parcel maps, tract maps and condominium conversions;

b. Land use approvals pursuant to Title 17 of this code, including rezonings or the approval of development plans, site plans, minor use permits, variances, but excepting approval of San Luis Obispo general plan/land use ordinance amendments;

c. For the issuance of any building permit;

d. For connection to city water and wastewater services; and

e. All other approvals of real property development, which approvals are subject to the jurisdiction of the city of San Luis Obispo and which approvals are subject to the exercise of the discretion of the city council, planning commission, or community development director. For purposes of this chapter, new development includes any change of use, water demand, or occupancy which increases the established city water or wastewater service requirements of a development.

2. The said water and wastewater development impact fees are established in order to pay for needed facilities and improvements reasonably related to new development within the city. From time to time, the city council shall, by resolution, set forth the specific amount of the development impact fees, the specific public improvement to be financed and their estimated cost, describe the reasonable relationship between the fees and the various types of new developments, and set forth the time of payment of the fees. Said resolution shall provide for a method of adjusting the amount of the development impact fees, on an annual basis to account for changes in the cost of construction or other considerations affecting the reasonable relationship between the fees and the cost of facilities and improvements on which the fees are based.

a. For any development other than residential, the resolution shall provide for payment of fees at the time of building permit issuance.

b. For residential development, the resolution shall provide for the payment of fees at the time of building permit issuance, except where the provisions of Section 66007 of the California Government Code require the collection of fees to be delayed until the time of final inspection or issuance of a certificate of occupancy.

3. The city council shall, at least once every five years, review the basis for water and wastewater development impact fees to determine whether said fee is still reasonably related to the impacts of development, and whether the facilities and improvements for which the fees are charged are still needed.

C. Limited Use of Fees. The revenues raised by payment of the water and wastewater development impact fees shall be placed in a separate account along with any interest earnings on that account, and shall be used solely to:

1. Pay for the design and construction, including construction management, of water and wastewater facilities described in resolutions adopted pursuant to subsection B of this section, or to reimburse the city for funds advanced from other sources to pay for said design and construction.

2. Reimburse developers who have been required or permitted to install portions of said facilities or improvements pursuant to subsection D of this section. See Section 16.44.091 of this code for appropriate procedure.

D. Developer Construction of Facilities. Whenever a developer is required, as a condition of approval of a development permit, to construct a public facility, which facility is determined by the city to have supplemental size, length or capacity over that needed for the impacts of that development, and when such construction is necessary to ensure efficient and timely construction of the facilities network, a reimbursement agreement with the developer or a credit against the fee which would otherwise be charged pursuant to this section on the development project shall be offered. The reimbursement amount shall not include the portion of the improvement needed to provide services or mitigate the need for the facility or the burdens created by the development.

E. Fee Adjustments.

1. When any new development replaces an existing development, the development impact fees shall be based on the service requirements of the new development, less the service requirements of the development which it replaces. If the site of the new development was previously occupied by a development which no longer exists, and for which a demolition permit was issued by the city after October 4, 1991, the development impact fees shall be reduced in the same manner; provided, that city services for previous development can be verified on the basis of building permits, utility billings or similar documentary evidence.

2. Each development is independent, and no reductions to development impact fees will be transferable to another development, nor will excess be refunded.

3. Any person whose new development is subject to water or wastewater development impact fees may appeal to the city council for a reduction or adjustment of those fees, or a waiver of those fees, based on the absence of any reasonable relationship between the impacts of that new development and either the amount of the fees or the type of facilities or improvements funded by the fees. The appeal shall be made in writing and filed with the city clerk, together with any required appeal fee, within the ten days following notification that the fees are to be imposed. The appeal shall state in detail the factual basis for the claim of waiver, reduction or adjustment. The city council shall consider the appeal at an appeal hearing to be held within sixty days after the filing of the appeal. The hearing may be continued from time to time. The decision of the city council on the appeal shall be final. If a reduction, adjustment or waiver is granted, any change in the permitted type or intensity of land use within the approved development project shall invalidate the reduction, adjustment, or waiver of the fees.

F. Unexpended Development Impact Fee Revenues.

1. Notwithstanding subsection (B)(3) of this section, whenever any development impact fee, or portion of a development impact fee, remains unexpended or uncommitted five or more years after deposit of the fee, the city council shall make findings once each fiscal year with respect to the unexpended amount. The city council shall identify the purpose for which the fee is to be used, and demonstrate a reasonable relationship between the fee and the purpose for which it was charged. The findings required by this section need be made only for monies in the possession of the city, and need not be made with respect to any letters of credit, bonds or other items given to secure payment of the fee at a future date.

2. The city shall refund to the then-current owner or owners of the new development project or projects, on a prorated basis, the unexpended or uncommitted portion of the development impact fees for which need cannot be demonstrated pursuant to this section. The city may refund the unexpended or uncommitted revenue by direct payment by providing a temporary suspension of development impact fees or by any other means consistent with the intent of this section. The determination of the means by which those fees are to be refunded is a legislative act.

3. If the city council determines that the administrative costs of refunding unexpended or uncommitted development impact fees pursuant to this section exceed the amount to be refunded, the city council, after a public hearing, notice of which has been published pursuant to Section 6061 of the California Government Code and posted in three prominent places with the area of the new development project, may determine that the said fees shall be allocated for some other purpose for which development impact fees are collected and which serves the new development project on which the fees were originally imposed. (Ord. 1428 § 1, 2002: Ord. 1200 § 1, 1991)

Section 1 of Ord. 1200 added § 4.20.040, which the editor has redesignated § 4.20.140 since the chapter already contained a § 4.20.040.