Chapter 13.16


13.16.010    Purpose.

13.16.020    Definitions.

13.16.030    Developer extensions – Latecomer agreements.

13.16.040    Administrative fee.

13.16.050    Allowable costs.

13.16.060    Process for latecomer agreements and assessment reimbursement areas.

13.16.070    Severability.

13.16.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish regulations, as authorized by RCW 35.91.020, regarding the execution and administration of agreements for reimbursement, or “latecomer agreements,” under Chapter 35.91 RCW. (Ord. 1553 § 1, 2016; Ord. 1528 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1386 § 1, 2011; Ord. 1327 § 1, 2009; Ord. 898 § 1, 2001).

13.16.020 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

A. “Benefitting party” means any parcel that can utilize a utility extension consistent with the Growth Management Act and the city’s public works standards.

B. “City-initiated assessment reimbursement area” means an area of the city’s utility service area where city ordinances require water or sewer facilities to be improved or constructed as a prerequisite to further property development or redevelopment, which would require construction or improvement of water or sewer facilities upon development or redevelopment, or would be allowed connection to or usage of constructed or improved water or sewer facilities, for which the city has financed all of the

costs associated with the construction or improvement and becomes the sole beneficiary of reimbursements.

C. “Construction costs” means the sum of all costs incurred to construct utility system improvements, including direct construction costs and preconstruction costs related to design and engineering. The cost of construction shall not include costs that will be reimbursed by other means, at the time of construction or development, such as credits or grants.

D. “Developer extension” means an extension of existing city utility facilities to enable previously unserved properties to be served, which extension is undertaken and paid for by any person other than the city.

E. “Developer extension agreement” means an agreement setting the terms, conditions and standards by which a person agrees to undertake a developer extension.

F. “Person” means any individual person or any public or private entity or organization other than the city.

G. “Utility” means water, stormwater or sanitary sewer service.

H. “Utility latecomer agreement (ULA)” means a contract authorized by RCW 35.91.020 between the city and a developer who constructs or participates in the construction of a developer extension, whereby the city agrees to transmit pro rata share payments, made by persons seeking to connect to the developer extension, to the developer. Pursuant to RCW 35.91.020, if the city contributes to the financing of water, sanitary sewer or stormwater facility projects, it has the same rights to collect reimbursements as do private owners of real estate that enter into latecomer agreements with the city under this chapter. (Ord. 1553 § 1, 2016; Ord. 1528 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1386 § 1, 2011; Ord. 1327 § 1, 2009; Ord. 898 § 2, 2001).

13.16.030 Developer extensions – Latecomer agreements.

A. No developer extension shall be undertaken without prior execution of a developer extension agreement. The mayor or designee may approve and enter into developer extension agreements on forms prepared by the city attorney. In any case where a latecomer agreement is contemplated in connection with a developer extension, the latecomer agreement shall be finalized, approved and executed prior to or simultaneous with the city’s acceptance of ownership of the developer extension.

B. No latecomer agreement may be approved in which the city funds more than 95 percent of the direct construction cost, as defined in BLMC 13.16.020(C); provided, that this shall not preclude the city from establishing a city-initiated assessment reimbursement area. (Ord. 1574 § 1, 2017; Ord. 1553 § 1, 2016; Ord. 1528 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1425 § 1, 2012; Ord. 1386 § 1, 2011; Ord. 1327 § 1, 2009; Ord. 898 § 3, 2001).

13.16.040 Administrative fee.

The city’s administrative fee for a latecomer agreement shall be five percent of the direct construction cost and shall be charged to each latecomer; provided, that the city shall not include administrative costs in reimbursements obtained through a city-initiated assessment reimbursement area. Engineering, design, and construction management costs are not considered “administrative” and may be included in the assessment.

In addition to any fee provisions which may be included with any latecomer agreement executed pursuant to this chapter to recover the city’s administrative costs, there shall be charged to any person requesting a latecomer agreement pursuant to this chapter a fee of $500.00 to cover the cost of public notification, agreement review, development, and city council process time. No request for a latecomer agreement shall be processed unless such fee has been paid. No administrative fees shall be charged for city-initiated assessment reimbursement areas. (Ord. 1553 § 1, 2016; Ord. 1528 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1386 § 1, 2011; Ord. 1327 § 1, 2009; Ord. 898 § 4, 2001).

13.16.050 Allowable costs.

Recoverable costs may include all costs reasonably associated with the extension or improvement, including direct construction costs and preconstruction costs. The mayor or designee may develop policies for cost recovery methodology that accurately and fairly capture the reimbursable costs of improvements consistent with Chapter 35.91 RCW.

Initial latecomer fees established when all costs are finalized shall be updated annually at a rate adjusted in accordance with the Engineering News Record (ENR) Construction Cost Index (CCI) for the Seattle area, using a November through November annual measure to establish revised fee schedules effective January 1st of each year.

Eastown Northern Sewer ULA (Res. 2265)



LLC reimbursement/acre


(Ord. 1553 § 1, 2016; Ord. 1528 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1425 § 2, 2012; Ord. 1386 § 1, 2011; Ord. 1327 § 1, 2009; Ord. 898 § 5, 2001).

Code reviser’s note: Effective January 1, 2023, the rates in this section have been updated pursuant to this section, which permits this update without an adopting ordinance.

13.16.060 Process for latecomer agreements and assessment reimbursement areas.

A. For city-initiated assessment-reimbursement areas, a preliminary determination of benefitting area boundaries and assessments, along with a description of the property owners’ rights and options, shall be forwarded by certified mail to the property owners of record within the proposed assessment area. If any property owner requests a hearing in writing within 20 days of the mailing of the preliminary determination, a hearing shall be held before the city council, notice of which shall be given to all affected property owners. Subsequent to all requested hearings and execution of the latecomer agreement, the city council’s ruling is determinative and final.

B. The mayor or designee shall review and approve latecomer agreements to which the city is not a party. The city council shall review and approve city-initiated assessment reimbursement areas and latecomer agreements to which the city is a party.

C. The utility latecomer agreement, or in the case of a city-initiated assessment reimbursement area the final determination of the assessment reimbursement area boundaries and assessments, must be recorded in the Pierce County auditor’s office. If the utility latecomer agreement or final determination is so filed, it shall be binding on owners of record within the assessment area.

D. The city shall record in the office of the Pierce County auditor, against every property in the reimbursement area, a notice of additional water, sanitary sewer, or stormwater connection charges pursuant to RCW 65.08.170.

E. Any developments or short plats that are connecting to a utility where a latecomer agreement applies shall pay the latecomer fees at final plat. Latecomer fees paid at final plat will be exempt from administration fees. All lots of record identified in the latecomer agreement will pay the applicable latecomer fee when their building permit is issued or, for existing buildings, when the utility connection is made. (Ord. 1553 § 1, 2016; Ord. 1528 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1386 § 1, 2011; Ord. 1327 § 2, 2009).

13.16.070 Severability.

If any section, sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter should be held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect the validity or constitutionality of any other section, sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter. (Ord. 1553 § 1, 2016; Ord. 1386 § 2, 2011; Ord. 898 § 6, 2001. Formerly 13.16.900).


Code reviser’s note: Section 7 of Ord. 898 provides:

Section 7. The provisions of this Ordinance shall apply to any developer extension for which an executed developer extension agreement existed as of the effective date of this Ordinance where such developer extension has not yet been transferred to and accepted by the City; provided, that the provisions of Section 3 subsection (B) of this Ordinance shall not apply to any such developer extension.