Chapter 13.45
LATECOMER’S AGREEMENTS

Sections:

13.45.010    Authority.

13.45.020    Application.

13.45.030    Preliminary approval of latecomer’s agreement.

13.45.040    Final agreement.

13.45.050    Implementation of agreement.

13.45.060    Segregation and relief of latecomer fees.

13.45.070    Repealed.

13.45.010 Authority.

The City Council is vested with the discretion to grant latecomer’s agreements that provide for the reimbursement of a pro rata portion of stormwater drainage system and street improvement expenditures by developers. Reimbursement agreements relating to water or sewer facilities constructed by developers may be available from the applicable water-sewer district in accordance with Chapter 57.22 RCW. (Ord. 12-17 § 4; Ord. 93-98 § 1)

13.45.020 Application.

(1) Requirement. An owner or developer who desires a latecomer’s agreement shall make application in accordance with this section, at the same time that application for a development permit is made. Application shall be made upon forms prepared by the Public Works Department. The application shall contain the following information:

(a) Complete legal description of applicant’s property;

(b) Complete legal descriptions of the proposed benefited properties;

(c) Vicinity maps of applicant’s property, proposed benefited properties, and the location of the proposed improvements;

(d) Estimated cost data and inventory for the improvements;

(e) Proposed pro rata share of the cost of the improvements proposed to be done by the benefited properties, and which methodology for calculation of the cost distribution the applicant proposed pursuant to CMC 13.45.040(2).

The application shall be accompanied by payment of the nonrefundable application fee, and the deposit required by subsection (2) of this section, as set forth in the current fee resolution.

No application shall be processed by the City prior to the applicant participating in a preapplication meeting with the City staff at which meeting the possible boundaries of the benefited properties and fees will be discussed.

(2) Review of Application by City Engineer. Each application shall be submitted to the City Engineer for review and recommendation. The direct cost of engineering review shall be borne by the applicant, who shall pay a deposit, as set forth in the current fee resolution, at the time the application is filed with the City. The applicant shall be responsible for payment of the actual costs of the review in excess of the amount deposited. Funds remaining after payment of actual costs, if any, shall be refunded to the applicant.

(3) Notice of Application. Upon receipt of a completed application and payment of the fee, the City Engineer shall determine the preliminary boundaries of the area affected by the latecomer’s agreement and shall draft the legal description thereof, along with a map of the preliminary boundaries. The City Clerk shall mail a notice to all owners of record of property within the affected boundaries, and to the developer or holder of the proposed latecomer agreement by both regular and certified mail. The notice shall include the estimated pro rata assessment, a copy of the preliminary boundaries map, and a description of the property owner’s rights to appeal the inclusion of a property in the latecomer’s agreement. This notice shall not be recorded with the County Auditor.

(4) Appeal of Inclusion in Latecomer Agreement. A property owner who wishes to appeal the issue of inclusion in the latecomer’s area may request an appeal hearing before the City Council. All appeals of inclusion to the latecomer agreement must be made to the City Clerk in writing within 20 days of the date of the notice provided in subsection (3) of this section, and must be accompanied by payment of an appeal fee. Upon receipt of an appeal under this section, and the required fee, the appeal shall proceed in accordance with the procedures contained in CMC 13.45.040(5). (Amended at request of department 2/08; Ord. 20-07 § 51; Ord. 93-98 § 1)

13.45.030 Preliminary approval of latecomer’s agreement.

Additional information shall be provided by the applicant at any time upon request of either the City Council or the City Public Works Department. Subject to an appeal of inclusion, the City Council may grant preliminary approval for a latecomer’s agreement, may conditionally deny approval, or may deny the application. The denial of an application for a latecomer’s agreement is final. Improvements constructed subsequent to preliminary approval and prior to the final Council action on a proposed agreement are done at the holder’s or developer’s own risk. The approval of a preliminary latecomer’s agreement does not create or vest any right to a final latecomer’s agreement. (Amended at request of department 2/08; Ord. 93-98 § 1)

13.45.040 Final agreement.

(1) Contents. The City shall prepare a final proposed latecomer’s agreement which shall include a legal description and a map of the covered properties, the method(s) of assessment used, the dollar amount(s), and the term of the agreement.

(2) Method of Assessment. The cost of the improvements will be allocated among the property owners based upon their pro rata share of the costs determined by one or more of the following methods:

(a) Front foot method;

(b) Zone front foot method;

(c) Square footage method;

(d) Trip generation (traffic) method;

(e) Other equitable method;

(f) Any combination of the aforementioned methods.

(3) Notice. Upon approval of a final latecomer agreement by the City Council, a notice which includes the final assessment per unit charge, the legal description, a map of the covered property, the description of the property owner’s rights and options to participate in the latecomer agreement, and the right to appeal shall be mailed by the City Clerk to all owners of property within the latecomer boundary and to the developer or holder of the latecomer agreement by both regular and certified mail.

(4) Appeal. An appeal of the final latecomer’s agreement shall be submitted in writing to the Covington City Council, care of the City Clerk, within 20 days of the mailing date of the notice. An appeal must include a statement of claimed errors contained in the final latecomer’s agreement and must be accompanied by a $75.00 nonrefundable fee. Only the following written errors will be considered valid grounds for appeal:

(a) A challenge to the cost of the proposed assessments supported by reliable third party evidence;

(b) A challenge to the method of assessments based upon evidence which demonstrates that the proposed method is inequitable, and which supports and justifies an alternative method of assessment;

(c) A challenge to the existence of benefit must be supported by evidence which demonstrates de minimis or no future potential benefit to the appellant property.

(5) Hearing on Appeal. Upon receipt of a written appeal and the required fee, the City Clerk shall transmit said appeal and the official file to the City Council. The City Council may delegate to a Hearing Examiner the responsibility to hold a public hearing, establish the record, and provide a written report containing a recommendation to the City Council. Following the public hearing, the Hearing Examiner shall issue a written recommendation which is mailed to all parties of record.

(6) Final Council Action. If no appeal is filed, the final latecomer’s agreement may be ratified by the developer, City Manager and City Clerk. If an appeal is filed and the Hearing Examiner generates recommendations, the City Council shall then take final action to grant, amend or deny the latecomer’s agreement. Upon final action approving a latecomer’s agreement by the City Council, it shall be ratified by the developer, City Manager and City Clerk. (Ord. 93-98 § 1)

13.45.050 Implementation of agreement.

(1) Execution, Recording and Notice. Upon final action by the City Council, the City Clerk shall promptly mail the agreement to the developer or applicant. If the latecomer’s agreement is not signed, notarized and returned within 60 days of the date of approval by the City Council, the latecomer’s agreement shall be null and void. The City Council may extend the period for return of the executed agreement only upon proof of hardship or excusable neglect. The fully executed latecomer’s agreement shall be recorded in the official property records of King County, Washington, and shall be the sole notice requirement of the City.

(2) Title to Improvements and Assignment of Benefits. Before any fees shall be collected, the holder of the latecomer’s agreement shall transfer title to all of the improvements under the latecomer’s agreement to the City of Covington. The holder shall also assign to the City the benefit and right to the latecomer’s fee, which shall be operative in the event that fees collected cannot be forwarded to the holder in accordance with subsection (3) of this section.

(3) Payment of Fees to Holder. Within 30 days of receipt, the City shall forward all latecomer’s fees received, less the processing fee, to the current holder of the latecomer’s agreement to the current mailing address provided by said holder. Funds received by negotiable instrument will be deemed received 10 days after delivery to the City. Fees not forwarded due to the sole negligence of the City shall accrue interest until payment to the holder at the rate of eight percent on the unforwarded amount. No interest shall accrue on funds not forwarded due to circumstances not within the control of the City. The City shall make a good faith attempt to locate the holder of the latecomer’s agreement to deliver fees received. All fees which the City is unable to forward to the holder shall be placed and held in the special deposit fund for two years. The holder may make application for payment at any time within two years of payment of the fees. Failure of the holder to make such application within the time period shall vest all rights to the money in the City. The holder shall assign the benefit and right to the latecomer’s fee to the City at the time title is transferred to the City.

(4) Release of Assessment. Within 30 days of receipt, payments of latecomer’s fees shall be credited on the City’s assessment data base to the real property for which such fee is paid. A certificate of payment and release of assessment shall be recorded only when all properties affected by the latecomer’s agreement have paid the assessments in full.

(5) Term. The City Council shall set the term of a latecomer’s agreement for a period not to exceed 10 years. No extension will be granted beyond the original term established by the City Council. The latecomer’s agreement shall automatically expire at the end of the designated term.

(6) Processing Fees. A processing fee as set forth in the current fee resolution shall be deducted from any and all latecomer fees paid. After deduction of the fee, the balance shall be forwarded to the current holder of the latecomer’s agreement.

(7) Enforcement Responsibility. It shall be the responsibility of the holder of the latecomer’s agreement to notify the City of any connections to improvements which come within the terms of the latecomer’s agreement. The City will use its best efforts to collect latecomer’s fees but will not accrue any liability for failure to collect fees due. The City has no obligation to provide notice of the latecomer’s agreement to any party other than as provided in this chapter.

(8) Interest. No interest shall be added to fees collected pursuant to private developer held latecomer agreements.

(9) Future Services. Neither preliminary nor final approval of a latecomer’s agreement shall be construed to vest or grant the right to the extension or allocation of water to properties affected by the latecomer’s agreement. (Ord. 20-07 § 52; Ord. 93-98 § 1)

13.45.060 Segregation and relief of latecomer fees.

(1) Segregation. Segregation of latecomer fees due to legal subdivision by plat, short plat, binding site plan, or other lawful method shall be granted; provided, that the party owing the fee establishes the segregation by legal description, number of units and provision of subdivision map. The City shall collect a processing fee for such segregation, as set forth in the current fee resolution.

(2) Relief – Similar Facilities. The City, through its designated agency, may relieve a parcel of a latecomer’s fee if the property has a benefit from either (but not both) of two similar facilities. Relief shall be based upon sound engineering and policy justifications as to which facility(ies) benefit and/or are utilized by the parcel. Absent such justifications, the City shall give the applicant the choice of facilities to utilize. The assessment due shall be that associated with the utilized facility.

(3) Relief – Future Subdivision. As a condition for approval of a latecomer’s agreement, the City may require that the assessment against a parcel be divided so that the partial initial assessment shall be based upon the typical single-family residence lot in that area. The remainder of the cost to said site will be due at such time as the parcel develops further either by subdivision or increased density.

(4) Partial Release – Subdivision. The City, through its designated agent, may consider relief from the latecomer assessment if the subdivision of a property severs the linkage between the resulting lot and the street frontage which contains the latecomer improvements. Relief may be granted so long as a proposed lot does not have direct access to, or front footage on the street right-of-way which contains latecomer improvements, and will not and cannot benefit from such improvements. (Ord. 20-07 § 53; Ord. 93-98 § 1)

13.45.070 Latecomer fees.

Repealed by Ord. 20-07. (Ord. 93-98 § 1)