Chapter 19.40


19.40.010    Title.

19.40.020    Findings.

19.40.030    Purpose.

19.40.040    Definitions.

19.40.050    Utility creation.

19.40.060    Authority and powers.

19.40.070    Utility program elements.

19.40.080    Administration.

19.40.090    Program coordination.

19.40.100    Operations and maintenance.

19.40.105    Administrative support.

19.40.110    Development standards.

19.40.120    Permits, connections and variances.

19.40.200    Funding.

19.40.210    Rates and charges.

19.40.220    Billing practices, refunds and collection.

19.40.225    Alternative collection procedure.

19.40.300    Inspection and right of entry.

19.40.310    Enforcement.

19.40.320    Appeals.

19.40.400    Implementation.

19.40.410    Severability.

*    Prior ordinance history: Ords. TLS 98-10-21B, TLS 99-01-16B and 00-03-14B.

19.40.010 Title.

This chapter shall be known as the “Surface and Stormwater Management Utility Code” and shall be referred to in this chapter as the “code.” (Ord. TLS 09-12-54C Exh. A (part): Res. TLS 02-26B Exh. A (part))

19.40.020 Findings.

A.    Surface water and stormwater runoff and drainage within the service area must be controlled in a manner that mitigates damage to property, erosion of soil and restriction of natural or manmade watercourses due to unrestricted sedimentation.

B.    The current level of funding available to the county for surface water and stormwater management is not adequate to meet current and future needs to protect lives and private and public property from damage.

C.    Existing surface water and stormwater runoff and drainage facilities must be adequately maintained, operated and replaced through a funding program that is fair and equitable.

D.    All developed real property within the service area contributes runoff that impacts the surface water and stormwater management system and should participate financially in the development, operation, maintenance, operation and administration of the surface and stormwater management system.

E.    The extent of a parcel’s impervious surfaces and rate of surface water and stormwater runoff from such parcel are primary factors determining the parcel’s contribution to flow rate and quantity of runoff and impacts upon the surface water and stormwater management system. (Ord. TLS 09-12-54C Exh. A (part): Res. TLS 02-26B Exh. A (part))

19.40.030 Purpose.

The purpose of this code is to promote and protect the public health, safety and welfare by establishing a comprehensive approach to surface and stormwater management pursuant to Chapter 36.89 RCW. This code seeks to protect life and property from storm, waste, flood and surplus surface waters; to protect water quality by preventing siltation, contamination and erosion of waterways; to protect aquifers; to protect fish; to assure compliance with federal and state surface water management and water quality requirements; to increase public education and citizen involvement; and to encourage the preservation of natural drainage systems. (Ord. TLS 09-12-54C Exh. A (part): Res. TLS 02-26B Exh. A (part))

19.40.040 Definitions.

The following definitions shall apply throughout this code:

A.    “Basin plan” means a plan and all implementing regulations and procedures including but not limited to capital projects, public education activities, land use management regulations adopted by ordinance for managing surface and stormwater quality and quantity management facilities and features within individual sub-basins.

B.    “Best management practices” or “BMP” means physical, structural, and/or management practices that, when used singly or in combination, prevent or reduce pollution of water.

C.    “CIP” means the storm and surface water management capital improvement plan adopted by the city and county.

D.    “City” means the area within the city of East Wenatchee, Washington, or, as indicated by the context, may mean the street department, street superintendent, city engineer, or other official, officer, employee or agency representing the city in the discharge of his or her duties.

E.    “Comprehensive plan” means the Douglas County Comprehensive Flood Hazard Management Plan (CFHMP).

F.    “County” means the unincorporated areas of Douglas County, Washington, or, as indicated by the context, may mean the department of transportation and land services, county TLS administrator, county engineer, or other official, officer, employee or agency representing the county in the discharge of his or her duties.

G.    “Detention” means the short-term storage of surface water and stormwater drainage runoff that is collected and then released at a predetermined rate.

H.    “Developed” means a parcel that has impervious surface area.

I.    “Duplex” means one building containing not more than two dwelling units permitted and/or used to house not more than two families living independently of each other and including all necessary household functions of each such family.

J.    “Engineer” means an engineer that is retained by and acting on behalf of a parcel owner.

K.    “Equivalent service unit” or “ESU” means two thousand seven hundred fifty square feet of impervious surface area.

L.    “Facility” or “facilities” means any facility, improvement, development, property or interest therein, that is made, constructed or acquired for the purpose of controlling, or protecting life or property from, any storm, waste, flood or surplus waters wherever located within the county.

M.    “Highways” means all impervious ways, lanes, roads, streets, boulevards and/or places open as a matter of right to public vehicular travel.

N.    “Impervious surface” means the horizontally projected surface area of all nonvertical surfaces, including all buildings, manufactured units or other structures, and the surface area of all asphalt, concrete, oil mat, bituminous or other finished surfaces.

O.    “Interlocal agreement” means the Interlocal Cooperation Agreement between Douglas County and the City of East Wenatchee for Storm and Surface Water Management, the execution of which was authorized by the Douglas County board of commissioners by Resolution No. 98-12 adopted on March 17, 1998, and the execution of which was authorized by the city council of the City of East Wenatchee by Resolution No. 98-003 adopted on March 16, 1998, and all amendments, modifications, and clarifications to this agreement.

P.    “Management team” means the committee established by the interlocal agreement between the city and the county, as now exists or may be hereafter amended.

Q.    “Natural waters.” (Reserved).

R.    “Owner” or “owner of record” means all persons or entities holding fee title to land by a recorded deed or holding title as the purchaser under a recorded real estate contract.

S.    “Parcel” means a state, county or city public right-of-way, or a unit of land segregated for tax purposes.

T.    “Retention” means the long-term storage of surface water and stormwater drainage runoff that is collected and released into the ground by means of percolation and/or into the air by evaporation.

U.    “Service” means storm and surface water control and disposal facilities, improvements, operations and maintenance, including all related planning and administration.

V.    “Service area” means the Douglas County federal urbanized area under the jurisdictional control of the county, the urbanized areas and the urban growth areas associated with the cities within the urbanized areas that are under the jurisdictional control of the county, excluding the incorporated city of Rock Island.

W.    “Service charge” means the charge levied on a parcel pursuant to this code.

X.    “System” means the entire system of surface water and stormwater management facilities.

Y.    “Undeveloped” means a parcel that has no impervious surface area.

Z.    “Utility” means the surface and stormwater management utility created by this code.

AA.    “Watershed action plan” means a local watershed planning process to identify the problems, needs, and action steps to reduce nonpoint pollution, enhance water quality, and protect beneficial uses. (Ord. TLS 11-02-02B Exh. B (part); Ord. TLS 09-12-54C Exh. A (part): Res. TLS 02-26B Exh. A (part))

19.40.050 Utility creation.

A surface and stormwater management utility is created and established to implement comprehensive surface and stormwater management. (Ord. TLS 09-12-54C Exh. A (part): Res. TLS 02-26B Exh. A (part))

19.40.060 Authority and powers.

The utility shall have the authority, subject to approval by the board of county commissioners, to exercise all lawful powers necessary and appropriate for the construction, purchase, condemnation, acquisition, maintenance, management, operation and regulation of surface water and stormwater runoff and drainage systems, including without limitation all lawful powers to fix, alter, regulate and control the rates, charges and conditions for the use thereof. (Ord. TLS 09-12-54C Exh. A (part): Res. TLS 02-26B Exh. A (part))

19.40.070 Utility program elements.

The utility shall establish a program that includes the following elements: basin and watershed planning, education, capital improvements, operations and maintenance, monitoring, source control, and fish protection.

A.    Basin and Watershed Planning. Develop, coordinate, and implement basin and watershed action plans to control surface and stormwater runoff.

B.    Education. Develop and implement a program to educate the public about land use and human activities that impact water quality and surface water management and develop citizen involvement programs to monitor streams and implement restoration programs consistent with approved basin and watershed action plans.

C.    Capital Improvements. Develop a six-year capital improvement program which defines the utility’s activities related to the acquisition, construction, replacement, or renovation of facilities or equipment needed to address surface and stormwater management objectives. The utility shall submit the capital improvement program to the board of county commissioners for review and approval and shall annually submit a plan and budget for implementation.

D.    Operations and Maintenance. Develop and implement an operations and maintenance program, including inspection and enforcement, to assure that public facilities are functional and effective. The utility shall only operate and maintain publicly owned facilities.

E.    Source Control. Develop and implement a source control program to improve water quality. The source control program shall reduce herbicide and pesticide usage, strengthen on-site sewage system connections, moderate risk waste control and wellhead protection programs and strengthen the use of BMPs. The utility may provide financial assistance through low-interest loans, grants, and cost sharing for the restoration of streams, repair of on-site sewage disposal systems and agricultural practice improvements.

F.    NPDES Municipal Stormwater Permit Compliance. Development, implementation and administration of a stormwater management program in compliance with the Department of Ecology Phase II municipal stormwater permit including annual reporting as required to the Washington State Department of Ecology. Minimum program elements include:

1.    Public education and outreach: distribution of educational materials to the community about the impacts of stormwater discharges to water bodies and steps the public can take to reduce pollutants in stormwater.

2.    Public involvement and participation: create and provide opportunities for the public to provide input regarding development and implementation of the stormwater program.

3.    Illicit discharge detection and elimination: detection and elimination of nonstormwater discharges to the stormwater system.

4.    Construction site stormwater runoff control: reduce pollutants in stormwater from construction activities.

5.    Post construction stormwater management for new development and redevelopment: to ensure that controls to prevent or minimize water quality impacts are in place.

6.    Pollution prevention and good housekeeping for municipal operations: operation and maintenance procedures to reduce pollutant runoff from municipal operations. (Ord. TLS 09-12-54C Exh. A (part): Res. TLS 02-26B Exh. A (part))

19.40.080 Administration.

The utility shall be administered by the department of transportation and land services and the administrator shall have the authority to implement the program as defined in this code. No provision of this code shall prevent municipalities, county agencies, departments, or special districts from adopting, administering, or enforcing other ordinances and regulations to protect surface and stormwater quality. (Ord. TLS 09-12-54C Exh. A (part): Res. TLS 02-26B Exh. A (part))

19.40.090 Program coordination.

The utility shall coordinate surface and stormwater management programs and services by forming interlocal or operating agreements with other departments, governmental entities or special districts in order to achieve a comprehensive approach to surface water management. The utility shall endeavor to eliminate or reduce duplication and to achieve maximum program benefits in the most cost-efficient manner. The administrator shall annually submit an operating plan, budget and written report to the board of county commissioners for review and approval. (Ord. TLS 09-12-54C Exh. A (part): Res. TLS 02-26B Exh. A (part))

19.40.100 Operations and maintenance.

Douglas County shall operate and maintain the utility in accordance with the terms of the interlocal agreement and this chapter. (Ord. TLS 09-12-54C Exh. A (part): Res. TLS 02-26B Exh. A (part))

19.40.105 Administrative support.

The utility shall pay for reasonable administrative support services provided by the county assessor, county treasurer and county prosecuting attorney based upon actual costs and as approved by the management team. (Ord. TLS 09-12-54C Exh. A (part): Res. TLS 02-26B Exh. A (part))

19.40.110 Development standards.

Reserved. (Ord. TLS 09-12-54C Exh. A (part): Res. TLS 02-26B Exh. A (part))

19.40.120 Permits, connections and variances.

Reserved. (Ord. TLS 09-12-54C Exh. A (part): Res. TLS 02-26B Exh. A (part))

19.40.200 Funding.

The utility shall be funded by rates and service charges. The utility and any participating municipality, agency, department or special district may solicit additional funds through grants or loans, in order to supplement program funding. All utility funds shall be deposited into the joint operating fund of the Greater East Wenatchee storm water utilities maintained by the county treasurer. (Ord. TLS 09-12-54C Exh. A (part): Res. TLS 02-26B Exh. A (part))

19.40.210 Rates and charges.

A.    Rate Structure Policy. The utilities rate structure shall be based upon the amount of impervious surface area within each parcel, as measured and established by this chapter.

B.    ESU Standards and Calculations. The service charge levied against a parcel shall be based upon the ESUs contained within such parcel as of January 1st each year. The following ESU standards and calculations shall apply within the service area:

1.    A detached single-family residence shall equal one ESU.

2.    A duplex shall equal one ESU.

3.    A triplex or fourplex shall equal two ESUs.

4.    For all other parcels, the ESUs shall be calculated by dividing the total area in square feet of impervious surfaces by two thousand seven hundred fifty square feet and rounding the quotient to the nearest whole number; provided, that no developed parcel shall contain less than one ESU.

5.    Undeveloped parcels shall not contain an ESU.

6.    Changes to impervious surfaces or development of a previously undeveloped parcel shall not affect the parcel’s ESU standard or calculation until January 1st of the following year.

C.    Service Charges, Credits and Exemptions.

1.    Service Charges. A service charge of forty-five dollars per ESU shall be levied annually against each developed parcel within the service area.

2.    Credits. Parcels having stormwater facilities that are designed, constructed and maintained to the standards of DCC Chapter 20.34, as the same exists now or may hereafter be amended, shall be entitled to a credit using the following formula:

a.    Facilities that are a combination of public and private ownership and/or maintenance, the owner may be eligible to receive a credit equal to twenty percent of the service charge levied against the parcel.

b.    Facilities that are entirely located on private property and maintained privately shall be eligible for a credit equal to fifty percent of the service charge levied against the parcel.

c.    Parcels having facilities designed as multiple-use facilities shall be entitled to an additional service charge credit equal to five percent of the service charge levied against the parcel.

D.    To qualify for a service charge credit:

1.    The owner must provide documentation from an engineer that all facilities are designed and constructed in accordance with the standards of DCC Chapter 20.34, and that the facilities are capable of accommodating all surface water and stormwater generated by the design storm specified in DCC Chapter 20.34. The owner must submit an agreement that all future maintenance shall be in accord with DCC Chapter 20.34;

2.    The owner must sign a right of entry and inspection agreement that grants the county the right to enter onto the parcel to inspect the facilities and verify all information submitted by the owner’s engineer;

3.    The owner’s documentation and engineer’s information shall be verified and approved by the county; and

4.    When requesting credit for multiple-use facilities, the owner must provide documentation that the facilities have been dedicated to and accepted for public use.

E.    The service charge credit shall become effective on December 31st and applicable to the following service charge billing, so long as all requirements are completed prior to October 1st.

1.    Exemptions. An owner of a single-family residence parcel who qualifies for the senior citizen exemption applicable to real property taxes shall be exempt from the service charges so long as such residence is owner-occupied.

An owner of property that donates an easement or right-of-way to Douglas County for stormwater facilities shall be eligible for an exemption from the service charge for development existing at the time the donation occurs. The exemption shall not apply to development that occurs following the donation. (Ord. TLS 13-10-33B Exh. A (part): Ord. TLS 09-12-54C Exh. A (part): Res. TLS 02-26B Exh. A (part))

19.40.220 Billing practices, refunds and collection.

A.    Billing Date. Service charges shall be billed by March 1st of each year.

B.    Due Date. Service charges shall be due and payable to Douglas County on or before April 30th of the year levied and are delinquent thereafter.

C.    Refund, Credit and Adjustment Requests. The management team may authorize a refund, credit, or other adjustment of a service charge determined to be the result of an error, miscalculation, or mistake upon receipt of a request from the owner. The owner’s request shall be in writing and clearly state the nature and basis of the request. The management team shall investigate the request and determine if a service charge refund, credit or other adjustment is due. The determination shall be in writing and clearly state the basis for authorizing or denying the request. The determination shall be issued and mailed to the owner within sixty days after receipt of the request. A request for a refund, credit or adjustment must be received within one year after the date the service charge was billed. The amount of any authorized refund, credit or adjustment shall not include or accrue any interest.

D.    Interest on Delinquency. Service charges not paid by April 30th of the year billed shall be delinquent. Delinquent service charges shall bear interest at the rate of eight percent per annum from the date due until paid.

E.    Liens. Pursuant to RCW 36.89.090, the county shall have a lien for delinquent service charges and interest against the parcel that is the subject of the service charge billed. The lien shall be superior to all other liens and encumbrances, except general taxes and local and special assessments of the county. The lien shall be effective for a total not to exceed one year’s delinquent service charges without the necessity of any writing or recording of the lien with the county auditor. The county TLS administrator shall periodically certify delinquencies to the county auditor that exceed one year. (Ord. TLS 13-10-33B Exh. A (part): Ord. TLS 09-12-54C Exh. A (part): Res. TLS 02-26B Exh. A (part))

19.40.225 Alternative collection procedure.

As an alternative to the procedure set forth in DCC Section 19.40.220, the county may collect delinquent service charges, interest and penalties through a private commercial collection business. In the event the county pursues collection pursuant to this alternative procedure, the county may terminate this alternative collection effort at any time and utilize the procedures set forth in DCC Section 19.40.220. (Ord. TLS 09-12-54C Exh. A (part): Res. TLS 02-26B Exh. A (part))

19.40.300 Inspection and right of entry.

Whenever it becomes necessary to examine the surface and stormwater management characteristics of or improvements to a particular parcel for the purposes of implementing or enforcing this code, the county TLS administrator or his designee may enter upon any parcel at reasonable times in accordance with the following procedures:

A.    If such parcel is occupied, the county TLS administrator shall present identification credentials, state the reason for entry, and request entry.

B.    If such parcel is unoccupied, the county TLS administrator shall locate the owner or other person having charge or control of the property, state the reason for the entry and request entry.

C.    Unless the owner or person in control of such parcel consents to entry, the county TLS administrator, prior to entry, shall obtain a search warrant as authorized by the laws of the state of Washington. (Ord. TLS 09-12-54C Exh. A (part): Res. TLS 02-26B Exh. A (part))

19.40.310 Enforcement.

Pursuant to RCW 36.89.090, the county may commence a foreclosure action in the Douglas County superior court. Costs associated with the foreclosure action, including but not limited to advertising, title reports, and personnel costs, shall be added to the lien upon filing of the foreclosure action. In addition to the costs and disbursements provided by law, the superior court may allow the county a reasonable attorney’s fee. (Ord. TLS 09-12-54C Exh. A (part): Res. TLS 02-26B Exh. A (part))

19.40.320 Appeals.

Any decision or determination made pursuant to this code may be appealed to the county hearing examiner. The appeal shall be in writing signed by the appellant and be filed within fourteen days after issuance of the decision appealed, together with all applicable fees. The notice of appeal shall contain a concise statement identifying the decision being appealed, the name and address of the appellant, the specific reasons why the decision is erroneous, and the specific relief sought by the appellant. The appeal to the county hearing examiner shall be an open record public hearing. An appeal of the decision of the county hearing examiner shall be filed in the Douglas County superior court within twenty-one days after the issuance of the decision. (Ord. TLS 09-12-54C Exh. A (part): Res. TLS 02-26B Exh. A (part))

19.40.400 Implementation.

The county TLS administrator, county treasurer and county assessor are each hereby authorized and directed to establish administrative policies and procedures to implement this code and as may be reasonable and necessary to perform under the interlocal agreement. (Ord. TLS 09-12-54C Exh. A (part): Res. TLS 02-26B Exh. A (part))

19.40.410 Severability.

If any provision of this code, or its application to any person or circumstance, is held to be unconstitutional or invalid for any reason, the remainder of this code or the application of its provisions to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected. (Ord. TLS 09-12-54C Exh. A (part): Res. TLS 02-26B Exh. A (part))