Division III. Surface Water Utility1

Chapter 11.35


11.35.010    Definitions.

11.35.020    Created.

11.35.030    Purpose.

11.35.040    Applicability of charges.

11.35.050    Modifications.

11.35.060    Right of entry.

11.35.070    Coordination of activities.

11.35.010 Definitions.

The definitions in this section apply throughout this division unless the context clearly requires otherwise. Terms not defined here are defined according to FWRC 1.05.020.

“Basin plan” means the plan and all implementing regulations and procedures including but not limited to land use management adopted by ordinance for managing surface and stormwater management facilities and features within individual drainage basins.

“Developed parcel” means any parcel altered from the natural state by the construction, creation or addition of impervious surfaces.

“Impervious surface” means a hard surface area which either prevents or retards the entry of water into the soil mantle as it entered under natural conditions preexistent to development, and/or a hard surface area which causes water to run off the surface in greater quantities or at an increased rate of flow from the flow present under natural conditions preexistent to development. Common impervious surfaces include, but are not limited to, roof tops, walkways, patios, driveways, parking lots or storage areas, concrete or asphalt paving, gravel roads, packed earthen materials and oiled, macadam or other surfaces which similarly impede the natural infiltration of surface water. Open, uncovered retention/detention facilities shall not be considered as impervious surfaces for the purpose of this division.

“Land use code” means the type of development on a specific parcel of land as identified by records maintained by the city as modified or supplemented by information resulting from investigation by the surface water management division. Land use codes are preliminary indicators of the extent of impervious surface and are used in the initial analysis to assign an appropriate rate category for a specific parcel. “Service station,” “single-family home” and “shopping center” are examples of land use codes.

“Maintenance” means the act or process of cleaning, repairing or preserving a system, unit, facility, structure or piece of equipment.

“Open space” means any parcel, property or portion thereof classified for current use taxation under the provisions of Chapter 84.34 RCW, or for which the development rights have been sold to the county under the provisions of the King County Code Chapter 26.04. This definition includes lands which have been classified as open space, agricultural or timber lands under criteria contained in Chapter 84.34 RCW.

“Parcel” means the smallest separately segregated unit or plot of land 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.

“Rate category” means the classification in this division given to a parcel in the service area based upon the type of land use on the parcel and the percentage of impervious surface area contained on the parcel.

“Residence” means a building or structure or portion thereof, designed for and used to provide a place of abode for human beings. The term “residence” includes the term “residential” or “residential unit” as referring to the type of or intended use of a building or structure.

“Residential parcel” means any parcel which contains no more than three residences or three residential units which are within a single structure and is used primarily for residential purposes.

“Retention/detention facilities” means facilities designed either to hold runoff for a short period of time and then release it to the natural watercourse or to hold water for a considerable length of time and disperse it by evaporation, plant absorption or infiltration into the ground.

“Service area” means the area described in exhibit A made a part of this division and on file in the office of the city clerk.

“Stormwater control facilities” means any facility improvement, development, property or interest therein, made, constructed or acquired for the purpose of controlling or protecting life or property from any storm, waste, flood or surplus waters.

“Surface and stormwater management system” means the system comprised of stormwater control facilities and any other natural features which store, control, treat and/or convey surface and stormwater.

“Undeveloped parcel” means any parcel which has not been altered from its natural state by the construction, creation, or addition of impervious surfaces.

(Ord. No. 09-593, § 15, 1-6-09; Ord. No. 90-32, § 1, 2-13-90. Code 2001 § 16-76.)

11.35.020 Created.

There is hereby created and established the surface water management utility of the city under which the provisions of this division shall be carried out. The public works department director or designee has the authority to adopt rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this division and has the authority to administer and enforce this division and any such rules and regulations. It is unlawful to violate or fail to comply with any provision of this division or any such rule or regulation.

(Ord. No. 09-597, § 46, 1-6-09; Ord. No. 90-32, § 2, 2-13-90. Code 2001 § 16-77.)

11.35.030 Purpose.

It is the finding of the city that the surface water management utility is necessary in order to promote public health, safety and welfare by establishing and operating a comprehensive approach to surface and stormwater problems. The purpose of the rates and charges established herein is to provide a method for payment of all or any part of the cost and expense of maintaining and operating stormwater control facilities, all or any part of the cost and expense of planning, designing, establishing, acquiring, developing, constructing and improving any of such facilities, or to pay or secure the payment of all or any portion of any issue of general obligation or revenue bonds issued for such purpose. These rates and charges are necessary in order to promote the public health, safety and welfare by minimizing uncontrolled stormwater and sedimentation, to preserve and utilize the many values of the city’s natural drainage system including water quality, open space, fish and wildlife habitat, recreation, education and urban separation and drainage and erosion control facilities, and to provide for the comprehensive management and administration of surface and stormwater.

(Ord. No. 90-32, § 3, 2-13-90. Code 2001 § 16-78.)

11.35.040 Applicability of charges.

Developed parcels within the service area shall be billed each year for stormwater control facilities service charges.

(Ord. No. 90-32, § 4(A), 2-13-90. Code 2001 § 16-79.)

11.35.050 Modifications.

The service area may be modified in accordance with policies contained in this division. Modifications to the service area shall be by ordinance.

(Ord. No. 90-32, § 4(B), 2-13-90. Code 2001 § 16-80.)

11.35.060 Right of entry.

Whenever necessary to examine the property characteristics of a particular parcel for the determination of rates and charges, the public works director may enter any property or portion thereof at reasonable times in compliance with the following procedures:

(1) If such property or portion thereof is occupied, the public works director shall present identification credentials, state the reason for entry and request entry.

(2) If such property or portion thereof is unoccupied, the public works director shall first make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other person having charge or control of the property or portion thereof and request entry.

(3) Unless entry is consented to by the owner or person in control of any property or portion thereof, the city, prior to entry, shall obtain a search warrant as authorized by the laws of the state.

(Ord. No. 90-32, § 2(C), 2-13-90. Code 2001 § 16-81.)

11.35.070 Coordination of activities.

The utility may coordinate activities related to surface water management, including but not limited to basin planning, maintenance, operation and construction of facilities, water quality control, contracting for services with interested municipalities or special districts including but not limited to sewer and water districts, school districts, port districts or other governmental agencies.

(Ord. No. 90-32, § 2, 2-13-90. Code 2001 § 16-82.)


Cross references: Requirements for street right-of-way use plans, FWRC 4.25.050; drainage program, FWRC Title 16; water quality requirements and surface water, stormwater and other waterways, Chapter 16.45 FWRC.State law reference: Utility improvements, Chapter 35.67 RCW.