Chapter 8.65
CLEAN WATER DISTRICT

Sections:

8.65.010    Purpose.

8.65.020    Findings of fact.

8.65.030    District creation and name.

8.65.040    District boundaries.

8.65.050    Assignment of a lead department.

8.65.060    Adoption of a nonpoint pollution plan addressing shellfish growing area downgrade in Discovery Bay.

8.65.070    Advisory council.

8.65.080    Program evaluation.

8.65.085    Oversight.

8.65.090    Annual fee.

8.65.100    Certain parcels exempt from fee.

8.65.110    Liability.

8.65.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to:

(1) Create a shellfish protection district as required by Chapter 90.72 RCW.

(2) Establish the boundaries of the district.

(3) Establish a district name.

(4) Adopt a water quality improvement plan for Jefferson County.

(5) Adopt a nonpoint pollution plan for the Discovery Bay watershed.

(6) Establish a fee to fund the clean water district. [Ord. 7-09 § 1; Ord. 8-07 § 1]

8.65.020 Findings of fact.

The board of Jefferson County commissioners finds that the following facts require the need for adopting this chapter:

(1) The Washington State Department of Health (WDOH) on January 24, 2007, officially downgraded the classification, from approved to restricted, of the commercial shellfish growing area around Station 48 within Discovery Bay, which is located on the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Jefferson County.

(2) A nearby portion of the Discovery Bay commercial shellfish growing area, Station 62, has been officially listed as “Concerned” status on the Washington State Department of Health 2007 Early Warning System Summary.

(3) A portion of the Mats Mats Bay commercial growing area is threatened with a downgrade in classification due to water quality results according to the Mats Mats Bay 2006 Annual Growing Area Review by the Washington State Department of Health. In order to avoid a downgrade, the source of fecal coliform pollution must be identified and corrected.

(4) In the Hood Canal No. 3 commercial shellfish growing area, three marine sampling stations are officially listed as “Concerned” status for water quality on the Washington State Department of Health 2007 Early Warning System Summary.

(5) The Washington State Department of Health has determined that degradation of water quality in the above-mentioned shellfish growing areas is primarily due to nonpoint sources of water pollution.

(6) Jefferson County public health is responsible for regulating the operation and monitoring of on-site sewage systems and conducting programs to remedy nonpoint surface pollution as it exists in Jefferson County.

(7) Annual Washington statewide revenue for commercial shellfish harvesting is approximately $100,000,000. There are 57 commercial shellfish companies licensed to harvest shellfish in Jefferson County. Commercial shellfish growing is a multi-million-dollar enterprise in and around Jefferson County. Protecting clean water will help the county’s commercial shellfish businesses survive and thrive.

(8) There was $1,679,853 paid in wages by shellfish firms in Jefferson County in 2006. This accounts for 1.23 percent of all private industry wages in Jefferson County. There is an average of 70 people employed (1.15 percent of private industry jobs) by shellfish firms, with a seasonal peak of 88 people employed in July, in 2006. Protecting and fostering this multi-million-dollar enterprise is one of the most important economic development steps the county commission can undertake.

(9) Nonpoint water pollution sources, including (but not limited to) agricultural surface water runoff and failing on-site septic systems, threaten the public health and safety of consuming shellfish harvested within the Discovery Bay, Mats Mats Bay, and the Hood Canal No. 3 growing areas.

(10) Chapter 90.72 RCW, Shellfish District, directs the county to establish a district within 180 days of such a downgrade and establish a program to address the reason(s) for the downgrade. Jefferson County has asked for a 90-day extension to the 180 days.

(11) Jefferson County is encouraged by the Legislature to: “establish shellfish protection districts and programs designed to prevent any further degradation and contamination and to allow for restoration and reopening of closed shellfish areas” by Chapter 90.72 RCW.

(12) As this district is a comprehensive effort to protect a threatened and precious resource, clean water, it shall be called the Jefferson County clean water district.

(13) Clean water is essential to the health and well-being of all human beings, including those who reside in this county and those who visit here.

(14) There are 41 public beaches with known recreational shellfish harvest. Over 50,000 visits were made to Jefferson County’s public beaches for harvesting shellfish. There were 242,451 pounds of clams, 195,159 pounds of geoducks, and 261,024 oysters recreationally harvested from Jefferson County beaches in 2006. A continuing supply of clean water will continue to make this county an attractive tourist destination now and in the future.

(15) The clean water district directly supports 13 of the 43 (30 percent) recommendations outlined in the draft detailed implementation plan for WRIA No. 17.

(16) The clean water district directly supports 17 of 84 (20 percent) recommendations adopted in the watershed management plan for WRIA No. 16.

(17) On October 17, 2007, the Jefferson County board of county commissioners adopted Ordinance No. 08-1017-07 creating the Jefferson County clean water district.

(18) Fees were not adopted to fund water quality improvement actions described in said ordinance. Actions have been funded by a combination of state grant funding sources and county general fund. County general fund has often matched state funding, leveraging $4.00 of services for every $1.00 of county general fund revenue spent.

(19) Portions of the Mats Mats Bay and Hood Canal No. 3 commercial shellfish growing areas are listed by the Washington State Department of Health as concerned due to water quality results. In order to avoid future downgrades in the status of these commercial shellfish growing areas, sources of fecal coliform pollution need to be identified and corrected.

(20) The Washington State Department of Health has determined that degradation of water quality in the above-mentioned shellfish growing areas is primarily due to nonpoint sources of water pollution.

(21) Jefferson County public health is responsible for regulating the operation and monitoring of on-site sewage systems and conducting programs to remedy nonpoint surface pollution as it exists in unincorporated Jefferson County.

(22) Commercial shellfish growing is an estimated $20,000,000 enterprise in Jefferson County.

(23) Protecting and fostering this multimillion-dollar enterprise is one of the most important economic development steps the county commission can undertake.

(24) Protecting clean water will help the county’s commercial shellfish businesses survive and thrive.

(25) A permanent and distinct funding source for the various programs that the clean water district will undertake will assure that the continued viability of these programs does not wholly depend on the vagaries of what might be available from the county’s general fund.

(26) The clean water district funding task force recommended to the BoCC a similar fee structure as is being proposed here.

(27) A permanent and distinct funding source for the clean water district will provide the clean water district with proof of matching funds that can be matched to grants provided by other entities, including, but not limited to, the state of Washington and the United States.

(28) Certain regions of Jefferson County, specifically the city of Port Townsend and the master planned resort at Port Ludlow, have in place stormwater management facilities and/or sanitary sewers that serve to control, properly dispose of and mitigate nonpoint sources of water pollution. Clean water district programs shall not be duplicative of the programs and services provided in areas where fees, rates or charges are imposed under Chapters 36.89 and 36.94 RCW.

(29) The Jefferson County board of commissioners also serve on and appoint the Jefferson County board of health. The Jefferson County board of health is responsible for all matters pertaining to the life and health of the people of Jefferson County (as required by JCC 8.00.010). The board of health is well qualified to coordinate the activities of the clean water district under this chapter with other programs and activities which fall under the duties and responsibilities of the board of health. [Ord. 3-14 §§ 1, 2; Ord. 7-09 § 2; Ord. 8-07 § 2]

8.65.030 District creation and name.

The Jefferson County board of commissioners hereby creates the Jefferson County clean water district as authorized in Chapter 90.72 RCW. [Ord. 8-07 §3]

8.65.040 District boundaries.

The legal boundaries of the Jefferson County clean water district include all lands in eastern Jefferson County, including the city of Port Townsend, as described by the Hospital District No. 2 boundary. [Ord. 8-07 § 4]

8.65.050 Assignment of a lead department.

The Jefferson County board of commissioners hereby directs Jefferson County public health to serve as the county department responsible for administering the clean water district (in coordination with the Washington State Department of Health, the Washington State Department of Ecology, the Puget Sound Partnership, the Jefferson County conservation district, and other appropriate entities). [Ord. 3-14 § 3; Ord. 8-07 § 5]

8.65.060 Adoption of a nonpoint pollution plan addressing shellfish growing area downgrade in Discovery Bay.

The Jefferson County board of commissioners hereby adopts the Discovery Bay closure response plan which is attached to the ordinance codified in the chapter as “Exhibit A” and incorporated by reference. [Ord. 8-07 § 6]

8.65.070 Advisory council.

The Jefferson County board of commissioners will, through written resolution, create a local advisory council to assist it in implementing the purposes and goals of this clean water district. The advisory council shall have no less than three or more than nine members, including members of the Port Townsend city council, commercial shellfish growers, Jefferson County board of health members, and residents of Jefferson County. [Ord. 3-14 § 4; Ord. 8-07 § 7]

8.65.080 Program evaluation.

The clean water district shall be evaluated for effectiveness by the advisory council or board of health on an annual basis. [Ord. 3-14 § 5; Ord. 8-07 § 8]

8.65.085 Oversight.

The Jefferson County board of commissioners hereby directs the Jefferson County board of health to coordinate the activities of the clean water district under this chapter with other programs and activities which fall under the duties and responsibilities of the board of health in JCC 8.00.010. [Ord. 3-14 § 6]

8.65.090 Annual fee.

There is hereby established for the clean water district a financing mechanism, specifically a fee of $20.00 per year per APN for all real property, except for property classified as a timeshare by the Jefferson County assessor and except for parcels or lands described in JCC 8.65.100 as exempt from any obligation to pay the fee. For property classified as a timeshare by the Jefferson County assessor a fee of $5.00 per year per assessor’s parcel number (APN) is hereby established.

These fees shall be adjusted annually accordingly on the first business day of January (adjusted date) by the amount of the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPIW) over the most recent 12-month period as reported in the CPIW report from the September prior to the annual adjustment date. A fee shall not be reduced by reason of such calculation. However, fee increases in accordance with this calculation shall not exceed five percent per year.

The CPIW is the Consumer Price Index – U.S. City Average for All Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor. [Ord. 11-14 § 1]

8.65.100 Certain parcels exempt from fee.

Exempt parcels (as defined in Chapter 84.36 RCW) shall not be subject to said fee. Parcels within the boundaries of the city of Port Townsend and the Port Ludlow Master Planned Resort connected to a sanitary sewer service shall not be subject to said fee. Facilities permitted and assessed fees for wastewater discharge under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System shall not be subject to said fee. Lands classified as forest land under Chapter 84.33 RCW and timber land under Chapter 84.34 RCW shall not be subject to said fee. Parcels determined by the county assessor to qualify for a senior citizen or disabled persons property tax exemption under RCW 84.36.381 on January 1st of the tax year shall not be subject to said fee. If a portion of a real property parcel does not satisfy any exemption criteria specified in this section, then the parcel shall be subject to said fee. [Ord. 11-14 § 2]

8.65.110 Liability.

Administration of this title shall not be construed to create the basis for any liability on the part of the county, its appointed and elected officials, and employees while working within the scope of their duties, for any action or inaction thereof authorized or done in connection with the implementation of this title. [Ord. 7-09 § 5]