Chapter 13.12


13.12.010    Purpose.

13.12.020    Application for water reservation and engineering design standards manual.

13.12.030    Reservations within adopted service area only.

13.12.040    Reservation requires water availability.

13.12.050    Conditions of approval regarding reservations.

13.12.060    Payment of certain fees required for issuance of water reservation – Creation of waiting list and refunds.

13.12.070    Life of water reservation – Extension.

13.12.080    Relinquishment of water reservation.

13.12.090    Administrative decisions – Appeals.

13.12.100    Limitation on actions.

13.12.010 Purpose.

A. This chapter is intended to provide an orderly system for commitments to provide water supply to property owners located within the water utility’s outside‑of‑city service area. It is the intention of this chapter that a system of water reservation be established which will provide certainty regarding water service to those who are ready to use it at or near the time they obtain a reservation or commitment for service from the water utility while at the same time preserving the ability of the water utility to provide reliable service to its existing customers. This system is necessary to allow those who have partially developed properties adjacent to existing water infrastructure to have an opportunity in future years to obtain water supply and to avoid system capacity being reserved for large vacant parcels at a pace greatly exceeding actual rates of growth and development in the outside-of-city service area.

B. This chapter is further intended to provide a system for commitments to provide water supply to be perfected by actually paying all charges under this chapter. Payment of these charges is intended to allow the city to have the funds in hand necessary to complete major improvements to the water system, such as providing increased storage capacity, upgrading the sizes of existing main lines and other system‑wide improvements necessary to accommodate growth concurrently with the actual need for service and to create a disincentive to speculative reservations of water in advance of actual development of the property and need for the water service. Due to the limited supply of city water and the fact that water supply would soon be overcommitted if speculative reservations of water are allowed to occur and continue in significant numbers, the process established in this chapter also provides for relinquishing of the temporary commitment to provide supply if the water is not actually beneficially used within a reasonable period of time. (Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997; Ord. 2393 § 1, 1994; Ord. 2387 § 1, 1993).

13.12.020 Application for water reservation and engineering design standards manual.

A. An application for water reservation shall be provided on forms established by the director of public works. The director of public works shall require a fee to be charged in the amount established by council resolution to allow processing of such applications. Applications shall, at a minimum, require the following:

1. A legal description and address of the property to be served be provided, that the proposed use of the property be identified;

2. The proposed timing of development be identified; and

3. A property map identifying the property to be served be provided at a scale and dimension specified by the director of public works.

An application for a water reservation shall not be accepted unless it can be established that an application for a preliminary plat, final plat, a discretionary land use permit or a building permit has been filed and is being pursued concurrently with the application for water reservation. No new taps for irrigation purposes only shall be granted in the outside-of-city service area after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter. The director of public works may require that a fully engineered plan to provide service be prepared by a civil engineer licensed in the state of Washington as part of the application when, in the director’s judgment, such a plan is necessary to determine the amount of water which is to be temporarily reserved and/or it is necessary to allow the proposed water system to be integrated into the existing city water supply system. The director of public works may establish such other requirements for applications and system design as are reasonably necessary to determine the amount of water to be reserved or to insure proper design of the system. Such requirements may include the design and implementation of reasonable water conservation measures.

B. The application requirements and system design requirements for water system improvements are contained in the engineering design standards manual adopted in Chapter 13.01 PTMC as well as other applicable sections of this code. (Ord. 3051 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997).

13.12.030 Reservations within adopted service area only.

A. The director of public works may only allow reservations of water service within the service area established by the city through the coordinated water system plan (CWSP) designation process. The city council may, however, on an emergency basis, either reduce the service area specified in the CWSP or halt the reservation of future water supply where failure to do so would result in overcommitment of the available supply in advance of capital facility construction necessary to provide the supply, or where the system will be unable to provide a reliable supply of water to existing customers or those who have already made temporary reservations of water supply. The emergency modification of the service area or the halting of reservation of water supply shall be established by resolution of the city council consistent with the provisions of this chapter.

B. An exception to the above requirement may be granted by the director of public works where there has been a prior, legally binding commitment made to provide service by the city. (Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997; Ord. 2387 § 1, 1993).

13.12.040 Reservation requires water availability.

A. Water reservation may only be granted where there will be sufficient water supply actually available and concurrently available for the commitment being given. Water supply shall be considered sufficient only when the amount of water actually available is sufficient to reliably meet the needs of existing customers of the city, the amounts identified in wholesale contracts committed to by the city and any other valid contracts or commitments of the city regarding water supply which are in existence at the time the reservation is applied for. A request for water reservation shall be denied if there is not sufficient water supply available or if there is no specific, funded capital improvement identified in a capital facilities or capital improvement plan which would make sufficient water supply available concurrently with the development proposed in the reservation request. Concurrency shall be defined for purposes of this chapter in the same manner as it is defined in the Washington State Growth Management Act at RCW 36.70A.070 and any city of Port Townsend ordinances regarding growth management which further refine the definition of concurrency in the Growth Management Act.

B. Where requests for reservation of water are being denied because water is no longer available, a list shall be kept by the director of public works which identifies owners requesting water reservations or water connections in the order in which such requests are received. Should additional water become available and if the applicant wishes to have the application be reconsidered, applications shall be considered in the order received on a prioritization list kept by the director (per PTMC 13.12.060).

C. Should a reservation be denied by the city, the property owner is then free to approach the satellite system management agency established under the coordinated water system plan to seek alternate water service. If water service is provided by an alternate purveyor, the applicant shall be removed from the city’s prioritization list. (Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997; Ord. 2387 § 1, 1993).

13.12.050 Conditions of approval regarding reservations.

The director of public works shall have the authority to impose conditions of approval regarding the issuance of a water reservation under this chapter. Such conditions of approval may include conditions regarding phasing or timing of development to insure that capital improvements necessary to provide reliable water supply concurrently with the proposed development are completed; that the reservation be tied to a specific project as proposed; that the amount of water reserved be limited; that the water reserved be specifically limited to a certain number of equivalent residential units as that term is defined in Chapter 13.03 PTMC; that certain on‑site or off‑site improvements be made by the applicant or property owner to allow system connections to be properly made; that reasonable and appropriate water conservation measures be implemented in the development of property to prevent the waste of water; and that any other reasonably necessary measures be taken to insure that the development is consistent with sound water use and development policies and practices. (Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997; Ord. 2387 § 1, 1993).

13.12.060 Payment of certain fees required for issuance of water reservation – Creation of waiting list and refunds.

A. No water reservation shall be issued or be deemed valid until the following fees, set forth more fully by council resolution, are paid:

1. Water reservation application fee;

2. System development charges (SDC) for each equivalent residential unit being proposed.

B. Water tap fees shall not be payable until application for the tap is actually made and such charges are due and payable under Chapter 13.05 PTMC and council resolution. After the tap is installed, all monthly charges and user fees shall be payable whether the tap is in use or not. System development charges in the city’s outside‑of‑city service area shall be paid at the time a water reservation is approved and issued. The water reservation shall not be deemed valid until the system development charges have actually been received. System development charges shall be paid within 15 working days after notification that the reservation has been approved or the application for water reservation shall be deemed abandoned.

C. A proportional refund of charges other than the water reservation fee shall be made where the number of services or equivalent residential units (ERU) is reduced after payment of an initial fee based on a higher ERU. If the ERUs are increased, a higher fee shall be assessed for the additional ERUs before water service may be established or a reservation for the additional ERUs may be granted.

D. Where a request for water reservation has been denied because water is currently unavailable, the director of public works may, where future capital improvements will make additional water available at a later date, establish a waiting list for availability of water. The waiting list shall allow future available water to be allocated or reserved in the order in which applicants have submitted their application for water reservations or a place on the waiting list. An applicant wishing to be placed on the waiting list shall pay, prior to placement on the waiting list, in addition to the application fee for a water reservation, all system development charges for the equivalent residential units being proposed by the applicant. The system development charges paid are to be utilized for the development of additional capital facilities necessary to provide the additional water supply necessary to serve the party on the waiting list. (Ord. 3051 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997; Ord. 2393 § 2, 1994; Ord. 2387 § 1, 1993).

13.12.070 Life of water reservation – Extension.

A water reservation shall be perfected when actual installation of the tap or taps involved is complete. A water reservation for applications involving development proposals other than subdivisions shall be valid for a period of one year and shall expire unless installation of the tap occurs within that period or an extension of the reservation is granted. Upon payment of a fee established by council resolution, a water reservation for an application involving a development proposal other than a subdivision may be extended for a single additional one-year period where it is established that permit applications for development of the property have not been issued due to no fault of the applicant for reasons such as preparation of an environmental impact statement, additional public processing or requests for further analysis or information from the permitting agency. Where the water reservation application involves a subdivision, consistent with the provisions of RCW 58.17.170, the reservation shall be valid for a period of five years from the date of approval of the final plat unless a change in conditions creates a serious threat to the public health or safety. (Ord. 3051 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997; Ord. 2393 § 3, 1994; Ord. 2387 § 1, 1993).

13.12.080 Relinquishment of water reservation.

The holder of a water reservation may relinquish the right to receive the water reserved prior to installation of the actual taps. If the water reservation is relinquished prior to installation of the taps, refund of system development charges shall be made based upon the following schedule:

Relinquishment Date

Refund Percentage

Within one year

90% of SDC

Within two years

70% of SDC

(Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997; Ord. 2387 § 1, 1993).

13.12.090 Administrative decisions – Appeals.

An applicant for a water reservation may appeal any decision of the public works director to deny or condition a water reservation or deny extension of a water reservation to the city council under the procedures set forth in Chapter 1.14 PTMC. There is an appeal filing fee in the amount specified by council resolution for city council appeals of decisions of the director of public works. (Ord. 3051 § 1 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997; Ord. 2387 § 1, 1993).

13.12.100 Limitation on actions.

Any decision, finding, ruling, determination or binding recommendation of the director of public works or the city council made pursuant to this chapter shall be final on the date such decision is made in writing and no action to set aside or modify the same shall be brought in the superior court or other tribunal unless the action shall be filed within 30 days from the date of such decision, finding, ruling, determination or binding recommendation. (Ord. 2579 § 1, 1997; Ord. 2387 § 1, 1993).