Chapter 12.50


12.50.010    Purpose.

12.50.020    Authorization.

12.50.030    Application—Contents.

12.50.040    Fee.

12.50.050    Eligibility of applicants.

12.50.060    Assessment methods.

12.50.070    Rights and nonliability of city—Collection of reimbursement fees—Administrative fee.

12.50.080    Notice to property owners.

12.50.090    City council action.

12.50.100    Contract execution and recording.

12.50.110    City funding.

12.50.900    Severability.

12.50.010 Purpose.

This chapter implements and makes available to the public the provisions of Chapter 35.72 RCW as the same now exists or may hereafter be amended. (Ord. 2551 § 2, 2006).

12.50.020 Authorization.

Any developer utilizing private funds to acquire public right-of-way and/or install street improvements on public right-of-way may apply to the city to establish a “latecomer agreement” for recovery of a pro rata share of the cost of acquiring public right-of-way and/or constructing said public improvements from other parties that subsequently develop their property and that will later derive a benefit from said improvements. The city administrator is authorized to accept applications for the establishment by contract of an assessment reimbursement area as provided by state law, provided such application substantially conforms to the requirements of this chapter. No latecomer agreement shall extend for a period longer than fifteen years from the date of final acceptance by the city. The city council shall have discretion to authorize or not to authorize latecomer agreements on a case-by-case basis.

Street improvements subject to reimbursement include design, grading, paving, installation of curbs, gutters, storm drainage, sidewalks, street lighting, traffic controls, and other similar improvements, as required by ordinance of the city of Prosser. (Ord. 2551 § 3, 2006).

12.50.030 Application—Contents.

Applications for the establishment of an assessment reimbursement area shall include the following items:

A.    Detailed construction plans and drawings of the entire street project prepared and stamped by a licensed civil engineer. All such improvements shall be designed in accordance with the city’s standard specifications and constructed in accordance with Chapter 17.24 of the Prosser Municipal Code and in compliance with all other provisions of the Prosser Municipal Code. The city shall not accept the application as complete until the city’s engineer has approved the plans and drawings of the entire street project in writing.

B.    Itemization of all costs of the street project including, but not limited to, design, grading, paving, installation of curbs, gutters, storm drainage, sidewalks, street lights, engineering, construction, property acquisition and contract administration.

C.    A map and legal description identifying the proposed boundaries of the assessment reimbursement area and each separately owned parcel within such area. Such map shall identify the location of the street project in relation to the parcels of property in such area.

D.    A proposed assessment reimbursement roll stating the proposed assessment for each separate parcel of property with the proposed assessment reimbursement area as determined by apportioning the total project cost on the basis of the benefit of the project to each such parcel of property within said area.

E.    A complete list of record owners of property within the proposed assessment reimbursement area certified as complete and accurate by the applicant and which states names and mailing addresses for each such owner.

F.    Envelopes addressed to each of the record owners of property within the assessment reimbursement area who have not contributed their pro rata share of such costs. Proper postage for certified mail shall be affixed or provided.

G.    Copies of executed deeds and/or easements in which the applicant is the grantee for all property necessary for the installation of such street project or proof that the city of Prosser is either the record owner of such land or such land has been dedicated to the city of Prosser as right-of-way. (Ord. 2551 § 4, 2006).

12.50.040 Fee.

All fees and charges pursuant to Title 20 of the Prosser Municipal Code shall be paid by the applicant. The non-refundable charges shall be paid at the time the application is filed with the city. (Ord. 2551 § 5, 2006).

12.50.050 Eligibility of applicants.

Applicants for latecomer agreements shall be in compliance with all city ordinances, rules and regulations to be eligible for processing of latecomer agreements. No latecomer agreement will be processed by the city if the estimated cost of the improvements is less than fifteen thousand dollars as determined by the city’s engineer. (Ord. 2551 § 6, 2006).

12.50.060 Assessment methods.

The city administrator shall use a method of assessment which is based on the benefit to the property owner from the project. The methods of assessment authorized in Chapter 35.44 RCW for local improvement districts may be used. (Ord. 2551 § 7, 2006).

12.50.070 Rights and nonliability of city—Collection of reimbursement fees—Administrative fee.

A.    The city reserves the right to refuse to enter into any latecomer agreement or to reject any application therefor. All applications for latecomer agreements shall be made on the basis that the applicant releases and waives any claims for any liability of the city in establishment and enforcement of latecomer agreements. The city shall not be responsible for locating any beneficiary or survivor entitled to benefits by or through latecomer agreements. Any collected funds unclaimed by developers after one hundred eighty days from the date the fees were collected by the city, shall become the property of the city. Such remaining undeliverable funds shall inure to the benefit of the appropriate utility and/or fund approved by the city council.

B.    Upon receipt of any reimbursement fees, the city shall deduct a ten percent administrative fee and remit the balance of the reimbursement fees to the party entitled to the fees pursuant to the agreement. In the event that through error, the city fails to collect a required reimbursement fee prior to approval of connection to a sewer or water facility, the city shall make diligent efforts to collect such fee, but shall under no circumstances be obligated to make payment to the party entitled to reimbursement, or in any other way be liable to such party, unless such reimbursement fee has actually been paid to the city. (Ord. 2551 § 8, 2006).

12.50.080 Notice to property owners.

Prior to execution of any contract with the city establishing an assessment reimbursement area, the city administrator shall mail, via certified mail, a notice to all record property owners within the assessment reimbursement area as determined by the city on the basis of information and materials supplied by the applicant, stating the preliminary boundaries of such area and assessments along with substantially the following statement:

As a property owner within the Assessment Reimbursement Area whose preliminary boundaries are enclosed with this notice, you or your heirs and assigns will be obligated to pay under certain circumstances a pro rata share of construction and contract administration costs of a certain street project that has been preliminarily determined to benefit your property. The proposed amount of such pro rata share or assessment is also enclosed with this notice. You, or your heirs and assigns, will have to pay such share, if any development permits are issued for development on your property within ______________ (_______) years of the date a contract establishing such area is recorded with Benton County provided such development would have required similar street improvements for approval.

You have a right to request a hearing before the City Council within twenty (20) days of the date of this notice. All such requests must be made in writing and filed with the City Clerk/Finance Director. After such contract is recorded it shall be binding on all owners of record within the assessment area who are not a party to the contract.

(Ord. 2551 § 9, 2006).

12.50.090 City council action.

If any owner of property within the proposed assessment reimbursement area requests a hearing in writing within twenty days of the mailing of the preliminary determination, a hearing shall be held before the city council, notice of which shall be given to all affected property owners in addition to the regular notice requirements specified by this code, the cost of which shall be borne by the applicant. At a hearing the city council shall take testimony from affected property owners and make a final determination of the area boundaries, the amount of assessments, length of time for which reimbursement shall be required and shall authorize the execution of appropriate documents. The city council’s ruling of these matters is determinative and final. If no hearing is requested, the city council may consider and take final action on these matters at any public meeting twenty days after notice was mailed to the affected property owners. (Ord. 2551 § 10, 2006).

12.50.100 Contract execution and recording.

Within thirty days of final city council approval of an assessment reimbursement agreement, the applicant shall execute and present such agreement for the signature of the mayor who is authorized to sign such agreement. The agreement must be recorded in the Benton County auditor’s office within thirty days of the final execution of the agreement. If the contract is so filed and recorded, it shall be binding on owners of record within the assessment area who are not party to the agreement.

A.    After the reimbursement agreement has been signed by both parties, and all necessary permits and approvals have been obtained, the applicant shall construct the improvements. All improvements shall be constructed in accordance with the provisions of Prosser Municipal Code Chapter 17.24 and in compliance with the other provisions of this code. All fees, costs, and charges shall be paid in full in accordance with Title 20 before the mayor signs the agreement. All improvements shall be inspected by the city engineer or such other inspector as the city may designate in writing to the applicant. All defects identified by the inspector shall be remedied to the satisfaction of the inspector before further construction of the improvements may proceed. If the applicant fails to obtain inspections, then the city, in its sole discretion, may order the applicant to remove the improvements, at the applicant’s sole expense, and the applicant shall construct new improvements which shall be fully inspected.

B.    Upon completion, final inspection, and after the city engineer has recommended to the city council that it accept the improvements as constructed, the city council shall accept the improvements as part of the city’s street system. An appropriate bill of sale, easement, and any other document needed to convey the improvements to the city and to ensure right-of-access for maintenance and replacement shall be provided, along with documentation of the actual costs of the improvements and a certification by the applicant that all such costs have been paid. The city, in its sole discretion, may demand that all such improvements be located in right-of-way owned by the city.

C.    In the event that actual construction costs are less than the estimated costs used in calculating the estimated reimbursement fees by ten percent or more, the administrator shall recalculate the fees, reducing them accordingly, and shall cause a revised list of fees to be recorded with the county auditor. (Ord. 2551 § 11, 2006).

12.50.110 City funding.

As an alternative to financing projects under this chapter solely by owners of real estate, the city may join in the financing of improvement projects and may be reimbursed in the same manner as the owners of real estate who participate in the projects, if the city has specified the conditions of its participation in an ordinance. As another alternative, the city may create an assessment reimbursement area on its own initiative, without the participation of a private property owner, finance the costs of the road or street improvements, and become the sole beneficiary of the reimbursements that are contributed. The city may be reimbursed only for the costs of improvements that benefit that portion of the public who will use the developments within the assessment reimbursement area established pursuant to this chapter. No city costs for improvements that benefit the general public may be reimbursed. (Ord. 2551 § 12, 2006).

12.50.900 Severability.

If any section, sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter should be held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect the validity or constitutionality of any other section, sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter. (Ord. 2551 § 13, 2006).