9-16-1:    Authority

9-16-2:    City Initiated

9-16-3:    Preliminary Approval

9-16-4:    Preliminary Notice

9-16-5:    Improvements Constructed By Or On Behalf Of The City

9-16-6:    Payments To City

9-16-7:    Interest

9-16-8:    Final Special Assessment District Ordinance

9-16-9:    Ordinance Finality

9-16-10:    Payment Of Special Assessment District Fee

9-16-11:    Release Of Assessment

9-16-12:    Term Of Life


Pursuant to RCW 35.92.025, the City has the discretionary power to grant City-held latecomer’s agreements known as special assessment districts [See Chapter 5 of this Title] to the City itself for the reimbursement of a pro rata portion of the original costs of water systems, sanitary sewer systems, storm water drainage systems and street improvements including signalization and lighting. The authority to approve a special assessment district is vested in the City Council. (Ord. 4444, 3-28-94; amd. Ord. 4923, 10-22-01)


The Administrator will present Council with proposals to form special assessment districts to enable the City to recover a pro rata portion of the original costs of public works improvements which would benefit from future connections to, or future users of, improvements to the City’s infrastructure. (Ord. 4444, 3-28-94; amd. Ord. 4923, 10-22-01)


The City Council may grant preliminary approval for a special assessment district, based upon the information contained in the request for a special assessment district from the Administrator. The granting of preliminary approval by City Council authorizes the City to prepare preliminary (estimated) cost data, conduct public informational meeting(s) with potential benefiting property owners if needed and advance to the preliminary notification stage. (Ord. 4444, 3-28-94; amd. Ord. 4923, 10-22-01)


A.    Notification of potentially benefiting property owners must occur before construction.

B.    A benefiting property owner is a property owner who would have been responsible for all or part of certain improvements in the normal course of development or utilization of their parcel, who subsequently connect to or in any way utilize improvements already installed by the City.

C.    The City will notify all the potential benefiting property owners that the proposed installation of City installed improvements may well affect their property. The City Clerk shall mail a notice to all owners of record of property within the special assessment district boundary. The notice shall include a general range of the preliminary per unit assessment, the proposed special assessment district boundary map and the description of the property owners’ rights and options to participate in the special assessment district.

D.    The property owners, upon payment of the required fee for appeal of an administrative decision, in accordance with the City of Renton Fee Schedule (“Fee Schedule”), as now or hereafter amended, may request an appeal hearing before the City Council within twenty (20) days of the mailing. Appeals must adhere to the criteria established under Section 9-16-8.C of this Chapter, but will be limited to the question of whether or not a specific property should be included within the special assessment district.

E.    The City will use its data for current taxpayer of record as a basis for notifying property owners. The City will prepare the mailing labels and assume the costs for mailing the notices. The City will provide an “affidavit of mailing,” attesting that all potential benefiting property owners have been notified.

    This notice form will not be recorded with King County. (Ord. 4444, 3-28-94; amd. Ord. 4923, 10-22-01; Ord. 5984, 10-26-20)


Improvements will be installed by the City or an approved contractor acting on behalf of the City per approved plans, following issuance of the construction permit to install the improvements.

The City may join other jurisdictions or private developers in the financing of the road improvements or the upsizing of utilities that will benefit undeveloped or underdeveloped properties. Road or utility improvements that benefit the general public may be subject to a special assessment district, including future benefit areas, for reimbursement of a pro rata portion of the project financed by the city. (Ord. 4444, 3-28-94; amd. Ord. 4923, 10-22-01)


The City may hold and charge certain other fees similar to special assessment district charges which are commonly referred to as “system development charges” pursuant to Section 4-1-180 of the City Code and/or “private latecomer charges,” pursuant to Title 9, Chapter 5 of the City Code. (Ord. 4505, 4-10-95; amd. Ord. 4723, 5-11-98; Ord. 4923, 10-22-01)

9-16-7 INTEREST:

A.    Interest may be charged on special assessment district fees. The interest rate shall be based upon the following:

1.    Calculate the interest that will accrue on all sources of money (i.e., bonds) utilized to provide the improvements associated with the special assessment district; and

2.    Calculate the time value of money, on the principal plus the interest as calculated above, based upon the last published semi-annual Consumer Price Index for the City of Seattle urban wage earners and clerical workers; and

3.    Identify the “time adjusted cost of the project” as the principal plus the interest, adjusted by the time value of money; and

4.    Calculate the simple interest rate that, when applied to the original charge over ten (10) years, will equal the time adjusted cost of the project; and

5.    Add one-half percent (1/2%) to said simple interest rate for future administrative costs of the assessment district.

B.    Neither the interest rate used nor the period the interest accrues shall exceed the limits specified in RCW 35.92.025 or subsequent legislation. The interest rate shall be charged beginning thirty (30) days after publication of the ordinance establishing the special assessment district until connection or use. (Ord. 4505, 4-10-95; amd. Ord. 4923, 10-22-01)


A.    Preparation Of Proposed Final Assessment Roll: Following construction the Public Works Department shall prepare a final special assessment district ordinance which will include a legal description and a map of the district boundary. The cost of the improvements will be spread among the property owners based upon their pro rata share of said costs. The method of assessment to be used will be one of or a combination of the following methods, unless otherwise approved or directed by the City Council:

1.    Front foot method.

2.    Zone front foot method.

3.    Square footage method.

4.    Per unit method.

5.    Trip generation (traffic) method.

6.    Other equitable method, as determined by the City.

7.    Any combination of the above methods.

    The method(s) used and the dollar amount(s) will be included in the final special assessment district ordinance. (Ord. 5450, 3-2-09)

B.    Final Notice Of Special Assessment Districts: The City Council receives the final special assessment district ordinance and if it approves the ordinance, directs the staff to send out notices of the potential special assessment and of the right to appeal. The City Council retains the right to rule on final action. Following Council acceptance of the final special assessment district ordinance, the City Clerk shall mail a notice to all owners of record of property within the special assessment district boundary. The notice shall include the final assessment per unit charge, the legal description and a map of the special assessment district boundaries, and the description of the property owners’ rights and options to participate in the special assessment district process.

C.    Appeal:

1.    Within twenty (20) days of the date of the mailing, any property owner may submit an appeal in writing to the City Council, c/o City Clerk. An appeal must include a statement of claimed errors concerning the proposed assessment, and must be accompanied by the fee for appeal of administrative decision in accordance with the Fee Schedule, as now or hereafter amended. Errors which are not set forth in writing and which do not adhere to the above criteria will not be considered.

2.    Objection by a benefiting property owner to the recording of a potential assessment against their property does not constitute a valid appeal.

3.    Errors identified in an appeal must be related to cost, methodology for cost distribution, and benefit to the property.

a.    Cost: If the benefiting property owner contests these costs, they must provide a basis for their claimed discrepancy. (Estimate from contractor or other reliable sources.)

b.    Costs Methodology: If the benefiting property owner contests the cost methodology used, they have to show why it is not equitable and provide their suggested alternate method of assessment and the justification for its use in place of the staff recommended method.

c.    Benefit: If the benefiting property owner contests benefits, they must provide a statement or documentation on why a particular parcel has no future potential benefit.

4.    Upon receipt of an appeal and the required fee, the City Clerk shall transmit the appeal and the official file to the Hearing Examiner for consideration at a public hearing. The City Council may delegate to the Hearing Examiner the duty to hold the requisite public hearing, establish the record, and provide a written report containing a recommendation to the City Council. Following the public hearing, the Hearing Examiner shall issue a written recommendation which is mailed to parties of record. Any party of record may request reconsideration within fourteen (14) days of the issuance of the Hearing Examiner’s report. Following expiration of the reconsideration period, the Hearing Examiner shall submit his written recommendation to the City Council on the Council meeting agenda for concurrence. The City Council shall concur with, alter, or deny the Hearing Examiner’s recommendation. (Ord. 5984, 10-26-20)

D.    Council Action: If no appeal is filed, the City Council’s initial approval shall grant the special assessment district and authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute the ordinance. If an appeal is filed and if delegated to the Hearing Examiner for hearing, and the Council concurs with specific recommendations made by the Hearing Examiner as a result of the public hearing, these conditions shall be incorporated into the City special assessment district ordinance. Following approval, alteration or denial of the Hearing Examiner’s recommendation on the appeal, the Council shall grant the special assessment district and authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to sign and record the ordinance. (Ord. 4444, 3-28-94; amd. Ord. 4923, 10-22-01)


Once the special assessment district ordinance together with a legal description and a map of the district boundary are recorded in the appropriate county auditor’s office, it shall be binding on owners of record within the assessment area. The ordinance shall be recorded within thirty (30) days of final execution by City officials and become effective thirty (30) days after date of publication. (Ord. 4444, 3-28-94; amd. Ord. 4923, 10-22-01)


A.    Special assessment district fees triggered by improvements or development, as described in Section 4-1-180 of this code, are due and payable before the first of the following occurs:

1.    The issuance of a Public Works Construction Permit; or

2.    The recording of a single-family residential plat or single-family residential short plat; or

3.    The issuance of a building permit.

B.    For the owners of existing single-family homes only, time payments for special assessment district fees may be arranged under the following criteria:

1.    Time payments are only allowed for special assessment district charges. Other charges, such as system development charges or permit fees, shall be paid at the time of permit issuance;

2.    The minimum amount of total special assessment district charges that will qualify for time payments is three thousand dollars ($3,000) for each parcel the fee is being paid for;

3.    There shall be no more than five (5) equal base payments, due in annual installments, with the first payment due one year after the permit is issued and the remaining payments due on the anniversary of the permit issuance;

4.    In addition to the annual base payments, the property owner shall also pay interest on the outstanding balance. The interest rate used shall be calculated as the previous quarter’s ending 3-month Treasury Bill rate (Constant Maturities), obtained from the Federal Reserve, plus one percent (1%) for administration of the contract.

C.    Time payments will not be allowed for private held latecomers, commercial properties, multi-family properties and platting or short platting properties for development. (Ord. 4923, 10-22-01; amd. Ord. 4936, 12-17-01)


When funds are received for a special assessment district fee, the City will post said payment on the City’s assessment database for the real property owned by the party paying the special assessment fee, within thirty (30) days of receipt of the funds. An individual certificate of payment will not be recorded with King County. The City will record a certificate of payment and release of assessment for the entire special assessment district when all the properties have paid their assessment. (Ord. 4444, 3-28-94; amd. Ord. 4923, 10-22-01)

9-16-12 TERM OF LIFE:

The assessments within a special district ordinance, when authorized by City Council, run indefinitely or until paid. (Ord. 4444, 3-28-94; amd. Ord. 4923, 10-22-01)