Chapter 13.25
SURFACE WATER MANAGEMENT PROGRAM

Sections:

13.25.010    Authority.

13.25.020    Purpose.

13.25.030    Applicability.

13.25.040    Rate structure.

13.25.050    Rate adjustments and appeals.

13.25.060    Billing procedure.

13.25.070    Delinquencies and foreclosures.

13.25.080    Surface water management fund.

13.25.090    Administrative standards and procedures.

13.25.100    Severability.

13.25.010 Authority.

(1) There is hereby created and established the surface water management program of Sammamish under which the provisions of this chapter shall be carried out.

(2) The program created in this section shall be administered by the department.

(3) Whenever necessary to examine the property characteristics of a particular parcel for the purposes of implementing this chapter, the director may enter any property or portion thereof at reasonable times in compliance with the following procedures:

(a) If the property or portion thereof is occupied, the director shall present identification credentials, state the reason for entry and request entry;

(b) If the property or portion thereof is unoccupied, the director shall first make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other persons having charge or control of the property or portion thereof and request entry; and

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

(4) The director is authorized to enforce this chapter, the ordinances and resolutions codified in it and any rules and regulations promulgated thereunder pursuant to the enforcement and penalty provisions of SMC Title 23.

(5) The program may provide services related to surface and stormwater management, including but not limited to basin planning, facilities maintenance, regulation, financial administration, public involvement, drainage investigation and enforcement, aquatic resource restoration, surface and stormwater quality and environmental monitoring, natural surface water drainage system planning, intergovernmental relations, and facility design and construction. The program may contract for services with interested municipalities or special districts including but not limited to sewer and water districts, school districts, or other governmental agencies. (Ord. O2017-452 § 2 (Att. B); Ord. O2011-304 § 1 (Att. A))

13.25.020 Purpose.

The purpose is to promote public health, safety and welfare by establishing and operating a comprehensive approach to surface and stormwater problems which would reduce flooding, erosion and sedimentation, prevent and mitigate habitat loss, enhance groundwater recharge and prevent water quality degradation. This comprehensive approach includes the following elements: basin planning, land use regulation, construction of facilities, maintenance, public education, and provision of surface and stormwater management services. The most cost effective and beneficial approach to surface and stormwater management is through preventative actions and protection of the natural drainage system. In approaching surface and stormwater problems, the surface water management program shall give priority to methods which provide protection or enhancement of the natural surface water drainage system over means which primarily involve construction of new drainage facilities or systems. 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 surface and stormwater management services or to pay or secure the payment of all or any portion of any issue of general obligation or revenue bonds issued for such services. These rates and charges are necessary in order to promote the public health, safety and welfare by minimizing uncontrolled surface and stormwater, erosion, and water pollution; 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, urban separation and drainage facilities; and to provide for the comprehensive management and administration of surface and stormwater. (Ord. O2017-452 § 2 (Att. B); Ord. O2011-304 § 1 (Att. A))

13.25.030 Applicability.

(1) Developed parcels within the service area shall be billed each year for surface and stormwater management services pursuant to RCW 36.89.080. Surface and stormwater management services or service charges, or both, shall be imposed on developed parcels lying within cities and towns when the services or charges, or both, have been provided for by interlocal agreements between the City and the cities or towns. That portion of the rates or charges allocated to payment of debt service on revenue or general obligation bonds issued to finance stormwater control facilities in areas annexed or incorporated subsequent to the issuance of the bonds shall be imposed as set forth in this chapter.

(2) The service area shall be the corporate City limits of the City of Sammamish. (Ord. O2017-452 § 2 (Att. B); Ord. O2011-304 § 1 (Att. A))

13.25.040 Rate structure.

(1) Service charges for the surface water utility fee are hereby authorized and imposed, in amounts and on terms consistent with this chapter.

(2) The rates and service charges shall be based on the service provided and the relative contribution of stormwater runoff from a given parcel to the stormwater control facilities. The estimated or measured impervious surface area will be used to determine the relative contribution of stormwater runoff from the parcel.

(3) Service charges shall be determined as follows:

(a) Undeveloped Parcels. Undeveloped parcels shall not be charged.

(b) Roads. Roads shall not be charged.

(c) Single-Family Residences. The monthly service charge for each single-family residence shall be the unit rate for one equivalent service unit.

(d) Other Developed Parcels. The monthly service charge for all other developed parcels, including publicly owned properties, shall be computed by multiplying the unit rate times the number of equivalent service units applicable to the parcel less any approved rate adjustment for the parcel as determined under SMC 13.25.050.

(e) Minimum Charge. There shall be a minimum monthly service charge for all developed properties equal to the unit rate.

(f) Equivalent Service Unit. For the purpose of computation of non-single-family residential service charges, the number of equivalent service units shall be rounded to the nearest tenth (0.10). (Ord. O2017-452 § 2 (Att. B); Ord. O2011-304 § 1 (Att. A))

13.25.050 Rate adjustments and appeals.

(1) Any person billed for service charges may file a request for rate adjustment with the division within three years of the date from which the bill was sent. However, filing of such a request does not extend the period for payment of the charge.

(2) Requests for rate adjustment may be granted or approved by the director only when one of the following conditions exists:

(a) The parcel is owned and is the personal residence of a person or persons determined by the City as qualified for a low income senior citizen property tax exemption authorized under RCW 84.36.381. Parcels qualifying under this subsection (2)(a) shall be exempt from all charges imposed in this chapter;

(b) The actual impervious surface coverage of the parcel charges is in error;

(c) Non-single-family residential parcel is served by one or more flow control or water quality treatment facilities required under Chapter 13.20 SMC, or can be demonstrated by the property owner to provide flow control or water quality treatment of surface and stormwater to the standards in Chapter 13.20 SMC, and any such facility is maintained at the expense of the parcel owner to the standards required by the department. In addition to the previous requirement, any source control best management practices applicable to the facilities or activities occurring on the parcel must be implemented pursuant to the standards in Chapter 13.30 SMC to prevent contaminants from entering surface water, stormwater, or groundwater. Non-single-family residential parcels shall be eligible for a rate credit reduction.

Credit Calculation. The amount to be credited shall be a fixed percentage reduction based on the portion of program costs which can be reduced by the on-site activities of the customer base;

(d) The parcel is owned or leased by a public school district which provides activities which directly benefit the surface water management program. The activities may include: curriculum specific to the issues and problems of surface and stormwater management, and student activities in the community to expose students to the efforts required to restore, monitor or enhance the surface and stormwater management system. Pursuant to RCW 36.89.085, the amount of the rate adjustment shall be determined by the director based upon the cost of the activities to the school district but not to exceed the value of the activity to the surface water management program. Determination of which activities qualify for the surface water management service charge reduction will be made by the division. Reductions in surface water management service charges will only be granted to school districts which provide programs that have been evaluated by the division. The rate adjustment for the school district activity may be applied to any parcel in the service area which is owned or operated by the school district;

(e) The parcel is owned by a federally recognized tribe or member of such tribe and is located within the historical boundaries of a reservation and thus is not subject to the charges provided for in this chapter; or

(f) The service charge bill was otherwise not calculated in accordance with this chapter.

(3) The dollar amount of debt service on revenue or general obligation bonds issued to finance stormwater control facilities shall not be reduced by the rate adjustments referred to in subsection (2)(c) or (d) of this section.

(4) The property owner shall have the burden of proving that the rate adjustment sought should be granted.

(5) Decisions on requests for rate adjustments shall be made by the director based on information submitted by the applicant and by the division within 30 days of the adjustment request except when additional information is needed. The applicant shall be notified in writing of the director’s decision. If an adjustment is granted which reduces the charge for the current year or two prior years, the applicant shall be refunded the amount overpaid in the current and two prior years.

(6) If the director finds that a service charge bill has been undercharged, then either an amended bill shall be issued which reflects the increase in the service charge or the undercharged amount will be added to the next year’s bill. This amended bill shall be due and payable under this chapter. The director may include in the bill the amount undercharged for two previous billing years in addition to the current bill.

(7) Decisions of the director on requests for rate adjustments shall be final unless, within 30 days of the date the decision was mailed, the applicant submits in writing to the director a notice of appeal setting forth a brief statement of the grounds for appeal and requesting a hearing before the City hearing examiner. The examiner’s decision shall be a final decision pursuant to Chapter 20.10 SMC. (Ord. O2017-452 § 2 (Att. B); Ord. O2011-304 § 1 (Att. A))

13.25.060 Billing procedure.

(1) All property subject to charges of the program shall be billed based on the property characteristics existing on November 1st of the year prior to the billing year and at the rate as set forth in this chapter. Billing year is the year that the bills are sent. The service charge shall be displayed and billed on the annual property tax statement for the parcel and shall be mailed to the name and address shown on the real property tax roll at the time annual property tax bills are prepared. Parcels which are exempt from property taxes and do not receive an annual property tax statement will receive a bill only for the service charge. If a payment less than the sum of the total property tax plus service charge or less than the sum of one-half of the property tax plus one-half of the service charge is received for a combined property tax and service charge, and the parcel owner has not otherwise specified, the director of the office of finance shall first apply the payment to the annual property tax of the parcel pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 84.56 RCW and then apply any remaining amount to the service charge.

(2) The total amount of the service charge shall be due and payable to the director of the office of finance on or before the thirtieth day of April and shall be delinquent after that date; however, if one-half of such service charge is paid on or before the said thirtieth day of April, the remainder shall be due and payable on or before the thirty-first day of October and shall be delinquent after that date.

(3) Parcel characteristics affecting the service charge which are altered after November 1st of any year shall not be a basis for calculation of the service charge until after December 31st of the following year. (Ord. O2017-452 § 2 (Att. B); Ord. O2011-304 § 1 (Att. A))

13.25.070 Delinquencies and foreclosures.

(1) Delinquent service charges shall bear interest as provided in RCW 36.89.090 and 36.89.092 at the rate of 12 percent per annum, or such rate as may hereafter be authorized by law, computed on a monthly basis from the date of delinquency until paid. Interest shall be calculated at the rate in effect at the time of payment of the charges regardless of when the charges were first delinquent.

(2) Pursuant to RCW 36.89.090, the City shall have a lien for delinquent service charges, including interest thereon, against any property subject to service charges. The lien shall be superior to all other liens and encumbrances except general taxes and local and special assessments. Pursuant to RCW 36.89.090, such lien shall be effective and shall be enforced and foreclosed in the same manner as the foreclosure of real property tax liens as provided in RCW 36.94.150. The City may commence to foreclose a surface water management service charge lien after three years from the date surface water management charges become delinquent. Pursuant to RCW 36.94.150, collections shall include costs of foreclosure in addition to service charges and interest. (Ord. O2017-452 § 2 (Att. B); Ord. O2011-304 § 1 (Att. A))

13.25.080 Surface water management fund.

All service charges shall be deposited in the surface water management fund, which fund is hereby created to be used only for the purpose of paying all or any part of the cost and expense of providing surface water management services, or to pay or secure the payment of all or any portion of any issue of general obligation or revenue bonds issued for that purpose. Moneys in the fund not needed for immediate expenditure shall be invested for the benefit of the surface water management fund pursuant to the first paragraph of RCW 36.29.020 and such procedures and limitations as are contained in City ordinance, but sufficient funds shall be transferred no later than the end of the fiscal year in which they were first appropriated. The program’s funds balances and other financial resources will be invested conservatively to match strong security of principal with market rates of return. For investment purposes the City manager or designee is hereby designated the fund manager. (Ord. O2017-452 § 2 (Att. B); Ord. O2011-304 § 1 (Att. A))

13.25.090 Administrative standards and procedures.

Pursuant to Chapters 2.55 and 13.05 SMC, the director shall develop administrative standards and procedures relating to the implementation of this chapter. This includes but is not limited to:

(1) Procedures for the imposition and collection of service charges and/or for filing of liens and initiation of foreclosure on delinquent accounts and the collection of the debt service portion of the service charge in areas that annex or incorporate;

(2) Lake management plans for Beaver Lake and Pine Lake;

(3) Standards and procedures for granting discounts to the surface water management fee;

(4) Procedures for a grant program to help citizens in reducing the impact of excess storm and surface water runoff by removing impervious surfaces from their property. (Ord. O2017-452 § 2 (Att. B); Ord. O2011-304 § 1 (Att. A))

13.25.100 Severability.

If any provision of this chapter, or its application to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the remainder of this chapter and the application of the provisions to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected. (Ord. O2017-452 § 2 (Att. B); Ord. O2011-304 § 1 (Att. A))