Chapter 13.10
STORMWATER UTILITY

Sections:

13.10.005    Purpose.

13.10.010    Definitions.

13.10.020    Rate policy.

13.10.030    Determination of equivalent service area.

13.10.040    Undeveloped property.

13.10.045    Connection charges.

13.10.050    Rates and charges.

13.10.060    Property exempt from payment of rates.

13.10.070    Billing.

13.10.005 Purpose.

A. The purpose of this chapter is to establish such rates and charges applicable to different customer classes that generate stormwater and/or that receive stormwater service within the city service area. City stormwater service operations collect, convey, manage, and mitigate the quantity and quality of stormwater runoff; and meet the regulatory requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System municipal stormwater permit.

B. The city’s combined water, sewer and stormwater utility was established on February 24, 1997, by the city council’s adoption of Resolution 782. The combined utility’s purpose is, among other things, to support city stormwater management activities. City stormwater management activities include planning, design, construction, operations and maintenance, replacement, and administration of the public stormwater system, and activities necessary for compliance with the Western Washington Phase II National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System municipal stormwater permit. Such activities include, but are not limited to, public education and outreach; illicit discharge detection and elimination; stormwater site plan review; construction inspections; stormwater facility inspections; habitat restoration; and urban forest management. (Ord. 1198 § 15 (Exh. A), 2017).

13.10.010 Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter, the meaning of terms shall be as set forth below unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

A. “City” means the city of Snoqualmie, Washington.

B. “Developed” means the state, status, or condition of the subject property at the time the proposed project has been completed, which may include existing buildings, impervious areas, and topography as it may be affected.

C. “Drainage facility” means as defined in SMC 15.18.040.

D. “Equivalent service unit” or “ESU” means 2,600 square feet of impervious area, subject to the provisions of SMC 13.10.030. The ESU is the measure of impervious area upon which rates of the utility are based.

E. “Impervious area” means a hard surface area that either prevents or retards the entry of water into the soil mantle as under natural conditions before development; or that causes water to run off the surface in greater quantities or at an increased rate of flow compared to the flow present under natural conditions prior to development. Common impervious surfaces include, but are not limited to, rooftops, walkways, patios, driveways, parking lots or storage areas; areas that are paved, graveled or made of packed or oiled earthen materials; or other surfaces that similarly impede the natural infiltration of surface water or stormwater. Permeable pavement, vegetated roofs, and pervious surfaces with underdrains designed to partially or fully collect stormwater runoff are considered impervious surface while an open uncovered flow control or water quality facility is not.

F. “Rainwater harvesting system” means a system designed for collecting and storing roof runoff for domestic or irrigation uses.

G. “Rate” means the monthly fee levied by the stormwater utility upon all developed real property within the boundaries thereof.

H. “Storm drain system” means the system of gutters, pipes, streams, or ditches used to carry surface water and stormwater from surrounding lands to streams, lakes, or engineered treatment facilities.

I. “Undeveloped conditions” means the state, status or condition of the subject property prior to any development of the property that has occurred.

J. “Utility” means the stormwater utility, the boundaries of which shall be coextensive with the corporate limits of the city. (Ord. 1198 § 15 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 943 § 1, 2003; Ord. 809 § 1, 1998).

13.10.020 Rate policy.

It is the policy of the city that the rate structure to be applied in establishing rates to be paid by each parcel of developed real property within the utility shall be based upon the amount of impervious area contained within each parcel of real property. (Ord. 1198 § 15 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 809 § 1, 1998).

13.10.030 Determination of equivalent service area.

The utility shall determine the number of ESUs contained within each parcel of developed real property within the city. Any single-family detached residence shall be deemed to constitute one ESU, regardless of square footage of impervious surface. For each other parcel of developed real property, the utility shall measure the impervious area of such parcel to determine the number of ESUs contained therein by dividing the total impervious area of such parcel by 2,600 and rounding the result to the nearest whole number. The result shall be the number of ESUs contained on such property; provided each developed parcel shall be deemed to contain at least one ESU, regardless of such computation. (Ord. 1198 § 15 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 943 § 2, 2003; Ord. 809 § 1, 1998).

13.10.040 Undeveloped property.

Undeveloped properties shall be deemed not to make use of the service of the storm drain system, and no ESUs shall be assigned to such properties nor rates charged therefor. (Ord. 1198 § 15 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 943 § 3, 2003; Ord. 809 § 1, 1998).

13.10.045 Connection charges.

A. General.

1. There shall be a charge for each new stormwater connection in such amount as city council shall from time to time establish by ordinance.

2. The city shall collect connection charges in order that each connecting property shall bear its equitable share of the cost of the public stormwater system.

3. The connection charges collectible pursuant to this section shall be waived for stormwater connections within the Snoqualmie Ridge 1 and 2 Planning Areas, as shown on Figure 7.2 of the city’s comprehensive plan, Snoqualmie 2032, unless the stormwater connection is requested for any of the purposes set forth in subsection (B)(2) of this section, in which case the applicable connection charges shall not be waived.

B. A new customer is:

1. Any customer requesting a building permit for a new structure, parking lot, driveway, or construction of any impervious area; and/or

2. Any customer adding to the square footage or impervious area of an existing building, parking lot, driveway or creation of other impervious areas.

C. The general facilities charge (GFC) is a charge imposed upon new customers to recover the customer’s equitable share of the cost of the system and is used for funding construction of future general facilities.

D. Each new customer shall pay the general facilities charge in effect on the date of application for building or other permit, or change of service as provided herein.

E. The 2021 stormwater GFC shall be imposed in the amount shown below, per ESU, according to the following examples:

Customer Class

ESU Factor

General Facilities Charge

Single-family residential

1.00

$2,706

10-unit multi-family building

10.00

$27,060

F. Beginning on January 1, 2022, and on January 1st of each year thereafter, the 2021 stormwater GFC shall be increased based on the changes in the Engineering News-Record construction cost index for the Seattle area as determined the prior December. (Ord. 1248 § 4, 2021; Ord. 1198 § 15 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 1187 § 19, 2017).

13.10.050 Rates and charges.

The following monthly stormwater rates and charges are hereby imposed:

A. Except as provided in subsection B of this section, the following monthly storm water rates per equivalent service unit (ESU) are hereby imposed for all developed properties within the corporate limits of the city:

Rate

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

Per ESU

$24.12

$25.35

$26.64

$28.00

$29.43

$30.93

B. A “low income residential customer” means an individual:

1. Who owns or rents and resides in the residence where the discounted rate(s) are being requested;

2. Whose residence has a separate water meter;

3. Whose total household annual income meets the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development income limits for very low income in King County, Washington. Household annual income shall include that of a spouse or any co-resident(s), where “annual income” is defined as adjusted gross income as indicated in the most recent federal income tax return. In the absence of a federal income tax return, the finance director may consider other documentation of household annual income;

4. Who is not nor is any other adult member of the household claimed as a dependent on another federal income tax return; and

5. Who is named customer on the city’s utility bill or can prove that he or she is the named tenant in a lease or rental agreement for that residence.

C. The finance director shall create an application form and a renewal form for customers requesting the low income residential customer discount provided by subsection B of this section.

1. Applications shall be available at City Hall or mailed to any city customer upon request.

2. The low income residential customer seeking the discount must complete an application renewal form annually in order to continue receiving the discount.

3. A notice of renewal of application will be mailed annually by the city to low income residential customers then receiving the low income discount. The completed renewal application form and required attachments must be returned to the city within 30 days or the discount will no longer apply.

4. Discounts will commence on the next subsequent billing date following application.

5. A low income residential customer who applied for and received a low income discount in the prior year, and whose low income residential customer discount was discontinued as a result of the customer’s failure to submit the renewal form within the required 30 days may request a one-time-only retroactive application of the low income discount for not more than two billing cycles or two months.

6. A low income residential customer is not eligible for the low income discount if their annual water consumption is in excess of 100 ccf (hundred cubic feet) per year on a calendar year basis. An applicant may appeal the criteria to the finance director and must provide a convincing justification for the excess usage.

D. The stormwater bill of a low income residential customer whose application is determined by the finance director to meet the criteria of subsections B and C of this section will be discounted by 30 percent. (Ord. 1242 § 3, 2020; Ord. 1198 § 15 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 1187 § 20, 2017).

13.10.060 Property exempt from payment of rates.

The following categories of developed property shall be exempt from the payment of rates of the utility:

A. City street rights-of-way; and

B. State highway rights-of-way; provided the state of Washington shall agree to construct, maintain, repair and improve all drainage facilities contained within such street rights-of-way, at no cost to the city. (Ord. 1198 § 15 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 809 § 1, 1998).

13.10.070 Billing.

A. The rates imposed by this chapter shall be billed in conjunction with the city’s monthly billings to the property owner or occupant for water, sanitary sewer and garbage. The person or legal entity responsible for payment of the water, sanitary sewer and garbage bill for the parcel shall also be responsible for payment of the rates of the utility; provided the owner of the real property shall be liable for payment of the rates of the utility in all cases.

B. Charges for rates of the utility remaining unpaid 15 days after the current billing due date shall be deemed delinquent, and shall incur a late charge of one and one-half percent per month.

C. The city shall have a lien upon the real property served for unpaid charges for rates of the utility, which lien may be foreclosed as provided by state law.

D. In the event the city shall bring legal action to collect charges for rates of the utility, the city shall be entitled to recover, in addition to the rates determined to be due and owing, its reasonable attorneys’ fees and other costs of collection. (Ord. 1198 § 15 (Exh. A), 2017; Ord. 809 § 1, 1998).