Chapter 13.36
STORM DRAINAGE FEES

Sections:

13.36.010    Council findings of fact.

13.36.020    Purpose.

13.36.030    Definitions.

13.36.040    Review and approval of stormwater site plan.

13.36.050    System impacts – Developer contributions.

13.36.060    Service charge imposed.

13.36.070    Measurement of impervious surface.

13.36.080    Billing and collection.

13.36.090    Adjustment of charge.

13.36.100    Appeals – Filing requirements.

13.36.110    Appeals – Hearing.

13.36.120    Violation – Penalty – Enforcement.

13.36.010 Council findings of fact.

The city council finds as follows:

A. That all real property in the city contributes runoff to the common drainage problem, and that all real property in the city will benefit from the storm drainage utility.

B. That the intensity of development on all parcels of real property, as measured by the square footage of impervious surface area, is an appropriate basis for determination of an individual parcel’s contribution to the problem of storm and surface water runoff.

C. That each owner of a parcel of real property within the city should pay for his or her share of the costs of constructing, operating, maintaining, repairing, improving, and replacing drainage facilities in proportion to the amount of runoff contributed to the drainage system beyond that which would occur if the parcel were in its natural state.

D. Special districts exist within the city’s corporate limits. Special districts, formed for specific purposes other than the purposes of this title, have powers granted to them by the laws of the state of Washington. (Ord. 2356 § 8 (part), 2011: Ord. 2316 § 1 (part), 2010)

13.36.020 Purpose.

A. It is the purpose of this chapter to establish the system and structure of rates to be used in applying the storm drainage utility service charge to all developed parcels within the city limits. The system development charge (SDC) related to new capital costs and programs is addressed in chapter 13.48 SMC.

B. This chapter does not abrogate the right of any special district to establish and collect rates, fees, or assessments that are required to implement the purposes of the special district. Such rates, fees or assessments are in addition to the fees established in this chapter. (Ord. 2356 § 8 (part), 2011: Ord. 2316 § 1 (part), 2010)

13.36.030 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the words or phrases used shall have the same meanings as those delineated in chapters 13.32 and 13.48 SMC. (Ord. 2356 § 8 (part), 2011: Ord. 2316 § 1 (part), 2010)

13.36.040 Review and approval of stormwater site plan.

All stormwater site plans prepared in connection with any of the permits and/or approvals required by the city shall be submitted for review and approval by the public works department. A fee shall be charged at the time of permit issuance. See SMC 13.48.325 for additional information regarding fees. (Ord. 2356 § 8 (part), 2011: Ord. 2316 § 1 (part), 2010)

13.36.050 System impacts – Developer contributions.

The city is authorized to require mitigation of the off-site impacts that development may have on its drainage system. Payment by the developer of an equitable pro rata portion of specific off-site drainage improvements which become necessary due to specific new development may be authorized. Such mitigation of off-site impacts shall be made in addition to any on-site control features required by the city. Off-site impacts may be identified during a downstream analysis performed for the stormwater site plan or projects identified in the current stormwater comprehensive plan. (Ord. 2356 § 8 (part), 2011: Ord. 2316 § 1 (part), 2010)

13.36.060 Service charge imposed.

A. A storm drainage utility service charge is imposed on every parcel of land within the city, and the owner thereof, excepting only those properties identified as exemptions in chapter 13.32 SMC.

B. This charge is deemed reasonable and is necessary to fund construction, repair, replacement, operation, maintenance, inspection and improvement of all storm drainage and surface water management facilities, including the accumulation of reserves, the retirement of any debt, and NPDES permit compliance.

C. Excluding those properties exempted in chapter 13.32 SMC, all parcels of real property within city limits will be subject to a monthly stormwater service charge as identified in the Sumner utility rate and fee schedule. This charge includes both state business and occupation (B&O) tax and the city utility tax.

1. Single-Family Residential. Monthly stormwater service charges for single-family residential will be calculated per SMC 13.32.100(A) and (C).

2. Small Multifamily Residential. Monthly stormwater service charges for multifamily duplex (two) and triplex (three) residential units will be calculated per SMC 13.32.100(B).

3. Large Multifamily Residential. Monthly stormwater service charges for multifamily developments with four or greater dwelling units will be calculated per SMC 13.32.100(D).

4. Other Parcels, Including Institutional, Commercial, and Industrially Developed Parcels. The monthly charges for all other parcels except those exemptions itemized in chapter 13.32 SMC shall be based on a uniform rate for each ESU charged at the time of permit issuance of developed property:

a. The following credits are given to developed nonresidential parcels that meet the following criteria. For any developed nonresidential parcels that qualify for more than one credit, the total credit shall be determined as follows. No more than two credits shall be granted.

Base charge × (1 – credit #1) × (1 – credit #2)

i. Nonresidential parcels that are developed or retrofitted with low impact development (LID) facilities in accordance with city low impact development standards and honor the maintenance obligations and land use restrictions set forth in their LID agreement will receive a 50 percent credit off the total monthly billing.

ii. Nonresidential parcels and private storm systems serving any residential parcel having private outfalls will receive a 25 percent credit off the total monthly charge. “Private outfalls” are defined in chapter 13.48 SMC.

iii. Industrial parcels with a valid Washington State stormwater NPDES permit will receive a 50 percent credit off the total monthly charge. (Ord. 2752 § 1 (Exh. A) (part), 2020: Ord. 2586 § 1, 2016; Ord. 2520 § 3, 2015: Ord. 2356 § 8 (part), 2011: Ord. 2333 § 3, 2010; Ord. 2316 § 1 (part), 2010)

13.36.070 Measurement of impervious surface.

Through aerial photography and surface feature evaluation processes the city has measured the number of square feet of impervious surface on all parcels other than residential parcels. These areas are used as the basis for fee calculation. Area calculations are subject to future updates based on as-built plans, aerial photography, and/or surface feature evaluation processes. (Ord. 2356 § 8 (part), 2011: Ord. 2316 § 1 (part), 2010)

13.36.080 Billing and collection.

A. Storm drainage utility rates for each parcel of real property within the city shall be computed on a monthly basis. The amount to be billed shall be included on the existing water/sewer bill as a separate line item. A “stormwater only” statement will be sent to those property owners who are not city water, refuse, or sanitary sewer customers. All billings, collections, and delinquencies shall be handled in a manner consistent with this chapter and chapter 13.32 SMC, including the discontinuance of water service in the event where the amount remitted is less than the total of all utility service rates billed.

B. All moneys collected through this stormwater utility fee shall be deposited in the storm drainage fund as established in chapter 13.32 SMC. (Ord. 2356 § 8 (part), 2011: Ord. 2316 § 1 (part), 2010)

13.36.090 Adjustment of charge.

A. Any person who considers that charges applied to their parcel are inaccurate or otherwise disagrees with the determination may apply to the city’s public works department for a rate adjustment, stating, in writing, the grounds of the complaint. The public works department will review the case and report its findings to the city administrator for evaluation. The city administrator will consider the complaint and staff recommendations and determine whether an adjustment is necessary to provide for reasonable and equitable application of the storm drainage utility service charge.

B. For the purposes of this section, notice of determination shall be effective upon the date of mailing, postage prepaid to the address of the person seeking the determination. Notice of charges shall be the monthly account billing date; provided, that a reduction or increase in charges shall only be allowed from that billing date forward, for which an appeal is filed. (Ord. 2356 § 8 (part), 2011: Ord. 2316 § 1 (part), 2010)

13.36.100 Appeals – Filing requirements.

Appeals may be filed with the hearing examiner by any person aggrieved by a decision of the city administrator concerning the storm drainage utility charge. Such appeal shall be filed in writing in duplicate with the hearing examiner within 20 days from the action being appealed, together with a nonrefundable filing fee of $150.00. (Ord. 2356 § 8 (part), 2011: Ord. 2316 § 1 (part), 2010)

13.36.110 Appeals – Hearing.

A. Upon the filing of an appeal with the hearing examiner, the matter shall be set for hearing, and notice given. Upon receiving notice of the appeal, the city administrator will forthwith transmit to the hearing examiner all the records pertaining to the decision being appealed.

B. Not more than 30 days after the termination of the proceedings of the hearing on the appeal, the hearing examiner will announce his/her findings and decision and the record shall recite the findings and facts upon which the hearing examiner made his/her determination.

C. Following the rendering of a decision by the hearing examiner, a copy of the written decision shall be mailed to the appellant at the address shown on the notice of appeal filed with the hearing examiner and to the city administrator, and to any other person involved in the case who requires a copy.

D. The decision of the hearing examiner shall be final and conclusive unless within 10 days from the date of such action the appellant files a petition for writ of certiorari in Pierce County superior court for the state of Washington. The filing of such petition within such time limit shall stay the effective date of the order of the hearing examiner until such time as the appeal is then adjudicated or withdrawn.

E. Pending hearing and final decision, the owner shall pay all storm drainage utility charges. Failure to pay current drainage utility charges shall result in a dismissal of the appeal by the hearing examiner. (Ord. 2356 § 8 (part), 2011: Ord. 2316 § 1 (part), 2010)

13.36.120 Violation – Penalty – Enforcement.

A. Civil. Any violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be an infraction, and any person found in violation thereof shall be subject to a penalty not to exceed $250.00 per day.

B. Criminal. Any knowing violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be a misdemeanor, and any person found guilty thereof shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $1,000 or imprisonment in jail not to exceed 90 days or by both such fine and imprisonment.

C. Penalties Not Exclusive. The penalties authorized in subsections A and B of this section shall not be exclusive. The public works director is authorized to take such emergency measures as are necessary to ensure compliance with this chapter. Violation of the provisions of this chapter may also give rise to such other remedies or action necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter. (Ord. 2356 § 8 (part), 2011: Ord. 2316 § 1 (part), 2010)