Chapter 9.16
STORM DRAINAGE UTILITY

Sections:

9.16.010    Definitions.

9.16.020    Wenatchee, Washington storm drainage utility created.

9.16.030    Rate policy.

9.16.040    Classification of parcels.

9.16.050    Undeveloped real property.

9.16.060    Service charge rates.

9.16.070    Property exempt from service charges and exemptions to the fee calculation.

9.16.080    Collection.

9.16.090    Annual review of charges and fees.

9.16.100    Authority to promulgate regulations.

9.16.110    Effective date of service charge.

9.16.120    Service charge rates for Olds Station annexation area.

9.16.010 Definitions.

The following words when used herein shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1) The “city” shall mean the city of Wenatchee, Washington, a municipal corporation created and existing under the laws of the state of Washington.

(2) “Developed” shall mean that condition of real property altered from its natural state by the addition to or construction on such property of impervious groundcover or any other manmade physical improvements such that the hydrology of the property portion thereof is affected.

(3) An “equivalent residential unit” shall mean and be equal to 4,200 square feet of impervious groundcover and is the measure of impervious groundcover to be used by the utility in assessing service charges against each parcel of property.

(4) “Impervious groundcover” shall mean those hard surfaced areas either which prevent or retard the entry of water into the soil in the manner that such water entered the soil under natural conditions preexistent to development, or which cause water to run off the surface in greater quantities or at an increased rate of flow than that present under natural conditions preexistent to development, including without limitation such surfaces as rooftops, asphalt or concrete sidewalks, paving, driveways and parking lots, walkways, patio areas, storage areas, and gravel, oiled macadam or other surfaces which similarly affect the natural infiltration or runoff patterns existing prior to development.

(5) Repealed by Ord. 2003-24.

(6) The “system” shall mean the entire system of storm drainage facilities owned by the utility or over which the utility has control or right of use for the movement and retention of storm and surface waters including both naturally occurring and manmade facilities.

(7) “Undeveloped” shall mean that condition of real property unaltered by the construction or addition to such property by man of impervious groundcover or physical manmade improvements of any kind which change the hydrology of the property from its natural state.

(8) The “utility” means the city of Wenatchee, Washington storm drainage utility, which includes all property within the Wenatchee urban growth boundary as defined in the Wenatchee Urban Area Comprehensive Plan 1993 as it now exists or is hereafter changed. (Ord. 2020-24 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2003-24 § 2; Ord. 3090 § 1, 1994; Ord. 3025 § 1, 1994)

9.16.020 Wenatchee, Washington storm drainage utility created.

(1) Property Transferred to Utility. All properties, interest, physical and intangible rights of every kind or nature owned or held by the city, however acquired, insofar as they relate to or concern storm or surface water sewerage, further including without limitation all such properties, interest and rights acquired by adverse possession or by prescription, directly or through another, in and to the drainage or storage, or both, of storm or surface waters, or both, through, under or over lands, land forms, water courses, sloughs, streams, ponds, rivers, lakes, and swamps, all beginning in each case or instance at a point where storm or surface waters first enter the storm or surface water system of the city and ending in each case or instance at a point where each storm or surface water exit from the storm or surface water system of the city, and in width to the full extent of inundation caused by storm or flood conditions are hereby transferred to and subject to the administration of the city storm drainage utility as created by this chapter and all other institutions and departments of the city having primary responsibility therefor within the city are, to the same extent, released from such primary responsibility.

(2) Responsibility. The utility will have primary authority and responsibility for carrying out the city’s comprehensive drainage and storm sewer plan, including responsibilities for planning, design, construction, maintenance, administration, and operation of all city storm and surface water facilities, as well as establishing standards for design, construction, and maintenance of improvements on private property where these may affect storm and surface water and management.

(3) Administrator of Utility. The director of public works shall be the administrator of the utility. (Ord. 2020-24 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 3025 § 2, 1994)

9.16.030 Rate policy.

It shall be the policy of the city that the rate structure to be applied in establishing the amount of service charges assessed against each parcel of developed real property within the boundaries of the utility shall be based upon the amount of impervious groundcover contained within each parcel of property as measured by WCC 9.16.040, except for those properties set forth in WCC 9.16.070. (Ord. 2020-24 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 3025 § 3, 1994)

9.16.040 Classification of parcels.

The utility shall measure the impervious groundcover of each parcel of developed real property within the boundaries of the utility to determine the number of equivalent residential units contained therein; 4,200 square feet of impervious groundcover shall equal one equivalent residential unit.

(1) All detached single-family residences are deemed to contain one equivalent residential unit.

(2) Mobile homes, cottage housing, manufactured homes, townhomes and multifamily buildings where units are individually metered by a utility-owned water meter shall be billed one equivalent residential unit per dwelling.

(3) For all other developed real properties within the utility boundaries, the utility shall determine the number of equivalent residential units contained thereon by dividing the number of square feet of impervious groundcover on each property by 4,200; the total thus obtained will be rounded to the nearest tenth representing the equivalent residential units contained on such property. Each developed parcel of property shall be deemed to contain a minimum of one equivalent residential unit. (Ord. 2020-24 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 3025 § 4, 1994)

9.16.050 Undeveloped real property.

In accordance with the policy established in WCC 9.16.030 that the service charges be determined by the amount of impervious groundcover contained on each parcel of real property, those properties remaining in an undeveloped condition are deemed not to make use of the services of the utility or of the facilities of the system beyond that used by such property in the natural state. Therefore, no service charge shall be imposed upon that real property within the boundaries of the utility which is undeveloped. (Ord. 2020-24 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 3025 § 5, 1994)

9.16.060 Service charge rates.

In accordance with the rate structure set forth in WCC 9.16.030 and 9.16.040, there are hereby levied upon all developed real property within the boundaries of the utility the following service charges, which shall be collected from the owners of such properties:

(1) For all parcels classified under WCC 9.16.040(1) and (2), the monthly service charge shall be $11.31 per equivalent residential unit.

(2) For all other developed property within the boundaries of the utility, except as set forth in WCC 9.16.070, the monthly service charge shall be $11.31 multiplied by the number of equivalent residential units determined by the utility to be contained in such parcel pursuant to WCC 9.16.040.

(3) The service charge per equivalent residential unit as provided in subsections (1) and (2) of this section shall be increased to $12.96 on January 1, 2022, and to $13.11 on January 1, 2023. On January 1st of each year, beginning on January 1, 2024, the rates shall be automatically increased by three and one-half percent.

(4) Qualifying low income senior or disabled citizens shall receive a discount as established in WCC 9.02.010. (Ord. 2020-24 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2016-14 § 1; Ord. 2010-41 § 1; Ord. 2007-04 § 4; Ord. 2003-24 § 1; Ord. 3025 § 6, 1994)

9.16.070 Property exempt from service charges and exemptions to the fee calculation.

(1) The following special categories of property are exempt from service charges:

(a) City street rights-of-way, all of which are part of the system pursuant to the plan;

(b) State of Washington highway rights-of-way, so long as the state of Washington shall agree to maintain, construct and improve all drainage facilities contained within such rights-of-way as required by the utility in conformance with all utility standards for maintenance, construction and improvement hereafter established by the utility and so far as such maintenance, construction and improvements shall be achieved at no cost to the utility or to the city;

(c) All railroad rights-of-way so long as each railroad exempted hereby shall agree to maintain, construct and improve all drainage facilities as required by the utility and in conformance with all utility standards for the maintenance, construction and improvements of such facilities hereafter established by the utility, at no cost to the utility or to the city, and so long as each railroad shall grant to the city, on behalf of the utility, a perpetual easement for the purposes of storm drainage over the entire railroad right-of-way within the boundaries of the utility;

(d) Wenatchee reclamation district rights-of-way, so long as the district shall agree to maintain, construct and improve all drainage facilities contained within such rights-of-way as required by the utility in conformance with all utility standards for maintenance, construction and improvement hereafter established by the utility and so far as such maintenance, construction and improvements shall be achieved at no cost to the utility or to the city.

(2) The following surfaces and structures shall not be included in the calculation of impervious groundcover:

(a) Swimming pools and lagoons if not covered;

(b) Playgrounds, park shelters, splash pads, and trails in a park;

(c) Sports fields and tracks;

(d) Clubhouses for single-family residential developments;

(e) Landscaped areas with rock or gravel;

(f) Graveled areas under equipment at electrical substations. (Ord. 2020-24 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 3025 § 7, 1994)

9.16.080 Collection.

(1) All service charges and all other fees or charges hereafter established by the city council by ordinance shall be deemed to be levied upon the premises themselves.

(2) The city shall have a lien as established by RCW 35.67.215 and Ordinance 2016-15 as authorized by RCW 35.67.215 for all delinquent and unpaid charges and fees for storm drainage purposes, including without limitation service charges, assessed against all premises to which service was furnished, which lien shall have the superiority established by RCW 35.67.200 and shall be foreclosed in the manner provided in RCW 35.67.220 et seq. Delinquent charges shall bear interest no more than RCW 35.67.200 allows and should the city foreclose the lien as authorized by this chapter, the city shall be entitled to its reasonable costs and attorney’s fees as authorized by RCW 35.67.250.

(3) As an additional and concurrent method of enforcing its lien upon any premises for delinquent storm drainage charges, the utility is authorized, in accordance with law and in the manner provided by WCC 9.02.020, to shut off water service to such premises for so long as any delinquent fees or charges remain unpaid. (Ord. 2020-24 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2016-14 § 2; Ord. 3025 § 8, 1994)

9.16.090 Annual review of charges and fees.

The charges and fees established by this chapter and any other ordinances of the city commission establishing charges and fees for the utility shall be reviewed annually by the utility. Subsequent to such review, the utility shall present to the city commission a yearly budget for the utility and proposed amendments to any rates and charges necessary to enable the city to pay all costs to be incurred by the utility. (Ord. 2020-24 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 3025 § 9, 1994)

9.16.100 Authority to promulgate regulations.

The city of Wenatchee is hereby authorized to promulgate any and all regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 2020-24 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 3025 § 10, 1994)

9.16.110 Effective date of service charge.

The service charge herein established shall apply to all storm drainage services on or after the effective date of this chapter. (Ord. 2020-24 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 3025 § 11, 1994)

9.16.120 Service charge rates for Olds Station annexation area.

All properties annexed under Wenatchee City Ordinance 2016-07 shall receive a 26 percent discount in 2021 and a 14 percent discount in 2022. Beginning January 1, 2023, all properties in the city of Wenatchee shall pay the same rates as set forth in WCC 9.16.060. (Ord. 2020-24 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2016-09 § 1)