13. Stormwater Management Program
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STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
8-13-2 WORDS AND PHRASES DEFINED
8-13-3 ESTABLISHING STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
8-13-4 ESTABLISHING STORMWATER UTILITY FEE
8-13-5 ADMINISTRATIVE AND JUDICIAL REVIEW
8-13-7 UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES
8-13-1: PURPOSE. (2875)
(A) The City of Westminster hereby adopts this Chapter in order to construct, operate, and maintain stormwater facilities for its own use and for the use of public and private users within and without the territorial boundaries of the City, and to provide for a method whereby the City may prescribe, revise, and collect in advance or otherwise, from any owner of any real property receiving service therefrom, rates, fees, and charges or any combination thereof for the services furnished by stormwater facilities, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, minimum charges, charges for the availability of service, and reasonable penalties for any delinquencies, including but not limited to interest on delinquencies from any date due, reasonable attorneys' fees, and other costs of collection, and providing that the City Council of the City may modify, supervise, or regulate any such rates, fees, or charges.
(B) Furthermore, this Chapter will promote the general public health, safety and welfare by reducing the potential for the movement of emergency vehicles to be impeded or inhibited during storm or flooding periods; by minimizing storm and flood losses, inconvenience, and damage resulting from runoff; and by promoting activities which improve the water quality of runoff in the City of Westminster.
(C) Notwithstanding the above, floods from runoff may occur that exceed the capacity of stormwater facilities constructed and maintained by funds made available pursuant to this chapter. This Chapter does not imply that property subject to the fees and charges established herein will be free from stormwater flooding or flood damage. This Chapter shall not create any liability on the part of the City or any officer or employee thereof for any flood damage.
8-13-2 WORDS AND PHRASES DEFINED: (3315) For the purposes of this Chapter, the following words and terms shall be defined as follows, unless the context in which they are used clearly indicates otherwise:
"Base Rate" means the monthly rate of assessment associated with each runoff area unit (RAU) calculated for a property.
"Director" means the Director of the Department of Community Development of the City of Westminster, Colorado, or his/her designee.
"Development" means any man-made change to real property including, but not limited to, buildings or other structures, streets, parking lots, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, or excavating.
"Impervious Surface" means surfaces on or in real property where the rate of infiltration of stormwater into the earth has been reduced by the works of man. For purposes of this chapter, buildings, man-made structures, driveways, patio areas, roofs, concrete or asphalt sidewalks, parking lots or storage areas, and other bricked, oiled, macadam or hard-surfaced areas which impede passage of stormwaters into the earth's surface are deemed to be impervious.
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"Project Costs" means those costs of administration, management, planning, engineering, construction, reconstruction, right-of-way acquisition, replacement, contingencies, fiscal, legal, and all operation and maintenance costs of stormwater facilities including those costs to comply with federal, state or City laws regulating stormwater facilities or runoff.
"Runoff" means that part of snowfall, rainfall or other stormwater that is not absorbed, transpired, evaporated, or left in surface depressions, and that then flows controlled or uncontrolled into a street, storm sewer, watercourse or body of water.
"Runoff Area Unit (RAU)" means the average area of impervious surface on a single-family detached residential property as determined by random sampling of such properties in the City.
"Stormwater Facilities" means any one or more of the various devices used in the collection, treatment, or disposition of storm, flood or surface drainage waters, including all manmade structures or natural watercourses for the conveyance of runoff, such as: detention areas, berms, swales, improved watercourses, channels, bridges, gulches, wetland areas, streams, gullies, flumes, culverts, gutters, pumping stations, pipes, ditches, siphons, catch basins and street facilities; all inlets; collection, drainage, or disposal lines; intercepting sewers; disposal plants; settling basins; outfall sewers; all pumping, power, and other equipment and appurtenances; all extension, improvements, remodeling, additions, and alterations thereof; and any and all rights or interests in such stormwater facilities.
"Utility Fee" or "Fee" means the stormwater utility fee created by this Chapter.
"Watercourse" means a stream having a body or banks and usually discharging into some other stream or body of water.
8-13-3 ESTABLISHING STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PROGRAM: (2875) There is hereby established a Stormwater Management Program in the City of Westminster. Through said program, the City shall construct, operate, and maintain stormwater facilities and pay other project costs and perform other functions or duties authorized by law. Such program shall be owned by the City and operated in accordance with all applicable laws.
8-13-4 ESTABLISHING STORMWATER UTILITY FEE: (2875 3315)
(A) Fee established. There is hereby imposed on the owner of each and every lot or parcel of land within the City containing an impervious surface, a stormwater utility fee. This fee is deemed reasonable and is necessary to pay for the project costs of existing and future City stormwater facilities. All of the proceeds of the service fee are for payment for use of the City's stormwater facilities by the owners of real property upon which the fee is imposed.
(B) Basis for fee. The basis for the amount of the fee is the extent to which each parcel of land within the City makes use of the stormwater facilities, such use to be defined by the amount of impervious surface on the property. The fee is also based on the cost of including the parcel in the property and billing records, plans, and monitoring activities of the stormwater management program.
(C) Exemptions. All public highways, roadways, streets, alleys, railroad rights-of-way, irrigation canals, and undeveloped property shall be exempt from all charges imposed by this Chapter.
(D) How fee collected. The fee shall be payable monthly and shall be billed and collected with the City water and sewer bill.
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(E) Calculation of fee. For purposes of imposing the stormwater utility fee, all lots and parcels within the City are classified into two (2) classes; namely, single-family detached residential (SFDR) and all others (non-SFDR).
The Director or his designee is directed to prepare a list of lots and parcels within the City and assign the appropriate classification to each lot or parcel, as follows:
- Each single-family detached residential property shall be billed a flat fee as established herein for the average impervious area on the property. The single-family detached residential average area shall be referred to as the runoff area unit (RAU). The RAU will be determined by digitally measuring and summing the impervious area on a random sample of approximately 450 single-family detached residences in the City and averaging the total. The monthly fee to be charged for each single-family detached residential property shall be referred to as the current base rate per month. Both the RAU and the base rate will be established by ordinance or resolution of City Council. Prior to consideration of an ordinance or resolution to subsequently modify the RAU or the base rate, the City shall publicize the proposed fee modification and provide an opportunity for public input regarding the proposed fee change.
- For all other properties not covered by Paragraph (E)1 of this Section, the fee shall be determined by dividing the calculated total square footage of impervious area on the property by the runoff area unit (RAU), multiplying the result by the base rate, and apportioning the result to the utility accounts which serve the property. The billing rate for non-SFDR properties may be updated by the Director based on any additions/subtractions to the impervious area.
(F) Additional fees. The stormwater utility fee shall be subject to additional fees for delinquent payment, uncollectible checks, liens and any other penalties which are the same as those imposed with City water or sewer utility charges.
8-13-5 ADMINISTRATIVE AND JUDICIAL REVIEW: (2875 3315)
(A) Right to petition. A property owner may petition the Director for a revision or modification of the stormwater utility fee no later than thirty (30) days after having been billed for such charge. Any such petition may only be filed once in connection with the issue or issues presented in the petition, except upon a showing of changed circumstances sufficient to justify the filing of an additional petition. The basis for the petition is limited to the following issues:
- For single-family detached residential. An owner of single-family detached residential property may petition on the basis that his/her property has been incorrectly classified as such.
- For all other properties (non-SFDR). An owner of property other than single-family detached residential may petition on the following basis:
- The impervious area on the property has been improperly measured or calculated.
- The property is exempt from the fee pursuant to W.M.C. § 8-13-4(C).
- The property is improperly classified as non-SFDR.
- A computational error was made in calculating the amount charged.
(B) In writing. Such petition shall be in writing. Any relevant information in support of the petition shall be submitted with the petition.
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(C) Informal meeting. The Director or his designee may attempt to resolve the issues raised in the petition via a telephone conference or the Director may recommend an informal meeting with the property owner. The Director shall make a final decision on the petition within thirty (30) days of receipt of the petition and may confirm or modify such fee or determination in accordance with the facts submitted. Such decision by the Director shall be in writing and notice thereof shall be mailed to or served upon the petitioner within ten (10) days from the date of the Director's action. Service by certified mail, return receipt requested, shall be conclusive evidence of notice for the purpose of this Chapter. Such action by the Director shall be considered final and the remaining total liability, if any, shall be paid on or before thirty (30) days after the date of the decision.
8-13-6 ENFORCEMENT: (2875 3315) In the event any owner or owners of any lot, parcel of land, or any real property within the legal boundaries of the City shall neglect, fail, or refuse to pay the fees fixed by this Chapter, the City may pursue any remedy available at law or equity to enforce and collect the fee. The City may also recover, in addition to fees due, all court cost, attorney fees, and interest on the amount owing.
(A) Lien declared. The City Council hereby finds and determines that it is the policy of the City that all stormwater facilities supplied and furnished by the City and supported by the stormwater utility fee shall be deemed to be supplied and furnished to the real property so served without regard to the actual person, business, organization or entity billed for stormwater facilities. Accordingly, in addition to other civil collection procedures, all fees and charges, together with all interest and penalties for default in payment, and all costs in collecting the same, until paid, shall constitute a perpetual lien on the property, on a parity with the tax lien of general, state, county, city, town, or school taxes, and no sale of such property to enforce any general, state, county, city, town or school tax or other liens shall extinguish the perpetual lien for such fees, charges, interest, penalties, and costs.
(B) Termination of water service. In addition to the other remedies specified herein or otherwise permitted by law, the City may, in accordance with the procedure set forth in W.M.C. § 8-7-9 terminate water service to any building, improvement, facility, land, real property, lot or parcel for which the stormwater utility fee is not paid. Reinstatement of service shall occur upon payment of all delinquent charges and a reinstatement fee as set by resolution of City Council.
(C) Delinquent charges and fees may be collected as any other utility bill owed to the City at the option of the City.
(D) Enforcement of this Subsection shall be in the municipal court of the City or the district court of Jefferson County or Adams County. No remedy provided herein shall be exclusive, but the same shall be cumulative; and the taking of any action hereunder shall not preclude or prevent the taking of other action hereunder to enjoin any violation of that ordinance.
8-13-7 UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES: (2875) It is anticipated there will be situations which are not addressed by the procedures and criteria in this Ordinance. In these cases, the Director is delegated the authority to analyze and decide those cases.