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City of Portland

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17.33.100 Connection Enforcement.

(Amended by Ordinance Nos. 185397 and 186902, effective December 26, 2014.)

A.  The City shall attempt to resolve issues with affected property owners within BES to the extent possible.  The following enforcement steps shall be used:

1.  Administrative Review.  Affected property owners shall be offered the opportunity for administrative review with the applicable BES program manager to determine if agreement can be reached concerning the timing and actions to achieve a conforming connection to the public sewer.  If an affected property owner does not pursue an administrative review, BES shall issue its final determination setting forth the requirements and deadline to connect and finance or pay for fees.  Failure of the property owner to meet this deadline shall be deemed a violation of this Chapter.

2.  Final Determination.  The BES final determination shall be the substantive decision for City program code compliance proceedings before the City Code Hearings Officer pursuant to Title 22 of the City Code.  BES shall submit information addressing the following facts:

a.  The subject property has one or more on-site structures with plumbing facilities that require sanitary waste disposal pursuant to State Plumbing Code or related City Code.

b.  The subject property is not fully connected or has a nonconforming connection   to the City sewer system.

c.  The subject property has direct access via an intended route of service to a branch, or other component of the City sewer system abutting a property line or a permanent easement acquired for the benefit of the property.

d.  The deadlines described in the sewer availability notice, notice of connection deferral and/or the Notice to Remove Nuisance have expired without full compliance with the sewer connection requirement.

e.  The property owner does not have a current sewer connection deferral.

B.  If the nuisance described in the notice has not been removed or information is not provided establishing that such nuisance does not exist, the City may apply for an order authorizing the City to access private or public property to abate the nuisance.  The order will include the terms and requirements for abatement by the Code Hearings Officer. The Code Hearings Officer has discretion to modify connection dates, required actions by property owners, and types and timing of City abatement activities.

1.  The City will maintain an accurate record of all expenses incurred, including an overhead charge of 26 percent, an administration fee for each occurrence as specified in the administrative rules, sewer user charges and permit fees, which shall be assessed as a lien on the property in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 22.06.

2.  It is unlawful for any person to attempt to obstruct, impede, or interfere with any officer, employee, contractor, agent, or authorized representative of the City whenever they are engaged in the work of connecting a property to the public sewer or removing or abandoning an existing sewage disposal system under an abatement order of the Code Hearings Officer.

3.  Neither the City nor any of its officers, employees, contractors, agents, or authorized representatives are liable for any damage to the real property, improvements or personal property due to the non-negligent enforcement or administration of this Chapter.

C.  Except as provided elsewhere in this Title or when the public welfare is endangered; BES may at its discretion withhold any service that is provided by BES from the owner(s) (or the owner’s agent) of connection delinquent property.  This may include but is not limited to refusal to accept application for permits for development on property of the said owner(s) other than the connection delinquent property.  Withholding of other services may continue until the connection delinquency has been corrected.

D.  The City may seek, in any court of competent jurisdiction, a judgment against the person or property failing to connect to a sewer in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter.  In any such action, the measure of damages shall be the costs for abatement by the City, administrative costs, permit fees, overhead costs, penalties, and connection charges as determined by the Director or Code Hearings Officer.