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17.36.040 Sewer System Connection Charges.

(Amended by Ordinance Nos. 186403, 189050 and 189323, effective December 19, 2018.)  Connection charges are for establishing a new connection, new use or expanding existing uses of the public sewer and City stormwater facilities.  A property may be subject to one or more of these charges depending on the connections made.

A.  The methodology for calculating connection charges is set forth in the Sanitary and Stormwater System Development Charge Methodology administrative rules (PPD item ENB – 4.05).

B.  Payment is required upon issuance of a building or connection permit or, for connections related to City sewer extension projects, prior to or at the time a property physically connects to the public system.

1.  Prepayment.  A person may pre-pay connection charges by providing a letter of intent that includes the parcel description and address, if applicable, and the estimated number of EDUs or impervious area. The Director may grant a refund at any time for excess charges at the rate in effect at the time of building permit or connection. Prepayment of connection charges does not guarantee reserved system capacity or usage of City sewer or drainage services. The Director may accept a cash or surety bond posted by the owner of the occupancy in lieu of immediate payment of the charge if:

a.  The appropriate number of EDUs for the occupancy cannot be determined before the permit is issued; or

b.  The Director has determined the number of equivalent dwelling units for the occupancy but the applicant does not agree with the Director’s determination.

2.  True-up.  Within 2-1/2 years after connection, the Director will determine the number of EDUs and the amount of the SDCs due, using water consumption records or other evidence.  Upon notice, the applicant must pay the SDCs within 60 days or the bond will be forfeited upon approval by the Director and the Commissioner-in-Charge.

3.  Deferral of connection charges.  Users who qualify to defer SDC or other sewer connection charges but who want to connect to the system can defer payment of connection charges until such date as the Director may specify as authorized by ordinance.  The charge in effect at the time of connection is applied at time of payment. Deferred connection charges are delinquent when not paid after a period of 90 days from the date due and bear interest and penalties as set forth in this Chapter.  Users may convert the deferral to an installment payment loan.  The Director will establish rules, procedures and forms to govern the administration of the deferral program.

C.  Sanitary System Development Charge (SDC).

1.  A person must pay sanitary SDCs for:

a.  Connecting a building property to a sanitary or combined sewer;

b.  Increasing sewer usage by alteration, expansion, improvement, or conversion of a building already connected to the sewer; or

c.  Increasing flow to a sanitary or combined sewer by causing contaminated stormwater or groundwater to enter the sewer.

2.  Sanitary SDCs are calculated based on the number of EDUs.

a.  EDUs for nonresidential uses will be calculated from Plumbing Fixture Units (PFUs), as defined by the Oregon Plumbing Specialty Code in effect at the time of the permit application.

b.  Industrial wastewater.  Industrial wastewater dischargers are subject to review of sewer usage within two years of occupancy.  EDUs are calculated from the highest 6-month average of metered usage over that period.  The user of record is responsible for EDUs in excess of those paid at the issuance of the permit.

c.  EDUs for groundwater or other permitted discharges to sanitary or combined sewer are calculated based on estimated discharge volume.

3.  Temporary use.  Temporary structures and connections are not subject to sanitary SDCs. However, sanitary SDCs, including penalties and interest charges, become due and payable for structures or connections that are not removed within three years. Temporary structures and temporary connections are not exempt from paying user charges, including extra strength charges.

4.  Credits.  Sanitary SDC credits may be rewarded for:

a.  Prior sewer connections.  Full credit may be awarded for each EDU purchased and in existence prior to its demolition or disconnection.

b.  Prior sewer user charge payments.  A credit of $21 per EDU for each year of sanitary sewer user charge payments from 1949 to 1991 may be awarded for buildings not demolished or disconnected prior to July 1, 1971.

D.  Sanitary Line Charge.

1.  Residential Property.  The line charge is based on the square footage of that portion of the property receiving service that lies within 100 feet of the public right-of-way or easement where a sewer has been constructed or is planned.  Such street or easement line is considered as continuing 100 feet beyond the end of the main line sewer or beyond where the sewer turns away from the property.  The minimum line charge is based on a minimum assumed lot size of 1,200 square feet.

2.  Non-Residential Property.  The line charge is based on the square footage of the portion of the property receiving service that lies within 300 feet of the public right-of-way or easement where a sewer has been constructed or is planned. Such street or easement line is considered as continuing 300 feet beyond the end of the main line sewer or beyond where the sewer turns away from the property.  The minimum line charge is based on a minimum lot size of 3,600 square feet.

3.  When an adjacent, developed lot, as defined in Title 33 of this Code, is under the same ownership and used in conjunction with a neighboring, developed lot that is connected to the sewer, the adjacent lot is charged a line charge for its frontage as described above.  This condition includes but is not limited to improved parking lots, and lots with garages or landscaping.

4.  Lack of gravity service.  When a sewer is constructed that can not provide full gravity service, the line charge is reduced by:

a.  50 percent if the property has gravity service to the first floor only and must install a pump for the basement; and

b.  75 percent if no gravity service is available for the first floor and the property must install a pump.

The adjustment may not exceed the costs associated with the installation of a pump system. The ratepayer may appeal this determination to the Director.

E.  Branch charge.  BES collects a branch charge for providing a branch sewer to the property, but only if the property was not assessed for the branch or its equivalent previously.

1.  Additional charges may be assessed to cover the City’s design and construction costs for branches that were requested by the user but not ultimately used. These charges must be paid before the property may be connected to the public system.

2.  BES collects a branch charge for City adoption of private nonconforming sewer lines located within the public right-of-way as provided under Subsection 17.32.055 B.2.

3.  Sampling manhole charge.  When a property is subject to an extra strength charge as described in Subsection 17.36.060 A., the user may request that the City install a sampling manhole on the branch. The user must pay all direct and indirect costs of installing the manhole.

F.  Sewer Conversion Charges.  A property owner must pay sanitary sewer conversion charges according to the following two categories and as determined by administrative rule at the time the City provides a new sewer connection or when the property owner requests a permit for a new conforming sewer connection.

1.  Residential Conversion Charges.  Single-family, duplex, three-plex, or four-plex properties are assessed the residential sewer conversion charge, which is the branch charge in place at the time of connection.

2.  Commercial Conversion Charges.   All multifamily, commercial, mixed-use, industrial, and institutional properties are assessed according to administrative rule and are calculated to recover costs for City sewer extension projects that serve the property.   The commercial conversion charge replaces line, branch, system development and connection charges in this context. 

G.  Stormwater System Development Charge.  The stormwater SDC consists of two parts: an onsite charge, reflecting use of public facilities handling stormwater flows from individual properties; and an off-site charge, reflecting use of system facilities handling stormwater flows from rights-of-way.

1.  The onsite charge is calculated by multiplying the net new impervious area by a rate per thousand square feet of impervious area.  In the case of groundwater flows directed into stormwater facilities, the charge is calculated based on the amount of impervious area necessary to produce an equivalent flow given average rainfall.

2.  The offsite charge is calculated in two parts: local access, and use of arterial streets.

a.  The local access portion of the offsite charge is calculated by multiplying the length of the property’s frontage by a per lineal foot rate. For properties on which there is existing development and for which a stormwater SDC has previously been paid, the local access portion will be waived.

b.  The arterials portion of the offsite charge is calculated by multiplying net new vehicular trips by a rate per vehicular trip.  Vehicular trips for a particular development are determined by the Transportation SDC Study, the ITE Manual, or an alternative study acceptable to the Bureau of Transportation.

3.  Credits.  Credits may be granted for the onsite portion of the stormwater SDC in one of the following two cases:

a.  Credits of up to 100 percent of the onsite portion of the stormwater SDC may be granted for areas draining, either in whole or in part, directly to the Willamette or Columbia Rivers or to the Columbia Slough. Only discharges that do not pass through City-financed stormwater facilities and meet all applicable water quality standards are eligible for credits. Credit applications must adequately demonstrate the satisfaction of these conditions.  Development using stormwater facilities built under a public works permit that convey stormwater runoff directly to the Willamette or Columbia Rivers or the Columbia Slough without passing through other City stormwater facilities is eligible for up to 100 percent credit for the onsite charge.

b.  A 100 percent credit may be granted for areas draining to facilities providing effective on-site retention for a 100 year storm event with a safety factor of two, defined as a rainfall intensity of 8.28" per hour per square foot of impervious area. Those applying for this credit must provide adequate documentation to demonstrate this additional retention capacity, including testing of infiltration facilities, and that on-site flows are directed to these facilities.

c.  No credits may be granted for the offsite portion of the stormwater SDC.

H.  Partial and Full Exemptions for Affordable Housing Developments. Permanent affordable housing developments may be eligible for a waiver of sanitary and stormwater SDCs pursuant to Section 30.01.095.

I.  Exemptions for Mass Shelters, Short-term Housing, and certain Accessory Dwelling Units.  Mass shelters, short-term housing, and accessory dwelling unit may be eligible for a waiver of sanitary and stormwater SDCs pursuant to Section 17.14.070.