[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Watertown as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted by Ord. No. 01-28 (§ 17.09 of the former City Code); amended by Ord. No. 04-9; Ord. No. 06-20A]
Pursuant to the authority granted in § 66.0617, Wis. Stats., the purpose of this article is to establish a mechanism for the imposition of impact fees, due to increased land development within the service area of the City of Watertown and the Water Utility of the City of Watertown, upon such new land development to finance the capital costs of acquiring, establishing, upgrading, expanding, and constructing additional water treatment facilities, wells, pumping stations, and storage systems which are necessary to accommodate such new land development. In order to assure that the new land development bears an appropriate share of the capital costs necessary to provide water treatment facilities, wells, pumping stations, and storage systems within the City of Watertown and its service area, required to serve the need for water supply services arising out of this new land development, it is necessary to adopt an impact fee structure so that the Water Utility can recover these additional capital costs from the owners/developers of new land development within the City of Watertown, as they are required to serve the needs arising out of this new land development on an equitable basis. In order to establish the needs of the service area, amount, implementation schedule and timing for imposition of an impact fee for water supply services, the City conducted a study and needs assessment, which has been summarized in the Facilities Needs Assessment Report (August 2000), prepared by Engineering Consultants, and the Report on Impact Fees (November 2000) prepared by Virchow, Krause & Company, LLP, on file in the office of the Water Systems Manager.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CAPITAL COSTS
- The capital costs to construct, expand or improve water treatment facilities, wells, and distribution and storage systems, including the cost of land, and including legal, engineering and design costs to construct, expand or improve water treatment facilities, wells, and distribution and storage systems, except that not more than 10% of capital costs may consist of legal, engineering and design costs. "Capital costs" does not include other non-capital costs or cost of equipment to construct, expand or improve water treatment facilities, wells, and distribution and storage systems.
- The City of Watertown.
- FULL BUILDING PERMIT
- The written approval issued by the City Building Inspector's office, in accordance with the provisions of § SPS 320.09(4), Wis. Adm. Code, and § 253-11 of the Watertown Code, for any construction, repair, enlargement, improvement or alteration of any building or structure within the City. It does not include the "early start" permit or preliminary permit issued at the time of excavation or installation of footings for any such building or structure.
- IMPACT FEE
- A monetary fee collected from an owner of record or assessed against a land development pursuant to § 66.0617, Wis. Stats., by the City to defray all or part of the requirements for construction, reconstruction, improvement, extension and expansion of the Water Utility of the City of Watertown or any indebtedness incurred for that purpose in order to provide water supply services on a pro rata basis to the land development upon which the impact fee is levied.
- LAND DEVELOPMENT
- The construction or modification of improvements to real property that creates additional residential equivalent units within the City or its service areas or that results in nonresidential uses that create a need for new, expanded or improved public facilities within the City or its service areas.
- OWNER OF RECORD
- A person or entity that owns, builds, constructs or creates a land development.
- PUBLIC FACILITIES
- Facilities for collection, extraction and storage of water, water treatment facilities, wells, and distribution systems for water supply within the City or its service area.
- RESIDENTIAL EQUIVALENT UNIT (REU)
- A unit of measure for the impact fee equivalent to one residential dwelling unit. For purposes of this article, one residential equivalent unit is considered equal to the basic residential water meter size of 5/8 inch or 3/4 inch. The residential equivalent unit is used as a single unit of measurement for all residential, nonresidential, commercial, industrial, and institutional land developments because of the relationship between size of the water meter and the proportionate amount of water supply services used by the land development.
- SERVICE AREA
- A geographic area delineated by the Common Council, within which the City provides public facilities.
- SERVICE STANDARD
- A certain quantity or quality of water supply services relative to a certain number of persons, parcels of land or other appropriate measure as specified by the Common Council.
An impact fee is levied against each residential equivalent unit constructed, altered, or improved within the City after the effective date of this article.
For new construction, each residential equivalent unit constructed or caused to be built by the owner of record/developer shall be subject to the assessment of the impact fee.
For alterations or improvements to an existing residential equivalent unit, where a change in water meter size is requested, the owner of record shall be assessed an impact fee equal to the difference between the new water meter size and the existing water meter size on the residential equivalent unit.
The residential equivalent unit is the unit of measurement for assessment of the impact fee, regardless of whether or not the proposed land development is residential, commercial, industrial, or institutional in nature.
The amount of the impact fee is calculated as per the following table:
The impact fee shall be paid in full by the owner of record of the land development, unless expressly exempted under § 341-4, within 14 days of issuance of a full building permit by the office of the Building Inspector for any new construction or within 14 days of issuance of a permit by the office of the Building Inspector for change in water meter size, whichever is applicable. The impact fee shall be payable to the office of the Building Inspector within 14 days of issuance of any permit under this subsection.
If the owner of record fails to make the entire payment when due, the Building Inspector of the City shall issue a stop order, pursuant to § 253-9 of the City of Watertown Building Code, and shall refuse to approve any plans or to perform any further inspections until the impact fee is paid in full. The Building Inspector may also revoke the entire building permit, pursuant to § 253-19 of the City of Watertown Building Code, if such impact fee remains unpaid for longer than three months after its due date. The unpaid balance of the impact fee shall bear interest at the rate of 1.0% per month from the date of the full building permit approval by the office of the Building Inspector through the date of payment.
The impact fee shall be collected and levied against all land development within the City until the capital costs associated with the projects specified in the Facilities Needs Assessment Report and Report on Impact Fees for public facilities have been incurred and satisfied, but in no event shall such time period exceed seven years beyond the projected commencement of the respective capital improvement projects.
The following situations shall be exempted from assessment of the impact fee:
Alterations or improvements to an existing building or structure where no additional or larger water meter connections are requested.
The replacement of a building or structure with a new building or structure of the same size and use where no additional or larger water meter connections are requested and where the use of the building or structure has not changed.
Alterations or expansions of an existing building or structure where a change in water meter size results in a decrease in water meter size.
Any land development with an approved conditional use permit issued by the City for multifamily residences as of the effective date of this article.
Any claim for exemption must be made to the office of the Building Inspector no later than the time of application for a full building permit for new construction or issuance of a permit for a change in water meter size, and any claim for exemption not so made shall be deemed waived.
All monies collected from impact fees shall be used solely for the purpose of paying the proportionate costs of providing public facilities that may become necessary due to increased land development within the City. These costs may include the cost of debt service on bonds or similar debt instruments when the debt has been incurred for the purpose of proceeding with designated public facilities projects prior to the collection of all anticipated impact fees for that project, to reimburse the City for advances of other funds or reserves as from time to time approved by the Common Council.
All monies collected from impact fees shall be placed in one or more segregated, interest-bearing accounts and shall be accounted for separately from the other City general and utility funds. These revenues and interest earned thereon may be expended only for capital costs and interest on debt related to those capital costs for which the impact fee was imposed.
Revenues derived from funds collected from impact fees imposed and collected but not used within a period of seven years after the time of commencement of construction, expansion or improvement of a specific public facility project for which the impact fees were imposed shall be refunded on a prorated, proportional basis, as determined by the Common Council, to the then-current owner of record of the property with respect to which the impact fee was imposed.
Any funds subject to a refund may be obtained upon application of the then-current owner of record, who shall be entitled to return of the original impact fee paid, together with interest at the rate of 1.0% per year from the date of said payment to the date of said refund. The owner of record must submit a written application for a refund to the City Clerk/Treasurer of the City of Watertown within 180 days after the expiration of the seven-year time period outlined in this section.
The payment of an impact fee imposed under this article as a condition of a permit for new construction or issuance of a permit for a change in water meter size may be contested as to the amount, collection or use of the impact fee to the Watertown Public Works Commission, provided that the applicant files a written notice of appeal in the office of the City Clerk/Treasurer within 15 days of the approval of the full building permit by the office of the Building Inspector for new construction or issuance of a permit for a change in water meter size upon which the impact fee is imposed. Such notice of appeal shall be titled "Notice of Appeal of Impact Fee" and shall state the applicant's name, address, telephone number, address (if available) and legal description of the land development upon which the impact fee is imposed, and a statement of the nature of and reasons for the appeal. Said "Notice of Appeal of Impact Fee" shall be immediately forwarded by the Clerk/Treasurer of the City to the Water Systems Manager. The Water Systems Manager shall schedule the appeal for consideration by the Watertown Public Works Commission at a regular meeting as soon as reasonably practicable under the circumstances and shall notify the applicant of the time, date and place of such meeting in writing by regular mail, deposited in the mail no later than at least three days before the date of such meeting. Upon review of such appeal, the Watertown Public Works Commission may adjust the amount, collection or use of the impact fee upon just and reasonable cause shown.
The impact fee contained in this article shall be reviewed by the Watertown Public Works Commission and approved by the Common Council of the City every two years. Until changed by this process, the current fees shall stay in full force and effect.