Stormwater Rate Appeals Process

The following provisions shall apply to the calculation and assessment of the stormwater utility fees as adopted per resolution 09R008 on February 10, 2009, and any revisions to the rates as may be adopted by the Frederick Town Board from time to time.

The town board believes that protecting people and property from the risk of flood damage is a community wide responsibility and decided that all Residential property will be billed on a flat rate per dwelling unit basis rather than considering lot size or impervious area. Therefore the potential adjustments to the stormwater Utility Fees spelled out below shall apply only to non-residential customers. Following similar thinking, a main benefit to non-residential property is ensuring that community-wide access is available to and from all property during and after a storm event. This relates to emergency vehicles, customers, employees and suppliers. Therefore the amount of any adjustment to the stormwater utility fee for the developed portion of a non-residential property is limited to no more than one-half of the regular stormwater utility fee.

A non-residential customer may request that an adjustment to the regular stormwater utility fee be made by one of the following methods. The adjustments are intended to give credit for less impervious surface than the average for the respective category (Method A), for greater on-site detention facilities than generally required for the respective category (Method B), or for situations where only a portion of the legal parcel owned by the customer is actually developed (Method C). Methods A and B are not cumulative. The method resulting in the lower fee shall be used. Either Method A or B may be applied in conjunction with Method C to calculate a lower fee for the developed portion of a parcel.

Method A
Monthly Fee = Regular Fee – 0.5 x Regular Fee x [ ( General Percent Impervious – Actual Percent Impervious ) / General Percent Impervious ]

Method B
Monthly Fee = Regular Fee – 0.5 x Regular Fee x [ ( Runoff rate per requirements – Actual Peak Runoff rate per constructed detention ) / Runoff rate per requirements ]

Method C
Monthly Fee = Regular Rate per acre for category x Actual acres of parcel considered developed
(This Monthly Fee may also be adjusted by using Method B or Method C applied to only the Actual developed acres for the specific parcel.)

It is the intent of the Town of Frederick that the stormwater utility fees shall be based on actual land uses that exist on a particular property. Staff will place all property in the most appropriate category and calculate the initial stormwater utility fees based on the best information available at the time billing is initiated for any property. Initially, staff will use the Town of Frederick zoning classification as contained in the town’s parcel database. Obvious and known exceptions to the database zoning classifications will be addressed with the initial billing efforts. Thereafter bills will be initiated for a property in the month following the issuance of a temporary or final certificate of occupancy. It is anticipated that revisions and additions to the utility billing database will be required on an ongoing basis.

Notwithstanding the exemption of town owned property included in resolution 09R008 – Exhibit A, any property leased by the town to private parties for uses other than those typically conducted by the town shall be assessed a stormwater utility fee based upon the land use by said private parties.

Recognizing that there are certain types of land uses that may exist in more than one of the Town of Frederick zoning classifications, the following types of land uses shall be billed at the then current rate per acre for the category under which they are listed. For land uses not listed under a category below, town staff will place the property in the appropriate category using similar land uses as a guide. Where there is a mixture of non-residential uses on a single parcel, town staff will place the property in the category represented by the use with the largest land area. Staff will attempt to reach a consensus with the customer regarding the appropriate land use category and monthly rate to be charged for each property. If the property owner disagrees with the staff decision, they would have the option of appealing the staff decision as outlined below. Any and all residential dwelling units, whether a single residence, multiple residences on a single parcel, or one or more dwelling units that are part of a mixed use development on a single parcel, shall be charged at the then current flat rate per dwelling unit. The fee for the entire mixed use parcel, at the rate for the predominate use other than Residential, would be adjusted by subtracting the total charges for Residential units from the calculated fee for the parcel. It is conceivable that the fee for the parcel, over and above the Residential charges, could go to zero, but not result in a credit back to the property owner.

  • Industrial land - Manufacturing, research and development, oil and gas related facilities, outdoor storage, construction companies
  • Commercial land - Retail sales, banks, doctor and dental offices, restaurants, car dealerships, vehicle and equipment repair, storage units
  • Public land - Schools, churches, daycare facilities, recreation facilities, fire districts, hospitals, health clinics

Town staff shall implement these appeal process and billing guidelines provisions as outlined in resolution 09R008, and any future revisions to these rates, and as outlined in this document. In situations where a property owner provides evidence that their specific property has characteristics that fall well outside of the “norms” assumed for the categories of land contained in the 2009 stormwater utility fee schedule, or revisions to this schedule, the person appointed by the town manager as the town’s stormwater engineer is authorized to reduce the monthly fee as provided herein. In order to qualify for an adjustment to the regular fee a customer would have to provide evidence that shows there is at least a ten percent variance from the runoff coefficient values used to establish the cost per acre for that category, or at least a ten percent difference in the actual release rate from what is required by the town’s standards, before an adjustment is possible. This decision would be in the sole discretion of the stormwater engineer, subject to the appeal process hereby adopted by the board.

The stormwater engineer would determine what adjustments, if any, should be made to the initial calculation of the fee, document the adjustment in the town files, and notify the property owner of their decision. If the property owner disagrees with the decision of the stormwater engineer, they would have 20 calendar days after notice of a decision to file an appeal. Within a period of 45 days after receiving an appeal, the town engineer would hear the appeal and make a final decision. This appeal and the final decision would be documented in the town files. There may be no more than one appeal filed on a specific property unless and until there is a physical change in the runoff characteristics that fall outside the “norms” as described above.

Any reduction in fees proposed by the stormwater engineer, or the engineering and utilities director through an appeal, would be revised in the town’s utility billing database. The town may grant a credit for the difference in fees for a total of not more than six months prior to the date the request for a reduction in fees was submitted to the town. This credit would be applied to subsequent utility bills otherwise due to the town.