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. This also includes 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. This led to the decision that all Residential property will be billed on a flat rate per dwelling unit basis, rather than considering lot size or impervious area. This means that the potential adjustments to the stormwater Utility Fees spelled out below shall apply only to non-residential customers. 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. With that said, any adjustment for the developed portion of a non-residential property is limited to no more than 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. 

Method A - The adjustments are intended to give credit for less impervious surface than the average
Monthly Fee = Regular Fee – 0.5 x Regular Fee x [ ( General Percent Impervious – Actual Percent Impervious ) / General Percent Impervious ]

Method B - The adjustments are intended for greater on-site detention facilities than generally required 
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 - The adjustments are intended for situations where only a portion of the legal parcel owned by the customer is actually developed
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.)

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. 

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. They will then calculate the stormwater utility fees. This will be based on the best information available at the time billing is initiated for any property. Initially, staff will use the Town of Frederick zoning as contained in the town’s parcel database. Obvious and known exceptions to the database zoning will be addressed with the beginning billing efforts. Thereafter bills will be started for a property in the month following the issuance of a temporary or final certificate of occupancy. It is expected that revisions and additions to the utility billing database will be required on an ongoing basis.

While town-owned property is exempt, any property leased by the town to private parties will be expected to pay a stormwater fee based on land use. See more about this in resolution 09R008 – Exhibit A.

The Town recognizes that there are certain types of land uses that may exist in more than one of the Town of Frederick zoning classifications. Therefore, 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 shall be charged at the then current flat rate per dwelling unit. This includes 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. The fee for the entire mixed use parcel can be adjusted at the rate for the predominate use other than Residential. It would be adjusted by subtracting the total charges for Residential units from the calculated fee for the parcel. It could be that the fee for the parcel, over and above the Residential charges, could go to zero. This would 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. There may be situations where a property owner can provide evidence that their property has aspects that fall well outside of the “norms.” These "norms" are assumed for the categories of land in the 2009 stormwater utility fee schedule, or revisions to this schedule. In these instances, the person appointed by the town manager as the town’s stormwater engineer is authorized to reduce the monthly fee. The evidence needed for this adjustment is at least a 10% variance from the runoff coefficient values used to establish the cost per acre for that category.  Other evidence could be at least a 10% difference in the actual release rate from what is required by the town’s standards. This decision would be in the sole discretion of the stormwater engineer, subject to the appeal process 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
  • 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. The only exception is if there is a physical change in the runoff features 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. This credit would total not more than six months before the fee reduction request was submitted to the town. This credit would be applied to subsequent utility bills otherwise due to the town.