City of Hood River, Oregon
Resolution No. 2016-25
A Resolution establishing a policy of contemporaneous annexation when extending sanitary sewer service outside the city limits and within the Urban Growth Area
The City Council for the City of Hood River adopts the following findings:
WHEREAS, the City of Hood River owns and operates a municipal waste water collection and treatment system primarily within the City’s corporate limits; and
WHEREAS, sanitary sewer is a quintessentially urban service because it is the one urban service that is necessary for residential, commercial and industrial development at high urban densities, which cannot be achieved without sanitary sewer; and
WHEREAS, the cost of staffing, operating and maintaining a modern sanitary sewer collection and treatment system within permit limits is a substantial municipal expense and requires a commensurately healthy rate base and municipal tax base; and
WHEREAS, which means that the City should not extend sanitary sewer outside of the City limits except in extraordinary or unusual circumstances and that annexation should be the customary and normal prerequisite to the provision of sanitary sewer service for urban development; and
WHEREAS, Chapter 12.09 of the Hood River Municipal Code includes a presumption that, in exchange for the extension and provision of sanitary sewer, urban development will annex to the City; and
WHEREAS, HRMC Chapter 12.09 includes alternative arrangements whereby the City has the discretion to provide sanitary sewer to serve urban development outside the City limits if annexation is a requirement of further development or the owner executes a consent to annex at a future date; and
WHEREAS, in the past, the economics of running the City’s sanitary sewer system have allowed less strict compliance with the contemporaneous annexation rule, which has led to the proliferation of urban density subdivisions, commercial and industrial development outside the City limits that are served by City sewer; and
WHEREAS, urban types and densities of development outside the City’s boundary supported by City sewer impose the same burdens on City services and facilities as do urban development inside the City, but they do not pay equivalent taxes to the City to support those services; in effect, City taxpayers subsidize urban scale development situated outside the City limits and there is little incentive for these developed areas to annex; and
WHEREAS, HRMC 12.03.080 expressly retains to the City the discretion and authority to establish a preference in favor of City residents and land within the City limits in the provision of sanitary sewer service; and
WHEREAS, it is in the City’s best interest and protective of the financial integrity of the City’s sanitary sewer system to require contemporaneous annexation whenever the City is faced with a request to provide sanitary sewer to land outside the City limits; alternatives to contemporaneous annexation should be used rarely, and contemporaneous annexation in exchange for the provision of sanitary sewer should be the rule except in unusual and extremely compelling circumstances.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Hood River City Council, based on the foregoing findings, that the following policies are adopted and shall govern the City’s response to any request for an extra-territorial extension of sanitary sewer to serve development outside the City’s corporate boundary:
1. Consistent with State-wide Planning Goals 11 and 14 and applicable statutes, the City shall not permit the extension of its sanitary sewer system outside of the Hood River Urban Growth Boundary unless there is a documented health hazard, development of the properties to be served is limited, and any properties thus served pay a differential sewer rate higher than property within the City limits.
2. The City shall not consider or allow the provision of sanitary sewer or the extension of the City’s sanitary sewer system to serve any land that is not contiguous with the City limits or will not create a logical and reasonable municipal boundary. Where City sewer service is requested for non-contiguous land, the requestor shall bring about the annexation of all intervening property so that service to land so requested is contiguous to the City’s boundary and creates a logical and reasonable municipal boundary.
3. Consistent with HRMC chapter 12.09 and HRMC 12.03.080, the City shall require contemporaneous annexation as a condition of extending its sanitary sewer system to serve development outside its corporate limits. While HRMC chapter 12.09 and HRMC 12.03.080 allow the City to extend its sanitary sewer system and defer annexation until later, delayed annexation should be the rare exception to the principal policy of contemporaneous annexation and will be allowed only in unusual and extremely compelling circumstances.
4. City staff shall work independently and with affected developers and property owners to annex areas outside the City’s corporate boundary that are currently served with City sewer and developed at urban densities. Priority in annexation shall be given to land for which consents to annex have been executed and recorded or for which no additional consent is required to affect the annexation.
5. Through intergovernmental agreements, the City has agreed to compensate Ice Fountain Water District and West Side Fire District for the withdrawal of any territory that is annexed to the City’s water and fire service territories. The City Council has adopted policies for the payment of these costs by the owners of property that is annexed to the City and withdrawn from Ice Fountain Water District and West Side Fire District. Those policies, set forth in Resolution Nos. 2005-12 and 2008-18, shall remain in effect and are not altered by this 2016 resolution.
Approved and Effective this 27th day of June 2016 by the Hood River City Council.
Paul Blackburn, Mayor
Jennifer Gray, City Recorder Approved as to form:
Daniel Kearns, City Attorney