A. Amount of Water Available. The city shall have discretion to determine the amount of water available in the city water system, and to evaluate and prioritize all applications for municipal water delivery.
B. Water Use Determination. The water needed by development associated with property proposed to be developed or redeveloped within the city, or annexed to the city, shall be calculated in equivalent residential units (“ERUs”). The ERU calculation shall be based upon the city’s development regulations in effect at the time that an application for development or redevelopment within the city is vested, or the petition for annexation is submitted. The property owner(s) shall submit to the city a proposed ERU calculation based on the proposed development. The city engineer shall review the ERU calculation and make a recommendation to the mayor, who shall issue a water use determination stating the amount of water rights to be transferred to the city as a result of the application for development or redevelopment, or the petition for annexation. The mayor’s decision, which shall be final, shall be communicated in writing to the property owner(s) within a reasonable period of time after vesting of the application for development or redevelopment, or the city council’s acceptance of the petition for annexation.
In the calculation of the amount of water rights that must be transferred to the city, credit shall be provided for any existing and previously approved connections to the city’s municipal water system that are currently in use on the subject property. In addition, if the owners of the property subject to an annexation request have an exempt well or wells and desire to transfer water rights associated with said wells, as currently provided for in RCW 90.44.105, then credit shall also be provided for the water use associated with said wells to the extent the water rights association with the wells are transferred to the city.
C. Excess Water Rights. To the extent the water rights or previously approved water connections associated with the subject property exceed the anticipated water usage for the subject property as determined pursuant to subsection B above, the city in its sole discretion may negotiate an agreement with the property owner(s) to:
1. Transfer Water Rights to the City.
a. Payment. Provide for the owner(s) of the subject property to transfer and convey any amount of excess water rights to the city, in which event the city and property owner(s) shall negotiate to pay the property owner(s) an amount representing the then current market value of the excess rights; or
b. Credit. Allow said owner(s) to transfer and convey the excess water rights to the city in exchange for credits to be applied to other property owned by said owner(s) within the city’s Urban Growth Area.
c. Process. In the event the city acquires the excess water rights pursuant to this subsection (C)1, the transfer of excess water rights will be processed simultaneously with and as part of the transfer process outlined in Section 13.20.090.
2. Transfer Property to City. For property that has previously approved connections to the city’s municipal water system in excess of those that will be used for the property’s development (“excess connections”), the owner(s) may sell the excess connections to the city or to third parties, provided the following requirements are satisfied:
a. The city shall calculate in its sole reasonable discretion the number of excess connections and the number of connections needed to serve the subject property;
b. The owner(s) of the subject property convey ownership of the subject property to the city by Statutory Warranty Deed in consideration of owner(s)' ability to sell the excess connections;
c. A covenant in a form acceptable to the city attorney is recorded against the subject property restricting the property’s future water connections to a number consistent with the excess connections calculation described in subsection (a) above;
d. Third-party buyers of the excess connections shall use the excess connections for development, redevelopment or annexation only within the city or within the city’s Urban Growth Area; and
e. Proof of any sale of excess connections to a third-party, in a form reasonably satisfactory to the city, is provided to the city within fourteen days of the sale by owner.
D. Payment in Lieu. In the event that the city determines through an annexation or development agreement pursuant to Section 13.20.060 above that the owners of property being annexed to the city may transfer and convey less than one hundred percent of the water required to serve the property proposed to be annexed, or in the event that the amount of water rights associated with property proposed to be annexed and successfully transferred to the city is less than the city engineer determines to be sufficient to serve the estimated ERUs of anticipated water usage for the subject property, the owner(s) of the subject property shall pay to the city three thousand five hundred dollars per ERU of anticipated water usage of the subject property, less a credit for the number of ERUs of water rights successfully transferred and conveyed to the city. The city shall evaluate the cost per ERU every two years from the date of adoption of this ordinance and adjust the amount accordingly. Payment shall be made prior to the city’s adoption of an ordinance annexing the subject property, at the rate per ERU in effect at the time of the annexation.
E. Payment of Costs. The owner(s) of property subject to the application of the provisions of this chapter shall pay the city for all costs associated with the city’s determination of the anticipated water usage for the subject property, determination of the adequacy of any proposed water right, and support or participation in a proceeding regarding a property owner’s water transfer application. The term “costs” as used in this subsection shall include, but are not limited to, city staff time, engineering fees, attorneys fees, application fees, Kittitas County Water Conservancy Board Fees, publication fees, and any other fees or charges associated with processing and recording the transfer and acquisition of water rights.
F. Commitment by City. Nothing herein precludes the city from making commitments to provide municipal water service as part of an annexation or development agreement in which the owner of property subject to the annexation makes payment to the city as required in subsection d above.
G. Remedies. In the event a certificate of water availability or building permit is denied solely because of water unavailability and the property for which said certificate or building permit is sought was previously subject to the provisions of this chapter resulting in the transfer and conveyance of water rights and/or payment in lieu thereof to the city, then the property owner(s), as the sole and exclusive remedy, shall receive a payment equal to the amount paid to the city for the remaining anticipated water usage of the subject property pursuant to subsections B and D above, minus a ten percent administrative fee and without interest from the date of the original application unless otherwise required by then-applicable law. The property owner(s) shall repay this payment to the city as a condition of subsequent issuance of a certificate of water availability and/or building permit.
H. Appeal. Any determination by the mayor pursuant to this chapter may be appealed by filing an appeal in the Kittitas County Superior Court within twenty-one calendar days of the date of the final decision.