§ 3.32.035  DEVELOPER COST DEPOSITS.
   A.   A developer-applicant shall be required as part of the project application process to post and thereafter maintain on deposit with the city, funds to cover application processing costs, developer fees and all other established costs payable to the city in connection with a particular development project (developer cost deposit), excepting those development projects for which a flat rate fee has been established by the city.  The Development Services Director or designee (Director) is hereby authorized to determine the appropriate amount that must be maintained in such deposit until all application processing and related city services for which fees are charged have been completed.  In estimating the required amount of funds to be deposited, the Director may utilize reasonable assumptions and shall consider determination of approximate amount based upon the amount of time historically spent on similar projects, and/or the likely expenditure estimates of staff time for the pending application based upon reasonable assumptions of the Director.
   B.   When a developer cost deposit is required as part of the application process, the full deposit, in United States funds (cash or check), shall be made by the developer-applicant.  The Director may calculate the required deposit funds on a phased basis (e.g. Plan Review, Planning Commission/City Council review, plan check, and the like) as may be necessary for more complex projects where a full accounting estimate of anticipated expenditures is deemed too speculative.  A failure to pay a developer cost deposit in the required amount shall result in the application being deemed incomplete.  The Director shall accurately account for all charges made against developer cost deposits. 
   C.   When seventy-five percent (75%) of a deposit has been expended and the Director determines that the estimated actual cost of the services yet to be performed will exceed the remaining amount, the developer-applicant shall make an additional deposit of the amount estimated to be necessary to complete all required services, or such lesser portion as determined to be appropriate by the Director.  Written notification of any additional deposit required will be mailed by first class mail to the developer-applicant's address on record, or delivered to the developer-applicant, who shall deposit such additional amount by the date specified in the notice. Processing of project applications will not be completed or finalized, unless the developer cost deposit is fully funded as required herein. 
   D.   In the event the additional deposit notice due date identified in division C. has passed, services of city staff shall be discontinued on the project application(s) when ninety percent (90%) of the last deposit has been expended and the Director determines that insufficient funds remain.  Written notification of this discontinuation of services and need for additional deposit shall be mailed by first class mail to the developer-applicant's address on record, or delivered to the developer-applicant, who shall deposit such additional amount by the date specified in the notice.  A failure of a developer or applicant to fully fund a developer cost deposit in the amount established by the Director for a period of sixty (60) or more days following service by the city of notice of additional deposit required, shall be an unreasonable delay, and shall be deemed to be an abandonment of the application(s) with respect to any and all entitlements for which the developer cost deposit applies, and upon such abandonment, no further processing of any application or applications for the project shall be performed.  Any application deemed to have been abandoned may be resubmitted and shall be subject to all local, state, and federal requirements applicable to new applications, including payment of any and all application fees and developer cost deposit, as are in effect at the time of reapplication. Funds remaining in the developer cost deposit for any such project, if any, shall be returned.
   E.   In addition to any other remedy for failure to fund a developer cost deposit set forth herein, a failure to fully fund and maintain funding of a developer cost deposit  where  any portion of such deposit  is for the purpose of complying with the California Environmental Quality Act, or the Guidelines thereunder, including, but not limited to, processing of any initial study, negative declaration, environmental impact report, or any related action including payment for services of any environmental consultant, may be deemed to constitute an unreasonable delay under the Cal. Code of Regulations, Title 14, § 15109 (CEQA Guidelines) and shall suspend the running of all time periods described in Cal. Code of Regulations, §§ 15107 and/or 15108 for the period of the delay.  Alternatively, the city may disapprove the project application where such unreasonable delay has occurred, as provided by Cal. Code of Regulations, § 15109.
   F.   Developer fees and other application or project processing costs in whatever form that are on account with the city as to any project, as of the effective date of this section, shall be deemed to be held by the city as a developer cost deposit for each such project and the same shall be subject to all requirements in this section pertaining to the funding of developer cost deposits.  A failure to maintain such funding in such amount as determined by the Director following notice shall be subject to all applicable remedies herein including discontinuance of application processing.
   G.   Following completion of all city services for which any funding has been made to a developer cost deposit, any remaining funds shall be promptly returned to the developer-applicant.
(Ord. 1126, passed 9-15-09)