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A. The City is authorized to invoice, bill and collect stormwater service fees directly to the owners or occupants of property or to contract with Utilities to do so. In the event billing and collection of stormwater service fees, or any component portion of such fees, is handled by Utilities, such charges shall be deemed to constitute "user charges" and be subject to the collection procedures and remedies provided in sections 12.1.112 and 12.1.113 of this Code, in the same manner as for wastewater utility services. In such case, Utilities employees designated by the Chief Executive Officer shall have the same powers and authority granted herein to City employees designated by the SE Manager to take actions for collection of stormwater service fees and enforcement.
B. City employees designated by the SE Manager shall, at all reasonable times, have access to and the authority to enter any real property within the City and any buildings or improvements to allow inspection for the proper determination of, or adjustment of, stormwater service fees and other charges to be paid to the stormwater enterprise. If the owner or occupant of any premises located within the City refuses to permit entry by the authorized inspector when entry is sought pursuant to this article, the authorized inspector may make application to any Judge of the Municipal Court of the City for the issuance of an inspection warrant. The application shall identify the premises upon which entry is sought and the inspection purpose for which entry is desired, state the facts giving rise to the need for an inspection and otherwise conform with the requirements of CMCR 241. Any warrant issued pursuant to the application shall command the owner or occupant to permit entry by the authorized inspector for the purpose stated.
C. Any stormwater service fee or other fee or charge due to the City which is not paid when due may be recovered by the City in an action at law, in addition to any other remedy permitted by law.
D. All fees and charges made pursuant to this article shall be a priority lien upon the property to which the fee or charge is associated from the date the fee becomes due until such fee is paid. The owner of the property shall be obligated to pay the fees or charges imposed. No change of ownership or occupancy shall affect the application of this article. The failure of any owner to learn that the owner purchased property against which a lien for stormwater service fees or other fees or charges exists shall in no way affect the owner's responsibility for such payment. Any delinquent amount may be enforced by assessment upon the property and premises served and certification to the County Treasurer for collection under and pursuant to the authority and procedure provided in the City Code.
E. The owner of any real property aggrieved by the administrative determination of the stormwater service fee or other fee or charge to be paid for the property may appeal the amount of the fee determination to the Director of Public Works. Within thirty (30) days 1 of the due date on the first bill from the City to the owner or occupant stating the fee due, a written notice of appeal must be filed with the SE Manager and shall contain the following information:
1. The fee applied to the property,
2. The fee the owner believes should have been applied to the property,
3. The methodology used by the owner to determine the fee the owner believes should have been applied to the property in accord with the terms of the City Council resolution setting the fees,
4. Any other information the owner feels is relevant to the owner's appeal.
A legible photocopy of that bill shall be attached to the notice of appeal, and the notice of appeal shall contain an address to which correspondence may be sent to the owner by United States mail, first class postage prepaid or registered.
F. The owner shall have the burden of proof through the information filed in the notice of appeal.
G. The Director of Public Works shall have the authority to affirm the fee, modify the fee by reducing the fee or refer the matter to the SE Manager for redetermination of the appropriate fee. The Director of Public Works shall decide the appeal within forty five (45) days 2 of receipt of the notice of appeal by the SE Manager, and shall send that determination by United States registered mail, return receipt requested, to the owner at the address indicated on the notice of appeal. In the event of referral back to the SE Manager, the SE Manager shall make a redetermination of the fee within forty five (45) days from the date of the Director of Public Works' referral, and shall send the SE Manager's determination by United States registered mail, return receipt requested, to the owner at the address indicated on the notice of appeal. If the SE Manager upholds the original fee, then the SE Manager's determination upholding the fee shall be deemed a final agency action. If the SE Manager reduces or increases the fee, then the new fee determined shall be appealable under the same procedure as identified above for an initial appeal. In the event of an appeal to the Director of Public Works, if the Director of Public Works affirms or modifies the fee, then the Director of Public Works' fee determination shall be deemed a final agency action. Appeals to the Director of Public Works may be filed only once in connection with any fee or determination, except upon a showing by the owner of changed circumstances upon the property resulting in a higher fee.
H. Any owner who is aggrieved by the final determination of an appeal by the Director of Public Works, or the SE Manager's determination upholding a referred fee, as set forth above, may appeal that final agency action to the District Court pursuant to CRCP 106(a)(4). (Ord. 05-192; Ord. 08-44; Ord. 17-69; Ord. 18-42)
1. See section 1.1.105 of this Code for computation of time.
2. See section 1.1.105 of this Code for computation of time.