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For a property owner or group of property owners that are requesting infrastructure elements that do not immediately adjoin their lot or lots, as set forth in Section 1018.01(a), they may petition the City Council for the establishment of a special assessment district. A special assessment district provides a means and a method to pay the entire cost of the requested infrastructure. Through a special assessment district, the cost of the requested infrastructure element is paid over a specific length of time (usually 10 to 20 years) on a semi-annual basis. The semi-annual cost is included with the property tax invoices issued by Summit County for the specific property in question. The semi-annual cost is collected by Summit County and returned to Hudson. A special assessment district shall be composed of at least one City block or of a logical grouping of lots as recommended by the City Manager or designee and as approved by the City Council.
(a) Feasibility Study. Upon receipt of a request signed by 10% or ten property owners, whichever is greater, of a tentative extension area, notifying the City of their intent to circulate a petition to create a special assessment district, and receipt of such other satisfactory evidence as the Council may desire that there is a serious intent to petition for the establishment of a special assessment district, the City Council will authorize the City Manager or designee to perform and/or contract for the performance of a feasibility study. The cost of preparing the feasibility study shall be drawn from the General Fund of the City for non-revenue infrastructure elements. The cost of preparing the feasibility study revenue infrastructure element shall be borne by that element. The feasibility study will determine the preliminary configuration, location, sizing, capacity constraints if any, and estimated costs of constructing the infrastructure elements named in the proposed petition and recommend a basis for apportioning cost among the benefitting lots. The City Council shall hold a public meeting at which the findings of the feasibility study shall be presented by the City Manager or designee and copies provided to the parties who have expressed their intent to circulate the petition.
(b) Acceptance of the Petition. In order to receive consideration for the establishment of a special assessment district, a sufficient petition in legal form, approved by the City Solicitor, must be submitted to the Clerk of Council within two years of the completion of a feasibility study. The legal signatures of the property owners of a minimum of 60% of the lots in the district and 60% of the frontage on a front-foot basis in the district shall be required. A property is considered to be within a district based on the district boundaries determined by the City Manager or designee. A property is declared in the district or out of the district based on whether the property benefits from the proposed improvement and if the front of the house, residence or building is facing the proposed infrastructure improvement. The Clerk of Council will forward the petitions to the City Council, which may accept the petitions in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Ohio Revised Code. See Exhibit B attached to Res. 99-74, passed July 7, 1999.
(c) Resolution of Necessity/Assessment Objections. After accepting the petitions, the City Council shall authorize and appropriate the required funds for the design of the proposed improvements. After completion of the design, the City Council shall pass a Resolution of Necessity in accordance with state law and duly notify property owners who did not sign the petition or properties which have a different owner listed by the Summit County Auditor than is listed on the petition of the proposed assessment. If after two weeks from receiving the notice no written objections are filed or after any written objection is considered by an Assessment Equalization Board, the City Council may appropriate the required funds for construction and construction supervision, legal fees and all other costs associated with financing the project, and shall authorize the Finance Director or designee to issue appropriate notes and/or bonds, as required, to fund the appropriation, pending the collection of special assessments. The Hudson City Council may authorize bids to be solicited any time after the Resolution of Necessity has been passed, with the goal to have the lowest responsive and responsible bid prior to the meeting of the Assessment Equalization Board. If the lowest responsive and responsible bid apportioned among the property owners does not exceed the original estimate of assessments by more than 15%, or if after public notice and hearing the Council votes to proceed regardless of increased cost, the Council may award the construction contract and the project will proceed.
(d) Assessment Division. Generally, where the frontages, lot sizes, and benefits are approximately equal for all of the properties within the assessment district, the cost shall be equally divided among the properties that benefit. Where lot sizes are substantially disparate the cost will be assessed on a front foot basis or other standard of proportional benefit. The period of assessment may be 10, 20, or 25 years, or as requested in the petition determined by the City Council. Assessments shall include all engineering and inspection costs including the cost of the feasibility study, legal costs, interest and other financing costs in addition to the cost of construction.
(e) Utility Billing.
(1) Customers will be responsible for paying periodically, as established by ordinance, for sanitary sewage accepted by the system from the premises and for electric service provided to the premises. The City Manager may establish policies for billing, collection, and delinquencies of sanitary service fees in the Hudson Sanitary Sewer service district and electric fees in the Hudson Public Power service district.
(2) Guidelines regarding fees, billing and the collection of fees for water service can be found in Ordinance No. 97-41.
(f) Exceptions. The referenced assessment procedure is intended to provide a means and a method to pay the entire cost of the requested infrastructure. The exceptions to this are subdivisions, or phases of a subdivision, in which some form of a drainage maintenance assessment has been paid or is currently being paid by the homeowners of the subdivision. This drainage maintenance assessment is intended to cover the cost of maintaining the storm water conveyance system of the subdivision. If it can be shown that the proposed storm water infrastructure element corrects a drainage maintenance problem within a subdivision, a homeowner's proportional share of their drainage maintenance assessment may be used to offset the entire cost of the requested infrastructure. The homeowner(s) would be required to inform the homeowners' association of the subdivision, if a homeowners' association exists, of the intent to request their proportional share of the drainage maintenance assessment on the property or properties in question. In addition, the homeowner(s) shall inform the City, at the time of the submission of the petition, of their intent to use their proportional share of the drainage maintenance assessment.
(Res. 99-74. Passed 7-7-99.)