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(a) Fee basis. Prior to receiving water service for any residence, building, irrigation meter or parcel of land, a plant investment fee shall be paid. The plant investment fee shall be in addition to the requirements for construction of or payments towards service mains and connections and water meters. All requests for irrigation meters shall be accompanied with payment of the plant investment fee, regardless of whether or not such facilities will eventually be dedicated to the City or another public agency. The owner of a property or the owner at the time the charge was generated shall be responsible for payment of all unpaid charges not collected or collectable from the applicant, user or occupant. Payment(s) of plant investment fees are not transferable from one property to another, except to another public agency, where operations and other onsite plumbing revisions have altered water demand, subject to the approval of the Public Works Director.
(b) Fee amount. The amount of the plant investment fee shall be based upon the size of the required meter and shall be as set by Council action. For special situations where, in the opinion of the Public Works Director, the calculation of the plant investment fee does not result in an equitable charge, such fee shall be determined in accordance with best available information and professional engineering practices. All fee amounts shall correspond to the amount currently in effect at the time payment is made.
(c) Time of payment. No parcel of property shall be connected to the water system until all water connection fees have been paid. The water connection fees shall be paid prior to the issuance of a building permit.
Payment of water connection fees cannot occur earlier than the following:
(1) For tract/subdivision projects, no sooner than recordation of the tract map;
(2) For other projects, no sooner than:
(i) Approval of water system drawings.
(ii) Recordation of a parcel map.
(iii) At the time of application for a water permit, which should coincide with finalization of documents necessary for a building permit for approved projects, which must be accepted for plan check by the Public Works Department.
(d) Escalation. On December 1 of each year, the plant investment fee shall be increased by Council action based upon the percent increase in the Engineering News Record Construction Cost Index for Los Angeles based upon the change from the preceding July-to-July period. This escalating provision shall also pertain to the special facilities surcharge and fire flow surcharge fees discussed in subsequent sections.
(e) Credits or refunds for prior payment of plant investment fee. When a larger service (meter) is requested than that which was previously paid for, then the credit shall be for the current value of the plant investment fee for the meter size previously paid. When a smaller service (meter) is desired there shall be no refund for the previous over payment. However, these shall remain a credit to the property for the larger water service (meter).
(f) Subdivision of parcels. If a parcel of property having a plant investment fee credit is divided, that credit may be divided also in any way that the owner instructs the City in writing provided, however, the credit remaining with any parcel connected to the water system shall not be less than the amount that would be required as a plant investment fee for that parcel using current rates. In the absence of written instructions, the Public Works Director may divide the credit
(g) Non-residential Condominiums. The Property Owners Association, or property management firm acting on behalf of the Property Owners Association, encompassing a single building or a group of buildings or individual ownerships on the parent property, shall be billed and shall pay for monthly water use charges of all users within the parent property. Each individual ownership shall be a member of the Property Owners Association.
(Ord. 1516-NS, eff. June 5, 2009, as amended by § 2, Ord. 1646-NS, eff. August 10, 2018)