[HISTORY: Adopted by the Water Pollution Control Authority of the Town of Ellington 2-9-1981, as amended through 4-18-1995. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) has considered at length the manner of assessment of benefits so as to provide the funds necessary to pay the costs of installing the sanitary sewer facilities which constitute this project. After considering the various alternatives for assessment, the WPCA has concluded that there are four factors which are most significant: first, there is a general benefit to each property regardless of size or property value; second, there is some greater benefit to larger or more valuable buildings; third, the size of each property has a distinct bearing on the cost of construction; and fourth, there are special costs incidental to a property becoming connected to the sewer system. The WPCA has analyzed and evaluated those factors.
No assessment shall be made against any property in excess of the special benefit to accrue to such property in accord with the General Statutes.
Pursuant to the above, the WPCA herewith adopts pursuant to Chapter 103, §§ 7-245 through 7-273a of the General Statutes of Connecticut, as amended, the following schedule of assessment of benefits, regulations, and standard practices and requirements for the Hockanum River Watershed Sewerage System.
The WPCA shall determine and adopt rates of sewer benefit assessment for the construction of each sewer project. Such rates shall be based on the total project cost as ordered published by the WPCA or a portion thereof determined by said WPCA. In determining said sewer assessment rates, consideration shall be given to costs, as determined by the provisions below, and the characteristics of the properties and areas expected to be improved.
The total cost of the sewer construction shall include the cost of preliminary studies and surveys, detailed working plans and specifications, acquiring necessary land or property or any interest therein, damage awards, interest charges during construction, legal and other fees, outlet benefits or deferred assessments, or any other expense incidental to the completion of the work, in addition to the cost of construction.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- APARTMENT HOUSE or MULTIFAMILY DWELLING
- A building used by two or more families living independently of each other.
- ASSESSMENT, DEFERRED
- Whenever a sewer is laid out and benefits assessed by the WPCA through or adjacent to undeveloped land, the assessment of such land shall be deferred until such time as the land shall be built upon, a building permit issued therefor, approval of a subdivision plan of such undeveloped property or a special permit approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission, whichever event occurs first, at which time the assessment shall be made as provided herein in accordance with this chapter and regulations. The WPCA shall place a caveat on the land records in each instance where assessment of benefits to anticipated development of land has been deferred.
- CAPACITY CHARGE
- The cost associated with the purchase of additional capacity from the Town of Vernon through the execution of a second amendment to the Intermunicipal Agreement dated December 6, 1989. The capacity charge shall be levied against all properties connected to the sewer which benefit from new sewer construction or extension occurring after December 6, 1989.
- COMMERCIAL PROPERTY
- Property located in those areas specifically set aside for retail or wholesale sale of consumer, commercial or industrial goods and equipment or the rendering of either retail or wholesale services, the performance of which is either consumer, commercial or industrial in nature, including but not limited to all those uses permitted or requiring special permits under the Ellington Zoning Regulations.
- A. A commercial enterprise for purposes of assessment shall be assigned one unit for each commercial unit located thereon.
- B. A single commercial unit shall be defined as a structure with a total area of no more than 1,500 square feet of floor area devoted to a single business enterprise or operation.[Amended 4-27-2015]
- (1) For a single business which occupies an area greater than 1,500 square feet, then an additional unit will be assessed for each additional 1,500 square feet of area or fraction thereof.
- (2) Two or more separate business units having less than 1,500 square feet total area cannot be combined to form one unit but each shall be assessed as one unit.
- C. A commercial unit shall also include each separate unit or store within a commercial building. Separate units shall be as determined under a building or zoning permit issued for said property or, in the case of existing buildings, the actual unit arrangement as determined by actual use or fire walls.
- D. Both occupied and vacant commercial units shall be included in this assessment method.
- E. A restaurant unit shall be defined as each block of 12 persons the restaurant is permitted to seat as defined by the permit issued by the Ellington Fire Marshal.
- F. Storage space shall be included into the total area in this assessment method.
- Any person who, or any firm, corporation or other legal entity which, shall subdivide or develop land.
- An area devoted to farm uses, with a minimum area of three acres, for gain or expectation of gain, in the raising of agricultural products, livestock and/or poultry and/or the production of dairy products.
- A building designed as a temporary abiding place for more than 10 persons or having six or more sleeping rooms in which lodging with or without meals is provided.
- INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY
- Property located in those areas specifically set aside for manufacturing, fabricating, assembling, warehousing, finishing, packaging, processing or research and development, including but not limited to all those uses permitted or requiring special permits under the Ellington Zoning Regulations.
- A. An industrial enterprise for purposes of assessment shall be assigned one unit for each industrial unit located thereon.
- B. A single industrial unit shall be defined as a structure with a total area of no more than 2,500 square feet of floor area devoted to a single business enterprise or operation.
- (1) For a single business which occupies an area greater than 2,500 square feet, then an additional unit will be assessed for each additional 2,500 square feet of area or fraction thereof.
- (2) Two or more separate business units having less than 2,500 square feet total area cannot be combined to form one unit but each shall be assessed as one unit.
- C. An industrial unit shall also include each separate unit or store within an industrial building. Separate units shall be as determined under any building or zoning permit issued for said property or, in the case of existing buildings, the actual unit arrangement as determined by actual use or fire walls.
- D. Both occupied and vacant industrial units shall be included in this assessment method.
- E. Storage space shall be included into the total area in this assessment.
- IN-LAW APARTMENT
- Living space within a single-family dwelling for related family members as defined by the Ellington Zoning Regulations.
- LATERAL LINE (SEWER LATERAL)
- A line that connects the main or local community sanitary sewer line or trunk line and runs lateral or perpendicular thereto and extends to the individual property line providing a connection with the sanitary sewer building connection.
- A parcel of land occupied or intended to be occupied by a building or buildings and accessory buildings or uses, including open spaces, and such open spaces as are used in connection with the building or buildings.
- A building or group of buildings containing one or more guest rooms for transient guests, and including motor court, motor hotel, tourist cabins, and tourist rooms.
- RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
- Property located in those areas specifically set aside for development or actually developed for the use of single-family dwellings or residences, including but not limited to all those uses permitted or requiring special permits under the Ellington Zoning Regulations.
- RESIDENTIAL UNIT ASSESSMENT
- The unit for purposes of assessment shall be assigned as follows:
- A. In residential zones, property improved for residential use, property which has been approved as a building lot under applicable zoning or subdivision regulations, and property on which a residential unit or units may be constructed under zoning regulations without the need for approval under zoning or subdivision regulations shall be assigned one unit for each residential unit thereon or for each residential unit permitted to be constructed thereon.
- B. In any zone, one unit shall be assigned to each residential unit in a multifamily residential development which has either been approved as a special exception by the zoning authority or approved under zoning regulations governing such developments.
- C. In any zone, one unit shall be assigned to each three persons permitted to occupy a rooming house, bed-and-breakfast, boardinghouse or group home establishment as defined below.
- ROOMING HOUSE, BED-AND-BREAKFAST, BOARDINGHOUSE or GROUP HOME ESTABLISHMENT
- A building in which a rooms or rooms and meals are provided for compensation to persons other than members of the family of the proprietor.
- STORAGE SPACE
- A storehouse, storeroom, or warehouse that provides space or place for storing as part of a commercial enterprise, including but not limited to space rented for storage.
The sewer benefit assessment charge for residential property shall be the sum of the following two factors:
Unit charge. New single-family and multifamily dwellings shall be assessed $1,875 per bedroom; additions shall be assessed $1,875 per bedroom for increased bedrooms of four or more, or as set by the WPCA after a public hearing.
Lateral charge. In addition and in recognition of the further benefit conferred upon property where a lateral line has been joined to the sewer line to serve the property, a further assessment of $1,000 shall be made. Said lateral charge shall be due and payable with the levying of the overall assessment of basic benefits if in fact said lateral line is in place and presently capable of serving said benefited property.
Commercial and industrial property.
[Amended 1-22-2008; 4-27-2015]
Unit charge. Each commercial and industrial unit or store shall be assessed at $1,100 for the first unit (1,500 square feet), and $550 for each additional unit or portion thereof.
Hotels and motels connecting to the sewer will be assessed at the rate of $1,100 for the first room and $400 for each additional room.
Restaurants connecting to the sewer shall be assessed at the rate of $1,100 for the first unit (12 seats), and $550 for each additional unit or portion thereof.
Lateral charge. In addition and in recognition of the further benefit conferred upon the property where a lateral line has been joined to the sewer line to serve the property, a further assessment of $1,000 shall be made. Said lateral charge shall be due and payable with the levying of the overall assessment of basic benefits if in fact said lateral line is in place and presently capable of serving said benefited property.
Capacity charge. Future units connected to sewers constructed or extended after December 6, 1989, shall be assessed an additional capacity charge of $320 per unit. Said capacity charge will not be subjected to appreciation charges.
Developer-constructed sewer extensions. When a developer constructs sewers which are to service single-family or multifamily residences (including sewers constructed to provide future service to planned or proposed residences) and such sewers are to be connected to existing Town sewer mains and subject to the terms of the WPCA's standard developer's agreement, a capacity charge, the unit charge and the value charge will be assessed. These charges shall be collectable by the WPCA at the following points in time as reflected by the development process:
Capacity charge. In recognition of the costs associated with the purchase of additional treatment plant capacity from the Town of Vernon, a charge of $320 per unit shall be payable for each unit at the time of execution of the developer's agreement (applies only to agreements executed after December 6, 1989) between the developer and the WPCA.
Unit charge. A unit charge of $1,100 per unit as specified in Subsection A(1) shall be payable for each unit upon the transfer of an undeveloped lot, the acceptance by the WPCA of the sewer main constructed by the developer or the issuance of a building permit, whichever occurs first.
Value charge. The value charge shall be payable for each unit after completion of a public hearing and all other WPCA levy procedures are completed as specified elsewhere in this chapter.
Farm residences shall be assessed as in Subsection A above with a front footage of 175 feet or minimum frontage permissible in the zone. Such assessments shall be payable in the regular manner hereunder.
Farmland in excess of a conforming building lot under applicable zoning for each farmhouse shall have its assessment deferred so long as it continues to be used as farmland.
In any case under this chapter where the assessment is to be deferred wholly or partially, a caveat may be placed upon the land records and mailed to the owner of record on the last Assessor's grand list stating the fact that said property has been benefited by installation of the sewer system but the assessment has been deferred by this chapter. Where only a portion of the assessment is required to be deferred, the assessment not deferred may be levied immediately.
The deferred assessment may be made at any time following the recording of a caveat or following the time when a caveat might have been recorded, upon the issuance of a building permit for construction or reconstruction of any structure or development of any property for which the sewer benefit may be measured under this chapter.
After issuance of the building permit, the Building Official shall determine whether the property for which the permit was issued must connect to an existing sewer line or that the property is not on an existing line. The Building Official will notify the WPCA of this permit and determination by use of a form approved by the WPCA.
The WPCA will compute the sewer benefit assessment in one of two methods:
As a new account not previously assessed on a partial basis. In this method, the entire sewer benefit assessment would be due and payable, in full. Upon written request, the WPCA may allow an extended payment plan.
As a new account that has been previously assessed, on a partial basis. In this method, only the additional assessment computed after June 30, 1981, is due and payable, in full. The sewer benefit assessment computed prior to June 30, 1981, may still be paid over a fifteen-year period, at five-percent interest. Two separate bills will be issued by the WPCA.
WPCA benefit assessment levy procedure.
The WPCA will notify the owner that he will be heard at the next available meeting of the WPCA at a public hearing on the proposed assessment and give notice of the date and time of said hearing and follow all necessary notice procedures.
Following the hearing, the WPCA will determine the actual assessment of benefits then to be laid upon said property and give notice to the property owner.
The Tax Collector will mail a bill for the sewer benefit assessment that is outstanding, with a notice of explanation, to the current property owner and file a copy with the Town Clerk.
Said bill shall notify the owner of his right to appeal within 21 days after said filing.
Said assessment shall be due within 30 days following written notice of the assessment to the property owner or actual connection of the premises to the system, whichever shall first occur. In the event no new connection is made to the sewer system, then issuance of a certificate of occupancy by the Building Official shall be deemed the time of connection.
The property owner may appeal the sewer benefit assessment that has been levied to the court no later than 21 days after the bill is filed with the Town Clerk.
Farmland, forest land, open space land, unclassified land and land rezoned and used for residential, commercial or industrial purposes shall be reassessed under this chapter as its use changes to a use which would have been assessed upon the effective date of this chapter, whether or not a caveat has been recorded.
Elderly exemptions under the provisions of Connecticut General Statutes § 7-253a. Assessments shall be made pursuant to this chapter at regular values. Thereafter, property owners who qualify for elderly exemptions under general municipal tax law or for frozen or deferred taxes shall be entitled to elect under the provisions of Connecticut General Statutes § 7-253a to pay only the accrued interest under a deferred payment plan. After an election has been filed, said owner may pay any installation of principal without revoking said election. The entire unpaid balance of said assessment, together with accrued interest and any other appropriate charges, shall be due and payable on transfer of title from said eligible owner or upon the death of such eligible owner.
The WPCA reserves the right to review and reassess properties if, or when, improvements thereto result in an increase in the number of assessable units, the use or classification of the property changes, or other reason which, in the opinion of the WPCA, directly results in the increased value of the property due to the special benefit of the availability of public sewers. Reassessments made in response to improvements in residential, commercial or industrial structures are intended to reflect the value added due to new construction initiated by the property owner and not intended to include land values which have been previously assessed. No new assessments shall be made in response to increased property values relating to Town-wide reevaluations. Any reassessment based on increased property value shall reflect the aforementioned increase over the value computed in the most recent grand list and shall not be retroactive to any previous property value.
Total charges and assessment of benefits for existing units shall be due and payable June 1, 1981, and may be paid in full at any time prior to July 1, 1981. As of June 1, 1981, the assessment of benefits will be filed as a charge against the property of the owner, subject to interest at a rate of 5%, payable thereafter in a maximum of 15 equal annual installments, together with accrued interest. Owners may elect the deferred method of payment by paying the first annual installment or principal on or before June 1, 1981. Any unpaid balance, with interest, may be paid in full at any time with no penalty.
Upon the sale or transfer for value of any property against which a lien for deferred payment plan has been filed, the unpaid principal, together with interest, shall be paid in full. The deferred payment plan shall not be assumable.
The installation and cost of connecting each building to main sewer lines or lateral lines shall be the obligation of the property owner.
Costs of collection, including a reasonable attorney's fee, court costs, lien fees, advertising, sales and sheriff's fees, shall be payable to enforce payment of all delinquent assessments and the enforcement of this chapter as provided in the General Statutes.
Default in installment payments.
Failure to pay any installment of principal or interest when due or within 30 days thereafter shall constitute a delinquency under the provisions of Connecticut General Statutes § 7-254.
Interest upon said delinquent payment shall be at the rate provided in the General Statutes for delinquent property taxes or 5%, whichever is greater.
After any payment has become delinquent, the Tax Collector from the Authority may permit the owner to pay the delinquency together with all accrued charges and reinstate the installment method of paying the remaining installments when due. If more than one installment is delinquent, then the installment method of payment shall be reinstated only by the WPCA upon a written petition by the owner accompanied by payment of all past due installments together with accrued interest and charges.
This chapter shall become effective on April 18, 1995.