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Change means higher stormwater rates for B&Bs

Three bed and breakfast businesses located inside Port Orchard have been billed as residential instead of as commercial businesses for stormwater rates after a review of the stormwater roll performed by the city staff.

Staff determined that the bed and breakfast businesses were operating in residential, but not billed as commercial businesses. In June, staff presented a review of the three businesses to the Utility Committee. The committee, chaired by Councilman Rob Putaansuu, asked staff to research how other jurisdictions in the area do their stormwater rates for bed and breakfast businesses.

“The code says we should be treating this as commercial,” said Councilman Rob Putaansuu. “That’s why we took the extra step to see what other jurisdictions are doing.”

Councilmembers John Clauson and Cindy Lucarelli are on the Utility Committee.

At the Aug. 19 council work session, the research showed that Bainbridge Island and Bremerton rate bed and breakfast businesses as commercial, but Kitsap County rates them as a single-family residence.

Assistant City Engineer Andrea Archer-Parson told the council in order to remain consistent with the Municipal Code, the businesses need to be reassessed as commercial businesses. She said two of the businesses will see “little to no change” while the other will see a large increase in the stormwater rates based on the impervious area on the parcel.

Public Works Director Mark Dorsey said the city’s Impervious Surface Unit (ISU) is based on 3,000 square feet for utility fees.

Archer-Parson said one of the businesses is less than 3,000 square feet, another less than 6,000 and one is more than 15,000.

She said the larger bed and breakfast will have four ISUs added to their bill.

The city’s stormwater rate is $7 per ISU each month, but will double on Jan. 1 to $14. This means the larger bed and breakfast will be $70 per month based on five ISUs.

Cedar Cove Inn is the largest bed and breakfast business in the city.

In 2008, the city began steps to establish a stormwater utility to bring the city into compliance with state regulations that enforced the federal Clean Water Act of 1972.

The city implemented the current stormwater fee in 2009.

DOE proposes to update stormwater permit

OLYMPIA — Local governments in Western Washington will see changes to what’s required for managing polluted stormwater runoff, the top threat to the water quality of urban-area lakes, rivers and Puget Sound.

The Department of Ecology proposes modifications to the August 2012 municipal stormwater permits for Western Washington only, and has made the changes available for public review.

The changes are required due to rulings by the state Pollution Control Hearings Board to resolve appeals of the permits.

Changes include technical issues around low-impact development, watershed planning, definitions and the Western Washington Stormwater Manual.

The proposed modifications, supporting documents, and additional details on how to submit comments are posted on Ecology’s Municipal Stormwater website at www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/stormwater/municipal/permitMod2014.html.

Stormwater is typically rain that runs off rooftops, paved streets, highways and parking lots. Along the way it can pick up pollution from oil, fertilizers, pesticides, soil, trash and animal waste. Then the water might flow untreated directly into a local stream, bay, lake or waterway.

The public comment period ends Oct. 6. DOE expects to finalize the permits in December 2014.

 

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