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Chapter 3.16 - Special Improvement District Assessment Policies

3.16.010 General
The city shall follow the policies and procedures set out in this chapter in establishing special assessment improvement districts within the community. (Res. 76-235 § 1 (part), 1976).

3.16.020 Criteria for use
A. A special improvement district may be considered as a means of financing all, or any designated portion of, the cost of any public improvement authorized by statute where special benefits accrue to certain properties as a result of the proposed improvement.
B. The portion of the cost of any public improvement to be assessed to specially benefited properties shall be proportionate to the special benefit received by those properties. (Res. 76-235 § 1(I), 1976).

3.16.030 Criteria for initiation
A. A special improvement district may be considered for initiation when any of the following conditions are evident:
1. There is an expressed desire for the improvement by owners of assessable properties;
2. There is a history of excessive maintenance costs or requirements that could be eliminated or reduced by the proposed improvement;
3. A nuisance or hazard exists which could be corrected by the proposed improvement;
4. The proposed improvement would provide for a logical extension of existing or proposed public improvements and avoid the creation of conditions as referred to in subdivisions (2) and (3) above.
B. No specific percentage of support or opposition is required to initiate or terminate a special improvement district. The City Council will make a determination in this respect based on a review of the above factors as may pertain to each proposed special improvement district along with input as may be received from owners of the affected properties. (Res. 76-235 § 1(II), 1976).

3.16.040 Initiation-Method
A. All special improvement districts will be initiated by resolution of City Council in accordance with Section 31-25-503(1)(d) of the Colorado Revised Statutes 1973 (1975 Supp.)
B. Special improvement districts shall not be initiated through the petitioning process as provided in Section 31-25-503(1)(b) of the Colorado Revised Statutes 1973 (1975 Supp.) (Res. 76-235 § 1(III), 1976).

3.16.050 Notice and hearing procedures
A. Notice and public hearing for each proposed special improvement district shall be held in accordance with Part 5 of Article 25 of Title 31 of the Colorado Revised Statutes 1973 (1975 Supp.). The following is the procedure to be taken before the City Council:
1. Adoption of resolution of intent to create special improvement districts;
2. Public hearing on proposed creation of special improvement districts;
3. Adoption of ordinance creating special improvement districts;
4. Award of contract for construction;
5. Adoption of bond sale resolution and ordinance;
6. Adoption of resolution accepting improvements;
7. Public hearing on proposed assessment levies;
8. Adoption of ordinance levying assessments.
Public notice of each of these actions will be made when statutorily required by placement of such public notice in a newspaper of general circulation.
B. It is the intent of the city that owners of all properties potentially affected by a special improvement district be given full and adequate notice of all relevant proceedings associated with the proposed project. Toward this end, each property owner of record within a proposed special improvement district will receive advance notice by first class mail of proceedings referred to in subsection (A)(1)-(3), (6)-(8) of this section along with pertinent information relative to these items.
C. In addition to subsection (A) of this section, informal public meetings will be held with owners of all properties potentially affected by a special improvement district prior to the initiation of formal proceedings. Where possible, advance mailings and public advertisement will also be made of these meetings. (Res. 76-235 § 1(IV), 1976).

3.16.060 Polls-Purpose and effect
Polls will be made by first class mail and public notice prior to the public hearing on the creation of each special improvement district in order to determine opposition to the proposed project by owners of affected properties. Such polls are for informational purposes only and have no binding effect on the creation or noncreation of a special improvement district. (Res. 76-235 § 1(V), 1976).

3.16.070 Assessment calendar-Effect
Administrative requirements and minimum bonding limitations necessitate the initiation and implementation of special improvement districts on a group basis according to an annual calendar. On the basis of this calendar, a special improvement district must be initiated by introduction of an ordinance creating the district on first reading no later than October in order for construction to take place the following summer. An annual assessment calendar will be maintained for this purpose and all special improvement districts will be required to follow such calendar requirements. Special improvement districts falling outside the calendar requirements must be held over until a new annual calendar is initiated. (Res. 76-235 § 1(VI), 1976).

3.16.080 Cost responsibilities-Guidelines-General
A. To the extent practical, the City Council will apply guidelines on cost responsibilities for all improvements accomplished through special improvement districts.
B. The intent of these cost responsibility guidelines is to:
1. Insure consistent and equitable treatment of assessed properties among various special improvement districts for like improvements;
2. Provide for specially benefited properties to be assessed proportionately to benefit received. (Res. 76-235 § 1(VII)(A), (B), 1976).

3.16.090 Cost responsibilities-City participation-Criteria
City participation in the cost of special improvement districts will be considered only where:
A. General benefit to the community at large will accrue from the improvement;
B. Sufficient budgeted funds exist to allow such participation;
C. Such funds are not needed for a project of greater general benefit to the community at large. (Res. 76-235 § 1(VII)(C), 1976).

3.16.100 Cost responsibilities-Street improvements
Cost responsibilities for street improvements accomplished through special improvement districts shall be as follows:

FunctionalClassification Property Owner City Property Owner City
Local StreetsAll Zoning Categories 100% 0% 100% 0%
Major andCollector Streets:R-1, R-1A, R-1B, R-2, C-0,A-1, A-2, Zoning Categories 0% 100% 100% up to CollectorStreet Equivalent** Excess over CollectorStreet Equivalent
All Other Zoning Categories Up to 100% CollectorStreet Equivalent* Excess 100% up to CollectorStreet Equivalent*** Excess over CollectorStreet Equivalent

* New development encompasses areas where special improvement districts are initiated as a result of the land subdivision, or building permit and construction process.
** This is an optional assessment dependent upon an evaluation of benefit; factors such as overall impact, access and so forth will be taken into consideration in determining assessments to these properties.
*** All rights-of-way must be provided by the developer and will not be included in cost sharing computations.

(Res. 76-235 §(VII)(D), 1976).

3.16.110 Cost responsibilities-Paved street rebuild
Where an existing paved street facility or portion thereof must be rebuilt in connection with a special improvement district, the cost of the portions rebuilt may be shared equally between the city and assessed properties up to the equivalent of the facility that existed prior to such rebuild for R-1, R-1A, R-1B, R-2, C-O, A-1, and A-2 zoning categories with the remaining improvements being assessable in accordance with Section 3.16.100 of this chapter. For all other zoning categories all rebuild costs normally will be assessed in accordance with Section 3.16.100 of this chapter. (Res. 76-235 § 1(VII)(E), 1976).

3.16.120 Cost responsibilities-Drainage improvements
Cost responsibilities for drainage improvements accomplished through special improvement districts shall be as follows:

FunctionalClassification Property Owner City Property Owner City
Local 100% 0% 100% 0%
Major and Trunk* 100% up to local facilityequivalent* Excess 100% 0%

* Local facility equivalents shall be determined by an evaluation of tributary flows within the area to be assessed as compared to outside the area to be assessed; with the city bearing a pro rata cost equivalent of tributary flows outside the assessed area; cost responsibilities for off-area extensions necessary for flow accommodation purposes shall be made on this same basis.

(Res. 76-235 § 1(VII)(F), 1976).

3.16.130 Cost responsibilities-Sidewalks and bike paths
Where special improvement districts are used to finance sidewalk and bike path improvements, standard sidewalk widths shall be one hundred percent assessable. Where extra width is required for combination sidewalks and bikeways, the city shall be responsible for a pro rata share of the cost of the extra width, except for new developments where the entire cost will be assessed. (Res. 76-235 § 1(VII)(G), 1976).

3.16.140 Cost responsibilities-Street lighting
Where special improvement districts are used to finance street lighting, costs for underground wiring and ornamental poles will be one hundred percent assessable. (Res. 76-235 § 1(VII)(H), 1976).

3.16.150 Cost responsibilities-Miscellaneous improvements
The city may define cost responsibility guidelines for other types of special improvement district projects from time to time. (Res. 76-235 § 1(VII)(I), 1976).

3.16.160 Cost responsibilities-Guideline use
It is the intent of the city that all property-assessable costs associated with a special improvement district be included for assessment purposes according to the guidelines set out in Sections 3.16.100 through 3.16.150 of this chapter. (Res. 76-235 § 1(VIII), 1976).

3.16.170 Cost apportionment
A. Assessment costs are to be apportioned among assessable properties on the basis of proportionate benefits to the property received from an improvement.
B. It is the intent of the city to arrive at an apportionment formula which best fits the conditions of a special improvement district under consideration while accomplishing the apportionment required by subsection (A) of this section. This will require various methods of apportionment to be used from time to time.
C. Normally assessment apportionments will be based on one of the following criteria:
1. Abutting footage;
2. Area within the special improvement district boundaries;
3. Lots or units within the special improvement district boundaries;
4. Combinations of the above. (Res. 76-235 § 1(IX), 1976).

3.16.180 Payment-Methods
A. Providing bonds are utilized, property assessments may be paid on an installment basis over a period of up to twelve years.
B. Full assessments may be paid on a lump sum basis at any time with appropriate interest adjustments.
C. Full assessments paid within thirty days of final publication of the assessing ordinance will receive a discount of five percent. (Res. 76-235 § 1(X), 1976).

3.16.190 Bond requirements-Surplus and deficiency fund establishment
A. All special improvement district improvements will be funded through the sale of special assessment bonds with the exception of city cost-sharing moneys.
B. The minimum amount of funding required for bonding purposes will be one hundred fifty thousand dollars.
C. Where a special improvement district does not involve at least one hundred fifty thousand dollars in assessable costs, it must be joined with another special improvement district or special improvement districts. Individual special improvement districts will not be created until this minimum funding amount is achieved.
D. A surplus and deficiency fund is to be established to insure coverage for assessment bond defaults. This fund is to be sustained by rounding special assessment bond interest rates upward to the nearest one-half percent; or, if less than one-fourth percent increase is involved, to the nearest one-fourth percent providing for a minimum of one-fourth percent increase over the interest rate paid on the special assessment bonds; such surpluses to be earmarked for this fund. (Res. 76-235 § 1(XI), 1976).

3.16.200 Hardship situations-Relief
It is the intent of the city to offer relief to hardship situations brought about by the creation of special improvement districts and subsequent assessment levies on property owners with low incomes. Such relief is to be provided through an assessment rebate procedure wherein qualifying property owners may be reimbursed for their assessments on an annual basis. Qualifications are to be based on applications outlining asset levels and matched with a sliding rebate schedule adopted annually by the city. Low income assistance shall be made available on an annual installment basis only and not for lump sum payments. (Res. 76-235 § 1(XII), 1976).

3.16.210 Design and construction standards-Compliance required
All public improvements accomplished through special improvement districts shall be designed and constructed in full accordance with the city's applicable minimum design standards. These guidelines set forth minimum standards required to allow such facilities to function in a safe and proper manner and without undue maintenance and operating costs or requirements accruing to the city. The fact that they are being provided through the special improvement district process does not remove the need for adequate design in this respect. (Res. 76-235 § 1(XIII), 1976).