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(1) Whatever share of the total actual project costs of the local improvement is to be borne by the city and by sources of funds other than assessments shall be deducted from the total project costs before they are apportioned and assessed under this section. The city shall pay the costs of the following, provided funds are available and the project has appropriate priority:

(a) Components of the local improvement that will not be assessed pursuant to subsections (2) through (9) of this section 7.175 and subsections 7.180(2) through (5);

(b) Street improvements and sidewalks within the intersection of public ways other than intersections of new streets within the boundaries of a new development;

(c) A portion of the street and alley improvements for a lot or parcel upon which one single family dwelling or duplex exists which is owned and occupied by low-moderate income person(s) and which property is adjacent to an alley or served by a street which is unimproved or improved with substandard improvements at the time the local improvement district is formed if the street or alley improvement is initiated by the council or by property owner petition.

(d) Features of storm sewers constructed as part of a street improvement project within existing developed areas which are in addition to those necessary to properly drain the surface of the street being improved and to provide water quality treatment to the runoff from the street surface;

(e) Other costs attributable to special conditions or to policies adopted prior to or at the time the council adopts the resolution forming the local improvement district.

(2) The assessments for individual parcels of real property shall be calculated and assessed as follows against the property specially benefitted by the local improvement:

(a) Special costs or features of the improvement that benefit a particular parcel or parcels in a manner peculiar to the parcel(s) shall, together with a share of the overhead for the improvement, be assessed separately against each benefitted parcel.

(b) The remainder of the assessable costs of the improvement shall be assessed and apportioned as described in subsections (3) through (9) of this section and section 7.180.

(c) Notwithstanding any provision in subsections (3) through (9) of this section and section 7.180, the city engineer may accept an alternative means of assessments or other means of collecting funds for local improvements if:

1. The alternative means is approved by all affected property owners; and

2. The city engineer determines that the alternative means adequately protects the city’s interest in recovering its costs.

(3) Alley improvement assessments. Alley improvement assessments shall be apportioned as follows:

(a) The front footage of a parcel along the alley shall be ascertained and that footage shall be weighted, on the basis of existing use of the parcel under the zoning of the city, by multiplying the footage by the factor indicated for that use in the following table:

Use Factor

Single family dwelling or duplex


Other residential


Commercial or General Office,





1.0 – 10.0*

*According to the most intensive use of the parcel most comparable to the use listed above as determined by the city engineer.

(b) The area of each such parcel that is within 160 feet of the alley, as measured at right angles from the front footage of the parcel, shall be ascertained and that area shall be weighted on the basis of permissible use of the parcel under the zoning of the city, by multiplying the area by the factor indicated for that use in the table set forth in (6)(a) of this subsection.

(c) One-half of the general costs and overhead to be assessed shall be apportioned on the basis of the weighted front footage and one-half on the basis of the weighted areas.

(d) Assessments for alley improvements shall be calculated on a block-by-block basis and shall include all the costs of the alley improvement, including, but not limited to:

1. Drainage infrastructure such as catch basins, stormwater quality devices, and the pipings to connect the drainage infrastructure to storm sewers for properties specially benefited by the basins; and

2. Intersections of alleys, and driveway approaches of alleys at their intersections with streets.

(4) Sidewalk assessments. Parcels abutting a sidewalk shall be liable for a proportionate share of the cost of the sidewalk, based on the front footage of the parcel abutting the sidewalk. Where, however, the council finds that the topography makes it unfeasible to construct a sidewalk on both sides of the street, the cost of the sidewalk on one side of the street may be assessed to both the parcels abutting the sidewalk and the parcels on the opposite side of the street from the sidewalk, on the basis of the front footage abutting or directly across the street from the sidewalk, or the costs may also be apportioned on the basis of the area of sidewalk or driveway apron or both abutting each parcel, whichever basis is determined to be more equitable by the council.

(5) Storm drainage system assessments. The cost of storm sewer construction shall be borne in the following manner:

(a) In a new or undeveloped subdivision or a new development, the parcels specially benefitted by the storm drainage system shall bear the cost of the system pipe or other facility up to and including the first 24 inches of pipe diameter or comparable capacity in another storm drainage facility. Subject to subsection (1) of this section, for pipes larger than 24 inches or comparable capacity in another storm drainage facility, the city shall pay a proportional share of the cost calculated as follows:

City Percentage of Cost =

(Pipe Diameter) – 24 x 100%

(Pipe Diameter)

Where pipe diameter is actual pipe diameter or the comparable measurement of capacity of other storm drainage facility being used.

(b) The cost to be assessed shall be apportioned to each parcel on the basis of its land area in the assessment district.

(6) Sanitary sewer assessments. The cost of sanitary sewer construction shall be borne in the following manner:

(a) The properties specially benefitted by a sanitary sewer shall bear the cost of the sewer up to and including eight inches of pipe diameter. The additional cost of a sanitary sewer may be borne by the specially benefitted properties, the city and others as provided in subsection (1) of this section.

(b) Sanitary sewer service lines. Each parcel provided with a service line that extends from the eight-inch or larger lateral sewer line to within 10 feet of the property line, shall be considered to have one service line connection point. If more than one service line connection point is provided the parcel, it shall be assessed for the actual number of service line connection points. For large, unplatted parcels, provided with one or more service line connection points, each service line connection point shall be considered to serve an area of not more than 120 feet in width, and not more than 60 feet on each side of the service line connection point. All costs related to the service lines, including overhead costs, shall be divided by the total number of service line connection points, to determine the cost per service line connection point. Each parcel shall be charged for the number of service line connection points provided.

(c) Lateral sewer system. The lateral system shall include all cost items, including overhead costs, related to at least an eight-inch lateral system. These costs shall be apportioned to each parcel on the basis of a cost per square foot of service area, determined by dividing the total lateral system cost by the total service area. The service area for each parcel shall be determined as follows:

1. For parcels provided with a service line, the service area shall be that portion of the parcel lying within 160 feet of the street right-of-way line or within 160 feet of the side- or rear-lot lines when the sewer is located nearer such a line than the street line.

2. For parcels where service lines are not provided, a compensating factor shall be applied to allow for the distance to the lateral sewer line. The factor shall be computed as follows:

Factor = 160 – (distance from property – 1/2 right-of-way)

( line to sewer width )


The area, as determined in (9)(c)(1) above, shall be multiplied by this factor to determine the equivalent area of service for the lateral system. Lateral system costs shall also include at least an eight-inch equivalent cost for a portion of all existing or new trunk sewer lines larger than eight-inch diameter which are necessary to complete the sewer system within the improvement district.

(7) Other local improvements. The cost of local improvements not identified in subsections (3) through (9) of this section shall be borne by the property specially benefitted as provided in the council resolution forming the local improvement district.

(8) When parcels of real property to be assessed are in a planned unit development, condominium or other development in which the common elements are jointly owned by those owning individual units within the development, the entire development shall be treated as a single parcel and its assessment shall be determined as provided in subsection 7.175(2). After determining the assessment for the entire planned unit development or condominium, the assessment shall then be apportioned and assessed against each individual unit of ownership within the planned unit development or condominium and that unit’s interest in the common elements according to the terms of the irrevocable petition, if there is one, or according to the recorded declaration if it contains express language directing the apportionment of assessments for public improvements. Notwithstanding the foregoing sentence, the city engineer may select an alternative method if, in the engineer’s judgment, the recorded declaration does not provide adequate security for payment of the owners’ obligations to the city and the alternative method is equitable to all owners. Absent such express language in an irrevocable petition, a recorded declaration, or a determination by the council that only specific individual units within the planned unit development or condominium specially benefit from the improvement and should therefore bear the assessments, the assessments shall be apportioned and assessed among the individual units according to the individual unit’s proportionate interest in the common elements. Where the foregoing provisions conflict or do not provide sufficient guidance, the city engineer shall make an equitable apportionment of the assessments according to the engineer’s judgment as to proportionate benefit and in a manner that provides adequate security to assure payment of the owners’ financial obligations to the city.

(9) Without repeating the notice required by section 7.185, prior to enactment of the ordinance levying the assessment required by section 7.190, the proposed assessments for individual parcels of real property calculated under subsection 7.175(2) and section 7.180 may be adjusted by a written agreement between the affected owners and the city engineer provided:

(a) No parcel’s adjusted proposed assessment exceeds the assessed value of the parcel at the time of the agreement;

(b) The proposed adjusted assessment for any parcel subject to subsections 7.160(2) and (3) remains within the limitations imposed under subsections 7.160(2) and (3); and

(c) There is no increase in the city’s share of project costs or in assessments to other parcels within the project whose owners were not a party to the agreement.

(Section 7.175 added by Ordinance No. 17955, enacted April 11, 1977; amended by Ordinance No. 19393 enacted July 28, 1986, effective January 28, 1987; Ordinance No. 19653, enacted November 22, 1989, effective May 22, 1990; Ordinance No. 19773, enacted May 13, 1991, effective July 1, 1991; Ordinance No. 19808, enacted November 4, 1991, effective May 4, 1992; Ordinance No. 19922, enacted June 21, 1993; Ordinance No. 20214, enacted October 23, 2000, effective April 23, 2001; Ordinance No. 20236, enacted November 26, 2002, effective May 26, 2002; Ordinance No. 20321, enacted May 25, 2004, effective November 24, 2004; Ordinance No. 20390, enacted August 13, 2007, effective February 14, 2008; Ordinance No. 20469, enacted December 15, 2010, effective June 17, 2011.)