Stormwater Management Fees

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

With the search for every spare drop of water due to the drought and the concurrent need to remove pollutants from stormwater, there is a great need for stormwater management programs.  This has also led to a need to figure out how to fund these programs, especially in California with the limitations of Proposition 218.


So in the search for good information about the legal limitations of stormwater fees in California I came across this excellent article by the League of California Cities titled appropriately “Funding Stormwater Programs under Proposition 218.”


In short, it comes down to two things:

  1. If you can show that the stormwater program is related to either the water or sewer system, you only have to comply with the notification requirements used for setting water or sewer rates.

  2. If it is not related to the water or sewer service, in that it provides drainage or removes pollutants from stormwater, then you now have to conduct a vote of the affected property owners to be able to collect a stormwater fee.

The article goes into much more detail about these two scenarios and the related court cases.  It is well worth the read.

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