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For the purposes of construing this chapter, the following definitions are made a part thereof:

“Accessory dwelling unit (ADU)” means one or more rooms with private bath and kitchen facilities comprising an independent, self-contained dwelling unit within or attached to a single-family dwelling, or in a detached building on the same lot as the primary dwelling unit. An ADU is distinguishable from a duplex in that, unlike a duplex, it is clearly subordinate to the primary dwelling unit, both in use and appearance. Approved ADUs shall not be subject to separate metering requirements of VMC 14.04.190(I).

“Agent” means any person empowered in writing to act on behalf of the legal owner in matters concerning utility service.

“Building permit” means those permits issued pursuant to Title 17 of the Vancouver Municipal Code, authorizing the customer or their agent to perform work upon their premises.

“Combined sewer” means those sewers which are designed to carry both waste matter permitted by this title to enter the system and surface drainage water.

“Commercial” means all property zoned or used for nonresidential purposes.

“Consumer” means any person who uses services of the city’s utility; provided, that in the case of calculating the pro rata charges for service when one line serves multiple premises owned by multiple customers, it shall mean each single-family unit, or unit of a multifamily residential complex, or each separate business which occupies a commercial or industrial building.

“Customer” means the fee owner of property or premises served by the city’s utility through and by the department, provided that the fee owner may designate an agent for purposes managing the customer’s account and provided further that a tenant may put service in their own name under the provisions of VMC 14.04.192 through 14.04.195.

“Customer line” means the pipe, valves and fittings leading from the water meter into the premises served.

“Department” means the water/sewer/stormwater division of the department of public works of the city of Vancouver, and the city of Vancouver, acting by and through its water/sewer/stormwater utility, its authorized agents and employees.

“Director” means the director of public works or duly authorized representative.

“Dwelling unit” means one room or a suite of two or more rooms, designed for use by one family or housekeeping unit for living and sleeping purposes, and having one kitchen. Each unit shall provide a complete independent living space for one or more persons, including permanent facilities for living, sleeping, cooking and sanitation.

“Fee owner” means the owner of record, as shown by the records of Clark County. (See also “customer.”)

“Final acceptance” means the acceptance of civil improvements by the city of Vancouver upon completion of all required development conditions, document submittals, and final inspections of all civil improvements installed as part of a project. Final acceptance shall be documented by signature of the director or designee on the final acceptance letter. Once final acceptance is issued the city of Vancouver will assume operation and maintenance of said civil improvements.

“Latecomer fee,” for purposes of VMC 14.04.285, means a charge collected by the city, whether separately stated or as part of a connection fee for providing access to a city system, against a real property owner who connects to or uses a water or sewer facility subject to a reimbursement contract created under RCW 35.91.020 as implemented by VMC 14.04.285.

“Main line fee” means reimbursement to the city paid by new customers under the terms of VMC 14.04.280 for the costs of city-extended water and/or sewer mains.

“Monthly base charge” means the minimum charge for water/sewer service as established by this chapter or as hereafter amended.

“Municipality,” for purposes of VMC 14.04.285, means the governing body of any county, city, town, or drainage district.

“Multiple family (multifamily) dwelling” means a building or portion thereof designed or used as a residence by two or more families and containing two or more dwelling units. This also includes ADUs that share water and sewer service from service connections for the primary residence.

“Person” means any individual, firm, company, partnership, association, society, corporation or group.

“Premises” means a continuous tract of land, building or groups of adjacent buildings under a single ownership or control with respect to water or sewer service and responsibility for payment therefor. Subdivisions of such use or responsibility shall constitute a division into separate premises as defined here.

“Public sewer” means a sewer constructed for conveyance of liquid wastes and which is located in a public right-of-way, street, alley or easement and is controlled by the city or other public authority. The public sewer does not include sewer laterals serving individual buildings, properties or premises.

“Reimbursement contract,” for purposes of VMC 14.04.285, means a contract entered into under RCW 35.91.020 as implemented by VMC 14.04.285 which provides for the pro rata reimbursement to an owner of real estate or the owner’s assigns within a period of 20 years for a portion of the costs of the water or sewer facilities improved or constructed by the owner from latecomer fees received by the city from property owners who subsequently connect to or use the water or sewer facilities, but who did not contribute to the original cost of the facilities.

“Right-of-way use permit” means any permit required by any public agency authorizing the customer or their agent to perform work within public rights-of-way. For the purpose of this title, the term “right-of-way use permit” includes, but is not limited to, street-cut permit, sidewalk permit, driveway permit, curb permit, utility permit.

“Sanitary sewer” means those sewers used to collect and transport only domestic, commercial or industrial waterborne wastes permitted to be discharged thereto by this title.

“Service line” means the pipe, fittings and water meter connecting the main to the customer’s meter.

“Sewer lateral” means the pipe and fittings necessary for connecting the customer’s building sewer to the public sewer main.

“Sewer system” means the system of conduits, pipes, pumps, treatment facilities and structures used for the purpose of conveying from their source, treating in any manner, and conveying to final points of disposal all wastes of any nature permitted by this title.

“Single-family dwelling” means a building designed or used for residence purposes by not more than one family and containing one dwelling unit only, including mobile homes when not located in a mobile home park and including condominium units subject to fee simple ownership, and excluding multiple-family dwellings, apartments and motels. This also includes ADUs that take water and sewer service from service connections separate from the primary residence.

“Storm sewer” means those sewers used to collect and transport stormwater runoff, surface drainage, or other water which may be permitted under this title.

“Utility” means the water/sewer/stormwater utility consisting of the water/sewer/stormwater division of the city department of public works and the utility administration division of the city department of public works, or successor department or division which is charged with the furnishing of water and sewer service within the city of Vancouver’s water and sewer and stormwater service areas.

“Water main” means the pipe laid in a public right-of-way, street, alley, or easement owned by the city, and used or intended for the distribution of water to customers through service lines, and may also be referred to as “main.”

“Water meter” means any device used for the measurement of water delivered to an individual location, customer or user.

“Water or sewer facilities,” for purposes of VMC 14.04.285, means storm, sanitary, or combination sewers, pumping stations, and disposal plants, water mains, hydrants, reservoirs, or appurtenances.

“Water system” means the system of conduits, pumps, treatment facilities, and structures used for the purpose of production and conveying potable water from their source, treating in any manner, and conveying to users in the city and adjacent areas. (Ord. M-4359 § 1, 2021; Ord. M-4082 § 3, 2014; Ord. M-4022 § 2, 2012; Ord. M-3755 § 1, 2006; Ord. M-2629 § 7, 1986; Ord. M-2481 § 1, 1984; Ord. M-810 § 3, 1966; Ord. M-298, 1956; Ord. M-144 § 4, 1954)