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Subdivision Policy

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SUBDIVISION POLICY

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SUBDIVISION OF IRRIGABLE LANDS

WHEREAS, RCW 58.17.310 provides for the review and approval of plats and short plats which subdivide irrigable lands within the District, and

WHEREAS, the Board of Directors of the East Columbia Basin Irrigation District desires to revise the District’s requirements related to subdivision of such irrigable lands;

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Directors of the East Columbia Basin Irrigation District that the District’s policy and requirements for approval of the subdivision of irrigable lands within the District are stated as follows:

I. DISTRICT POLICY

A. The Columbia Basin Project’s irrigation and drainage system was constructed to provide irrigation water for the development of commercial agriculture. The vitality and sustainability of the Columbia Basin’s agriculturally based economy are dependent on the continuing availability of irrigable lands and irrigation water. This public irrigation and drainage system was constructed at substantial public expense to develop an agricultural economy. Operation and maintenance and replacement costs of the irrigation and drainage system and the repayment of construction obligations is ongoing at significant expense to Columbia Basin farmers and is dependent on an adequate irrigable land assessment base. Subdivision of irrigable lands can reduce the availability of such lands for commercial agriculture and can increase commercial agriculture’s share of system operation, maintenance and replacement costs and construction charge obligations.

B. The legislative authority of any city, town, county or other public body having jurisdiction over planning, zoning, platting, and other land use activities within the District’s boundaries should take no action to approve the subdivision of irrigable lands within the District’s boundaries unless the irrigable land is immediately adjacent to a city or town (irrigable land located within a designated urban growth area is to be deemed adjacent); the proportion of irrigable land involved is inappreciable in comparison to the proportion of non-irrigable land involved; or the resulting land use will benefit Columbia Basin commercial agriculture to an extent offsetting any reduction in the irrigable land base needed to support the development of the Columbia Basin Project.

II. PLATTING REQUIREMENTS
RCW 58.17.310 requires District approval of plats and short plats which subdivide irrigable lands within the District. When the legislative authority of any city, town, county or other public body having jurisdiction over planning, zoning, platting and other land use activities determines that irrigable lands within the District are to be subdivided, all such plats and short plats must comply with the following minimum requirements to receive the District’s approval:

A. Farm unit boundary data and existing USBR/ECBID easements must be shown with sufficient engineering detail to define their relationships to the plat or short plat boundaries and parcels.

B. Major underground District facilities such as siphons, pipelines or buried pipe drains are to be labeled on the plat or short plat. Plats and short plats that include areas where underground facilities such as siphons, pipelines or buried pipe drains are located shall also bear the following statement:
Underground Irrigation and Drainage Facilities: Buildings and other permanent structures are not to be erected above underground Columbia Basin Project irrigation and drainage facilities. Any encroachments onto CBP rights-of-way including but not limited to, temporary improvements such as paving, fencing, and landscaping require a District permit.

C. Irrigation easements from the District’s delivery point to each parcel containing irrigable land must be provided. The total width of these easements must be at least 10 feet. Wider easements will be required if necessary to accommodate the proposed irrigation and drainage system. The easement may straddle interior lot boundaries. If utilities other than irrigation water are to be located within these easements, sufficient additional width must be provided to permit appropriate separation distances between utilities. Irrigation easements shall be shown on the plat or short plat with sufficient engineering detail to define their relationships to the plat or short plat boundaries and parcels. This requirement may be waived following the release of the irrigation water allotment (See Section IV.).

D. Installation of irrigation facilities to convey irrigation water from the District’s delivery point to each parcel containing irrigable land must be completed prior to the filing of the final plat or short plat. The developer is responsible to design and construct irrigation facilities to deliver water to all irrigable land within the plat or short plat. The irrigation system must be compatible with the District facilities and measuring devices delivering to the subdivision. A separate turnout, constructed by and at the expense of the developer may be required. An approved measuring device must be provided at the expense of the developer. Return flows and overflows to District delivery facilities will not be permitted if they are potentially detrimental to District facilities or other water deliveries. Surface and/or subsurface drainage facilities with sufficient capacity to remove tail water and other run off water must be provided. Such facilities may discharge to District drainage facilities subject to District requirements pertaining to erosion control and water quality standards for such discharges. The District will review the plans for each subdivision’s irrigation and drainage system to determine that the system is likely to perform to the preceding criteria. District review of the plans must be completed prior to the commencement of construction. Engineering accuracy of the design and construction quality control of the irrigation and drainage facility are the responsibility of the developer. In lieu of installation of irrigation facilities prior to the filing of the final plat or short plat the developer may, subject to the approval of the appropriate legislative authority and the District, post a bond, cashier’s check or other similar financial instrument to cover the cost to construct these facilities as provided by RCW 58.17.310. The amount of the financial security shall be in an amount of at least 200% of the estimated total of all costs to install the irrigation facilities. The financial security documents shall provide an appropriate time period for the developer to construct the irrigation facilities, however such time period shall not create a situation in which lots are occupied without irrigation service during the irrigation season. In the event the developer fails to construct the irrigation facilities the District will assist the subdivision water user organization with contracting for the construction of the irrigation facilities, utilizing the proceeds of the financial security to cover the resulting costs to the District and the subdivision water user organization. Construction of these irrigation facilities will not be done by District crews. The District’s cost will be reimbursed first from the security proceeds. If the security is insufficient to cover actual construction costs the balance will be billed to the water user organization.
This requirement may be waived following the release of the irrigation water allotment (See Section IV.).

E. The District may require, as a condition of its review and approval of the plat or short plat, the completion of a Bureau of Reclamation drainage evaluation. This evaluation, if required, will be based on currently available information and will include technical opinions regarding the likelihood of seepage and high water tables occurring within the plat or short plat. This report will be forwarded to the developer and platting authority. In cases where a high water table problem exists or is likely to develop the District will require construction of drainage facilities or the posting of bonds for such construction prior to approval of the plat or short plat.

F. Each plat or short plat shall bear the following statement:
Drain Construction
Rising ground water tables are common in irrigation projects. Federal drain construction funds are not available for drainage of subdivisions and other areas not in a commercial agriculture land use unless such drainage is incidental to the required drainage of adjacent agricultural land and meets federal technical and economic feasibility requirements.

G. Each plat or short plat shall bear the following statement:
Notice This land is included within the East Columbia Basin Irrigation District, and is subject to laws of the United States and the State of Washington relative to the Columbia Basin Project and is liable for further assessments, if any, levied by said District.
It is also understood and agreed that when this plat is served by (County roads — City streets) all irrigable lands within the (road — street) right-of-way or isolated by said dedication will not become a charge assessable to (County — City) and payable to the East Columbia Basin Irrigation District for construction operation and maintenance of the project.

I. Any plat or short plat that includes irrigable lands served by water service contracts shall bear the following statement:

 
Impermanence of Irrigation Water
All or part of the land herein included receives its irrigation water supply pursuant to a water service contract with the East Columbia Basin Irrigation District and/or the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Water Service Contracts contain cancellation provisions for specified causes and prescribed expiration dates. Renewal is not assured.

J. Each plat or short plat must bear the signature of the District’s Secretary-Manager indicating the plat has received District approval. The Secretary-Manager may not approve any plat or short plat not meeting all District requirements without the express approval of the District’s Board of Directors.

K. RCW 58.17.310 also requires the approval of plats or short plats by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Project Manager if the irrigable land to be subdivided has been previously platted by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation as a farm unit within the District.

L. The District may impose other requirements to better assure the subdivision’s opportunity to utilize irrigation water or to protect District facilities.

M. The Bureau of Reclamation may have requirements in addition to those of the District as a prerequisite to its review and approval of the plat or short plat.

III. OTHER REQUIREMENTS
Other requirements relating to subdivided irrigable land within the District’s boundaries are set forth in the District’s general policies, bylaws, rules and regulations and contract provisions pertain to billings, payments, water records and water delivery. Certain of these requirements are summarized as follows:

A. Each parcel in a common delivery subdivided from a farm unit or water service contract must pay an annual administrative charge intended to insulate commercial agriculture from increases to administrative costs associated with common deliveries. Currently this charge is $25.00 per parcel per year, the rate being subject to annual review and adjustment. Within subdivisions where a water user organization is empowered to handle the owners’ billing, payment, and water delivery affairs with the District, only a single administrative charge will be assessed for the water user organization. Formation of such water user organizations shall be done by covenants at the time of platting. Subsequent to platting, this organization can be authorized through execution of specific powers of attorney to conduct business on behalf of the parcel owners with the District by all the individual parcel owners.

B. Each subdivision or water user organization must designate a single individual to handle water deliveries. District ditchriders and clerks will not accept water orders from multiple individuals within a subdivision.

C. The District will not divide water or keep records of individual water use beyond the District delivery point.

D. While on duty, District employees are not allowed to operate irrigation equipment belonging to others.

E. Payment of assessments must be made in advance of water delivery. Half or partial payments do not entitle water delivery. Supplemental and excess water for subdivisions in which 3 or more owners share a District turnout must be purchased in advance of delivery.

F. Additional turnouts for subdivisions are subject to the District’s general policies regarding additional turnouts. Additional turnouts serving less than 5 irrigable acres are not allowed. Additional turnouts serving 5 or more acres may be granted by permit. Permits for additional turnouts for subdivisions will not be approved unless the additional turnout is deemed necessary by the District to provide water delivery service adequate for agricultural irrigation standards to the subdivision or other nearby lands served by the same District facilities. Multiple additional turnouts for subdivisions will not be allowed except to serve isolated or landlocked tracts. Additional turnouts pay an annual special O&M charge intended to insulate commercial agriculture from increases to operational costs associated with additional delivery points. Currently this charge is $200.00 per year, the rate being subject to annual review and adjustment. No new lawn water pumps will be authorized.

IV. RELEASE OF ALLOTMENTS 

Articles 10(d)(1) and 50 of the 1968 Amendatory, Supplemental and Replacement Contract between the United States of America and the East Columbia Basin Irrigation District (Contract No. 14-06-100-65419) and ECBID Resolution 2007-13 adopted on February 14, 2007 provide for the permanent transfer of irrigation water allotments from lands that have become non-irrigable to lands that have been reclassified as irrigable. Many subdivision situations and/or zoning designations will qualify subdivided parcels to be defined as non-irrigable. Release of the irrigation water allotment will relieve the developer or owner of the obligation to comply with many of the preceding platting requirements, including but not limited to, mandatory irrigation easements, mandatory installation of irrigation facilities and mandatory formation of a water user organization to obtain District approval of the plat or short plat.

The District will determine the eligibility for releases of allotments in such uses based on the definitions and requirements of Resolution 2007-13 and other applicable policies. The District’s ability to approve releases of allotments is limited by the availability of irrigable lands to utilize the released allotments. Releasing the irrigation water allotment is voluntary on the part of the owner of fee title to the land. Lienholders must consent to the release.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Resolutions 90-14, 98-04 and 2000-02, are superseded by this Resolution.

DULY ADOPTED in open Meeting this 10th day of January, 2022.

58.17.310 Approval of plat within irrigation district without provision for irrigation prohibited. In addition to any other requirements imposed by the provisions of this chapter, the legislative authority of any city, town, or county shall not approve a short plat or final plat, as defined in RCW 58.17.020, for any subdivision, short subdivision, lot, tract, parcel, or site which lies in whole or in part in an irrigation district organized pursuant to chapter 87.03 RCW unless there has been provided an irrigation water right of way for each parcel of land in such district. In addition, if the subdivision, short subdivision, lot, tract, parcel, or site lies within land within the district classified as irrigable, completed irrigation water distribution facilities for such land may be required by the irrigation district by resolution, bylaw, or rule of general applicability as a condition for approval of the short plat or final plat by the legislative authority of the city, town, or county. Rights of way shall be evidenced by the respective plats submitted for final approval to the appropriate legislative authority. In addition, if the subdivision, short subdivision, lot, tract, parcel, or site to be platted is wholly or partially within an irrigation district of two hundred thousand acres or more and has been previously platted by the United States bureau of reclamation as a farm unit in the district, the legislative authority shall not approve for such land a short plat or final plat as defined in RCW 58.17.020 without the approval of the irrigation district and the administrator or manager of the project of the bureau of reclamation, or its successor agency, within which that district lies. Compliance with the requirements of this section together with all other applicable provisions of this chapter shall be a prerequisite, within the expressed purpose of this chapter, to any sale, lease, or development of land in this state.
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