City of Kirkland


The City of Kirkland has enacted a Stormwater Ordinance in order to establish minimum stormwater management requirements and controls to protect and safeguard the general health, safety, and welfare of the public residing in watersheds within this jurisdiction.  The City of Kirkland is the permitting authority for all land disturbing activities and requires the land owner to maintain all on-site stormwater control facilities and all open space areas (e.g. parks or “green” areas) required by the approved stormwater control plan. The City of Kirkland will only provide construction permits to projects that establish a plan to manage stormwater runoff occurring during the construction process. The City of Kirkland, under the NPDES program, also has the authority to inspect properties for noncompliance and can issue a notice of violation (NOV) for any deficiency or infraction onsite. Property owners are responsible for the maintenance of any stormwater facilities or practices located on the property. The City of Kirkland has the authority to inspect stormwater facilities and practices in order to ascertain that they are properly maintained and functioning.

Excerpt from City of Kirkland Code of Ordinances

Title 15 Water and Sewage; Chapter 15.52 Surface Water Management

15.52.020 Purpose.

The city council finds that this chapter is necessary to promote sound development policies and construction procedures which respect and preserve the city’s watercourses; to minimize water quality degradation and control of sedimentation of creeks, streams, ponds, lakes, and other water bodies; to protect the life, health, and property of the general public; to preserve and enhance the suitability of waters for contact recreation and fish habitat; to preserve and enhance the aesthetic quality of the waters; to maintain and protect valuable ground water quantities, locations, and flow patterns; to insure the safety of city roads and rights-of-way; and to decrease drainage-related damages to public and private property. (Ord. 3711 § 4 (part), 1999)

15.52.060 Design and construction standards and requirements.

(a)    The design and construction standards and requirements shall meet or exceed the thresholds, definitions, minimum requirements, and exceptions/variances criteria found in Appendix I of the Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit. To meet these criteria, the following are adopted:

(1)    The 2016 King County Surface Water Design Manual;

(2)    The 2016 King County Stormwater Pollution Prevention Manual;

(3)    The city’s pre-approved plans and policies which include the City of Kirkland Addendum to the 2016 King County Surface Water Design Manual as presently written or hereafter amended.

(b)    Unless otherwise provided, it shall be the developer’s and property owner’s responsibility to design, construct, and maintain a system which complies with the standards and minimum requirements as set forth in the pre-approved plans.

(c)    In addition to providing drainage facilities as required in this section and as outlined in the pre-approved plans, the developer, property owner, and/or business owner/operator shall provide source control best management practices as described in the 2016 King County Stormwater Pollution Prevention Manual, such as structures and/or a manual of practices designed to treat or prevent storm water pollution arising from specific activities expected to occur on the site. Examples of such specific activities include, but are not limited to, carwashing at multifamily residential sites and oil storage at auto repair businesses.

(d)    The city will inspect all permanent drainage facilities prior to final approval of the relevant permit. All facilities must be clean and fully operational before the city will grant final approval of the permit. A performance bond may not be used to obtain final approval of the permit prior to completing the drainage facilities required under this chapter.

(e)    Prior to final approval of the drainage facilities, the property owner of all drainage facilities shall submit an irrevocable license to enter the property for the purposes of inspection. The following language must be included in the irrevocable license to enter:

(1)    A statement that the property owner is to be responsible for the maintenance of drainage facilities on the property;

(2)    A statement granting the public works director or designee the right to enter the property for the purposes of inspecting the drainage facilities; and

(3)    A statement that the public works director shall have the authority to order repair or cleaning of the drainage facilities if the owner does not take action to conduct this work or if the site poses a threat to public health and safety.

(f)    Adjustment Process. Any developer proposing to adjust the requirements for, or alter design of, a system required as set forth in the pre-approved plans must follow the adjustment process as set forth in the pre-approved plans.

(g)    Other Permits and Requirements. It is recognized that other city, county, state, and federal permits may be required for the proposed action. Further, compliance with the provisions of this chapter when developing and/or improving land may not constitute compliance with these other jurisdictions’ requirements. To the extent required by law, these other requirements must be met. (Ord. 4538 § 10, 2016: Ord. 4351 § 1, 2012: Ord. 4214 § 1, 2009: Ord. 3711 § 4 (part), 1999)

15.52.100 Source control best management practices.

BMPs shall be applied to any business or residential activity that might discharge contaminants to a public drainage facility, natural drainage system, surface and storm water, or ground water. Contaminants shall be controlled by implementing appropriate source control BMPs, as described in the 2016 King County Stormwater Pollution Prevention Manual. Discharges associated with activities not addressed in the 2016 King County Stormwater Pollution Prevention Manual shall be controlled using BMPs reviewed and accepted by the city. Failure to implement such practices shall constitute a violation of this chapter. (Ord. 4666 § 4, 2018: Ord. 4538 § 14, 2016: Ord. 4200 § 20, 2009: Ord. 3711 § 4 (part), 1999)

15.52.120 Operation and maintenance of drainage facilities.

(a)     Standards for maintenance of drainage facilities existing on public or private property within the city of Kirkland are contained in Appendix A of the 2016 King County Surface Water Design Manual and the City of Kirkland Addendum to the 2016 King County Surface Water Design Manual. Any maintenance agreement submitted and approved by the city through the permit process shall supersede maintenance requirements contained in the 2016 King County Surface Water Design Manual and the City of Kirkland Addendum to the 2016 King County Surface Water Design Manual.

(b)    No person shall cause or permit any drainage facility on any public or private property to be obstructed, filled, graded, or used for disposal of debris. Any such activity constitutes a violation of this chapter.

(c)    Any modification of an existing drainage facility must be approved and permitted by the city. Failure to obtain permits and approvals or to violate conditions thereof for any such alteration constitutes a violation of this chapter.

(d)    The city will maintain all drainage facilities beginning at the first catch-basin within the public right-of-way, and in easements or tracts dedicated to and accepted by the city. All other drainage facilities, including, but not limited to, residential or nonresidential flow control facilities, flow control BMPs and/or water quality facilities and roof downspout drains and driveway drains serving single-family residences, shall be maintained by the property owner.

(e)    Maintenance of Residential or Nonresidential Drainage Facilities by Owners.

(1)    Any person or persons holding title to a residential or nonresidential property containing drainage facilities shall be responsible for the continual operation, maintenance, and repair of said drainage facilities in accordance with the criteria set forth in Appendix A of the 2016 King County Surface Water Design Manual and the City of Kirkland Addendum to the 2016 King County Surface Water Design Manual.

(2)    For residential or nonresidential drainage facilities, failure to meet the maintenance requirements specified in Appendix A of the 2016 King

County Surface Water Design Manual and the City of Kirkland Addendum to the 2016 King County Surface Water Design Manual constitutes a violation of this chapter, and shall be enforced against the owner(s) of the subject property.

(f)    City Acceptance of Existing Residential Drainage Facilities. The city may accept for maintenance those drainage facilities serving residential developments existing prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter that meet the following conditions:

(1)    The drainage facilities serve more than one individual house or property;

(2)    An inspection by the public works director or designee has determined that the drainage facilities are functioning as designed;

(3)    The drainage facilities have had at least two years of satisfactory operation and maintenance, unless otherwise waived by the public works director;

(4)    An inspection by the public works director or designee has determined that the drainage facilities are accessible for maintenance using existing city equipment;

(5)    The person or persons holding title to the properties served by the drainage facilities must submit a petition containing the signatures of the title holders of more than fifty percent of the lots served by the drainage facilities requesting that the city maintain the drainage facilities;

(6)    All easements entitling the city to properly access, operate and maintain the subject drainage facilities have been conveyed to the city and have been recorded with the King County recorder’s office;

(7)    The person or persons holding title to the properties served by the drainage facilities shows proof of the correction of any defects in the drainage facilities, including provision of maintenance access, as required by the public works director.

(g)    Disposal of waste from maintenance activities shall be conducted in accordance with the Minimum Functional Standards for Solid Waste Handling, Chapter 173-304 WAC; guidelines published by the Washington State Department of Ecology for disposal of waste materials from storm water maintenance activities; and, where appropriate, the Dangerous Waste Regulations, Chapter 173-303 WAC. (Ord. 4538 § 15, 2016: Ord. 4491 § 11 (part), 2015; Ord. 4214 § 2, 2009: Ord. 3711 § 4 (part), 1999)

Article IV. Inspection and Enforcement

15.52.130 Inspection and sampling.

(a)    Inspections for compliance with the provisions of this chapter shall be allowed as follows:

(1)    Construction and Development Inspection. The public works director or designee shall have the right to enter onto the property of any site for which a development permit has been issued, during regular business hours, or at any other time reasonable in the circumstances, for the purpose of review of erosion control practices and drainage facilities, and to insure compliance with the terms of such permit. Inspection procedures shall be as outlined in subsection (b) of this section.

(2)    Inspection for Cause. Whenever there is cause to believe that a violation of this chapter has been or is being committed, the public works director or designee shall have the right to enter the property to inspect the property during regular business hours, and at any other time reasonable in the circumstances. Inspection procedures shall be as outlined in subsection (b) of this section.

(3)    Inspection for Maintenance and Source Control Best Management Practices. The public works director or designee shall have the right to enter the property to inspect drainage facilities in order to ensure continued functioning of the drainage facilities for the purposes for which they were constructed, and to ensure that maintenance is being performed in accordance with the standards of this chapter and any maintenance schedule adopted during the plan review process for the property. The public works director or designee also may enter the site for the purposes of observing source control best management practices. The property owner or other person in control of the site shall allow any authorized representative of the public works director or designee access during regular business hours, or at any other time reasonable in the circumstances, for the purpose of inspection, sampling, and records examination.

(b)    Inspection Procedure. Prior to making any inspections, the public works director or designee shall present identification credentials, state the reason for the inspection and request entry of the owner or other person having charge or control of the property, if available, or as provided below.

(1)    If the property or any building or structure on the property is unoccupied, the public works director or designee shall first make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other person(s) having charge or control of the property or portions of the property and request entry.

(2)    If, after reasonable effort, the public works director or designee is unable to locate the owner or other person(s) having charge or control of the property, and has reason to believe the condition of the site or of the drainage facilities creates an imminent hazard to persons or property, the inspector may enter.

(c)    Water sampling and analysis for determination of compliance with this chapter shall be allowed as follows:

(1)    Sample Collection. When the public works director or designee has reason to believe that a violation exists or is occurring on a property, the public works director shall have the authority to set up on the site such devices as are necessary to conduct sampling, inspection, compliance monitoring, or flow measuring operations.

(2)    Sample Analysis. Analysis of samples collected during investigation of potential violations shall be analyzed by a laboratory certified by the State Department of Ecology as competent to perform the required analysis using standard practices and procedures.

(3)    Cost of Sample Collection and Analysis. If it is determined that a violation of this chapter exists on the site, the owner of the property shall pay the city’s actual costs for collecting samples and for laboratory analysis of those samples. If it is found that a violation does not exist, the city will pay such charges. (Ord. 4538 § 16, 2016: Ord. 3711 § 4 (part), 1999)

City of Kirkland Resources

City of Kirkland Code of Ordinances