Mountainside MAR, LLC v. City of Flagstaff – 6/30/2022

July 6, 2022

Arizona Court of Appeals Division One holds that municipalities may lawfully assess fees under A.R.S. § 9-511 and § 9-511.01 to offset costs associated with new connections to municipality water and wastewater systems.

A city imposed an initial connection fee on all new customers connecting to the city’s water and sewer systems to offset the cost of constructing new or expanded infrastructure.  A developer sued the city, inter alia, arguing water and sewer fees assessed against it as a condition to connect its new developments to the city’s water systems were invalid for failure to comply with the procedural requirements of A.R.S. § 9-463.05.  The trial court granted the city’s motion to dismiss, finding the city had authority under § 9-511 and § 9-511.01 to charge the fees.

The Court of Appeals affirmed.  The Court explained that, contrary to the developer’s assertions, A.R.S. § 9-463.05 did not provide the exclusive means for the city to lawfully assess the relevant fees.  Instead, the city’s authority to assess fees associated with new connections is necessarily implied in its express powers to own and operate water and wastewater systems and to increase water and wastewater rates, fees, or services under § 9-511 and § 9-511.01.

Judge Williams authored the opinion to which Vice Chief Judge Gass and Judge Morse joined.

Posted by: BriAnne Illich Meeds