Application procedures for obtaining a franchise for King County rights-of-way
A franchise is a grant by King County, authorized by Chapter 36.55 Revised Code of Washington and Chapter 6.27 King County Code (KCC), to permit public and private utilities to use and occupy the right-of-way of county roads for the construction and maintenance of waterworks, gas pipes, telephone, telegraph and electric lines, sewers, cable television, petroleum products, and other such public and private utilities. Such rights may be granted for specific purposes for a limited time, not to exceed 50 years. Said specific purposes shall be secondary and subordinate to the primary use of the right-of-way as a public thoroughfare, and shall be subject to preemption of the right-of-way for such primary use.
1. Applicants for franchises for sewer and water pipeline systems shall first comply with KCC Chapter 13.24 relating to comprehensive plans. Compliance includes submission of said plan and a resolution adopted by governing the sewer and/or water the same, to the Utility Technical Review Committee (UTRC), Chair, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks (DNRP), 201 S. Jackson Street, Fifth Floor, Seattle, WA 98104. Once reviewed by the UTRC, the plan is subject to approval by the King County Council upon a finding that said plan is consistent with the King County Comprehensive Plan. If there are any questions regarding compliance with KCC 13.24, you may contact the Chair of the UTRC at 206-205-0817.
All other applicants are exempt from comprehensive plan requirements.
2. The application shall be addressed to the Clerk of the Metropolitan King County Council, King County Courthouse Room 1200, 516 Third Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104. The following items shall be contained in the application as specified in KCC 6.27:
- A letter stating the name and address of the corporation or organization requesting the franchise and the reason for the application. Any unusual circumstances should be mentioned, and brief statements paraphrased or extracted from the comprehensive plan should be included so that those unfamiliar with the subject may quickly gain background and perspective on the nature of the application and the applicant.
b. A certified check for all applicable fees, made payable to the King County Treasury, to cover administrative costs.
- A metes and bounds legal description of the proposed franchise area, legal subdivision or combination thereof on a computer disk (Times New Roman 12), if available.
- Eight copies of a map of sufficient scale and detail to depict the legal description complete with title block showing name, date, scale, legend, etc.
- Eight copies of vicinity map on letter or legal sized paper, at a scale of 2 inches per mile or less, showing the area surrounding the proposed franchise which may be served by other franchises.
NOTE: If the applicant holds any other franchises in the vicinity, the maps should show the boundaries of these in relation to the proposed franchise area.
f. Franchises may require SEPA review.
3. The application is reviewed by the Real Estate Services Section, the Utility Technical Review Committee and the Department of Transportation, adjustments are made as required or by negotiation during the course of these reviews.
4. Upon completion of preliminary review, the application is submitted with a recommendation by the King County Executive to the King County Council. Upon approval by the Council, a franchise will be granted for a term specified by the council and subject to the conditions in the agreement. The franchise agreement must be accepted and signed by an authorized officer of the Grantee within thirty days. Following the council's approval, three original copies will be distributed to the Council records, the Grantee and the Real Estate Services Section.
5. Before any construction is started under an approved franchise, a Right-of-Way Construction Permit must be obtained from the Real Estate Services, 500 Fourth Ave., Suite 830, Mailstop ADM-ES-0830, Seattle, WA 98104. The permit described and located the proposed construction. Three sets of plans and specifications at working scale should be submitted with the permit application, along with an "ON, From, TO" description of the portions of the project in the public right-of-way. A performance bond is required as determined by the Department of Transportation, and the entire project is subject to inspection and approval by the checklist and threshold determination is required for major actions. (WAC 197-10-170,18)