Totem Lake CECC

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Sewer System Capacity Expansion Connection Charge Adopted for the Totem Lake Area

In late 2015, the City of Kirkland adopted new land-use and zoning provisions for the Totem Lake “Urban Center.”  The revised zoning provisions will allow for much higher densities of development, including mixed-use – a combination of commercial and multi-family residential housing.

These land-use decisions are driven by the Washington State Growth Management Act, which requires cities to provide adequate capacity for growth over a specific planning period.

Results from the Kirkland rezone are already being realized, with the Totem Lake Mall demolition and proposal for approximately 1,000 multi-family housing residences as well as office space, retail grocery, and restaurants to be constructed as the “Totem Lake Village.”

The allowance for higher densities in any particular neighborhood can have an adverse impact on infrastructure, including public water and sewer utility systems.  And in fact, as a direct result of the additional densities promoted by the City in Totem Lake, the Northshore Utility District’s sanitary sewer system will require significant upgrades over the next ten years in order to increase capacity to accommodate the additional growth.  The improvements required have an estimated cost of $9M.

In order to fund the improvements, the District Board of Commissioners adopted a special Capacity Expansion Connection Charge (CECC) that will apply to new development, or redevelopment, of property located near Totem Lake.  Development or redevelopment of any property located in any of the drainage basins near Totem Lake that may discharge into the sanitary sewer system requiring capacity expansion may be subject to the CECC.

The CECC amount for 2020 is $2,197 per equivalent multi-family residential unit.  The CECC will be assessed in addition to the District’s existing, standard connection charges, which also vary according to proposed development or redevelopment.  Find existing standard connection charges on our website at

Incidentally, please note that the District is considering a comprehensive review of the existing standard connection charges.  This analysis is scheduled to occur over the next 18 months, and may result in an increase in the connection charges for both water and wastewater system connections District-wide.

For more information on how to calculate the CECC, click here.

To determine if the CECC may be applicable to a particular property: 
Locate your property or enter the property address in the search field on the map linked below:

Properties that may be required to pay the CECC are located within the various shaded areas on the map.  These shaded areas represent the distinct sewer system drainage basins that discharge into the Totem Lake Sewer Trunk system. 


For more information on the CECC, please contact: 

Stephen Dennehy, P.E., Engineering Director
Phone: 425-521-3725