Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter VII. Southwest Waterfront Special Assessment District.


§ 47–895.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) “Adjusted Maximum Special Assessment” means the Special Assessment determined in accordance with § 47-895.03.

(2) “Administrator” means the designee of the Chief Financial Officer for purposes of estimating the annual Special Assessment Requirement and the Special Assessment to be levied each fiscal year and for providing other services as required with respect to the administration of the Special Assessment.

(3) “Bonds” means the bonds, notes, or other obligations issued by the District pursuant to [D.C. Law 17-252, codified as § 2-1217.131 et seq., this subchapter, and § 47-4616].

(4) “Chief Financial Officer” means the Chief Financial Officer of the District of Columbia established by § 1-204.24a(a).

(5) “Debt Service” means the principal, interest and premium, if any, on the bonds.

(6) “Equivalent Unit” means the product resulting from the equivalent unit factor for each type of property and its application method to be used by the Chief Financial Officer in calculating the Maximum Special Assessment for each lot as follows:

Property Type Equivalent Unit Factor Application Method
Commercial Retail 1.00 Per 1,000 sq. ft.
Commercial Restaurants 1.00 Per 1,000 sq. ft.
Hotel 0.29 Per room
Commercial Office 0.25 Per 1,000 sq. ft.
Rental Apartments 0.06 Per 1,000 sq. ft.
For sale condos (Market rate designation) 0.09 Per unit
For sale condos (Affordable designation) .02 Per unit

(7) “Gross building area” or “GBA” means, with respect to a lot, the product of the land area of the lot multiplied by the maximum floor area ratio (“FAR”) allowable under its zoning category, including additional FAR allowable as a matter of right if the additional FAR is dedicated to a particular use, such as an additional residential floor, as of the date of the 1st issuance of bonds, without including transfer development rights or bonus development rights.

(8) “Indenture of Trust” means the indenture relating to the bonds, as modified, amended, or supplemented from time to time.

(9) “Land area” means, with respect to a lot, the ground square footage of the lot.

(10) “Lot” means a tax lot, record lot, or other division of real property designated for assessment and taxation purposes in the Southwest Waterfront Improvement Benefit District. The term “lot” shall include a possessory interest as described in § 47-1005.01.

(11) “Master Developer” means the development entity to which the District transfers the leasehold interest in the Southwest Waterfront Improvement Benefit District and which is responsible for the planned development of the entire Southwest Waterfront Improvement Benefit District, including the project.

(12) “Maximum Special Assessment” means the maximum special assessment determined in accordance with § 47-895.03.

(13) “Owner” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 47-802(5) and shall include the holder of a possessory interest as described in § 47-1005.01.

(14) “PILOT Revenues” means the amount of the Southwest Waterfront PILOT Increment, as defined in [§ 2-1217.131(22)], paid or to be paid into the Southwest Waterfront Fund each fiscal year.

(15) “Project” means the publicly owned infrastructure located within the Southwest Waterfront PILOT/TIF Area, including streets, parking facilities, sidewalks, walkways, streetscapes, parks, bulkheads, piers, curbs, gutters, and gas, electric, and water utility lines, and the acquisition, equipping, relocation, construction, and redevelopment of certain public facilities, including parks.

(16) “Proportionately” means that the ratio of the Special Assessment to be collected as a percentage of the Adjusted Maximum Special Assessment is equal for each lot (excluding those lots for which the Adjusted Maximum Special Assessment is zero).

(17) “Special Assessment” means the Special Assessment levied by the District each fiscal year to fund the Special Assessment Requirement.

(18) “Special Assessment Credit” shall be the amount provided in § 47-895.03; provided, that the term “Special Assessment Credit” means, with respect to a lot, the TIF Revenues and the PILOT Revenues related to the lot and included in calculating the Special Assessment Requirement.

(19) “Special Assessment Requirement” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 47-895.03.

(20) “Southwest Waterfront Improvement Benefit District” means the special assessment district established by § 47-895.02.

(21) “Southwest Waterfront Fund” means the fund established by [§ 2-1217.133].

(22) “SWW Development” means an area of 50,400 square feet located on a portion of Lots 839, 831, and 84 in Square 473, and such other area of land that is contiguous to Lots 839, 831, and 84, Square 473, and within the boundaries of the Southwest Waterfront Improvement Benefit District, which shall be designated as the SWW Development in an instrument from the District conveying a ground lease of, or other possessory interest in, such area to the Master Developer or to the assignee or transferee of the Master Developer with the consent of the District.

(23) “TIF Revenues” means the amount of the Available Sales Tax Revenues, as defined in [§ 2-1217.131(3)], paid or to be paid into the Southwest Waterfront Fund each fiscal year by the District pursuant to the requirements of the Southwest Waterfront Bond Financing Act of 2008 Bill [D.C. Law 17-252, codified as § 2-1217.131 et seq., this subchapter, and § 47-4616].


(Oct. 22, 2008, D.C. Law 17-252, § 301(b), 55 DCR 9251.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1217.137.


§ 47–895.02. Establishment of special assessment district.

(a) There is established as a special assessment district the Southwest Waterfront Improvement Benefit District, which shall be comprised of the following geographic area:

(1) Approximately 23 acres of land area between the southern curb line of Maine Avenue, S.W., and the bulkhead paralleling the Washington Channel from the western edge of the Fish Market to the western curb of 6th Street, S.W., to the eastern edge of Lot 843, Square 473, the eastern edge of Lots 883, 884, and 885, Square 503, to the eastern edge of parcel 255/15, to the western edge of the P Street, S.W., right-of-way; and

(2) The riparian area and piers associated with the land described in paragraph (1) of this subsection, which includes:

(A) The Fish Market;

(B) The Capital Yacht Club;

(C) The Gangplank Marina; and

(D) Piers 4 and 5; provided, that the Southwest Waterfront Improvement Benefit District shall not include the SWW Development; provided further, that Lots 820, 842, and 844, Square 473 shall not be included in the Southwest Waterfront Improvement Benefit District unless the Master Developer acquires the ground lessee’s interest in those lots.

(b) The owners of lots within the Southwest Waterfront Improvement Benefit District shall derive a special benefit from the improvements financed by the bonds and the amount of this benefit is equal to or greater than the Maximum Special Assessment levied on the lots subject to the Special Assessment.

(c) Beginning with the 1st year Special Assessments, Special Assessments on all lots on which Special Assessments have been levied shall be collected pursuant to § 47-895.02 or may be collected only from the lots within a specific phase of the project to be improved or that has been improved, as determined by the Chief Financial Officer at the time of the issuance of any bonds.


(Oct. 22, 2008, D.C. Law 17-252, § 301(b), 55 DCR 9251.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1217.131, § 2-1217.133, and § 47-895.01.


§ 47–895.03. Levy of special assessment.

(a) The Special Assessment levied under this section shall be collected in the Southwest Waterfront Improvement Benefit District each fiscal year beginning with the 1st fiscal year after the issuance of the bonds and continuing until the year specified in § 47-895.06 in an amount determined as provided for in this section. A memorandum of the Special Assessment shall be recorded in the land records of the District.

(b) There is levied for each fiscal year a Special Assessment upon all real property in the Southwest Waterfront Improvement Benefit District in an amount equal to the Maximum Special Assessment. The Special Assessment shall be an amount equal to the Special Assessment Requirement. The Special Assessment Requirement for any fiscal year shall be estimated by the administrator and determined by the Chief Financial Officer and shall be an amount equal to:

(1) The amount required in such fiscal year to pay:

(A) Debt Service and other periodic costs, including deposits to sinking funds, on the bonds;

(B) Any amount required to replenish any reserve fund established in association with the bonds;

(C) Any amount equal to the estimated delinquencies expected in payment of the Special Assessment not otherwise taken into account; and

(D) The costs of remarketing, credit enhancement, bond insurance, and liquidity facility fees, including fees for instruments that serve as the basis of a reserve fund related to any indebtedness in lieu of cash; less

(2) The Special Assessment Credit equal to the sum of:

(A) TIF Revenues and PILOT Revenues available to apply to the Special Assessment Requirement for that fiscal year;

(B) Any credits available pursuant to the Indenture of Trust, such as capitalized interest, reserves, and investment earnings on any account balances; and

(C) Any other revenues available to apply to the Special Assessment Requirement.

(c) Commencing with the fiscal year in which bonds are first issued and for each following fiscal year, the District shall determine the Special Assessment Requirement, if any, as provided in subsection (b) of this section for the fiscal year and shall collect the Special Assessment proportionately from each lot in arrears in an amount up to the Adjusted Maximum Special Assessment from each lot such that the total of the Special Assessment to be collected shall equal the Special Assessment Requirement. The administrator shall provide an estimate to the Chief Financial Officer each fiscal year of the Special Assessment to be collected from each lot in conformance with the provisions of this section.

(d) The Maximum Special Assessment shall be established by the Chief Financial Officer at the time the bonds are issued to reflect the rate of interest on the bonds, and the amount of the bonds issued, in an amount that provides for adequate Special Assessment revenue to pay Debt Service and any other expected amounts of the Special Assessment Requirement as provided in the Indenture of Trust. The Maximum Special Assessment for each lot shall be the Maximum Special Assessment divided by the Equivalent Units of all lots subject to Special Assessment multiplied by the Equivalent Unit of each lot, which may be calculated separately for each phase and the bonds issued with respect to each phase. The Adjusted Maximum Special Assessment for the lot shall be equal to the Maximum Special Assessment for the lot less the Special Assessment Credit for the lot. The Special Assessment Credit applied to all lots shall not exceed the TIF Revenues and the PILOT Revenues taken into account in determining the Special Assessment Requirement.

(e) The Special Assessment to be collected from any lot may be increased as a result of a default in the payment of the Special Assessment levied on any other lot only in accordance with the provisions of this section. The Special Assessment to be collected from any lot shall not be increased above the Adjusted Maximum Special Assessment as a result of a default in the payment of the Special Assessment levied on any other lot. If the Special Assessment to be collected from any lot is less than the Adjusted Maximum Special Assessment for such lot, the Special Assessment may be increased up to the Adjusted Maximum Special Assessment as a result of the default in the payment of the Special Assessment levied on any other lot.

(f) The Special Assessment shall be an assessment for purposes of §§ 47-832 through 47-835 relating to subdivision of lots, parcels, or tracts.


(Oct. 22, 2008, D.C. Law 17-252, § 301(b), 55 DCR 9251.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-895.01.


§ 47–895.04. Notices and protests.

(a) The Master Developer shall consent to the levy of the Special Assessment on the lots, following which consent all actions by any owner of a lot to challenge the levy of the Special Assessment, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, shall be forever barred. The Master Developer and any subsequent owner of a lot shall provide notice to the buyer of the lot of the levy of the Special Assessment and any contract for the sale of the lot may be voided without penalty by the buyer prior to purchase of the lot if the buyer does not receive notice of the Special Assessment from the Master Developer or the subsequent owner.

(b) The owner of a lot subject to Special Assessment under this subchapter may contest the amount of the Special Assessment, but not the authority to levy the Special Assessment, by filing a written notice of appeal of the amount with the Chief Financial Officer not later than 180 days after the due date of the payment of the Special Assessment. The Chief Financial Officer, or the administrator if designated by the Chief Financial Officer to hear the appeal, shall promptly review the appeal and, if necessary, meet with the owner of the lot, consider written and oral evidence regarding the amount of the Special Assessment, and decide the appeal. If the result of the appeal requires the Special Assessment to be modified or changed in favor of the owner of the lot, a cash refund shall not be made (except in the last year of the levy), but an adjustment shall be made to the next Special Assessment to be collected from that lot. No interest on the adjustment shall be due to the owner of the lot. A decision of the administrator may be appealed to the Chief Financial Officer. This procedure shall be exclusive and its exhaustion by any owner of a lot shall be a condition precedent to any other appeal or legal action by the owner.

(c) If the Chief Financial Officer learns that a lot subject to the Special Assessment has been omitted from the Special Assessment for any previous tax year or tax years, the Chief Financial Officer shall provide notice to the owner and shall collect the Special Assessment amount in arrears, including penalty and interest, from the date the Special Assessment should have been paid; provided, that no lot that has not been billed for the Special Assessment shall be liable under this section for a period of more than 3 prior tax years.

(d) Special Assessments shall be collected each year for the preceding fiscal year in the same manner and at the same time as real property taxes are collected.

(e)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, an unpaid Special Assessment shall be subject to the same penalty and interest provisions as a delinquent real property tax under Chapter 8 of this title. A lien for an unpaid Special Assessment, including penalty and interest, shall attach to the real property in the same manner as, and with a priority immediately junior to, a lien for delinquent real property tax under Chapter 13A of this title and senior to all other liens. Property sold at a tax sale for the failure to pay real property taxes shall remain subject to the obligation to pay Special Assessments in subsequent years as provided in this subchapter. The unpaid Special Assessment shall be collected in the same manner and under the same conditions and subject to the same penalty as for unpaid real property taxes. A Special Assessment shall not be required to be certified for the purposes of Chapter 13A of this title.

(2) If an interest or use on a lot is subject to the Special Assessment because it would be subject to taxation under § 47-1005.01 but for the exemption provided by § 47-4615(b) [§ 47-4616], an unpaid Special Assessment on such an interest or use shall be subject to the same penalty and interest provisions as a delinquent possessory interest tax imposed under § 47-1005.01, and the unpaid Special Assessment shall be collected in the same manner and under the same conditions and subject to the same penalty as for an unpaid tax imposed under § 47-1005.01.

(3) The Special Assessment shall be deemed a tax within the meaning of 11 U.S.C. §§ 502(b), 505, and 507(a)(8)(B).


(Oct. 22, 2008, D.C. Law 17-252, § 301(b), 55 DCR 9251.)


§ 47–895.05. Termination of Special Assessment.

The Special Assessment shall terminate on the earlier of:

(1) September 30, 2044; or

(2) At the end of the fiscal year when all the bonds are paid for and are no longer outstanding pursuant to their terms; provided, that any delinquent Special Assessments and related penalties and interest shall remain due until fully paid.


(Oct. 22, 2008, D.C. Law 17-252, § 301(b), 55 DCR 9251.)


§ 47–895.06. Application of Special Assessment.

The Chief Financial Officer shall deposit the special assessment revenues collected under this subchapter in the Southwest Waterfront Fund.


(Oct. 22, 2008, D.C. Law 17-252, § 301(b), 55 DCR 9251.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-895.03.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 301(b) of Energy Efficiency Emergency Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-324, March 1, 2010, 57 DCR 1851).