Water System Development Charges

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Growth in our community creates additional demands on our water system. The City of Hillsboro collects Water System Development Charges (SDCs) to ensure new growth pays an equitable share to fund water system expansions.

Water System Development Charges Effective April 1

Water System Development Charges: April 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020

On February 12, 2019, the City of Hillsboro Utilities Commission adopted new Water SDCs. The new Water SDCs are in effect April 1, 2019 to February 29, 2020. 

Approval of the 2019 Water SDCs came after the Utilities Commission considered public input and voted at a public hearing held on February 12, 2019. The adjustment ensures new connections to the water system pay their equitable share to fund water system expansions.

For a typical single-family residential connection inside the City of Hillsboro, Water SDCs will increase from $8,634 to $10,300, for example. This amount is 91 percent of the maximum allowable amount permissible under the City’s 2014 adopted methodology ($11,309, including indexing adjustments).

2019 Adopted Water SDCs
Effective April 1, 2019

 Water Meter Size  City of Hillsboro Retail Customers  Upper System Retail Customers City of Cornelius — Wholesale Customer*  City of Gaston and LA Water Co-Op — Wholesale Customer*
5/8 inch  $10,300  $11,660  $6,530  $7,997
3/4 inch  $15,450  $17,490  N/A  N/A
1 inch**  $25,750  $29,150  $16,325  $19,993
1-1/2 inch  $51,500  $58,300  $32,650  $39,985
2 inch  $82,400  $93,280  $52,240  $63,976
3 inch and larger Water SDCs are based on estimated average day and maximum day demands expressed in 5/8 inch and 3/4 inch water meter equivalents

Chart Notes:

  • In addition to Water SDCs, customers will be charged an administration fee for processing.
  • The Water SDCs adopted in 2018 are about 80 percent of the maximum allowed under methodology mandated by State law. The adopted 2019 Water SDCs continue to phase in the rate to about 91 percent of the maximum.
  • * Wholesale customers may require payment of local SDCs in addition to the wholesale SDCs charged by the City of Hillsboro.
  • ** Customers who are upsizing a residential water meter from 5/8 inch by 3/4 inch to 1 inch solely for fire service needs will continue to pay the “non-fire” 5/8 inch by 3/4 inch fee.

Effective immediately, the following protocols apply: 

  • Building permit applications submitted by the close of business, Friday, March 29, 2019, will be subject to the current 2018 charges, provided fees are paid and the building permit is picked up on or before Monday, September 30, 2019. 
  • For permits picked up and paid starting Tuesday, October 1, 2019, the SDC fees would be recalculated at 2019 Water SDC rates.  
  • Building permit applications submitted on or after April 1, 2019, will be subject to the 2019 SDCs.
2020 Water System Development Charges Adjustment

In 2019, the Hillsboro Water Department will complete a new Water SDC study. Results from the study – including projected capital improvement expenditures from the 2019 Water Master Plan – will help establish a new methodology.

The new methodology will be used to calculate a new maximum allowable Water SDC amount and drive the proposed 2020 SDC adjustment.

In the fall of 2019, the Utilities Commission will hold a Water SDC Public Hearing to: 

  • Receive customer input 
  • Consider the proposed 2020 SDC fee adjustment
  • Consider adoption or changes to the new methodology 

Official public notification before the adoption or modification of SDC fee methodology will occur at least 90 days before the public hearing. The revised methodology will be available to the public at least 60 days before the hearing.

If approved, 2020 SDCs would become effective March 1, 2020.

Information on the Public Hearing and how to provide input will be posted on this webpage.


  • Water System Development Charges

    • What are Water System Development Charges (SDCs)?

    • What are the current Water SDCs?

    • Who sets Water SDCs?

    • Why are Water SDCs important?

    • What do Water SDCs fund?

    • How are Water SDCs calculated?

    • How do Water SDCs benefit current customers?

    • What is the history of the City of Hillsboro’s Water SDCs?

    • Do other City departments have SDCs?