Defendants, Fred and Stephen Young, appeal from a judgment holding: (1) a contract entered into on July 19, 1954 between plaintiff, Terrace Heights Sewer District, and defendants' predecessor was in excess of constitutional authority and therefore void; (2) defendants were bound by provisions of plaintiff's resolution 17 adopted July 1, 1954 and subsequently amended by resolutions adopted in August 1962 and April 1968, notwithstanding any provisions of the July 19, 1954 contract, and (3) defendants were liable to plaintiff for the sum of $1,200 for three additional hookup charges.
On July 19, 1954 plaintiff and defendants' predecessor entered into a contract which provided for the furnishing of sewage services by plaintiff, pursuant to its resolution 17, to defendants' land, even though it lay outside the sewer district's boundaries. By terms of the contract, plaintiff was to construct a sewer system which would service each lot of defendants' parcel (25 lots in all). The total cost of construction was $5,280 payable one-half down and the balance over a 10-year period with interest on the deferred amounts. The cost of construction was apportioned among each of defendants' lots and termed a "connection charge." The contract also provided that defendants would pay their proportionate share of the maintenance and service charges of said district in the same manner as those paid by property owners within the district.
In 1967 defendants constructed a four-plex upon one of the lots. After completion of the four-plex, defendants applied for a permit to connect these units to the connection provided under the above contract. Thereupon, plaintiff demanded payment for three additional connection fees, i.e., a fee for each additional residential dwelling unit. Defendants countered claiming all connection charges had been paid pursuant to the 1954 contract. Plaintiff allowed defendants to hook into the sewer through the existing connection with the understanding that neither party waived any rights.
Plaintiff then commenced this action to compel the payment of three additional connection charges, i.e., $400 each.
Defendants' assignments of error raise four issues for our determination:
(1) Whether the construction of a sewer system upon defendants' property at plaintiff district's expense with repayment by defendants over a period of time was a lending of the district's credit in violation of the Washington State Constitution, article 8, section 7?
(2) Whether the district furnished services to defendants
(3) Whether the trial court's admission of parol evidence as to how plaintiff sewer district treated multiple-dwelling hookups was proper?
(4) Whether the sewer district had authority to amend its resolution 17, and the concomitant regulations affecting connection charges, in "apparent" contravention of the July 19, 1954 contract which incorporates resolution 17 and its scale of charges at that time?
However, the contract does not define the term "under the same roof." The record shows each unit of the four-plex was connected to another by a small portion of party wall and roof. The court was justified in allowing parol evidence to explain what was deemed to be a structure for human occupancy not under the same roof. See Ball v. Stokely Foods, Inc., 37 Wn.2d 79, 221 P.2d 832 (1950). Further, in the construction of statutes and ordinances, as well as resolutions of municipal corporations, the court should give
In finding of fact No. 5 the trial court set forth its rationale for holding that three extra connection fees should be paid on the basis that these structures are not under the same roof. We find ample evidence to substantiate that finding.
In the instant case we have four family dwelling units on one parcel. One connection fee has been paid, three are due. Therefore, the three connection fees are chargeable at the
We affirm the trial court's judgment in favor of plaintiff in the amount of $1,200.
EVANS, C.J., and GREEN, J., concur.