A. An applicant for an initial franchise under this chapter shall submit to the City a written application on a form provided by the City, accompanied by the designated application fee. The City Council shall set the application fee for franchises under this chapter by resolution. The application fee is intended to cover the City’s cost associated with processing the application, including without limitation, costs of administrative review, financial, legal, and technical evaluation of the applicant, notice and publication requirements, and document preparation expenses. In the event such costs exceed the application fee, the applicant shall pay the difference to the City within thirty (30) days following receipt of an itemized statement of such costs. Conversely, if such costs are less than the application fee, the City shall upon request refund the difference to the applicant.
B. An application for an initial franchise under this chapter shall contain at a minimum:
1. A statement as to the proposed franchise and franchise area;
2. Résumé or prior history of the applicant, including experience, to conduct the service, facility, or system;
3. Information demonstrating the applicant’s legal, technical, and financial ability to operate the franchise requested;
4. Information concerning the officers, directors, equity holders of the entity seeking the franchise;
5. Information concerning any parent or subsidiary entity of the applicant or any other business entity owning or controlling the applicant in whole or in part;
6. Proposed construction and service schedule; and
7. Such other information as the “franchise” or “franchise agreement” requires.
The City shall be allowed the opportunity to ask relevant follow-up questions and obtain further information from whatever source. A refusal by an applicant to cooperate or provide requested information is sufficient grounds for the City to deny an application.
C. Upon receipt of an application for an initial franchise and after obtaining any additional information, a hearing will be scheduled to allow public comment. At the hearing, the City Council shall receive public comment regarding the requested franchise:
1. Whether the public will benefit from granting a franchise to the applicant;
2. Whether the applicant appears to have adequate legal, financial, and technical qualifications and capabilities to operate the franchise proposed;
3. Whether the applicant has any conflicting interests, either financial or commercial, that will be contrary to the interests of the City;
4. Whether the applicant will comply with all of the terms and conditions placed upon the franchisee by the franchise, this chapter, and other applicable laws and regulations; and
5. Whether the applicant will comply with all relevant federal and state laws and regulations pertaining to the construction, operation, and maintenance of the service, facility, or system proposed.
D. Within the timeframe and schedule prescribed by applicable law, the City Council shall decide whether to grant a franchise and on what conditions. The City Council’s decision shall be based upon the application, any additional information submitted by the applicant or obtained by the City from any source, and the public comments. The City Council may grant one (1) or more franchises or may decline to grant any franchise. The grant, renewal, or extension of a franchise shall be adopted and approved by ordinance enacted in accordance with RCW 35A.13.190.