Impact Fee Administration

Rudy Moreno, Deputy Assistant Director


pwe logo transAbout the Impact Fee Administration The Impact Fee Administration is responsible for managing wastewater flows through wastewater capacity reservations (WCR), managing water demands through water/storm drainage commitment letters, and planning the near and long term facilities requirements that will assure reliable service for today and the future.


Who has to submit a Wastewater Capacity Reservation (WCR) Application?

A WCR application must be submitted when a property owner is proposing a new development, redevelopment, an increase in building square footage, or a change in occupancy on their property that is located within the corporate limits of the City or within an area receiving utility services by the City. Reference Chapter 47 in City of Houston Code of Ordinances.


What is in a Wastewater Capacity Reservation (WCR) Letter?

A WCR Letter contains the following information to a property owner that is proposing development on their property: 

  • • Whether utilities are available and adequate to serve the proposed development
  • • Point of connection to the City’s utilities
  • • Assessment of impact fees, if any, that are due

Future Service Improvement to the WCR Process: Effective May1, 2017

The Impact Fee Administration is undertaking a process improvement project to streamline the Wastewater Capacity Reservation (WCR) application processes for customers in an effort to decrease application processing time. As a result, long and short form applications will be replaced with a single, simplified application. Effective May 1, 2017, applications may be submitted online via the iPermits portal or processed in-person at the Houston Permitting Center by online appointment . Please note, walk-in service will now be reserved for general information, letter status inquires and to schedule appointments.

Additional improvements include:

  • Acceptance of an HCAD, FBCAD, MCAD printout in lieu of a deed if the owner information is consistent with the owner information on the application.
  • Two processes: low-impact (15 service units or less) and high-impact (more than 15 service units) with decreased turnaround time for WCR letters—contingent on certain criteria and conditions being met.
  • Incorporation of stormwater, water and wastewater connections in one application—all will be included on WCR letters as necessary

When can I submit a Short Form?

The Short Form Application is for projects with a proposed development less than or equal to six (6) service units. The property must front an 8-inch or larger sanitary sewer line and a 6-inch or larger water line.


You can determine the size of the sanitary sewer line and water lines fronting the property by going to the City of Houston GIMS.





WCR Short Form (.pdf)
Authorization Form (.pdf)
Name Transfer Application (.pdf)
WRC Transfer Application (.pdf)




The Number of service units attributable to a new development shall be determined by using the land use equivalency table.


Impact Fee Service Unit Equivalency Table (.pdf) 


Sample Calculation of Service Units (SU) for 4,000sf Single Family Residence:

                Rate = 1.0000 SU up to 3,000sf (0.0002 SU per sf over 3,000sf)






Once the number of service units of capacity has been determined, the amount of $1,199.11 per service unit for wastewater and $626.50 per service unit of water must be paid to secure the capacity. Credit will be given for conversions or for the removal of existing development.




Development of low and moderate cost single family housing is exempt from payment of impact fees.  In order to qualify for this exemption, the house must be a single family residence located within city limits having an initial purchase price as certified by the property owner that does not exceed the latest available 12-month listing for median price single family housing in the city as published by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. In the event the initial purchase price exceeds this amount, the property owner making the certification shall pay to the city the full amount of the impact fee as calculated under this section. If publication of the median price for single family housing is discontinued by the Real Estate Center at the Texas A&M University, the mayor is authorized to select another publication that lists the median price of single family houses in the city.


Current Impact Fee Exemption Form (.pdf)


For additional information on any of these procedures, please email questions to

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