Chapter 8.32


8.32.010    Definitions.

8.32.020    Determination of a severe weather event.

8.32.030    Permitting of severe weather shelters.

8.32.010 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, certain terms are defined in this section.

A.    “Mayor” means the City of Ferndale Mayor or designee.

B.    “Severe weather” means the following:

1.    A period of two or more days where temperatures are forecasted to be hot or cold enough, as determined at the discretion of the Mayor, to necessitate providing sheltering to vulnerable members of the community; and/or

2.    Snow accumulation exceeding or expected to exceed three inches in depth; and/or

3.    Other conditions deemed severe enough to present a substantial threat to life, health, or safety as determined by the Mayor in coordination with Whatcom County Sheriff.

C.    “Severe weather shelter” means a building(s) owned and/or operated by a religious establishment, fraternal organization, public agency or other entity that meets basic building safety standards for temporarily housing homeless persons as determined by the City’s Building Official and the City’s Fire Marshal. Temporarily providing shelter must be an accessory use to the primary use of the building (e.g., allowing persons to shelter from the cold in a space primarily used for religious services). (Ord. 2191 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2021)

8.32.020 Determination of a severe weather event.

The Mayor or designee is responsible for determining a severe weather event as defined in FMC 8.32.010. The Mayor or designee shall consult with the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management when making a determination under FMC 8.32.010(B)(1). The Mayor or designee is also responsible for determining when a severe weather event has concluded. The Mayor or designee shall immediately notify the City Council, City Police Department, Whatcom County Fire District 7 and the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management upon making a determination of a severe weather event. A list of known severe weather shelters shall be provided with the notification. (Ord. 2191 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2021)

8.32.030 Permitting of severe weather shelters.

The Mayor or designee is authorized to issue a temporary use permit as provided for in the International Building Code Section 108 for severe weather shelters. The limit as to time of service for operating a severe weather shelter shall not extend more than two days beyond the cessation of the severe weather conditions. A temporary use permit is required before operating a severe weather shelter. Applicants shall request approval on a form provided by the City. There is no fee for the temporary use permit. A notice of the temporary use permit issuance shall be given to the emergency service providers such as Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management, Police and Fire Departments, and other fire and emergency response agencies and to social service organizations serving the homeless. Such temporary use permit may be valid up to 365 days for separate severe weather events subject to the time limitations herein. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to religious organizations to the extent they are exempted by the provisions of RCW 35A.21.360. (Ord. 2191 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2021)