Chapter 15.05


15.05.010    Purpose.

15.05.020    Scope.

15.05.030    Project phasing.

15.05.040    Model home/early start policies.

15.05.050    Civil work completion prior to building permit issuance.

15.05.060    Temporary occupancy regulations.

15.05.070    Enforcement.

15.05.010 Purpose.

This chapter is intended to establish the policies of the City of Ferndale with regard to the completion of structural and civil improvements so as to create an efficient and predictable inspection process, while enabling the City to work closely with applicants to complete their projects. The City is authorized to adopt local land use and zoning requirements per RCW 19.27.090. (Ord. 2024 § 2, 2017)

15.05.020 Scope.

The regulations in this chapter shall apply to all development projects within the City of Ferndale. In those cases where the Public Works and/or the Community Development Directors determine that a development project can be completed efficiently without strictly complying with these requirements, the Directors, at their sole discretion, may consider alternative project-specific conditions appropriate to the project as early in the development process as practical. (Ord. 2024 § 2, 2017)

15.05.030 Project phasing.

Applicants shall be encouraged to propose construction phasing plans at the time the Technical Review Committee reviews the project, when development projects are to be constructed over an extended period of time, and/or when a development project requires site preparation in advance of building or the installation of civil infrastructure. Phasing plans shall adhere to the following requirements:

A.    All phases shall be self-supporting, or shall rely upon infrastructure that has been previously established. For example, no phasing plan may rely on stormwater infrastructure to be installed as part of a subsequent phase, no phasing plan may impact a critical area in advance of mitigation measures proposed as part of a subsequent phase, and no phasing plan shall delay the payment of City fees unless specifically authorized by approval documents and applicable laws.

B.    Phasing plans shall be identified as early in the process as practical. Failure to identify phasing, and failure to adhere to established phasing plans, shall be sufficient cause to deny future inspections and/or to initiate enforcement action.

C.    Applicants may amend phasing plans during the construction process by revising their land disturbance permit and submitting full civil plans and associated documentation necessary to support the proposed amendment(s). The City is not obligated to prioritize the review of these amended phasing plans above other development applications.

D.    Prior to amending a phasing plan, the applicant shall deposit funds to the City as specified in the Unified Fee Schedule necessary to process the proposed amendments.

E.    The City reserves the right to require additional reviews on all amended phasing plans, which may include full resubmittal of documents and additional environmental and/or public review for substantial changes. (Ord. 2024 § 2, 2017)

15.05.040 Model home/early start policies.

The City of Ferndale shall accept applications and may issue permits for the construction of a residence on an existing legal lot of record associated with an approved preliminary plat, subject to the following requirements:

A.    The application must be consistent with the approved preliminary plat and infrastructure associated with the approved preliminary plat or short plat.

1.    The City may consider minor deviations from the infrastructure associated with the approved preliminary plat for ingress and egress, if the permanent means of ingress and egress relies on subsequent phases of the preliminary plat.

2.    The City will not consider any other deviations from the infrastructure associated with the approved preliminary plat.

B.    The City will not complete final inspection of the proposed building until such time as the infrastructure associated with it has been determined to be complete, and the final plat has been recorded.

C.    As per FMC 15.04.145, the City may issue foundation-only permits in advance of the completion of civil infrastructure. However, in no case may the City issue such permits for residential lots that have not yet been created through the subdivision or short plat process.

D.    Review of the application shall be based on the existing legal lot of record together with the proposed infrastructure improvements associated with the approved preliminary plat or short plat. The applicant assumes all risks associated with the placement of the initial structure and its ability to conform to the design of the future subdivision. Should there be an inconsistency between the placement of the structure and the future subdivision, it shall be the responsibility of the applicant to propose necessary corrections.

E.    As a condition of permit issuance, the applicant must sign a release on a form provided by the City indemnifying and holding the City harmless from liability, losses, or damage of any kind related to early start permit activity. (Ord. 2024 § 2, 2017)

15.05.050 Civil work completion prior to building permit issuance.

Unless a waiver is granted by the Public Works Director, and notwithstanding provisions for early start or foundation-only permits described in this chapter, it is the policy of the City of Ferndale to require substantial completion of all infrastructure improvements that cannot be bonded for, prior to the issuance of building permits, subject to the following requirements:

A.    Nothing shall prevent an applicant from applying for a building permit on a legal lot of record.

B.    The Public Works Director shall determine whether the size, location, seasonal conditions, and any other factor of the proposed development are such that both building and civil infrastructure improvements may proceed at the same time. Should the Public Works Director determine that a building permit may be issued prior to the completion of civil infrastructure, the Director shall make said decision in writing with applicable conditions and shall convey it to the Community Development Director and the applicant as early as practical.

1.    During the course of civil construction, the Public Works Director reserves the right to determine that the issuance of a building permit may occur, prior to the substantial completion of all civil work. This determination shall be in writing and conveyed to the Community Development Director and the applicant.

C.    The Public Works Director shall not delay the issuance of a building permit for civil infrastructure that can be bonded for. (Ord. 2024 § 2, 2017)

15.05.060 Temporary occupancy regulations.

Consistent with International Building Code Section 111.3, the Building Official may issue a temporary certificate of occupancy before the completion of the entire work covered by a permit; provided, that all life safety and fee requirements have been met. The Building Official shall set a time period during which the temporary certificate of occupancy is valid. Temporary occupancy shall be subject to the following:

A.    Temporary occupancies shall not be granted for any project, unless all of the following occur:

1.    All “life-safety” items identified on City punch lists and conditions must be completed.

2.    A qualified professional must submit a cost estimate for the materials and labor necessary to complete all items remaining on the City punch list prior to the granting of the initial temporary occupancy. The City shall have the opportunity to review the cost estimate and to compare it with City-approved cost estimates.

3.    An assignment of savings (AOS) must be put in place by the applicant for 150 percent of the professional estimate referenced in subsection (B) of this section.

4.    All entitlements such as easements must be in place (recorded) prior to temporary occupancy, unless specifically exempted below (such as when City review will require a delay in recording).

5.    All permits required by state, local, and/or federal agencies such as the Department of Ecology must be in place and maintained throughout the temporary occupancy phase.

B.    Temporary occupancies shall not be utilized to defer the payment of impact or connection fees. Provisions within the Ferndale Municipal Code allowing applicants to defer partial payment of fees until “occupancy” will be interpreted to mean temporary or final occupancy – whichever comes first.

C.    Temporary Certificate of Occupancy Application. Applications shall be submitted on a TCO application form prepared by the City and shall contain the following:

1.    The date of application;

2.    The permit number for the project;

3.    The name of the person requesting the temporary certificate of occupancy;

4.    The person’s connection with the project;

5.    The reason(s) why final certificate of occupancy cannot be achieved;

6.    A punch list of items required for final occupancy;

7.    A showing of compliance with all items in subsection (A) of this section;

8.    A fee equal to 25 percent of the original building permit fee plus one hour of staff time required to review and prepare the TCO at the rate imposed by the unified fee schedule. The application will not be accepted without the fee. If staff time for review and approval exceeds one hour, or if subsequent staff time is required as a result of TCO issuance, the City will bill the applicant for that staff time at the rate imposed by the unified fee schedule.

D.    Consistent with this chapter, if an applicant complies with the criteria herein, the Building Official may grant one TCO for a specific amount of time not to exceed 30 days. If the applicant does not comply with the TCO application criteria and/or it is unreasonable to conclude during review of the TCO application that the remaining work cannot be completed within 30 days, the TCO shall be denied.

E.    The Building Official may grant only one TCO in accordance with this chapter.

F.    If the applicant fails to complete remaining work within 30 days from issuance of the TCO, the TCO shall expire and the failure to complete the work shall constitute a violation of the terms of the TCO and this chapter and will result in enforcement and the assessment of civil penalties in accordance with Chapter 1.12 FMC. (Ord. 2038 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2018; Ord. 2024 § 2, 2017)

15.05.070 Enforcement.

Enforcement procedures and penalties resulting from violations of this chapter shall be administered pursuant to Chapter 1.12 FMC. (Ord. 2038 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2018)