Chapter 15.60


15.60.010    Definitions.

15.60.020    Applicability.

15.60.030    Basis for dedication or assessment.

15.60.040    Dedication suitability.

15.60.050    Dedication standards.

15.60.060    Alternative to public dedication.

15.60.070    Mitigation assessments.

15.60.080    Mitigation assessment formulas.

15.60.090    Administration of cash payments to City.

15.60.100    Appeals and adjustments.

15.60.110    Penalty.

15.60.010 Definitions.

In addition to the definitions in FMC Title 18, the following terms shall have the meanings given in this section:

“Deferred payment” means the ability of the applicant to pay all or a portion of the fees associated with the building permit prior to request for final inspection. Deferred payment shall vest the impact fees to the fees owing at the time of deferral, pursuant to FMC 14.07.090(G).

“Parks, Recreation, and Trails Master Plan,” also known as the Parks Plan, means the most recently adopted long-range plan associated with parks, recreation and trails. The Parks Plan is adopted by reference to the Ferndale Comprehensive Plan and is the basis for parks and trails-related projects, as well as land dedication and impact fees.

“Residential property development” shall mean any application for a building permit or conditional use permit for a single-family dwelling, mobile home, duplex or multifamily dwelling; and any application for approval of a mobile home park, mobile home subdivision or residential planned unit development; and any application for approval of a short subdivision or subdivision in zones allowing for potential residential uses.

“Unit” shall mean each dwelling unit, mobile home, business or lot as applicable. Where the number of units is not precisely known at the time of development, “unit” shall mean at least one dwelling unit for each lot, to be increased when the number of dwelling units becomes known or fixed through application for a building permit or other applicable permit. (Ord. 2047 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2018; Ord. 2037 § 5 (Att. 5), 2018; Ord. 1781 § 1 (Appx. 1), 2013; Ord. 1483 § 1, 2008)

15.60.020 Applicability.

The provisions of this chapter shall be applicable to all residential property developments including the subdivision of land and the construction of residential dwelling units. (Ord. 2047 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2018; Ord. 1781 § 1 (Appx. 1), 2013; Ord. 1483 § 2, 2008)

15.60.030 Basis for dedication or assessment.

All land dedications or mitigation assessments shall be made on a per-unit basis. Dedication requirements or mitigation assessments shall not be imposed so as to have the effect of imposing more than the cost of one unit for any dwelling unit or mobile home. Requirements are not intended to have the effect of requiring new dedications or assessments for units which have previously been subject to dedication or assessment individually or as part of a larger project. (Ord. 2047 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2018; Ord. 1781 § 1 (Appx. 1), 2013; Ord. 1483 § 3, 2008)

15.60.040 Dedication suitability.

Within the structure of state and local laws, dedication of land that is improved for public parks, recreation facilities, trails, and open spaces is one method of mitigating the impacts on such facilities caused by property development proposals within the City. Property development proposals shall be reviewed by the Zoning Administrator or their designee in order to determine if land should be dedicated for park and/or trail use, pursuant to the Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plan (Ferndale Park and Trail System: 2038 Map), the Park and Trail Needs Assessment Process (Appendix 3 of the Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plan), and the Parks and Trails Connectivity Maps (Appendix 2 of the Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plan). If land is determined to be suitable for dedication as trail land, the Zoning Administrator shall incorporate this conclusion into a final decision document or as a recommendation to the Ferndale Hearings Examiner, as applicable, depending upon the body responsible for making a final decision for the particular application, as per Chapter 14.07 FMC. If land is determined to be suitable for dedication for park land, the Zoning Administrator shall present their recommendation to the Parks, Recreation and Trails Advisory Board, which may consider the following:

A.    Accessibility. The land must be readily accessible to all individuals. Donated land should abut a public street or public easement wide enough to accommodate vehicular traffic and maintenance equipment.

B.    Shape and Topography. The site must be suitably shaped and sloped to accommodate activities anticipated by the Parks Plan appropriate to the location and needs of the users. Steeply sloped areas (in excess of 20 percent) may not be accepted for park dedication areas, except as noted in subsection (E) of this section, Natural Areas.

C.    Soils. Soils at the site should be well drained and dry for the majority of the year to accommodate proposed recreational uses.

D.    Size. The intended park, trail, and open space should be a unified site of sufficient size to meet the minimum requirements for park and trail space, as provided by the Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plan. Several smaller pieces of land within a tract that cumulatively total the area derived by the park mitigation formula will generally not be accepted dedications, in lieu of one unified site.

E.    Natural Areas. When natural characteristics such as streams, bogs, wetlands, ravines, etc., exist on the site, park mitigation credit based on the donation formula can be received for the preservation, enhancement and natural retention of such areas. However, the preservation and enhancement of such natural areas shall not exceed 30 percent of the total land donation area.

F.    Parks, Recreation, and Trails Master Plan.

1.    The site must be consistent with the needs identified in the City’s Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plan.

2.    The City will not accept land in lieu of park impact fees when such land is not shown on the adopted Parks Plan.

3.    In some cases the creation of parks, trails, or open spaces may be proposed, where these amenities would be reserved for the exclusive use and benefit of the tenants or residents of the development. While such amenities may be approved, no park impact fee credits will be considered and the developer will be required to pay full impact fees.

a.    When a development is proposed on lands that are anticipated for future public park, open space, or trail amenities, the City may seek to deny or recommend denial of a proposal that would create amenities for the exclusive use of the tenants or residents of the development.

4.    The Parks Plan seeks to utilize available park funding to construct trails and park amenities that link existing parks together, limiting the need to acquire new park properties except when trail connectivity or nearby park space is deficient. Therefore, the Parks Plan anticipates that the majority of residential development projects will be required to pay mitigation fees in lieu of dedicating property. (Ord. 2047 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2018; Ord. 1781 § 1 (Appx. 1), 2013; Ord. 1483 § 4, 2008)

15.60.050 Dedication standards.

Where dedication is determined to be suitable, the City and the property owner shall determine the fair value of impact fee credits or monetary payment that is appropriate to complete the dedication of land, based upon the acquisition and/or development values, as applicable, described by the Parks Plan. Depending upon the nature or timing of the dedication, the City may also require the full construction of trail and/or park land to be dedicated. The City Council shall determine the final suitability, location and improvements to lands proposed for dedication. Dedications shall be considered suitable which meet the requirements set forth in FMC 15.60.040, Dedication suitability, and the Parks, Recreation, and Trails Projects and Programs Map. (Ord. 2047 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2018; Ord. 1781 § 1 (Appx. 1), 2013; Ord. 1483 § 5, 2008)

15.60.060 Alternative to public dedication.

In some cases, it may be determined that land for parks, recreation facilities, trails, and open spaces should not be dedicated to the public, but remain under control of a homeowners’ association or similar body. The City Parks, Recreation and Trails Advisory Board may recommend, and the City Council may approve, lands to be set aside for recreational, trail, or open space purposes subject to such conditions of ownership, public access, and perpetual maintenance as may be deemed acceptable. In cases where this alternative is used, the City shall memorialize these requirements on recorded documents. (Ord. 2047 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2018; Ord. 1781 § 1 (Appx. 1), 2013; Ord. 1483 § 6, 2008)

15.60.070 Mitigation assessments.

The majority of properties proposed for development will not be eligible to dedicate land for park purposes. When a property development does not serve to meet the level of service requirements of the Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plan, dedication of land for such uses is not a feasible method of mitigating the impacts of property development proposals. In that event, the impact fees as authorized by this chapter, the Parks Plan, and Chapter 82.02 RCW shall be the primary method of mitigating the development’s impact on the City’s parks system. In some cases, the Community Development Director may also authorize credits in lieu of dedication or payment, when a property development provides materials, labor, or finished products necessary for an impact fee eligible project within the City of Ferndale that is located off site of the applicant’s development. In such cases, an accurate estimate of the total value of such materials, labor, or finished products must be provided to the City prior to acceptance, and pursuant to the Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plan. (Ord. 2047 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2018; Ord. 1781 § 1 (Appx. 1), 2013; Ord. 1483 § 7, 2008)

15.60.080 Mitigation assessment formulas.

The impact fee schedule, as set out in Attachment A to the ordinance codified in this chapter, shall be recalculated on an annual basis, and as part of Comprehensive Plan updates mandated by Washington State. In order to ensure impact fees reflect the actual cost of construction projects, the fees shall be updated on or before January 1st each year, at a rate adjusted in accordance with the October to October CPI-U for Seattle/Bremerton.

Mitigation assessments calculated under this section shall be due and payable as follows:

A.    Creation of new, additional lots for residential purposes: 50 percent of the total park impact fee assessment due, based upon the actual number of units created or, for multifamily developments, the minimum density that can be allowed in the underlying zone.

B.    Residential building permits within existing subdivisions that have previously mitigated park impacts: the remaining 50 percent of the total park impact fee assessment due.

C.    Residential building permits outside of subdivisions, or within subdivisions that have not previously mitigated park impacts: 100 percent of the park impact fee assessment.

D.    Building permit applicants may utilize the City of Ferndale residential fee deferral program as established by FMC 14.07.090(G) to defer certain impact fees. (Ord. 2047 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2018; Ord. 2037 § 5 (Att. 5), 2018; Ord. 1916 § 8, 2015; Ord. 1781 § 1 (Appx. 1), 2013; Ord. 1641 § 4, 2011; Ord. 1627 § 4, 2011; Ord. 1483 § 8, 2008)

15.60.090 Administration of cash payments to City.

There is hereby created and established a special purpose nonoperating parks, recreation, trails and open space mitigation fund, for the administration of mitigation assessment paid to the City, as follows:

A.    Limited Use of Fund. All cash payments shall be deposited into the fund and shall only be used to complete the improvements or acquisitions specified in the Parks Plan.

B.    Interest Earned. Interest and investment income earned by the fund shall be deposited in the fund.

C.    Time Limit for Expenditures. Any funds remaining in a development’s account shall be refunded with interest to the property owner of record when the time periods for expenditure of those funds have passed, as provided for in applicable state laws (RCW 82.02.070).

D.    Refund of Amounts Paid. If a developer makes any payments to the parks, recreation, trails, and open space mitigation fund for mitigation purposes, and the development’s building permit or other approval expires before any substantial construction has commenced, the developer or the developer’s successors in interest shall be entitled to a refund of the payments made plus interest, less a reasonable charge for processing of the account. Any amount erroneously paid or collected shall be refunded in full. (Ord. 2047 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2018; Ord. 1781 § 1 (Appx. 1), 2013; Ord. 1675 § 3, 2011; Ord. 1483 § 9, 2008)

15.60.100 Appeals and adjustments.

Any person desiring to appeal from a decision made in the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter or any person seeking an adjustment to the dedication or mitigation assessments required by this chapter due to unusual circumstances in specific cases shall submit, in writing, a request for a hearing before the Hearings Examiner and determination of the matter appealed within 10 calendar days after receiving written notice of the specific dedication or mitigation assessments required by this chapter, as per FMC 14.11.070. The Hearings Examiner shall consider such requests at its next available meeting and shall issue such determination as it deems fair and equitable. (Ord. 2047 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2018; Ord. 1781 § 1 (Appx. 1), 2013; Ord. 1483 § 10, 2008)

15.60.110 Penalty.

Enforcement procedures and the penalties resulting from violations of this chapter shall be administered pursuant to Chapter 1.12 FMC. (Ord. 2047 § 2 (Exh. 1), 2018; Ord. 1819 § 18, 2013)