Chapter 18.45


18.45.010    Purpose.

18.45.020    Land use objectives.

18.45.030    Minimum nonresidential component requirements.

18.45.040    Permitted uses.

18.45.050    Conditional uses.

18.45.060    Administrative conditional uses.

18.45.070    Accessory uses.

18.45.080    Mixed use commercial zone special requirements.

18.45.090    Minimum lot size.

18.45.100    Maximum building height.

18.45.110    Setbacks and lot coverage.

18.45.120    Development proposals.

18.45.010 Purpose.

The mixed use commercial zone is intended to provide a wide range of retail business and services uses compatible with the core of the City and limited in scope to reflect the needs of the community. All activities shall be conducted within an enclosed building, with the exception of off-street loading, parking, and servicing of automobiles. Outdoor sales of merchandise are permitted on a limited basis; provided, that such sales are incidental to the primary use and are temporary (less than 30 days) in nature, and are conducted in an area that has been established for the purpose.

Multifamily residential uses are allowed as part of mixed commercial/residential developments, and are specifically encouraged above the first floor. Developments in which residential uses, including single-family residential uses, are proposed in buildings which are separate from commercial uses may be approved if the minimum number of commercial uses are provided, and/or within the context of an approved master plan.

All retail development within the mixed use commercial zone shall be subject to the retail design standards (Chapter 18.58 FMC) and Ferndale EAGLE program, where applicable. Applicants for nonretail construction (and developments in which less than 25 percent of average daily or p.m. peak hour traffic are generated by retail) must inform the City at the time of application as to whether they expect to conform to the retail design standards or if they wish to utilize the nonretail design standards codified in Chapter 18.59 FMC for building construction. Unless otherwise noted, site design requirements (FMC 18.58.060) shall be adhered to within the mixed use commercial zone, regardless of use. This chapter is further intended to facilitate innovative site and building design, including but not limited to integration between the built environment and low impact development stormwater techniques. This zone may be applied to some portions of the City that are designated commercial under the City of Ferndale Comprehensive Plan. (Ord. 2148 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2020; Ord. 1969 § 10 (Exh. 11), 2016; Ord. 1903 § 1, 2015; Ord. 1603, 2010; Ord. 1557, 2009)

18.45.020 Land use objectives.

Uses within the zone shall also:

A.    Establish public or private connecting roads between parcels where practicable, in order to increase the efficiency of primary roadways in the area.

B.    Be designed so as not to obscure or eliminate views of Mount Baker from the public right-of-way, where feasible.

C.    Foster pedestrian and other nonmotorized vehicle activity.

D.    Consolidate, to the greatest extent possible, the number of access points from the primary roadways in the area.

E.    Create shared parking and loading areas within and between retail developments.

F.    Minimize the use and appearance of large, freestanding signage, as well as establish a comprehensive sign plan when more than two uses are proposed.

G.    Follow design principles which are compatible with surrounding development and the overall scale of the City of Ferndale.

H.    Incorporate a residential component into large developments, where feasible.

I.    Efficiently utilize available land while minimizing the appearance of large structures.

J.    Integrate low impact stormwater techniques into building and site design. (Ord. 2148 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2020; Ord. 1969 § 10 (Exh. 11), 2016; Ord. 1603, 2010; Ord. 1557, 2009)

18.45.030 Minimum nonresidential component requirements.

The City recognizes that the future vitality of the mixed use commercial zone will rely upon a combination of residential and nonresidential uses which should remain in balance through market fluctuations. In order to preserve opportunities for nonresidential uses in a market that is driven by residential development, the City requires that developments reserve space for nonresidential uses in the mixed use commercial zone as follows:

A.    Each development shall provide a minimum component of nonresidential uses on each property as defined in subsection (F) of this section, Table 1.

B.    The minimum required nonresidential uses shall be located along the property frontage facing a public right-of-way on the first floor level of the proposed building(s).

1.    The Zoning Administrator may allow the nonresidential uses in other locations on the property based on site-specific conditions that may limit the applicant’s ability to place nonresidential uses along the public right-of-way.

C.    If the property does not front a public right-of-way, the nonresidential uses shall be located in a manner to be visible from the public right-of-way to the greatest extent practical.

D.    The minimum required nonresidential uses shall include:

1.    Commercial uses; or

2.    Space designed, constructed, and designated for future commercial uses.

E.    Unless a specific tenant is identified at the time of application, the City may provide resources or guidance to the applicant to identify potential interim improvements or enhancements to the visual frontage of the vacant space, such as temporary art installations, window murals, “pop up” businesses, and more.

F.    The minimum amount of nonresidential uses required on each property is identified in Table 1 below.


Table 1. Minimum Component of Nonresidential Uses Required.

Property Size (Acres)

Minimum Component of Nonresidential Uses (Square Feet)















G.    One year after the date of adoption, the City staff will provide an update to the Planning Commission and the City Council on the following topics related to this code change:

1.    A summary of the applications and projects completed.

2.    Recommendations on whether the minimum amounts of nonresidential uses required should be increased or decreased.

H.    Following the discussion described in subsection (G) of this section, the City Council will have the discretion to remand the issue back to Planning Commission for additional modifications necessary to revise this mixed use commercial chapter. (Ord. 2148 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2020)

18.45.040 Permitted uses.

A.    Automotive repair – specialty/minor shop, includes light repair – tires, mufflers, brakes – and generally excludes more intensive uses such as automobile repainting.

B.    Automobile service station.

C.    Auto part sales.

D.    Bicycle or motorcycle rental or sales.

E.    Car wash – automatic or self-service.

F.    Equipment rentals.

G.    Gas/fuel station.

H.    Automatic teller machines.

I.    Barber/beauty salon.

J.    Contractor’s offices.

K.    Funeral establishments, not including crematoriums.

L.    General service businesses.

M.    Health spa.

N.    Laundry/dry cleaning, neighborhood.

O.    Laundry/dry cleaning, retail.

P.    Laundry – self service.

Q.    Mailing service.

R.    Personal loan business.

S.    Personal services businesses.

T.    Photo processing, copying and printing services.

U.    Video rental store.

V.    Tattoo parlor.

W.    Delicatessen.

X.    Drinking establishments.

Y.    Micro brewery.

Z.    Restaurants/drive-through.

AA.    Restaurants/lounge.

BB.    Restaurants/sit-down.

CC.    Restaurants/take-out.

DD.    Restaurants with entertainment/dancing.

EE.    Tavern.

FF.    Wineries – tasting room.

GG.    Financial institutions.

HH.    Medical, dental and other clinics.

II.    Office – corporate.

JJ.    Office – general.

KK.    Office – research and development.

LL.    Real estate office.

MM.    Travel agencies.

NN.    General park M and O activities.

OO.    Passive open space.

PP.    Power transmission, irrigation wastewater easements, and utility uses.

QQ.    Public agency facilities.

RR.    Trail head facilities.

SS.    Trails for equestrian, pedestrian, or nonmotorized vehicle use.

TT.    Art galleries.

UU.    Bowling alley.

VV.    Commercial recreation, indoor.

WW.    Dart/billiard room.

XX.    Health/fitness center without instructional classes.

YY.    Video game arcade.

ZZ.    Hotels or motels with stays less than 15 days.

AAA.    Mixed residential and commercial uses.

BBB.    Multifamily development, any/all levels.

CCC.    Nursery school.

DDD.    Nursery, plant.

EEE.    Office supply store.

FFF.    Shopping center.

GGG.    General retail.

HHH.    Pet shop and pet supply stores.

III.    Retail hay, grain and feed stores.

JJJ.    Specialty retail stores.

KKK.    Wholesale store.

LLL.    Apparel and accessory stores.

MMM.    Auto parts supply store.

NNN.    Books, stationery and art supply stores.

OOO.    Building, hardware, garden supply stores.

PPP.    Convenience store without fueling facilities.

QQQ.    Convenience store with fueling facilities.

RRR.    Department store.

SSS.    Drug store/pharmacy.

TTT.    Electronic equipment stores.

UUU.    Farm equipment sales and service.

VVV.    Supermarkets.

WWW.    Florist.

XXX.    Furniture, home furnishings and appliance stores.

YYY.    Publicly owned community signs and public art.

ZZZ.    Visitor or tourist information center.

AAAA.    Cinema, indoor.

BBBB.    Dance hall.

CCCC.    Health/fitness center with instructional classes.

DDDD.    Senior/activity center.

EEEE.    Theater (indoor).

FFFF.    Recreational club.

GGGG.    Antique store.

HHHH.    Liquor store.

IIII.    Day care center.

JJJJ.    Uses similar to the above, in the judgment of the Zoning Administrator, following consultation with members of the Technical Review Committee (TRC). (Ord. 2200 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2022; Ord. 2148 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2020; Ord. 2006 § 3 (Att. 3), 2017; Ord. 1969 § 10 (Exh. 11), 2016; Ord. 1796 § 4, 2013; Ord. 1603, 2010. Formerly 18.45.030)

18.45.050 Conditional uses.

A.    Public agency buildings.

B.    Public parks.

C.    Hotels or motels with stays more than 15 days.

D.    Nursing or rest home.

E.    Recreational club.

F.    Parking lot or structure.

G.    Auction house.

H.    Bus station.

I.    Bus terminal.

J.    Stadium, sports arena, auditorium, or other place of assembly with fixed seats.

K.    Transportation center.

L.    Church.

1.    Pursuant to Chapter 35A.21 RCW, outdoor, temporary encampments for the homeless hosted by religious organizations shall be reviewed as a separate or amended conditional use from the authorizations originally granted to a church, subject to reasonable measures to ensure basic sanitation, life safety, and the minimization of negative public health and/or safety impacts to surrounding uses. See FMC 18.72.140 for specific conditions related to these uses.

M.    Uses similar to the above, in the judgment of the Zoning Administrator, following consultation with members of the Technical Review Committee (TRC). (Ord. 2200 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2022; Ord. 2148 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2020; Ord. 2066 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2018; Ord. 2006 § 3 (Att. 3), 2017; Ord. 1969 § 10 (Exh. 11), 2016; Ord. 1796 § 4, 2013; Ord. 1603, 2010. Formerly 18.45.040)

18.45.060 Administrative conditional uses.

A.    Hospital/clinic – small animal.

B.    Dwelling units for a resident watchman or custodian.

C.    Outdoor sales.

D.    Pawn shop. (Ord. 2148 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2020; Ord. 2066 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2018; Ord. 2006 § 3 (Att. 3), 2017. Formerly 18.45.045)

18.45.070 Accessory uses.

A.    Cafeterias.

B.    Assisted living facility.

C.    Outdoor storage.

D.    Storage in an enclosed building. (Ord. 2148 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2020; Ord. 2006 § 3 (Att. 3), 2017; Ord. 1969 § 10 (Exh. 11), 2016; Ord. 1603, 2010. Formerly 18.45.050)

18.45.080 Mixed use commercial zone special requirements.

A.    Development on parcel(s) with a combined land area equal to or greater than three acres shall be required to establish and conform to a master plan for the area, pursuant to FMC 18.72.130 and either the binding site plan or planned unit development process.

B.    The City reserves the right to require that development proponents receive cross-connection or access easements over adjacent parcel(s), in order to improve vehicular access to and from the development site. (Ord. 2148 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2020; Ord. 1969 § 10 (Exh. 11), 2016; Ord. 1603, 2010; Ord. 1557, 2009. Formerly 18.45.060)

18.45.090 Minimum lot size.

Minimum lot size is as follows: none. (Ord. 2148 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2020; Ord. 1969 § 10 (Exh. 11), 2016; Ord. 1603, 2010; Ord. 1557, 2009. Formerly 18.45.070)

18.45.100 Maximum building height.

Maximum building height is as follows: 45 feet. (Ord. 2148 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2020; Ord. 1969 § 10 (Exh. 11), 2016; Ord. 1603, 2010; Ord. 1557, 2009. Formerly 18.45.080)

18.45.110 Setbacks and lot coverage.

Setbacks and lot coverage are as follows:

A.    Setbacks.

1.    Front: none.

2.    Rear: 15 feet, if rear of lot abuts side of residential property, otherwise none.

3.    Sides: none.

B.    Lot coverage (maximum): none. (Ord. 2148 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2020; Ord. 1969 § 10 (Exh. 11), 2016; Ord. 1603, 2010; Ord. 1557, 2009. Formerly 18.45.090)

18.45.120 Development proposals.

A.    The City of Ferndale has identified the mixed use commercial zone as an area in which development shall make efficient use of total lot area by consolidating development to the greatest extent practical, and by utilizing shared infrastructure such as parking, stormwater and low impact development facilities. In addition, regardless of the size of the parcel, proposals which are anticipated to result in development which is phased in over time shall be required to identify the project scope on a master project application or, for commercial subdivisions, propose a general binding site plan which will guide the development and be binding upon the City and the applicant, but may be amended if necessary.

B.    Commercial subdivisions such as short plats are discouraged in this zone, unless no project is identified. Short plats shall be reviewed based on the highest permitted use in the zone. (Ord. 2148 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2020; Ord. 1969 § 10 (Exh. 11), 2016; Ord. 1603, 2010; Ord. 1557, 2009. Formerly 18.45.100)