Chapter 18.64


18.64.010    Purpose and objective.

18.64.020    Definitions.

18.64.030    Permitted locations.

18.64.040    Review and approval procedures.

18.64.050    General operation and maintenance requirements.

18.64.060    Park size and density restrictions.

18.64.070    Traffic circulation and street design.

18.64.080    Parking.

18.64.090    Accessory uses.

18.64.100    Open space.

18.64.110    Buffers, screening and setbacks.

18.64.120    Water supply – Sewage disposal.

18.64.130    Refuse disposal.

18.64.140    Operation requirements.

18.64.150    Miscellaneous provisions.

18.64.160    Violation – Penalty.

18.64.010 Purpose and objective.

This chapter shall set forth the minimum requirements for the application, development, operation and maintenance of RV parks and campgrounds in the City. The provisions of this chapter shall not affect City policies or agreements in respect to City property. (Ord. 1933 § 7 (Exh. 7), 2016; Ord. 1400 § 2, 2006)

18.64.020 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings set forth in this section:

A.    “Alternative water system” means any system whereby water is provided to a parcel, which source and components are not connected to City water lines in accordance with the standards established in the City’s comprehensive water plan and policy.

B.    “Alternative sewage disposal” means any system for the disposal of sewage, which components are not connected to City sewer lines in accordance with the standards established in the City comprehensive sewer plan and policy.

C.    “Campsite” means a space or area within an RV park designated for temporary occupancy by RV or tent campers. Also referred to as “site.”

D.    “Open space” means any area within an RV park that is primarily intended for the common enjoyment and recreational use of RV park occupants. Open space is not to include park buffers, interior roads, parking areas, service buildings or park offices. Recreational structures and buildings shall be included as open space.

E.    “Park buffer” means a designated space inside and along RV park boundaries, in which no structures, parking areas, campsites or recreational equipment shall be constructed.

F.    “Park office” means any structure for the purpose of keeping and maintaining all records pertinent to the use, operation and maintenance of an RV park. This shall be the office of the park attendant.

G.    “Recreational vehicle” means any vehicular-type unit, designed for temporary living quarters for recreational, camping or travel use, which either has its own motor power or is mounted on or drawn by another vehicle.

H.    “RV park” means a parcel of land in which two or more campsites are designated primarily for temporary occupancy by recreational vehicles for travel, recreational or vacation uses. Such parks shall be construed to include those parks having sites for tent camping as well as for RV campers. Also referred to as “campground” and “park.”

I.    “Service building” means any structure within an RV park which contains toilets, lavatories and bathing facilities. It may also include laundry facilities, a vending area or other service type facilities for park occupant use. (Ord. 1933 § 7 (Exh. 7), 2016; Ord. 1400 § 2, 2006)

18.64.030 Permitted locations.

RV parks and campgrounds shall be enumerated as conditional uses in the HC and FW zones. (Ord. 1933 § 7 (Exh. 7), 2016; Ord. 1400 § 2, 2006)

18.64.040 Review and approval procedures.

Application for binding site plan approval for the development of RV parks and campgrounds, if applicable, shall be made with the Zoning Administrator. The information listed and required under subsection (A) of this section shall be included with any application. The applicant is bound by the design and specifications shown on the final approved drawings.

A.    Required Information.

1.    Ten copies of drawings to a readable scale, showing the following:

a.    The area and dimensions of the subject tract or parcel,

b.    Topography,

c.    Number, location, design and layout of all campsites,

d.    Layout of interior roads and parking areas,

e.    Location and size of all structures to be included in the park,

f.    Type and placement of screening,

g.    Buffer zones,

h.    Landscaping,

i.    Placement of refuse containers and waste disposal sites,

j.    Plan for park lighting;

2.    Three copies of the detailed specifications for the following:

a.    Water supply and system,

b.    Sewage disposal system,

c.    Drainage plan,

d.    Construction and design features of interior roads, parking areas and buildings,

e.    Existing vegetation and vegetation proposed to be retained;

3.    Conditional use application;

4.    Area map showing the subject property in relation to adjacent parcels of land;

5.    Hydrology study prepared by a licensed engineer to determine the preliminary and post development rates of runoff, using a 25-year storm;

6.    SEPA checklist;

7.    Plat or title certificate obtained or updated within two weeks prior to making application;

8.    Lease agreement, if land is to be leased for RV park development;

9.    List of the property owners of record, within 300 feet of the exterior boundaries of the subject property;

10.    Traffic study by a certified engineer (may be required at the option of the City);

11.    Areas within floodway, floodplain or shorelines must obtain appropriate permits;

12.    Other information as determined necessary by the Zoning Official and Public Works Director.

B.    Application Process. RV park and campground development applications shall be processed in the same manner as conditional use permits. In addition to those requirements specified for the processing of conditional use permits, the following criteria shall be applied to the review of RV park and campground developments:

1.    The proposed development will not result in the obstruction of or interference with existing traffic patterns in the area;

2.    The proposed development will not generate congested or undue RV traffic through residential zones or through the urban residential or City center zones west of the Nooksack River;

3.    The proposed development shall cause minimum disturbance to the natural environment surrounding waterfront and shoreline areas;

4.    Development must retain site in as natural a state as is feasible. (Ord. 1933 § 7 (Exh. 7), 2016; Ord. 1400 § 2, 2006)

18.64.050 General operation and maintenance requirements.

A.    A park attendant must be on duty within the park at all times.

B.    Registration records must be kept on the occupancy of all RV parks. As a minimum, the registration form must have space for name, date, and permanent mailing address.

C.    Upon request, park records shall be made available to the City and/or the Whatcom County department of environmental and health services.

D.    A City inspection and occupancy permit shall be required prior to the opening of any RV park and/or campground.

E.    Time of Stay Each Year. No recreational vehicle or park tenant shall stay a length of time which exceeds 60 days of the time during which that RV park and/or campground is approved to operate. This provision affects development occurring after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title or expansions.

F.    Interior roads and parking areas shall be asphalt or concrete and be maintained in such a manner so as not to cause hazard, inconvenience or negative impact on park tenants, use by emergency vehicles or the general public.

G.    Park areas shall be kept free of litter and debris at all times.

H.    Service buildings shall be maintained in a sanitary condition at all times.

I.    Animals traveling with campers shall be kept on a leash or tethered within their campsite at all times.

J.    RV park or campground shall be subject to the rules and regulations of the Whatcom County fire district No. 7.

K.    The developer, to whom approval was initially granted, or approved subsequent developer, or owner, shall be accountable to the City for adherence to these regulations.

L.    Operator shall provide for continued maintenance of landscaping and buildings. (Ord. 1933 § 7 (Exh. 7), 2016; Ord. 1400 § 2, 2006)

18.64.060 Park size and density restrictions.

A.    Minimum Parcel Size. A minimum parcel of two acres shall be required for the development of RV parks and campgrounds.

B.    Campsite Design Standards.

1.    In the location and spacing of campsites, there shall be a minimum of 12 feet between RVs and/or structures.

2.    Campsites shall be clustered in such a manner as to provide no less than one water access for each five campsites providing that such water access is no more than 50 feet from any one of the campsites it is intended to serve.

3.    All campsites shall be well drained; stormwater shall be conveyed to approved treatment and detention facilities.

4.    Restroom facilities shall be located within 400 feet of any campsite. Handicapped access to restroom facilities is required.

C.    A maximum density of 25 campsites per acre will be allowed, to be determined by dividing total number of campsites by total number of acres in the park. (Ord. 1933 § 7 (Exh. 7), 2016; Ord. 1400 § 2, 2006)

18.64.070 Traffic circulation and street design.

A.    Interior roads shall have a minimum width of 20 feet. (One-way roads may be allowed with a minimum width of 12 feet.)

B.    Interior roads connecting to public street rights-of-way shall be paved in accordance with APWA standards within 50 feet of such rights-of-way.

C.    The construction and surfacing of interior roads shall be consistent with City standards for private street development.

D.    For traffic safety, acceleration and deceleration lanes may be required at points of ingress and egress, in which case a typical radius of 55 feet would be required.

E.    Interior roads connecting to public street rights-of-way, which are to accommodate vehicular traffic entering and leaving the facility at one location, shall be a minimum of 36 feet wide within 50 feet of the property boundary.

F.    Interior roads shall be well drained. (Ord. 1933 § 7 (Exh. 7), 2016; Ord. 1400 § 2, 2006)

18.64.080 Parking.

A.    A minimum of one auto parking space shall be provided inside the area of each campsite.

B.    One additional auto parking space shall be provided for each five campsites, to be located elsewhere in the park. A minimum of nine feet by 19 feet shall be allowed for each additional parking space.

C.    Additional parking space shall not be provided on interior roads.

D.    Parking areas shall be constructed and surfaced as determined adequate by the Zoning Administrator.

E.    Parking areas shall be well drained. (Ord. 1933 § 7 (Exh. 7), 2016; Ord. 1400 § 2, 2006)

18.64.090 Accessory uses.

A.    Accessory uses are allowed whose primary usage and enjoyment are for park tenants.

B.    Accessory uses shall be placed no closer than 150 feet from any exterior park boundary.

C.    A service building and park office shall be provided in all RV parks and campgrounds.

D.    Restroom requirements:

Number of Campsites












1 – 40








41 – 80








81 – 120








121 – 160








161 – 200








E.    All structures to be used in the design and development of RV parks and campgrounds shall be of permanent structures, meeting International Building Code requirements. (Ord. 1933 § 7 (Exh. 7), 2016; Ord. 1400 § 2, 2006)

18.64.100 Open space.

For campgrounds over five acres, open space of 12 percent is required. Campgrounds under five acres require 20 percent open space. Buffers are not to be included as open space. (Ord. 1933 § 7 (Exh. 7), 2016; Ord. 1400 § 2, 2006)

18.64.110 Buffers, screening and setbacks.

A.    Buffers.

1.    Parks in the GB zone shall require a 50-foot buffer along any property boundary that is adjacent to any public street right-of-way and a 30-foot buffer along all other property boundaries.

2.    Parks in the FW zone shall require a 50-foot buffer along any property boundary adjacent to a public street right-of-way, and a 30-foot buffer along any property boundary abutting land which primary usage is commercial, residential or agricultural.

B.    Screening and Setbacks.

1.    Structures shall be set back a minimum of 200 feet from any shorelines or waterways.

2.    In the GB zone, view screening shall be required along any property boundary adjacent to a public street right-of-way. Such screening shall be set back a minimum of 20 feet from such rights-of-way.

3.    View screening in the FW zone shall be set back 20 feet from any street right-of-way.

4.    Campsites adjacent to a major arterial shall have a setback from arterials of 100 feet.

C.    Landscaping shall be consistent with the requirements of Chapter 18.74 FMC, Ferndale Landscape Standards. (Ord. 1933 § 7 (Exh. 7), 2016; Ord. 1400 § 2, 2006)

18.64.120 Water supply – Sewage disposal.

A.    Any RV park or campground having City sewer or water lines available shall be required to hook up to City water and sewer systems.

B.    In RV parks and campgrounds not having sewer or water lines available, any alternative systems shall require approval of the Public Works Director for the City and shall be sufficient in meeting the qualitative and quantitative requirements of the state and county Departments of Environmental and Health Services.

C.    Fire flow requirements must be met.

D.    The City shall require that the applicant provide an estimate of water and sewer use to determine sewer and water connection fees, and the applicant will be charged a single connection fee consistent with Chapters 13.08 and 13.20 FMC. (Ord. 1933 § 7 (Exh. 7), 2016; Ord. 1400 § 2, 2006)

18.64.130 Refuse disposal.

A.    No campsite shall be located in excess of 100 feet from any refuse container.

B.    Such containers shall be made of heavy and durable material with lids.

C.    Refuse containers shall be stored on platforms which are elevated at least six inches from the ground and are well drained.

D.    Such containers shall have a holding capacity of not less than 30 gallons.

E.    At least one two-yard standard dumpster shall be required to be located near a facility entrance for convenient pick-up. More than one such dumpster may be required, depending on the number of sites to be served and the number of weekly pick-ups. (Ord. 1933 § 7 (Exh. 7), 2016; Ord. 1400 § 2, 2006)

18.64.140 Operation requirements.

Prior to operation of an RV park or campground area, applicant shall annually provide proof of adequate insurance to protect customers. No RV park or campground shall be allowed to operate unless all improvements are in place. (Ord. 1933 § 7 (Exh. 7), 2016; Ord. 1400 § 2, 2006)

18.64.150 Miscellaneous provisions.

A.    Any expansion of an existing campground must meet new requirements. If expansion is in excess of 50 percent of existing area, total campground must be brought up to new requirements.

B.    Campgrounds shall not open until each and every improvement is in and approved by City.

C.    Interior all-weather pathways are to be provided to accessory areas.

D.    Campsites are to be well marked and numbered.

E.    No storage of units allowed beyond the 60-day occupancy limit.

F.    Fully serviced campsites may be used to reduce required number of toilets, lavatories and urinals; this reduction is at the discretion of the Hearings Examiner. However, all developments in excess of 40 sites must comply with requirements governing 40 sites or more.

G.    No external structures are to be attached to RVs.

H.    A sanitary waste station shall be provided, unless all campsites are connected to an approved sewer system. Unless other approved means are used, the sanitary station shall be designed and constructed to include the following:

1.    Easy ingress and egress from a service road for camping vehicles and located not less than 50 feet from a campsite;

2.    Connection to the sewer system by a trapped four-inch sewer riser pipe and vented not more than 10 feet downstream from the trap by a four-inch vent, adequately supported and extending at least eight feet above the ground surface;

3.    The sewage inlet surrounded by a curbed concrete apron or trough of at least three feet by three feet, sloped to the inlet, and provided with a suitable hinged cover milled to fit tight;

4.    A means for flushing the immediate area and a camping vehicle holding tank shall be provided at each sanitary waste station. It shall consist of a properly supported water riser pipe, terminating two feet above the ground with a three-fourths-inch valved outlet and attached hose. The water outlet shall be protected against backsiphonage and backflow by an approved vacuum breaker installation located downstream from the shutoff valve. (Ord. 1933 § 7 (Exh. 7), 2016; Ord. 1400 § 2, 2006)

18.64.160 Violation – Penalty.

Enforcement procedures and the penalties resulting from violations of this chapter shall be administered pursuant to Chapter 1.12 FMC. (Ord. 1933 § 7 (Exh. 7), 2016; Ord. 1819 § 24, 2013)