Chapter 18.72
GENERAL AND SPECIAL REGULATIONS – ALL ZONES

Sections:

18.72.010    Purpose and intent.

18.72.020    Lot size requirements.

18.72.030    Special height requirements.

18.72.040    Special setback requirements.

18.72.050    Accessory building and use requirements.

18.72.070    Driveway requirements.

18.72.080    Sidewalk requirements.

18.72.090    Performance requirements for uses.

18.72.095    Performance requirements for active use storage and micro business developments.

18.72.100    Performance requirements for service stations.

18.72.105    Performance requirements for mobile food vendors.

18.72.110    Adult business and adult entertainment performance standards.

18.72.120    Manufactured homes – New – Standards.

18.72.130    Master planning required.

18.72.140    Performance requirements for temporary outdoor homeless encampments hosted by religious organizations.

18.72.010 Purpose and intent.

This chapter is intended to describe those rules and regulations that are common multiple zoning designations and reflect general standards throughout the City. The chapter also includes regulations for certain land uses that may have a greater environmental or societal impact than other uses. (Ord. 1976 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2016; Ord. 1400 § 2, 2006)

18.72.020 Lot size requirements.

Unless otherwise specified in this title, lots must meet the minimum lot size and width requirements specified for the zone in which they are located unless they constitute the nonconforming lots of record established prior to the amendatory ordinance codified in this title and are therefore subject to the restrictions of FMC 18.84.040. (Ord. 1976 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2016; Ord. 1400 § 2, 2006)

18.72.030 Special height requirements.

This section is intended to establish regulations necessary to maintain life-safety standards for fences, walls, and vegetative screening within the City of Ferndale. Within the residential neighborhoods of the City, these standards are also intended to maintain a general design aesthetic featuring relatively open front yards while allowing for reasonable privacy in side and rear yards.

A.    Unless otherwise specified in this title, the height of buildings and structures shall be measured as defined in Chapter 18.08 FMC.

B.    In residential zones, fences, walls, or vegetation which blocks, obscures, or impairs the ability of motorists to see pedestrians or other motorists on side streets, public or private properties, or on crosswalks are prohibited. To meet this goal, the height of solid or sight-obscuring screening, fences or walls shall be measured from the ground level where located and should not exceed two feet, six inches in height at any point within the sight distance triangle as described by Standard Detail Drawing R-17, within the Ferndale Development Standards. Fences and walls shall not exceed seven feet in height at any points in side or rear yards. The Zoning Administrator may permit taller sight-obscuring fences in any portion of the property only when life-safety and environmental issues are addressed to the satisfaction of the City, the applicant demonstrates that a taller sight-obscuring fence is necessary within the context of the existing or proposed use, and a non-sight-obscuring fence or screening cannot be utilized as an alternative. See Standard Detail R-17, within the Ferndale Development Standards.

    For lots located on corners of intersecting streets, such screening, fences, or walls shall not exceed two feet, six inches within 12 feet of the right-of-way on the side yard frontage. The height of such

screening, fences or walls in industrial or commercial zones shall generally meet the dimensional criteria described above for residential zones, unless the landscaping standards of Chapter 18.74 FMC require variation. The Zoning Administrator may permit taller sight-obscuring fences in any portion of the property only when life-safety and environmental issues are addressed to the satisfaction of the City, the applicant demonstrates that a taller sight-obscuring fence is necessary within the context of the existing or proposed use, and a non-sight-obscuring fence or screening cannot be utilized as an alternative. See Standard Detail Drawing R-17, within the Ferndale Development Standards.

C.    The height of non-sight-obscuring screening, fences or walls shall be measured from the ground level where located and shall not exceed four feet, six inches in height at any point within 20 feet of the front property line in residential zones. The height of such screening, fences or walls in industrial or commercial zones shall generally meet the dimensional criteria described above for residential zones, unless the landscaping standards of Chapter 18.74 FMC require variation. The Zoning Administrator may permit non-sight-obscuring fences in any portion of the property, provided that life-safety and environmental issues are addressed to the satisfaction of the City, and that the applicant demonstrates that a taller fence is necessary within the context of the existing or proposed use. For lots located on corners of intersecting streets, such screening, fences, or walls shall not exceed four feet, six inches within 12 feet of the right-of-way on the side yard frontage. See Standard Detail Drawing R-17, within the Ferndale Development Standards.

D.    The height of buildings, structures, screening, fences, walls and other objects within intersection clear zones shall be measured from the centerline grades of intersecting streets and shall be as provided in FMC 18.72.040(C) and (D).

E.    Fence Diagrams for Standard and Corner Lots. The diagram below is intended to provide a general visualization of the City’s regulations to protect vision clearance. The front property line height requirements apply to the portion of the property where primary access is taken.

Figure 1 – Standard Lot, Fence Diagram

Figure 2 – Corner Lot, Fence Diagram

(Ord. 1976 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2016; Ord. 1400 § 2, 2006)

18.72.040 Special setback requirements.

The following requirements shall be applicable in all zones:

A.    Special setbacks required for accessory buildings shall be as provided in FMC 18.72.050.

B.    Special setbacks required for signs shall be as provided in Chapter 18.80 FMC.

C.    A special setback and clear zone shall be provided for the promotion of traffic safety, aesthetic considerations and the general welfare on corner lots in the RS 10, RS 8, RS 6, RM 1.5 and RO zones consistent with the requirements of the City of Ferndale Development Standards, Standard Drawing R-19, “Clear Zone Setback Requirements.”

D.    Special setbacks and clear zones shall be provided for the promotion of traffic safety, aesthetic considerations, adequate off-street parking and the general welfare along all arterials and collectors as designated in the City of Ferndale Comprehensive Plan.

1.    The required setback for all buildings, structures, screening, fences, walls, stored objects such as parked vehicles or other similar improvements or objects exceeding two feet, six inches in height at all street intersections on arterials and collectors as designated in the City of Ferndale Comprehensive Plan other than in residential zones shall be the line formed by connecting the first 15 feet of the two intersecting property frontages at the intersection consistent with the requirements of the City of Ferndale Development Standards, Standard Drawing R-19, “Clear Zone Setback Requirements.”

E.    Setbacks on Corner Lots in Residential Zones. When both streets adjacent to a corner lot in the RS and RM zones are collector or arterial streets, but have unequal classifications, the side of the corner lot adjacent to the street with the lower classification shall be considered “front” for purposes of vehicle access, mail delivery, and addressing, and shall have a minimum setback of 20 feet. The other side of the corner lot adjacent to a street shall be considered “side,” and shall have a minimum setback of 12 feet. In the case where both streets are collector or arterial streets, and have equal classifications, or in the case where neither street is a collector street or arterial, the lot owner shall have the option of determining which street side shall be considered “front” and which shall be considered “side,” except that the Zoning Administrator may override the lot owner’s choice in special circumstances involving public safety.

F.    Setbacks for Garages. In no case shall the City permit a driveway accessing a garage to be less than 20 feet in length, in order to preserve required off-street parking outside of the public right-of-way or edge of access easement. (Ord. 1976 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2016; Ord. 1400 § 2, 2006)

18.72.050 Accessory building and use requirements.

A.    Buildings and uses customarily accessory and incidental to an established principal use are permitted in all zones except as specifically prohibited or restricted by this title.

B.    Accessory dwelling units are regulated under Chapter 18.34 FMC.

C.    Pursuant to Chapter 6.02 FMC, the keeping of customary domestic animals not constituting a kennel or including livestock or other farm animals is permitted as an accessory use in all zones so long as their keeping does not constitute a nuisance or hazard to the health, safety, peace or welfare of the community in general and the neighboring uses in particular.

D.    The outside storage of inoperative vehicles shall not be permitted as an accessory use in residential zones or for residential uses for a period of longer than 30 days, and shall be regulated as per Chapter 1.12 FMC.

E.    Accessory buildings shall not be constructed prior to the commencement of construction of the principal building.

F.    Accessory buildings shall not be more than one story nor more than 12 feet in height except for garages and carports.

G.    Accessory buildings shall be located only in rear yards or side yards except for garages and carports.

H.    The square footage of accessory buildings shall be included in the calculations of the maximum lot coverage limitation of this title.

I.    Accessory structures under 120 square feet of roof area shall be placed no closer than three feet to the rear and/or side property line. Accessory structures having between 120 square feet and 250 square feet may be placed no closer than five feet away from the rear and/or side property line. All other accessory structures must meet setback requirements of that zone.

J.    Accessory structures shall not be located forward of that point on the primary structure closest to the street, except garages and carports.

K.    In the case of corner lots, accessory structures may be located in the side yard adjacent to the street, but shall be set back a minimum of 12 feet from the right-of-way. (Ord. 1995 § 3 (Exh. 1), 2017; Ord. 1976 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2016; Ord. 1400 § 2, 2006)

18.72.070 Driveway requirements.

A.    All driveways shall be of a hard surface.

B.    Driveway width shall be as defined in the City of Ferndale Development Standards, Standard Drawing R-16, “Driveway Width and Spacing.”

C.    In residential zones, where driveways are exceptionally long, the hard area shall extend a minimum of 20 feet from the principal street. (Ord. 1976 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2016; Ord. 1400 § 2, 2006)

18.72.080 Sidewalk requirements.

A.    Purpose. The purpose of this section is to supplement certain subdivision design requirements by making them applicable to subdivided lots of record in the event of their development, to provide for pedestrian convenience and safety after their development and otherwise promote the health, safety and welfare of the community.

B.    The Building Official should require as a condition of issuance of any building permit for a principal building the construction of sidewalks along street frontages of the lot being developed to be provided to the satisfaction of the Director of Public Works prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.

C.    The Zoning Administrator may waive said requirement if said development will not contribute to pedestrian use of the vicinity, frontage of said lot is not likely in the foreseeable future to be used for pedestrian travel to any great extent, sidewalks do not exist on other lots in the vicinity of the lot to be developed, and the expense involved would be an undue hardship in view of the development applied for without any overriding public benefit and the owner first provides a valid no-protest ULID or LID agreement binding on all present and future parties in interest.

D.    The design requirements for sidewalks set forth in the Ferndale Development Standards (codified at FMC Title 19) shall be applied insofar as practicable in implementation of this section. (Ord. 1976 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2016; Ord. 1400 § 2, 2006)

18.72.090 Performance requirements for uses.

A.    Purpose. The requirements of this section shall be considered minimum performance requirements for all uses in all zones.

B.    Noise. Noise shall be regulated as per Chapter 8.08 FMC, Nuisances. Noise levels are not to exceed those standards as established by the state pursuant to Chapter 70.107 RCW, Chapter 173-60 WAC or other applicable state or federal laws.

C.    Air Pollution. The following types of air pollutants shall be subject to the provisions of applicable Northwest Air Pollution Authority regulations:

1.    Smoke and gas;

2.    Dust, dirt or fly ash;

3.    Noxious and odorous matter.

D.    Radiation. The use, storage, transportation and disposal of all radioactive materials and machines emitting radiation shall be subject to the current provisions contained in “Rules and Regulations for Radiation Protection” issued by the Radiation Control Agency of the Washington State Department of Health.

E.    Exterior Lighting. Exterior lighting shall be so installed that the surface of the source of light shall not cast a direct glare upon residential windows, and shall be so arranged to reflect light away from residential uses.

F.    Glare and Heat. Any operation producing intense glare or heat shall be performed within an enclosure so as to completely obscure such operation from view from adjacent residential property, except during a period of construction of the facility.

G.    Complaints received shall be turned over to the appropriate local, county, regional, state or federal agency for enforcement. (Ord. 2046 § 2 (Exh. 2), 2018; Ord. 1976 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2016; Ord. 1400 § 2, 2006)

18.72.095 Performance requirements for active use storage and micro business developments.

A.    Purpose. The requirements of this section shall be considered minimum performance standards for these uses. These requirements are established in recognition of the fact that the type and combination of potential uses within each structure may result in serious threats to life and safety when the buildings and infrastructure are not planned for those uses at the time of initial application.

B. Where allowed by this title, applicants for active use storage and micro multiple use developments shall be required to submit to the City covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) identifying the range of uses anticipated in each building. These CC&Rs shall be utilized by the City and the property owner/property manager as a basis for infrastructure requirements, building/life-safety requirements, and ongoing compliance. Failure to comply with the use limitations described in these documents shall be subject to enforcement pursuant to Chapter 1.12 FMC, including the placement of a stop work order that will require the immediate cessation of all activities within the building or unit until full compliance is achieved, as well as financial penalties. (Ord. 2046 § 2 (Exh. 2), 2018)

18.72.100 Performance requirements for service stations.

A.    Services. The following services may be rendered and sales made, and no other:

1.    Sales and servicing of spark plugs, batteries and distributors and distributor parts;

2.    Tire servicing and repair, but not recapping or regrooving;

3.    Replacement of mufflers and tail pipes, water hoses, fan belts, brake fluid, light bulbs, fuses, floor mats, seat covers, windshield wipers and wiper blades, grease retainers, wheel bearings, mirrors and the like;

4.    Radiator cleaning and flushing;

5.    Washing and polishing, and sale of automotive washing and polishing materials;

6.    Greasing and lubrication;

7.    Providing and repairing fuel pumps and lines;

8.    Minor servicing and repair of carburetors;

9.    Emergency wiring repairs;

10.    Adjusting and repairing brakes;

11.    Minor motor adjustments not involving removal of the head or crankcase or racing the motor;

12.    Sales of cold drinks, packaged foods, tobacco and similar convenience goods for filling station customers, as accessory and incidental to the principal operation;

13.    Provision of road maps and other informational material to customers; provision of restroom facilities;

14.    Uses permissible at a filling station do not include major mechanical and body work, straightening of body parts, painting, storage of automobiles not in operating condition, or other work involving noise, glare, fumes, smoke or other characteristics to an extent greater than normally found in service stations. A service station is not a repair garage or body shop.

B.    Purpose. The purpose of this section is to regulate the location and operation of automobile service stations in a manner that will protect the functional and operational safety and capacity of the streets and highways along which these facilities are situated, and minimize possible adverse effects as to health and welfare of adjacent land uses.

C.    Location at Intersection. Not more than two service stations shall be located on any given intersection. These should be situated at diagonally opposite corners.

D.    Location Along Arterials. Service stations shall only be located on arterial or collector arterials, unless they are designed as an integral part of a garage, shopping center or similar business complex.

E.    Distance to Other Stations and Uses. The minimum distance between service stations shall be 500 feet except when located at an intersection. No service station shall be located closer than 250 feet to a residential zone, school, park, playground, church, library or similar use.

F.    Driveways at Intersections. Service station driveways on arterial streets shall be located at least 50 feet from the nearest point of intersection of public rights-of-way. There shall be no more than two curb cuts with a maximum combined length of 120 feet.

G.    Driveways and Circulation. Driveways for service stations which are developed as part of or in conjunction with adjacent uses shall be located as part of the total circulation element of such adjacent uses.

H.    Truck-Oriented Service. Service stations specifically intended to serve the trucking market and function as “truck stops” shall have a minimum of 300 feet frontage on at least one street.

I.    Noise and Lighting. Service station operation shall at all times be conducted in a manner that will minimize adverse effects of adjacent land uses as to noise and lighting. No lighting scheme will be approved which is found to affect the operational efficiency of nearby traffic signals. (Ord. 1976 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2016; Ord. 1400 § 2, 2006)

18.72.105 Performance requirements for mobile food vendors.

A.    Temporary mobile food vehicles such as food trucks and food carts may be allowed in any zone in which restaurants are permitted, with the written consent from the property owner and subject to the City’s site plan review requirements. Evidence of such written consent and approval shall be provided to the City prior to the on-site location of the food truck. Temporary mobile food vehicles are allowed within the City Center and Urban Residential zones when co-located with an existing business within the zone, or as authorized by a special events permit. All mobile food vendors are subject to the following requirements:

1.    All mobile food vendors shall require a business license per Chapter 5.04 FMC.

2.    All mobile food vehicles shall be temporary in nature, and may not operate from the same property more than three days of any calendar week, or 10 days per month, with the exception of those food trucks operating from one location as part of the normal restaurant operation of the existing business, when such business has paid the required impact and connection fees for a restaurant or dining establishment facility. See subsection (C) of this section.

3.    Unless authorized by a special events permit per Chapter 12.28 FMC, within a mobile food zone established by the City, or as part of a City-sponsored event, in no case shall a mobile food vendor operate from a vehicle in a public parking space or public parking lot.

4.    All temporary mobile food vendors must identify the location(s) for off-site food preparation and food waste disposal, and shall clean the site of all debris, trash and litter at the conclusion of each business day.

5.    No mobile food vendor shall sell or vend from his or her vehicle or conveyance:

a.    Within 400 feet of public or private school grounds during the hours of regular school session, classes, or school-related events in said public or private school, except when authorized by said school; or

b.    In a manner which obstructs or causes to be obstructed the passage of a sidewalk, street, avenue, alley or any other public place either by the placement of the mobile food truck or by causing people to congregate at or near the place where food is being sold or offered for sale; or

c.    From the public right-of-way, with the exception of those parking stalls located within the 1900 block of Main Street east of First Street and west of the Nooksack River, as shown in Map 1, below (Centennial Riverwalk Parking); or

d.    From the street side of the mobile unit. All service must be on the curb side when the mobile unit is on or abutting a public street.

6.    Any exterior lighting used by the mobile food vendor shall be designed and placed in such a manner that it does not result in glare or light spillage onto other properties or interfere with vehicular traffic. Lighting shall be directed downward.

7.    The mobile food vehicle shall be kept in good repair, and free of graffiti.

B.    In addition to those requirements of subsection (A) of this section, mobile food vendors operating on private property shall provide the City with the following information:

1.    A signed agreement between the property owner and the mobile food vendor allowing use of the property for the mobile food business.

2.    A site plan of sufficient detail to demonstrate:

a.    The location of the mobile food vehicle on site;

b.    All fire lanes, fire hydrants, and parking spaces within 200 feet of the proposed mobile food vehicle location;

c.    At least one waste receptacle outside the vehicle must be provided for waste associated with the mobile food vehicle;

d.    Seating or awnings (if applicable) that are proposed as part of the mobile food operation.

3.    Proof of valid Whatcom County Health Department approvals.

4.    A signed agreement demonstrating that patrons and employees of the mobile food vendor may utilize on-site restroom facilities while the food truck is in operation.

5.    Provided, that the information contained on the initial approval remains unchanged; that a valid business license and Health Department approvals remain in effect; and provided further, that the time limitations described in subsection (A)(2) of this section are not exceeded, no additional City review is required between operations.

C.    Permanent Mobile Food Facilities Associated with a Primary Business. Mobile food vehicle locations or spaces that are integrated into the site and structural design of permanent business facilities may be allowed, subject to the following limitations:

1.    Nothing in this code shall be interpreted to require that the same mobile food vehicle be on site at all times, or to require that mobile vehicle businesses be rotated on a regular basis.

2.    The mobile food vehicle location must be shown on site plans submitted with the business, and must comply with all City design standards through the use of vegetative or structural screening.

3.    The applicant must clearly demonstrate whether a mobile food business is intended to provide all dining options at the establishment, or if the mobile food business is intended to supplement an on-site kitchen.

4.    The provisions of subsection (A) of this section shall apply to permanent mobile food facilities associated with a primary business.

5.    Nothing in this code shall be interpreted to reduce the responsibility of the applicant to provide adequate seating, restroom facilities, and other health and life safety requirements that would normally be a requirement of a permanent restaurant.

D.    Exemptions.

1.    Lemonade stands or other similar stands.

2.    Mobile food vendors associated with multiple vendor licenses or City events, such as the Ferndale Farmer’s Market, Street Festival, or Old Settler’s Picnic.

3.    Delivery or distribution of food, goods or products ordered or purchased by customers from a source or point of sale other than a mobile vehicle operated for the purpose of soliciting customers while located on City streets or property. (Ord. 2031 § 2, 2018)

18.72.110 Adult business and adult entertainment performance standards.

A.    Any adult business or adult entertainment establishment shall be prohibited within 1,000 feet from any of the following:

1.    RM 1.5, CC, UR and all RS zones;

2.    Public or private primary or secondary school;

3.    Church;

4.    Public park;

5.    Public library.

B.    Any adult business or adult entertainment establishment shall be prohibited within 500 feet from any of the following:

1.    An existing residential dwelling;

2.    Any other adult use business or adult entertainment business.

C.    The distance provided in subsections (A) and (B) of this section shall be measured by following a straight line, without regard to intervening buildings or parcels of property, from the nearest point of the property upon which the proposed adult business or adult entertainment establishment is to be located, to the nearest point of the parcel of property from which the proposed adult business or adult entertainment establishment is to be separated.

D.    Building Facades/Signs. All adult business and adult entertainment establishments shall be located in structures whose exterior walls are free from illustrations depicting partially or totally nude persons. Any sign, entrance or exit or window area shall likewise be free from such illustrations.

E.    Parking and Lighting Requirements. On-site parking shall be required and regulated in accordance with Chapter 18.76 FMC and in addition shall meet the following requirements:

1.    All on-site parking areas and premises entries of the adult business or adult entertainment establishment shall be illuminated from dusk until one hour past the closing of the operation with a lighting system which provides an average maintained horizontal illumination of one footcandle of light on the parking surface and/or walkways. An on-premises exterior lighting plan shall be presented to the City for approval prior to the operation of any business regulated by this section.

2.    All parking must be visible from the fronting street. Nonemergency access to the exterior rear of the building shall be denied to any persons other than employees and public officials during the performance of their respective duties and tasks by means of fencing as approved by the City. (Ord. 1976 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2016; Ord. 1400 § 2, 2006)

18.72.120 Manufactured homes – New – Standards.

A “designated manufactured home” may be used as a single-family dwelling unit provided it meets all of the following:

A.    It is a “new manufactured home,” which means any manufactured home required to be titled under RCW Title 46, which has not been previously titled to a retail purchaser, and is not a “used mobile home” as defined in RCW 82.45.032(2); and

B.    It is set upon a permanent foundation, and the space from the bottom of the home to the ground is enclosed by concrete or an approved concrete product which can be either load-bearing or decorative; and

C.    It complies with the State Energy Code; and

D.    It complies with all zoning, land use, and building regulations applicable to single-family dwelling units at the subject location, including, but not necessarily limited to, snow load, wind load, and seismic requirements; and

E.    Prior to final occupancy, the owner shall provide documentation that appropriate action (e.g., title elimination) has been taken to ensure that the manufactured home is irrevocably tied to the lot and legally defined as real property. (Ord. 1976 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2016; Ord. 1400 § 2, 2006)

18.72.130 Master planning required.

In most commercial zones, the City requires that land proposed for development equal to or in excess of three gross acres, whether in one parcel or a combination of parcels, requires master planning in the form of a binding site plan or planned unit development.

This requirement shall be enforced regardless of the size of a specific development permit or structure. This requirement is intended to ensure that development on large properties makes efficient use of space, and, where necessary, is designed to obscure the appearance of large structures. In addition to requirements of the binding site plan and planned unit development chapters, the following guidelines shall apply:

A.    Where feasible, when the initial development of a parcel consists of structures or building footprints in excess of 75,000 square feet, the binding site plan shall identify outparcels or other sight-obscuring measures along the perimeter of the subject parcel adjacent to primary roadways and/or residential areas.

B.    Where feasible, when the initial development of a parcel or group of parcels consists of an individual structure with a building footprint of less than 75,000 square feet, the master plan shall identify lots or building pads which will support either the development of larger structures or a combination of smaller structures in a shopping center format, or a combination of structures in an open-air downtown format, or a combination of all three.

C.    Regardless of the type of construction, the master plan shall reserve no more than 30 percent of the gross area of the subject properties for undeveloped, unplanned space. Wetlands, wetland mitigation, required buffers, stormwater, building footprints (or pads) and parking shall not be used to calculate undeveloped space. The applicant may amend the master plan at a later date to identify potential uses for this unplanned area.

D.    Where feasible, the applicant shall seek to establish a master plan in which primary anchor stores do not exceed 70 percent of the total building square footage for the development.

E.    The master plan shall provide pedestrian and vehicular connectivity between the development area and adjacent parcels.

F.    The proponent shall work with the City to develop a coordinated signage plan for the general binding site plan or planned unit development, as well as general or specific architectural guidelines in order to promote internal compatibility within the development.

G.    The requirements of this section shall not be used by the City to prevent the development of specific structures. However, as development progresses, the City reserves the right to identify areas in which development precedes required infrastructure, and to either deny development permits or require that necessary infrastructure is installed concurrent with development.

H.    At the request of the applicant, the Community Development Director may waive the requirements of this section when he or she determines that the proposed development of the site is of a size or intensity to satisfy the intent of this section, without subsequent development. (Ord. 1976 § 1 (Exh. 1), 2016)

18.72.140 Performance requirements for temporary outdoor homeless encampments hosted by religious organizations.

A.    Temporary outdoor homeless encampments hosted by religious organizations shall be permitted and processed as conditional uses as an accommodation of faith-based exercise by a host agency and sponsoring agency, and are subject to the provisions of RCW 35.21.915 and 19.27.042. Each host agency and sponsoring agency shall jointly apply for a permit under this section and shall jointly certify compliance with all applicable requirements for approval and conditions of this chapter and the application.

B.    When evaluating such proposed uses, the Hearings Examiner shall consider and apply the following rules in order to protect public health and safety. The Hearings Examiner shall have the authority to modify the rules at his/her discretion based upon the specific application and site-specific conditions; however, any modifications must result in the same level of public health and safety.

1.    Site Criteria.

a.    If the sponsoring agency is not the host agency of the site, the sponsoring agency must submit a written agreement from the host agency allowing the temporary homeless encampment, or from the owner of the property, and clarifying the obligations of the sponsoring agency.

b.    Temporary safe parking areas and temporary tent encampments must be located a minimum of 20 feet from the property line of abutting properties and shall be screened appropriately so as not to negatively impact adjacent properties, unless the Hearings Examiner finds that a reduced buffer width will provide adequate separation between the shelter and adjoining uses, due to changes in elevation, intervening buildings, other physical characteristics of the site, or mitigation measures designed to provide such a buffer or separation.

c.    Encampments shall not be sited within a critical area or its buffer, as defined by Chapter 16.08 FMC.

d.    Permanent or semi-permanent housing such as “tiny homes,” manufactured homes, and mobile homes shall not be permitted as temporary outdoor encampments, but may be considered as part of an amendment to an existing or as a separate conditional use associated with a church or religious institution. Recreational vehicles and trailers must be licensed and must be capable of being removed under their own power or via a towing vehicle located on site.

e.    No off-site parking is allowed.

f.    No more than 30 people may be allowed within an encampment at one time, unless the Hearings Examiner determines that the site is large enough to accommodate more without impacting public health and safety. The Hearings Examiner has the ability to place additional controls on the number of people inhabiting the site based on the ability of the host to manage health and safety.

g.    Provisions for indoor or chemical toilets, hand washing stations, storage of personal belongings, trash areas and trash removal must be identified. All sanitary portable toilets shall be screened from adjacent properties and rights-of-way. The type of screening shall be approved by the Hearings Examiner and may include, but is not limited to, a combination of fencing and landscaping.

h.    Cooking facilities, if provided, must be identified and shall be reviewed by the City and must meet all applicable Whatcom County Health Department requirements.

i.    Subject to the limitations of RCW 35.21.915 and 19.27.042, the host shall ensure compliance with all Washington State laws and regulations, the Ferndale Municipal Code, and Whatcom County Health Department regulations.

j.    Adequate on-site parking shall be provided. The number of vehicles used by the temporary homeless encampment shall be provided in the permit application. Any on-site parking of the host must not be displaced unless sufficient off-street parking remains available for the host’s use.

k.    The temporary outdoor homeless encampment shall be located within a quarter-mile of a bus stop with seven days’ per week service, whenever possible. If not located within a quarter-mile of a bus stop, the host or sponsoring agency must demonstrate the ability for residents to obtain access to the nearest public transportation stop (such as carpools or shuttle buses).

l.    On-site supervision must be provided at all times.

m.    Upon the conclusion of the encampment, all debris shall be removed from the site and the site shall be restored to its original condition within one calendar week.

2.    Security.

a.    An operations and security plan for the temporary outdoor homeless encampment shall be submitted to the City at the time of application. The security plan shall address potential security and neighborhood impacts within 500 feet of the encampment site.

b.    The host agency shall provide, and all residents of the temporary outdoor homeless encampment must sign and abide by, a code of conduct for living at the temporary outdoor homeless encampment. A copy of the code of conduct shall be submitted to the City at the time of application and shall be in substantially the following form or address the following issues:

i.    Possession or use of illegal drugs is prohibited.

ii.    Violence against staff or residents of the encampment is prohibited.

iii.    Any open flames are prohibited.

iv.    Trespassing on private property in the surrounding neighborhood is prohibited.

v.    Littering on the temporary outdoor homeless encampment site or in the surrounding neighborhood is prohibited.

vi.    Noise or music in excess of the limits set forth in FMC 8.08.020 is prohibited.

vii.    No children under the age of 18 are allowed to stay overnight unless accompanied by a parent or guardian, unless the encampment is licensed to provide services to this population.

viii.    Nothing in this section shall prohibit the host agency, sponsoring agency or a temporary outdoor homeless encampment from imposing and enforcing additional code of conduct conditions not otherwise inconsistent with this section.

ix.    As a condition of entry, residents must sign waivers granting the host agency, sponsoring agency, and law enforcement the right to perform background checks. Failure to do so may result in the noncompliant resident’s immediate expulsion from the property.

c.    All temporary outdoor homeless encampment residents must sign an agreement to abide by the code of conduct and failure to do so may result in the noncompliant resident’s immediate expulsion from the property.

d.    The host or sponsoring agency shall keep a log of all people who stay overnight in the encampment, including names, dates of birth, and dates of stay in the encampment. Logs shall be kept and retained for a minimum of six months.

e.    The host or sponsoring agency shall take all reasonable and legal steps to obtain verifiable identification such as a driver’s license, government-issued identification card, military identification, passport, or other reasonable forms of identification from prospective and existing encampment residents.

f.    The host or sponsoring agency will use identification received from prospective and existing encampment residents to obtain sex offender and warrant checks from the Washington State Patrol, the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office or local Police Department.

i.    If the warrant and sex offender checks reveal either (A) an existing or outstanding warrant from any jurisdiction in the United States for the arrest of the individual who is the subject of the check; or (B) the subject of the check is a sex offender, required to register with the County Sheriff or their county of residence pursuant to RCW 9A.44.130, then the host or sponsoring agency may reject the subject of the check for residency in the temporary outdoor homeless encampment or may eject the subject of the check if that person is already a temporary outdoor homeless encampment resident.

ii.    The host or sponsoring agency shall immediately contact the Police Department if the reason for rejection or ejection of an individual from the temporary outdoor homeless encampment is an active warrant. In other cases of rejection or ejection, the designated representative of the host or sponsoring agency may immediately contact the Ferndale Police Department and the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.

g.    The host or sponsoring agency shall self-manage its residents and prohibit illegal drugs, violence, and abuse of any kind, littering, or noise disturbances of other residents or adjacent neighbors while located on the temporary outdoor homeless encampment property.

h.    The host or sponsoring agency will appoint a designated representative to serve “on-duty” as an encampment manager at all times as a point of contact for the Ferndale Police Department and will orient law enforcement how the security tent operates for the temporary outdoor homeless encampment. The name of the on-duty designated representative will be posted daily in the security tent. The City shall provide contact numbers of nonemergency personnel, which shall be posted at the security tent.

C.    Timing.

1.    The duration of a temporary outdoor homeless encampment shall be for 180 days, and may be extended for an additional 180 days upon submittal of a request for an extension to the Ferndale Hearings Examiner along with proof that the site did not have on-site criminal violations greater than the crime rate of the surrounding neighborhood.

2.    Requests for extension must be submitted to the Hearings Examiner for review 30 calendar days before expiration of the 180-day permit duration.

D.    Health and Safety.

1.    Emergency Housing Facility. The emergency housing facility shall conform to the following fire requirements:

a.    There shall be no open fires for cooking without preapproval by Whatcom County Fire District 7 and no open fires for heating;

b.    No heating appliances within the individual tents are allowed without preapproval by Whatcom County Fire District 7;

c.    No cooking appliances, other than microwave appliances, are allowed in individual tents;

d.    An adequate number, with appropriate rating, of fire extinguishers shall be provided as approved by Whatcom County Fire District 7;

e.    Adequate access for fire and emergency medical apparatus shall be provided. This shall be determined by Whatcom County Fire District 7;

f.    Adequate separation between tents and other structures shall be maintained as determined by Whatcom County Fire District 7; and

g.    Electrical service shall be in accordance with recognized and accepted practice and codes. Electrical cords shall not be strung together. Any electrical cords used must be approved for outdoor exterior use.

2.    The host agency and sponsoring agency shall permit inspections by City staff and the Whatcom County Health Department at reasonable times without prior notice of compliance with the conditions of the temporary outdoor homeless encampment.

3.    The host agency and sponsoring agency shall provide sharps disposal containers.

E.    Hearings Examiner’s Decision.

1.    Purpose. The Hearings Examiner shall review the proposal to ensure compliance with the provisions of this chapter and all other applicable laws to ensure that the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the City are preserved, and to provide an expedient and reasonable land use review process for decisions and interpretations of this chapter.

2.    The Hearings Examiner may modify the submittal requirements as deemed appropriate.

3.    Notice of Decision. The Hearings Examiner shall notify the sponsoring and host agencies of his or her decision to approve, modify or deny the application within a timely manner, but not prior to 10 days after the public hearing. The Hearings Examiner’s decision is a final decision of the City. Appeals of decisions to approve or deny a conditional use permit for a temporary outdoor homeless encampment shall be to Whatcom County Superior Court.

F.    Temporary Outdoor Homeless Encampment Permit Termination. If the host agency or sponsoring agency fails to take action against a resident who violates the terms and conditions of its permit, it may result in immediate termination of the permit issued to the host agency or sponsoring agency. If the City learns of acts of violence by residents of the encampment and the host agency or sponsoring agency has not adequately addressed the situation to protect residents, the conditional use permit may be immediately terminated.

G.    Temporary Outdoor Homeless Encampment Permit Revocation. Upon determination that there has been a violation of any approval criteria or condition of application, the Director of Community Planning and Development or his or her designee may give written notice to the permit holder describing the alleged violation. Within 14 days of the mailing of notice of violation, the permit holder shall show cause why the permit should not be revoked. At the end of the 14-day period, the Director of Community Planning and Development or his or her designee shall sustain or revoke the permit. When a temporary outdoor homeless encampment permit is revoked, the Director of Community Planning and Development or his or her designee shall notify the permit holder by first class and certified mail of the revocation and the findings upon which revocation is based. Appeals from the Director’s decision to revoke a temporary outdoor homeless encampment permit shall be to Whatcom County Superior Court. (Ord. 2066 § 2 (Exh. 2), 2018)