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UPDATE 4/20/2020 – The City has issued revised guidelines for residential and commercial construction. See more details here.

Most Construction Activities Required to Stop

Governor’s proclamation deems nearly all construction as nonessential

The City of Ferndale announced today clarifications to Governor Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” statewide stay-at-home order as it pertains to construction, identifying nearly all construction as nonessential. This means most construction activities are required to stop during the order.

All construction activities allowed to continue under exemptions must comply with social distancing including appropriate health and worker protection measures before proceeding. 

“We know this is hard,” said Mayor Greg Hansen, “But these necessary steps can literally save lives.”

According to the memo issued by the governor’s office, the exceptions are construction related to essential activities like health care, transportation, energy, defense and critical manufacturing; construction “to further a public purpose related to a public entity,” including publicly financed low-income housing; and emergency repairs.  

The City will defer to the governor’s order as to the list of essential businesses and subsequent letters from the governor’s office identifying specific businesses or construction projects as essential.

City inspectors shall have the authority to determine what is allowable to prevent spoliation. In their discretion the installation of a roof, roofing materials, doors, windows, or structural elements necessary to prevent the degradation or failure of building elements.

Projects that have determined that they qualify as essential infrastructure and businesses as described below may request inspections:

  • Healthcare and Public Health facilities.
  • Emergency Service facilities.
  • Food and Agriculture facilities which manufacture or distribute and currently under construction.
  • Utility facilities related to transportation, communication, electric, water, wastewater. 
  • Critical manufacturing facilities including hazardous or chemical materials.
  • Financial facilities.
  • Residential construction projects that are currently under construction can continue to a point to prevent spoliation, damage or unsafe conditions. Projects shall be brought to a point of securing the structure to prevent personal and environmental damage of exterior and/or interior building elements and to negate unsafe conditions. This will be construed narrowly.
  • Residential construction related to emergency repairs and projects that ensure structural integrity or the health and safety of occupants.

“The City continues to review, and process permit applications.  Recognizing that construction is vital to our community, our goal is to keep all permits in various review stages, moving full speed ahead so that construction can commence as soon as the emergency order ends. We thank our local applicants, builders and contractors for the collaborative effort during this time.” Haylie Miller, Community Development Director.

If projects are continuing construction that is not deemed “essential by the Governor’s Order” , the City will cease inspections and may proceed with enforcement (as necessary) to gain compliance.

For more information, contact Community Development Director Haylie Miller by phone (360) 685-2367 or email at