City Council approves mandatory watering schedule penalties

city council regular meeting 2 2018-02-05
City Council regular meeting (February 5, 2018). Photo: My Ferndale News

The Ferndale City Council held a regular meeting tonight and on the agenda was a modification of a City ordinance that lays out the penalties for anyone found to be in violation of the City’s recently adopted mandatory watering schedule.

After some discussion over whether the mandatory restrictions were needed as opposed to notifying citizens of the need for cutting back on water usage, it was moved to vote on removing the penalty for shutting off service with the 3rd offense. That was approved by a 4-3 vote with councilmembers Taylor, Olson and Watson opposed.

Then it was time to vote for the penalties to be imposed. Approved, again by a 4-3 vote with councilmembers Taylor, Olson and Watson opposed, was the penalties of 1) a warning on the 1st offense, 2) a fine of $50 for the 2nd offense and 3) a fine of $125 for the 3rd and subsequent offenses.

The mandatory watering schedule is the same as the voluntary watering schedule the City has been encouraging citizens to follow each summer. Residents at odd-numbered addresses are to water only on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Residents at even-numbered addresses are to water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. No watering would occur on Mondays following the greater water use that is expected to occur over the weekends and reservoirs need the day to recharge.

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Exempt from both the mandatory and voluntary watering schedules are flower and vegetable gardens, outdoor potted plants, hanging baskets and newly-planted lawn. Drip-irrigation systems and hand watering are also exempt.

Outdoor watering and irrigation is restricted to between 5pm and 10am and for no longer than 30 minutes.


The story was updated with corrected exceptions to the mandatory watering schedule. It was initially said the City would utilize the voluntary watering schedule structure but according to the City resolution passed during the Special City Council Meeting, that was not the case. The final version of the resolution defining the mandatory watering schedule had not been posted into the publicly accessible Ferndale Municipal Code as of the writing of this story.

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Joe is the founder of My Ferndale News. As a Ferndale resident, he hopes to empower the community with free access to news that matters and makes a difference in the day-to-day challenges faced while we work and live in the Ferndale area.