Whatcom County Planning and Development Services outlines clarifications to Governor Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” statewide order and appendix 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.
According to the memo issued by the governor 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.
Inspections will continue for projects in unincorporated Whatcom County that qualify for essential Infrastructure and businesses including:
- 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 secure the site and structure 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 County’s Planning and Development Department is working diligently to ensure that the review process for building and land use permits continues during this crisis. The Department’s intent is to ensure that when restrictions are lifted, construction can immediately begin.
For more information, call 360-778-5900 or visit www.whatcomcounty.us/358/Planning-Development-Services.