Welcome to Ferndale's

Community & Economic Development

Community And Economic Development Department

The Community and Economic Development Department (CED) works with all community stakeholders to improve Ferndale's quality of life. CED is the primary contact and liaison for the City's Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, Mayor's Business Council, and Construction Board of Appeals.

To maintain and further foster Ferndale's development, the CED is structured around the following core services:

Building Services

Business Support and Economic Development

Code Enforcement

Planning & Zoning Services

Rental Services


Guide to Development

For a comprehensive overview of the development review process in Ferndale, including contacts, links to forms and documents, and policy guidance, see our Guide to Development.

Self-Service Access

Visit AccessMyGov for self-service online access to the City's building and permit resources. Make building, tax, and utility payments, apply for a permit, schedule an inspection, and conduct Building Department and rental property searches.

Development Projects

View the City's current development projects here.


Community and Economic Development Department

Ferndale City Hall
300 E. Nine Mile Rd.
Ferndale, MI 48220

248-546-2525 (Option #2)

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Relevant Services



Does the City require occupancy inspections prior to the sale of a home?

The City of Ferndale does not require occupancy inspections for private home sales. Certificates of occupancies are required when opening new businesses or after the completion of home or apartment construction.

How do I obtain a dog license?

All dogs over four months of age are required to have a valid license. Licenses expire annually on December 31. To purchase your license, you must present a rabies vaccination certificate from a USDA-accredited veterinarian and proof that the animal has been spayed or neutered. Licenses are issued as a metal tags that dogs are required to wear at all times.

Effective 2023:

From January 1 to June 1, the price for a dog license is $15 for a dog that has been spayed/neutered (or $14 for senior citizens), and $25 for a dog that has not been spayed/neutered (or $23 for senior citizens).

Beginning June 2, those who have not purchased a license are considered delinquent and will be charged $40 for a license.

Purchase your license at City Hall during regular business hours or online through Oakland County Animal Control. 

Are dog owners required to keep their yards and the public right of way free of dog waste?

Yes. Yards, the public right of way, and exercise dog runs shall be kept free of dog droppings and uneaten food and maintained in a sanitary manner so as not to be a nuisance because of odor or attraction for flies and vermin.

Does Ferndale have leash laws for dogs?

Yes. The City of Ferndale does not allow dogs to be unleashed in any park or playground in the city. Dogs being walked in the City's right of way shall also be under reasonable control. If you wish to report a loose dog in a public area, contact Ferndale Police Department non-emergency at 248-541-3650.

My neighbor's grass is a foot long. Do they have to mow it?

The lawn grass cannot be longer than 7".  As a courtesy, we will send a notice once per season to the homeowner letting them know they have seven days to cut their grass.  If the grass does not get cut, the City’s contractor will mow it for them.  This service will cost the property owner $275.00. Given the alternatives, the property owner normally realizes that it is much less expensive to maintain their lawn themselves or hire someone, rather than having the City do it.

Who should I contact for a grass/weeds complaint?

For grass and weed complaints please use our online system, See Click Fix. For any questions regarding grass and weeds, you may contact us at (248) 546-2525 Ext. 3.

I filed a complaint awhile back about a problem property and nothing's happened. Why hasn't Code Enforcement responded yet?

Typically, we give the property owner one or two weeks to solve the problem. We may allow more time on extensive projects. If the property owner does not take care of the problem, we will issue a ticket that may motivate them to respond. If an owner chooses not to maintain their properties, our last resort is to take the owners to court and let the judge determine if an order will be issued to correct the problem.

How do I prevent rodents?

Take away their food:

Rodents will eat anything—to remove rats, you must remove their food source. Common food sources include:

  • Garbage
  • Bird food/feeders
  • Pet food/chicken feed
  • Pet waste
  • Fallen fruit from trees or unharvested produce from gardens

Keep them out of your house:

Rats can fit through a space the size of a quarter or smaller. Small openings in homes, buildings, and sheds must be sealed to prevent rodents from entering. Check for openings where pipes or wires enter the building, under eaves, around foundations and crawl space entrances, and near doors and windows. Use cement, 1/4-inch steel hardware cloth (wire mesh), or steel wool and spray foam to seal openings.

Keep them out of your yard:

Don’t let your yard be a nesting zone for rodents. Rats will nest in:

  • Outdoor piles of garbage and junk.
  • Underwood piles or lumber—stack woodpiles 18 inches off the ground.
  • Under blackberry bushes, shrubs, vines, and tall grasses that are not trimmed or cut back.
  • Holes under buildings that haven’t been filled

You may need to hire a professional if you have a bad infestation. The State of Michigan recommends working with pest management companies that use an "Integrated Pest Management" (IPM). IPM focuses on long-term solutions to pest problems with minimum impact on human health and the environment.

I think I've got rodents—what should I do?

If you think you may have an infestation of rats or rodents, contact City of Ferndale Inspector Rachell Garrison at 248-336-4365 or rgarrison@ferndalemi.gov. A specialist will be happy to come and inspect your home and property and advise about how best to proceed. 

Trapping is the preferred method for eliminating rodents, both indoors and outdoors. Snap traps are inexpensive and effective. Peanut butter usually works as bait. Set the trap in the area with the most rodent activity. Rodents tend to run along walls, so place traps next to a wall, fence line, or foundation. Make sure children and pets do not have access to the traps.

Poisoning is not an ideal way to eliminate rodents but is sometimes necessary when populations become too large. Poison is not recommended for indoor use, as rodents can die inside walls and produce odor. Rodent poisons (rodenticides) are also harmful to animals and pets, so use them carefully. Always use a secured bait station to keep poisons away from children and pets. When dealing with poisons, it's best to work with a certified and referenced extermination professional. 

What are the requirements for foundations and rat walls?

Unattached frame garages and sheds 600 square feet or less shall be built on a concrete slab no less than 4 inches thick and 4 inches wide for a 24-inch rat wall. Anchor bolts (minimum 1/2 inch diameter) shall be set 2 inches above and 7 inches below concrete, 6 feet on center and within 1 inch of corners with 2 anchors minimum (per wall section).

Masonry garages and masonry fronts on frame garages and all structures over 600 square feet must be built on a foundation or footing at least 12 inches wide that extends at least 42 inches below finished grade to undisturbed soil. On all construction attached to and made structurally a part of the residence, a 42-inch foundation or footing is required.

Concrete shall be designed to have a minimum compressive strength of 3,500 pounds per square inch (psi) at 28 days. If air-entrained concrete is used, the ultimate compressive strength may be reduced to 3,000 psi at 28 days.

When can I schedule building inspections with the City?

Building inspections are performed Monday–Thursday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Electrical, mechanical, and plumbing inspections are conducted Monday through Thursday between 8:30 and 11:30 a.m.

To schedule an inspection, contact the Community and Economic Development Department at 248-336-4117.

What type of work requires a building permit?

  • Roofing (house and/or garage)
  • Siding
  • Remodeling
  • Steps
  • Sheds
  • Additions
  • Decks and porches

How do I find a qualified builder?

An online license search is available through the State of Michigan website, or call the State of Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Bureau of Commercial Services Licensing Division at 517-373-8376 to verify the licensing status of a builder or contractor. 

Ask to see certificates of insurance of liability and worker’s compensation. Are they current? Are they issued in the correct company name?

Remember to get everything in writing. Any quotes or contracts should include the builder’s name, business address and phone, and a detailed description of the work being done, materials being used, start and completion dates, method of payment, and payment schedule. Warranty periods should be clearly stated.

There must be a permit for work done in the City and the accompanying green board must be posted and visible from the street. Make sure your builder obtains a permit before work starts.

What steps do I need to take to obtain a residential work permit?

  • Step 1: File a completed Building Permit Application.
  • Step 2: Submit three copies of your building plans (including a survey), a signed Homeowner’s Affidavit, and the appropriate fees. A preliminary plan review fee will be charged at the time of application.
  • Step 3: Plans are reviewed by the Plan Examiner/Building Inspector in the order they are received. The Plan Examiner/Building Inspector will contact you concerning any incorrect or missing information. 
  • Step 4: Once your submission is complete and your plans have been approved, you will be contacted. Your permit(s) will be issued upon payment of all fees.

What do the letter markings (A, B, C...) on the sidewalks mean?

The inspector will mark defective sidewalk flags with a letter (A, B, C, ...) indicating at least one reason why they require replacement.  The following indicates the defect associated with the letter:

A – Stubber

B – Cracked

C – Sunken

D – Holes or Pitted

E – Scaling

H – Slope

O – Other (Mortar adhered to sidewalk causing a trip hazard, foot or bike prints in the sidewalk, asphalt patch in the sidewalk, etc.)

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