Plan Ferndale: City Master Land Use Plan Update (2021-2022)

Plan Ferndale: Master Land Use Plan Update

The City of Ferndale's Master Land Use Plan (MLUP) is a guidebook for Ferndale’s decision-makers based on the community’s unified vision of the future of our City. The MLUP provides actionable steps and helps officials decide how to direct City funding, what initiatives to take on, and tangible goals and milestones for the next five years. This update has three main components, including:

The Master Plan

This Master Plan covers rules around what can be built where and how. We will be working to equitably reflect current and future land use, economic development, and accessibility and housing needs within the community.

Interested in viewing the previous plan? View the 2017 Master Plan here.

Parks and Recreation Master Plan

This plan works to understand the community’s needs to improve accessibility, equity, and programming. The implementation of this plan will ensure spatial equity. View the newly-adopted Ferndale Parks and Recreation Master Plan here.

Comments on this plan can be emailed to the Parks and Recreation Department at, or by calling (248) 544-6767.

Climate Action Plan

This plan is Ferndale’s first iteration of an Integrated Climate Action Plan (CAP). This plan works to explore the inner workings of climate resiliency through our community, including extreme weather events, a global health crisis, how to curb carbon emissions, and how to lead in sustainability. You can find the CAP portion of the plan under chapter 6 of the master plan.


The City of Ferndale adopted the previous Ferndale Master Plan and Parks and Recreation Master Plan in 2017, which set sustainability as a key integrated theme of the City’s common vision. This plan guided the City’s strategic efforts over the past four years in key areas such as land use, housing and neighborhoods, economic vitality, recreation and open space, transportation and mobility, and City services, facilities, and infrastructure. This planning process established an open, online two-way dialogue between the City and its residents.

In June of 2021, City Council approved a contract with the Smith Group for consulting services to assist with Ferndale’s Master Plan Update. The recommendation for Smith Group was provided by the Steering Committee after a request for proposals and a review of applications.

Previous Plan Accomplishments

Here are some of the previous plans’ accomplishments.

Master Land Use Plan
  • $800,000+ in mobility grants
  • Updated Ferndale Moves Mobility Plan
  • Creation of the Environmental Sustainability Planner position
  • Ordinance amendments for design and mixed-use spaces
  • Ordinance amendments for tree replacements and electric vehicle charging stations
  • LED streetlight conversion
  • Downtown Waste Management Plan and increased recycling options
  • Small business support through BUILD Workshops and Open in Ferndale programming

Parks and Recreation Plan
  • $800,000+ in grant funding
  • Developed Master Design Plans for parks
  • Walking paths, play structures, and site amenities for Martin Road Park
  • Walking paths, play structures, and field renovations for Harding Park
  • A skatepark, bioswales, and walking paths for Geary Park
  • Renovation for Schiffer Park
  • PARC Board subcommittees and community park planning
  • New programming such as the Gravity Art Fair &Skate Contest, Drive-In Movies
  • Increased recreation participation

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When was the last Master Plan and Parks and Recreation Plan adopted? The majority of the work on the Ferndale Master Plan and Parks & Recreation Master Plan was completed in 2016 and the plan was adopted by City Council in January 2017. The plans are required to be updated in 2021-2022.
  • Why are the Parks and Recreation Plan and Climate Action Plan part of the overall Master Plan process? Parks and Recreation and Climate Action have direct ties to land use, planning, zoning, and sustainability policy and help guide the City's vision and action items. The previous plan included an update on environmental sustainability throughout the plan. An update to the Parks and Recreation Plan helps the City qualify for future grant opportunities and directs future park improvements. The creation of a Climate Action Plan aligns with the City Council Strategic Plan and the Climate Mayor's Agreement.
  • How long will the Master Plan process take? The general estimate is a 12-14 month long process from the City Council's approval of an assisting consultant to the Council's adoption of the plan.
  • What is the role of the Steering Committee? A Steering Committee is compiled of City staff, board and commission representatives, and residents who will help guide the overall process. Though the committee does not have the authority to adopt the Master Plan, they can still help ensure the process is inclusive. The proposed committee includes 12-14 community members and 10-12 staff members. The committee would assist City staff by participating in a meeting to review proposals by potential consultants in the creation of the plan, provide feedback throughout the process—including plan goals, draft plans, and community engagement strategies—share updates at their respective Board or Commission meetings, and share opportunities for other community members to participate.
  • How were board and commissioner representatives selected to participate in the Steering Committee? The Master Land Use Plan, Parks and Recreation Plan, and Climate Action Plan will include goals and recommendations related to planning, land use, zoning, parks and recreation, housing, and sustainability. Members from boards and commissions that direct policy for those categories, such as the Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, Environmental Sustainability Commission, etc. was invited to self-select volunteers for the steering committee.
  • How were the other Steering Committee members selected? The City received applications for two residents (ages 18-54) and one senior resident (age 55+). The randomly-selected applicants were notified during the week of May 3, 2021. Click here to view a video of the random selection process. The City also received applications for one youth resident (age 9-18), and the randomly-selected applicant was notified during the week of May 24, 2021.
  • Where can I learn more about how the City and Plan Ferndale are using the terms "equity", "inclusion", and similar terms? You can review a glossary of the definitions the City is utilizing upon guidance from the Government Alliance on Race and Equity.


Master Land Use and Climate Action Plan:

Parks and Recreation Master Plan:

Past Events

September 15, 2021: Joint City Council and Planning Commission Meeting
(Video here) (Agenda and Presentation here)

September 29, 2021: Conversations with Kat Bruner-James: Strategic and Master Plan
(Video here) (Presentation here)

October 26, 2021: Plan Ferndale "Unpacking Development" Virtual Summit
(YouTube) (Presentation here)

October 27, 2021: Plan Ferndale "Equitable Open Space" Virtual Summit
(YouTube) (Presentation here)

October 27, 2021: Plan Ferndale "Climate and Resiliency" Virtual Summit
(YouTube) (Presentation here)

December 16, 2021: Parks and Recreation Plan "Wilson Park Discussion"
(Video here) (Presentation here)

January 19, 2022: Joint Planning Commission and Parks and Recreation Meeting
(Video here) (Presentation here)

January 24, 2022: City Council Meeting
(Video here) (Presentation here)

June 1, 2022: Planning Commission Meeting
(Video here) (Agenda and Presentation here)

June 13, 2022: City Council Meeting
(Agenda and presentation here)

August 15, 2022: City Council Study Session
(Agenda here) (Video here) (Presentation here)

August 17, 2022: Planning Commission Meeting
(Agenda here) (Video here) (Presentation here)

September 7, 2022: Planning Commission Meeting
(Agenda here) (Video here)

September 26, 2022: City Council Meeting
(Agenda here) (Video here)