Ferndale firms sue over development proposal 2023

They served as cheerleaders for the City of Ferndale for a number of years, but have decided to file a lawsuit instead.

They are asserting that the city has exceeded its power by granting permission for a new development.

“I’m disappointed,” Howe’s Bayou Owner Michael Hennes remarked.

Hennes first launched Howe’s in 1998 and has since been a pillar of the community.

However, the city has given its approval to construct a brand-new mixed-use complex to take the place of the one convenient parking space that is now available to business owners along that section of Woodward.

“We’re about to celebrate our 25th anniversary, and I don’t know how we can continue on without parking,” Hennes remarked.

Disappointed that things have reached this stage.

Even on a normal day, finding a parking spot in Ferndale might be difficult. The approval of that mixed-use complex, which is located on a parking lot that is already in use, would result in the loss of 76 parking places, leaving Rifino Valentine, who owns Hennes and Valentine Distillery, without anyplace nearby for customers to park.

According to Valentine, “It really puts our future in jeopardy,” “It puts a serious damper on our operations.”

Both guys have been present at the council meetings as well as the ones that were planned; no other parking opportunity has been explored.

Their complaint requests that the planned construction be halted until the city grants approval for additional parking that is more convenient for residents.

When reached by Local 4, the Mayor of Ferndale, Melanie Piana, stated that she was unaware of the case and had no comment about it.

The circumstance is distressing for two long-time company owners who have a strong commitment to their communities.

“On a personal level, it’s really hard to deal with because I have been one of the biggest cheerleaders for this whole city,” Valentine said. “It’s really hard to deal with because I have been one of the biggest cheerleaders for this whole city.”

The new construction is a structure with four stories that combines residential and commercial space.

On June 12, developers will meet with the Ferndale City Council in hopes of receiving a tax incentive worth up to $1.7 million.

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About the Author: Sanjh Vishwakarma

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