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Building begins at new Main Street residential development

Artistic rendering of planned Sunstone Place residential development in 2300 block of Main street (June 2019). Provided by Rava Property Group

Building has begun at a development of up to 11 fourplex condominium buildings in the 2300 block of Main Street.

Developer Ray Gill said the condominiums that will be for sale at Sunstone Place will include 3 different floorplans of 2- and 3-bedroom units in 2- and 3-story buildings, some with 2-car garages. The development is located near the intersection of Hendrickson Avenue and Main Street on the south side of Main Street.

Gill said the units will range from 1340 to 2016 square-feet in size and some will be equipped with 2nd-story decks.

Gill said he recently located to Ferndale from California and his company, Rava Property Group, has already built homes in the Meadows development off Thornton Road.

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  1. Aron Thompson June 4, 2019

    That explains it – a California developer; starting to make more sense now. Ferndale locals, this is an example of who your elected and appointed policy makers are serving and where your water is going. They want us to get used to it, since they sold us down the river…

    • Joel Saxman June 4, 2019

      I didnt make the connection to “where your water is going” as it relates to this specific condo development, nor to how the local elected and appointed policy makers are involved. Are there facts to help explain and substantiate this claim?

  2. Joel Saxman June 4, 2019

    I didnt make the connection to “where your water is going” as it relates to this specific condo development, nor to how the local elected and appointed policy makers are involved. Are there facts to help explain and substantiate this claim?

  3. Aron Thompson June 4, 2019

    Start with who approves and permits these mega-projects; and everybody in Ferndale is familiar with the ongoing water wars of rate hikes and rationing.

    • Joel Saxman June 5, 2019

      Still not seeing a connection between local water rate hikes and rationing and a california and/or out of state developer. Can you point to a source for that, or is it opinion? I’m legitimately curious, because I’m having a hard time seeing how they are connected. If opinion, that’s cool too – i just dont want to assume.

      • Aron Thompson June 5, 2019

        Joel, since we have finite liquid resources those are by definition squeezed when additional demand is regularly added; the math on that means less for everybody to use, and higher prices for allowed usage. The City of Ferndale is constantly telling us we don’t have enough water, and some local folks have been struggling with rate increases. Simultaneous to that, Ferndale seems to do nothing but green light development and its inescapable water demand. Plenty of articles and posts here on FRN News over the last many months…

  4. Ann Waller June 5, 2019

    We’ll never get home within reason now. Main Street will be soooo backed up. What is going on?! Who is serving whom? My understanding after working in an engineer’s office, developers must improve road system to accommodate additional traffic from their development. How is that being taken care of by the developer? I fear the quiet I moved here for will be substantially deprecated as traffic moves closer to my front door. Not to mention no one wants to drive the speed limit as it is now, causing unnecessary noise. No voting incumbents on my part. The current council IS selling us down the river.

    • Aron Thompson June 5, 2019

      The developers are receiving large tax breaks for building too, which means us regular citizen taxpayers are subsidizing their for-profit projects.

  5. Paul s. Ingram June 5, 2019

    At Ease folks!
    A little tutorial, developers always pay impact fees for water/sewer, traffic and parks / trails. The city however does not always get to choose where those funds get spent. Often that is dictated by State or County ordinance .
    Park impact fees cannot be used for maintenance, just for new parks.
    Traffic impact fees cannot be used to maintain or improve roads other than to maintain current level of service.
    Our current level of service (last I heard) was level “B” city wide (B’ham is, if I remember, level “D”).
    Water? When we were on PUD-1 water (the river) we were informed that our rates would go up by 25% every year for the rest of time. Your water bill would, by this time be in the area of $350.00 per cycle. We chose at that time to restart our wells. Does that mean less water most years? yes but do you really want to drink river water at the low flow rates we get most summers ? Do you know how many REALLY BAD things can not be taken out by treatment plants? Any treatment plant. Most drugs, birth control pill residue they are in your pee folks. If you take it you flush it, so everything that passes through Blain, Lynden, Everson, Maple Falls any inhabited area up-stream, you are drinking. Not much of a problem with ground water. Don’t listen to this old fool, call the treatment plant, Mike will usually have a few minutes to help open your knowledge base.
    Sorry my friend , but this city has never given “tax breaks” we have reduced some fees and requirements, tho that could I suppose have changed since I left the council. No telling what our current mayor has been up to.
    Those evil California developers are coming north because they can work and employ local trade folks without paying the state up to 85 – 90% of their income in taxes and fees.
    While I agree that some on the current council do not always have the best interest of the citizens foremost on their minds, (too many conflicts of interest to suit my taste ), be careful for whom you vote, I moved here from a town that had a city council made up of 6 developers and the mayor was a real-estate agent. That would really get one up-in-arms.
    As to the concern over city staff, (not appointed, hired)they have only one dog in this fight that is their paycheck. They do not nor can not set nor change policy nor regulations except to try to streamline internal operational procedures.
    Take it from an outsider who has seen it all up and down this left coast, we still have a pretty fine place to live here in Ferndale. That being said, you can vote it all away in November. Do your due diligence and vote for the kids future.

    • Aron Thompson June 5, 2019

      Disagree 100% with you Paul – Ferndale now needs its swamp drained. The developers can well afford to pay their fair share for clogging up our city rather than us getting the short end of the stick so they can make even more money. Though it reads as if you’ll be voting for our current mayor and some other incumbents if you look forward to Ferntucky becoming a satellite of Seattle.

      • Paul ingram June 6, 2019

        Well, while we still vote by secret ballot, I will only say that no incumbent is likely to sway me to vote for them.

      • Aron Thompson June 6, 2019

        Your environmental message is laudable, but somewhat at cross-purposes with the rest of your position: There is no conservation case to be made while adding draw demand to our limited water resource; the water requirements for the multi-family developments are enormous. And if you’re concerned about tailpipe emissions, you certainly don’t want more vehicles spending more time slowly crawling across Ferndale streets.

    • Marilyn Rasmussen June 6, 2019

      I didn’t realize the Nooksack flowed through Blaine.

  6. Ryan Walter June 5, 2019

    I’m very glad to see more sensible investment in our humble town. Thank you to the developers of both the 4th St and Main Street housing units. Your small, compact projects are a blessing that will help all of us COEXIST.

  7. Hadrian Matei June 6, 2019

    My problem with all the developments is that we have no infrastructure! Between the two newest developments (Malloy, and this Main st), there will be close to 300 more cars on our streets. All trickling down Main St, or Washington St to Portal Way exit. How long are we gonna wait for the Thornton RR overpass? Do you realize that there’s only ONE way out without crossing the railroad? So if there’s a horrible accident involving the train, we are all locked on this side!
    Why don’t we have higher speed limits on the main arteries? 35Mph? Or different day/night speed limits? It’s so frustrating to see speed traps at 11pm with no pedestrians around and 3 cars going down the road and still Have to do 25! That’s it for now.

    • Aron Thompson June 6, 2019

      Hadrian, couldn’t agree more – a structural problem here is that Ferndale is really a “town” in many ways, rather than a “city”. We simply don’t have the absorption capacity for all the various residential that is being aggressively added; we’ll experience large growth in gridlock and other congestion over the next several years with what’s been approved already. And I think you are spot on re: the speed limit.

  8. Mark Reddic June 6, 2019

    Ferndale is a town without an identity and as long as we keep slamming in all these multifamily structures we will stay that way…turning into Bellingham’s cast-aways.

  9. Aron Thompson June 6, 2019

    Mark, completely agree with you; it is very poor planning on Ferndale’s part.

  10. Ryan Walter June 6, 2019

    Ferndale’s 25 mph limits make very good sense because many (most?) drivers are irresponsible and dangerous. Heck, if you drive 25 mph in Ferndale, you’ll soon have somebody tailgating you, weaving left-to-right behind you, buzzing around like a *@($& mosquito and generally threatening the safety and well-being of all those around them.

    If you don’t believe me, stand in front of FHS when students abound and watch how fast people hurl through the roundabout despite the reduction from 25 to 20 mph.

  11. Ryan Walter June 6, 2019

    Gridlock? In Ferndale?

    Doesn’t happen, ever

  12. Marv Waschke June 7, 2019

    Ferndale has a strong identity. We are a town shaped by the river and the railroad. Ferndale started as the site of a massive log jam that prevented navigation upstream. The jam was removed and Ferndale became the gateway to the Nooksack Valley farmlands. Ferndale’s Old Settlers Picnic and Pioneer Park are a reminder of the days when farmers came to Ferndale from all over the county to celebrate Whatcom County agriculture. We are also a center of diversity. Although there have been rough spots and injustices, white settlers, the Bostons in Chinook jargon, have always had a symbiotic relationship with the Lummi and Nooksack tribes. When the refineries and the aluminum smelter arrived in the 1950s and 60s, there was an influx of new community members from all over and Ferndale became an industrial center. Trucks began to roar through town. We are now experiencing a new period of growth because Ferndale is an attractive place to live with a healthy community atmosphere. Yes, we are experiencing growing pains, but that’s inevitable. The discussion here is an example of the healthy diversity and community spirit of Ferndale in action. If it weren’t for the river and the railroad, we would have no traffic problems, and no water crisis, but Ferndale would not be the place it is today. It’s not a college town. not a border town, not a dead end bedroom suburb, but a growing and lively place.

    I disagree more or less with every opinion here and wouldn’t live anywhere else.

    • Aron Thompson June 7, 2019

      You might consider that all of us prefer to live here, which is why we’re concerned with the current trajectory and commenting on developments; it’s my hometown. Ferndale doesn’t have – by design and by nature – the absorptive capacity for densely packing residents downtown, but that’s the trend. And as we know, we have road closures seasonally due to flooding in addition, which will compound congestion. The next decade will see many difficulties for Ferndale, from mobility frustrations to a strained water system – almost all of it attributable to treating a small town as if it’s an urban center.

      • Marv Waschke June 7, 2019

        Ferndale is my home town too. We moved inside the city limits a little over a year ago, but I have lived continuously in Ferndale School District for nearly 70 years now, although I spent a good share of my life working for an international corporation that took me all over the world.

        I disagree on several points. As long as Ferndale is a desirable place to live and work, it will grow. I would rather see the Ferndale core become more dense, more like a European small town than than typical US sprawl. I think we have the capacity for that. Second, every town whose water supply relies on restraint upriver eventually has water supply problems. Thanks to our rainy marine climate, we sit on a substantial aquifer, but putting it to use requires investment. Over time as the benefits of the investment are realized, everyone will be better off and rates will stabilize.

        Ferndale’s real challenge is the railroad and the river that slices the town into pieces. With only two automobile bridges, two grade crossings and one rail underpass, bottlenecks are hard to avoid. The Thornton Overpass can’t come too soon, but I foresee a time when the Washington Street crossing will also be a problem, because the slice between the river and the railroad is valuable space for development. I expect the coal trains to diminish soon; China seems about to cut back significantly on coal consumption, but that’s speculation, and rail freight transport is likely to be viable for many decades to come.

  13. Aron Thompson June 7, 2019

    Ferndale as a “European small town” – ya, good luck with that.

  14. Ryan Walter June 7, 2019

    The Thornton Overpass will be a disaster for public safety. You heard it here first.

    Thornton Street is narrow, but that won’t stop irresponsible anti-social drivers from heading to work or heading home at excessive speeds and thus threaten children and adults alike. I propose harsh penalties for those that flaunt the 25 mph speed limit and threaten our peaceful West side neighborhoods.

    Or is their need to save a few minutes of time more important than our children?

    • Paul s. Ingram June 7, 2019

      hate to keep whipping this horse, but have you ever taken a look at the design for the overcrossing? The city approved a design that has an intentional 90º sharp turn on the east side of the tracks. the engineers that made that feature told us that. if you try to navigate it faster than 15mph, you will impact the guard wall(east or west bound) Thornton will also be widened and improved to full street dimensions all the way to Viista Dr.
      They should have the full design plans for you to review at city hall, likely in the engineering department.
      We used to have a city council that thought these things through, now, not so much.

  15. Ryan Walter June 9, 2019

    Thanks for pointing out the widening of Thornton. I didn’t see that info on the COF website, but maybe I didn’t look hard enough.

    Agreed, there are 2 scenarios. One, drivers will be considerate to others and drive carefully and less than the clearly posted 25 mph limit. The other, drivers will not give a flying flip about anything but themselves and tear up/down Thornton well above the speed limit and send texts while driving, all without understanding the danger they pose to residents, pedestrians and children.

    Which do you think is more likely?

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