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Development proposed on former golf course property

Riverside Place initial site plan superimposed over a satellite image.

FERNDALE, Wash. — Property formerly home to Riverside Golf Course is the site of a proposed development according to a site plan recently submitted by the property owner Can-American Exports LTD Box 1406 to the City of Ferndale for review.

The mixed-use development would be located along the southern edge of the property behind the Ferndale Taco Time and Ferndale Dairy Queen restaurants and other Main Street businesses to the west. It would occupy less than 10% of the 70-acre property.

Initial site plan for the proposed mixed-use Riverside Place development. Source: City of Ferndale
Initial site plan for the proposed mixed-use Riverside Place development. Source: City of Ferndale

According to documents submitted to the city, the development would consist of 2 commercial buildings and 7 multifamily residential 3- and 4-story buildings. “Unit count for the residential component will range from 100 to 150 units depending on unit size, bedroom count, and parking,” according to the project narrative.

Riverside Place, as the development is identified in the documents, would be accessed via a new public road that would be connected to Riverside Drive at the current Taco Time driveway. The initial design also provides for the potential to connect the new public road with a private road in the Samuel’s retail center parking lot known as Dick Stone Lane.

The project would require filling in the development area to raise it above flood level since it is in a FEMA flood zone. The amount of fill used will need to be offset by lowering ground level elsewhere, which is proposed to occur to the north in the remaining property.


  1. Aron Thompson June 11, 2019

    See how they just keep it coming – the signal to come crowd Ferndale can be seen from Seattle. Within 5 to 10 years Main Street will be worse than sections of I-5 by the big cities.

  2. James Russell June 11, 2019

    we have water restrictions now and lack of ability to manage sewer without raising prices

  3. Brian Jones June 11, 2019

    WOW! What’s the city going to give away with this project?
    Better drill another well!

  4. Barbara J Curry June 11, 2019

    And in a flood plain no less

  5. Ellaina June 11, 2019

    Building in a known flood plane…ok that’s questionable. Adding another road/entrance by using Taco Time…geez that’s already a mess.

  6. dave doran June 12, 2019

    The developed area is filled to raise it above the flood plain elevation and an equivalent area is excavated to keep the drainage equation balanced.
    That’s the way rivers work.
    Too bad the article wasn’t more clear.

    • Aron Thompson June 12, 2019

      Of course Dave, it’s all good – what could possibly go wrong?

      • dave doran June 12, 2019

        Remove acre-feet capacity from a flood plain where you want to build,
        and add acre-feet capacity elsewhere on the flood plain to compensate.
        It’s math and the river doesn’t quite care what you think about it.
        But coming from a guy who thinks dog poop causes coliform outbreaks on our shorelines,
        I’m not sure you’re the best judge of anything in the real world.

    • Aron Thompson June 12, 2019

      “Dog poop”? Clearly you’ve confused me with someone else who disagrees with you, of which I’m sure there are multitudes.

      • Paul s. Ingram June 12, 2019

        Mr. Doran, just for your information and edification, the most common source of coliform contamination in Ferndale’ wetland area below Douglas Rd. is from dog poop being washed out from under fences from home owners that do not clean up their back yard dog mess. Rain comes down poo runs out under the fence, whahah contamination.
        Took our Ecology guru and her team weeks of sampling to track that down the first time, finally traced it back to one back yard with three large dogs.
        So if it is a busy beach and irresponsible pet owners do not pick up after their dogs, It may not be as far fetched as you think.

  7. Elaine K Angel June 12, 2019

    Why is Ferndale giving permits on a flood plane? Also the water shortages? Are the contractors paying for water, so it doesn’t impact to citizens already here? Is legal to build on wetlands? Has passed the environmental county and state department?

    • Paul s. Ingram June 12, 2019

      Contractors are encouraged to use water from the PUD1 manifold near the intake structure, it is non potable and charges are levied by PUD. If that is not practical for the Developer / Contractor, the city can rent them a construction / hydrant meter, and they are charged city rate for what goes through the meter.
      A small foot-note. The project being discussed here, was first started down the permit pathway back in the area of 2011-2012, maybe as early as 2010. Unfortunately the primary mover for the project had the mis fortune to pass-away with no warning. The project has been in limbo since then. Not sure how far the permit process got before his death, but city staff can answer that.

      • James Russell June 12, 2019

        My problem is with the water usage that would be used by adding 100 to 150 units to the potable water supply of Ferndale. Are they going to further tax the already restricted system or are they getting water from another source outside of Ferndale? I am also concerned about the additional traffic in that area. I don’t think the proposed roundabout will ease the through town and off the freeway problems we have now, only add to them.

  8. paul s ingram June 12, 2019

    James, if you read my comment from an earlier post, The city, years ago ,selected a level of service on our roads of Level of Service “B”. No mater what they build, they will have to pay traffic impact fees to see that that LOS does not fall below that level. We cannot make them raise it, but it must not be allowed to fall below current level.

  9. Ryan Walter June 12, 2019

    dave doran (sic),

    It’s always a good idea to check facts before flaming someone, eh?

    WRONG: people that opine based on emotion
    RIGHT: people that opine based on facts, like those deftly presented by Paul Ingram

    Here’s another fact from the website for your kind consideration:

    “Animal waste contains two main types of pollutants that harm local waters: nutrients and pathogens. When this waste ends up in water bodies, it decomposes, releasing nutrients that cause excessive growth of algae and weeds. This makes the water murky, green, smelly, and even unusable for swimming, boating, or fishing. The pathogens, disease-causing bacteria and viruses, can also make local waters unswimmable and unfishable, and have caused severe illness in humans.”


    So, I’ll say it again. If you want to be a TRUE ENVIRONMENTALIST and a TRUE NEIGHBOR and a GOOD CITIZEN, you have to stop keeping dogs as pets. No exceptions. Sorry, dog owners are dangerous to human health. Period.

    • Aron Thompson June 12, 2019

      “No exceptions.” That’s not rational, but rather emotional. Also utterly unrealistic. Pet owners acting sustainably is an actual attainable goal.

      • Ryan Walter June 14, 2019

        Aron Thompson,

        Sure, dog owners acting responsibly is attainable, but the sad fact is that the vast majority of dog owners take Fido far from home to foul public places and other people’s property. For Crom’s sake, some even drive themselves and their fitlh-spewing mutts to other neighborhoods to spread disease and endanger the public.

        In fact, it’s a minuscule minority that keep their their dogs on their own property 100% of the time.

        Dog owners are dangerous to human health. Period.

        Care to argue otherwise?

      • Ryan Walter June 14, 2019


        Facts: Dogs spread hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, threadworms, parvovirus, giardia, scabies, salmonella, leptospirosis, tapeworms, toxoplasma gondii, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, bordetellosis, brucellosis, campylobacter enteritis, assorted other zoonotic diseases

        Oh my.

    • Ryan Walter June 15, 2019

      Sorry Aron, there is no way I would allow a disease-spreading animal into my house and pay big bucks for its upkeep.

      I’ll stick with human companionship, thanks.

  10. James Russell June 12, 2019

    So what level do we currently have? I think that many evenings we are at E or F level from the freewayt off ramp clear through town.

    Table 1 Roadway Level-Of-Service (LOS) Ratings (Wikipedia)





    Flow (veh./hour/lane)




    Traffic flows at or above the posted speed limit and all motorists have complete mobility between lanes.

    Over 60

    Under 700

    Under 12


    Slightly congested, with some impingement of maneuverability. Two motorists might be forced to drive side by side, limiting lane changes.





    Ability to pass or change lanes is not assured. Most experienced drivers are comfortable, and posted speed is maintained, but roads are close to capacity. This is often the target LOS for urban highways.




    Typical of an urban highway during commuting hours. Speeds are somewhat reduced, motorists are hemmed in by other cars and trucks.





    Flow becomes irregular and speed varies rapidly, but rarely reaches the posted limit. On highways this is consistent with a road over its designed capacity.





    Flow is forced; every vehicle moves in lockstep with the vehicle in front of it, with frequent drops in speed to nearly zero mph. A road for which the travel time cannot be predicted.

    Under 30



    • Aron Thompson June 12, 2019

      Concur completely, and worse yet to come…

  11. Myla Musselwhite June 12, 2019

    What school are we going to cram the students into?

    • Aron Thompson June 12, 2019

      They’ll probably figure out a fresh bond offering to pay for additional schools; Ferndale is busy green lighting development to add bodies to broaden their tax base to service their growing percentage of debt.

  12. Nick Payne June 13, 2019

    Too bad the city cannot buy this property. It would make a great riverside park with walking trails. Ferndale has a couple of wonderful parks and this area could be one of the jewels.

  13. William A. LaFreniere June 14, 2019

    Thanks to the 30-50 million additional people allowed to trespass over our southern border, we all have to suffer the growing pain. You can allow the people to join in our culture of living in a house or apartment and driving to work to pay for it. Or you can do what Bellingham has done and make them move around on the city streets with their bicycles or walking. Leaving their excrement where they will. Another alternative to Apartment complexes would be a large slab for the concrete campers (in RVs) I say this in jest, of course. But with mild weather and agriculture, the Northwest is a target area for the “hordes”. We will need to figure solutions for that dilemma soon. Thanks, Bill

  14. Ryan Walter June 15, 2019

    Good point, Bill

    More trespassers/invaders = more housing demand = new developments in Ferndale

    Fact: open borders not only drain taxpayer money, they dramatically increase demand for housing, water, electricity and thus overtax (good pun, eh?) our infrastructure.

    Solution: seal the borders and be very selective who we let in, just like Australia, NZ, Switzerland, Japan and other rational countries

  15. Marv Waschke June 15, 2019

    I have to disagree about emigration. Of course, I am prejudiced because all of my great-grandparents were emigrants who settled in Whatcom County in the late 19th and early 20th century. I don’t believe any of them became citizens, but they all both benefited from the services of this country and contributed to the county, state, and nation.

    I don’t think anything has changed. I remember listening to the old people talk about the locals who didn’t like their German and Dutch schools and church services. I can’t recall a time when I didn’t hear someone afraid of immigrants, but I have yet to see any fears become real. And I don’t see any evidence that immigrants have ceased to benefit the community. In the high-tech software industry in which I worked, I would say a third of my colleagues were foreign-born and we were glad to have them. Contrary to a lot of talk, in my personal experience, the best-educated, brightest, most ambitious, most willing to work emigrate to the US, not the dregs.

    I know quite a few South Asian and Hispanic folks in Ferndale. I am very pleased that they are here because they have so much to offer and are so willing to contribute to our community. We need an influx of good people. Without them we stagnate.

    • Ryan Walter June 15, 2019

      OK, everyone, let’s not confuse legal immigrants with ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT INVADERS.

      Fact: I came to the USA as a legal immigrant in 1998. I applied, I waited a very long time, I got rejected, I applied again, I waited a very long time, I got accepted, I paid a fee, I arrived, I went to work and have been working non-stop ever since. I have never been on government assistance. I fully support (morally, but not financially) any immigrants that do the same.

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