While we should certainly welcome new businesses and development in Ferndale, we need to be mindful that we enact policies that encourage “smart development.” We must preserve the character and standards of Ferndale while at the same time encouraging new growth and interest in our city. Part of managing the growth is to encourage occupancies and repurposing of existing structures for business. We have many bars and restaurants that draw people from all over the region. Even so, I will encourage family friendly businesses such as a hardware store to locate in Ferndale. As with any development, the surrounding residents must be invited to be involved in the process during the planning stages so that their interests can be addressed.