Deed Restriction Vote

UPDATE September 2021:

This page is now archived. The Deed restriction ballot proposal passed, and the deed restriction referenced below has been lifted.

Ferndale Schools will be building a new elementary building on the CASA/Jackson Park site. Approval has been received from over 50% of residents to use the complete property for the current plan. We believe this plan will provide the best solution for student learning, community improvement, and traffic flow.

Public Ballot Counting

The 1st round of ballots collected were publicly counted on March 23rd, 2021.  The results from this first counting were 265 YES and 120 NO. Please note that 50% + 1 vote are required for the measure to pass or fail (606 votes).

1st Ballot Count — Recorded March 23rd

The 1st round of ballots collected were publicly counted on April 19th, 2021.  The results from this first counting were 140 YES and 62 NO. Please note that 50% + 1 vote are required for the measure to pass or fail (606 votes).

2nd Ballot Count — Recorded April 19th

Current Total

After the first two ballot counts Ferndale Schools began opening ballots as they were received the current totals are below.

  • 520 Yes
  • 168 No
  • 13 ballots were found to be duplicates in the second count.
  • 28 total ballots from both countings were found to be invalid due to no signature

Please note that 50% + 1 vote are required for the measure to pass or fail (606 votes). Because we have not reached 606 Yes votes OR 606 No votes, we will proceed to door-to-door canvassing for eligible residences who have not yet voted.

Next Steps

After multiple mail-in ballot counts were been completed, Ferndale Schools staff and volunteers began canvassing the area and knocking on doors of voting eligible residents who had not responded to collect votes and signatures of authenticity on Saturday, April 24th.

Ballots received in the mail were still valid, and an additional live ballot count was scheduled.

This collected information can be made available to the public, with Personally Identifiable Information redacted, upon request.

Ballots will be mailed next week to the owner of every property eligible to vote on this issue.

  1. Look for this envelope in the mail, from Ferndale Schools with a purple badge, reading Important Ballot Enclosed. 
  2. Read the information on the back of the ballot and on this webpage for more info.
  3. Flip your ballot, sign the bottom, and checka box on the right.
  4. Place in the return addressed, stampedenvelope provided.
  5. Place in your mailbox.

What is being proposed?

  • As part of the Ferndale Schools 2020 bond plan the district entered into a purchase agreement for the area of Jackson Park that was owned by the City of Oak Park.  To see the boundaries of this piece of land see the photo below.
  • This purchase agreement has allowed Ferndale Schools to own the entire parcel of land that consists of CASA School and Jackson Park. It is our plan to demolish the CASA School building and construct a brand new Ferndale Lower Elementary School for all district Kindergarten through 2nd grade students. This new school is currently scheduled to open in the Fall of 2023.
  • This Bond plan was passed by the community in March of 2020, with 80% voters approving the plan!
  • To learn more about the Ferndale Schools 2020 Bond Plan visit

Frequently Asked Questions

What will be built on this land?

  • Currently our architect is working on the plans for the site.  So we are not 100% sure what specifically will be on this piece of land.  However, the entire site will comprise a new state of the art school, park, playgrounds, drop off/pick-up loops, walking paths and parking lots.  So some combination of those elements will be placed on the lot, but the goal is to enhance the entire property!

What will happen to the baseball field that is currently on the piece of land?

  • The baseball field will be removed and the area will be incorporated into the site plan for the school. With the removal of the ball field at Jackson Park, the City of Oak Park plans to make improvements to their other ball diamonds and park amenities within their park system. 
  • The current Parks Master Plan for Oak Park expires in 2022. When the new plan is adopted, it will more thoroughly address the loss of the Jackson Park baseball field.

What will the new school look like?

  • The image below is the most recent draft, created after the vote was verified and the deed ballot restriction was lifted. Our architect is currently working with our community group to design the new Ferndale Lower Elementary to ensure it meets the needs of our students. Currently the designs are not final, but we are eager to show them to the community as soon as they are complete.
  • You can see renderings of projects GMB has begun to build at other Ferndale Schools sites on our Bond Projects page.

Has a traffic study at the site been completed?

  • Not at this time, but one will be completed prior to finalizing the site plan to ensure minimum potential congestion. One of the main benefits for Ferndale Schools purchasing this land from the City of Oak Park is that we are now able to utilize the the entire site at Jackson Park which will allow for a design that ensures optimal traffic flow, minimizing disturbance to neighborhood residents.

The image below shows the complete site. The red area shows the additional space Ferndale Schools purchased from Oak Park, which we need your permission to improve and include in our construction plans.

Will this elementary school be only for Ferndale School District?

Yes. It will be available to all students K-2 in Ferndale Public School District. Ferndale School District includes portions of Ferndale, Oak Park, Pleasant Ridge, and Royal Oak Township. The portion of Oak Park where this school will be built is currently included in the Ferndale Public School District. You can review our District Map here.

FPS has only have one K-2 building, so this school will include all K-2 students who are enrolled with Ferndale Public Schools.

Were only a portion of Oak Park residents asked to vote, and if so, who and why?

Per the deed restriction only residents whose homes are listed on the "plat" are able to vote. That is roughly 1,200 residences. This list was provided to us by the city.

Was the postcard sent out to all Oak Park residents?

The postcard was sent only to the roughly 1,200 residences on the "plat" as determined by the City of Oak Park.

How were the votes counted?

Returned mailers were tallied initially by Ferndale Schools. Once 51% of eligible voters determined the outcome (at least 601 votes), we submitted all ballots and signature documents to the Oakland County Registrar of Deeds for review and certification so that their office could make the official change to the deed.

Is it only the property outlined in red on the postcard that applies to this deed?

Yes, the deed restriction only applied to the area outlined in RED in the photo above.  Ferndale Schools was previously able to build on the land we currently owned: roughly 7 aces of the 11 acre site.  Now that the deed restriction is lifted, the new elementary building will be built on the full 11 acres.

What will happen to all of the trees bordering the properties on the west portion of the entire area?

We have told the architect to try to save as many of the mature trees as possible along the west side of the site to keep the park-like atmosphere. Due to current easements, those areas are hard to build on, and we share your preference for keeping the trees.

The goal is to maximize greenspace including developing outdoor learning spaces, walking paths and several playgrounds which will be accessible to residents. Lifting the deed restriction will provide us more space, allowing more opportunities to preserve the natural elements that already exist on the property. It will not be possible to answer this question fully until the parking lots and bus/drop-off loops are designed. We will have more information as the project progresses after the vote. 

Is this is the best thing for our community?

The overall layout of the property will dramatically improve to allow for the maximizing of the entire piece of property into one cohesive vision. While the spacing of the green area will change, this plan will lead to new walking paths and playground spaces for families to utilize. By using the entire piece of property, we can also allow for the best traffic flow possible to avoid frustrating neighborhood congestion.
Also having a brand new, state of the art, elementary school will positively impact property values.  Ferndale Upper Elementary just down the street will also be renovated, making this area the home to two of the most prestigious and innovative elementary schools in the state. 

Was the City of Oak Park aware of Ferndale School District's intent to build this school when it established this Purchase Agreement?

Yes, this plan has been discussed at many public meetings with both the Ferndale School District and the City of Oak Park.