Snow Emergencies

Snow Emergency Regulations

A snow emergency is called when a weather event results in a rapid or extreme accumulation of ice and/or snow. In a snow emergency, all vehicles must be moved from public streets to allow Department of Public Works (DPW) crews to remove snow/ice and clear roadways. Previously, snow emergencies were declared only in the case of snowfalls greater than four inches. The new policy (updated October 2015) states that snow emergencies will be declared by the City’s DPW Director when the need arises, regardless of snowfall amounts. 


Snow emergency declarations will be communicated via the City’s FacebookTwitter, Instagramwebsite, cable channels (Comcast/Xfinity—channel 17, WOW (Wide Open West)—channel 10, AT&T U-Verse—channel 99), and text alert system.


Our Public Works crew typically works throughout the night and early morning hours to ensure the streets are plowed and the City remains clean and safe. While safety is the top priority, the Public Works team will also work to minimize disruptions during this process.

Snow Emergency Parking

When a snow emergency is declared, residents must immediately move vehicles from public streets. Failure to move vehicles may result in citations or towing.


During snow emergencies, the City provides designated snow emergency parking areas in each quadrant of the City:



  • West Breckenridge Parking Lot—Located just west of Woodward Ave. behind Treat Dreams/Citizens Bank
  • East Breckenridge Parking Lot—Located just east of Woodward Ave. behind The Fly Trap
  • Kulick Community Center—Located at 1201 Livernois Ave.
  • Martin Rd. Park lot
  • Harding Park Lot—Located on Mapledale Ave. at Wolcott St.
  • The dot Level 2—Located at 221 W Troy St.
  • Wilson Park lot—Located at Wilson Park, 1280 Hilton Rd.

Parking in these lots is free during all snow emergencies. If there is an overnight snow emergency, parking in these lots will begin at 6:00 p.m.


Please note: Residents with state-issued handicap placards are exempt from snow emergency parking mandates and may park their vehicles on public streets during declared emergencies.  


If you are a City of Ferndale resident and you do not have a driveway, you may be eligible for a snow emergency parking permit, which exempts you from having to move your vehicle during a snow emergency. Snow emergency parking permit applications can be completed online or through the Ferndale Police Department. Applications must be verified, including a visual property inspection, to qualify.

Safety Tips & Helpful Reminders

  • It is illegal to “reserve” cleared parking spaces—objects left in street parking areas/spaces will be removed.
  • Think safety: clear fire hydrants and street drains when removing snow on your driveway.
  • When digging out your car, think about how you pile snow—don’t create new problems in streets or on sidewalks. 
  • Keep your children and pets safe from plows—never allow them to play on or around roadside snow piles.
  • We understand the frustration when plows deposit snow around cars and at the bottom of driveways. Please remember that it’s not personal! The plow is designed to push snow, which makes it an unavoidable situation. 

Snow Emergency Parking Exemptions

  • If you are a City of Ferndale resident and you do not have a driveway*, you may be eligible for a snow emergency parking permit. This permit exempts residents from having to move their vehicles during a snow emergency.

  • Residential snow emergency parking permits are issued annually. There is a limit of two permits per household. Permit holders must park their vehicles at least 20 feet from the street corner, and as close to the curb as possible.

  • Snow emergency parking permit applications can be completed online and at the Ferndale Police Department, located at 310 E. Nine Mile. Applications must be verified, including a visual property inspection to make sure you qualify; please allow up to 48 hours for your application and permits to be processed.

  • Driveway is as defined in 16-11 of the City’s Code of Ordinances: A paved passageway of a particular width primarily used by motor vehicles, over private property, extending from an alley, roadway, street, or highway to a lot or parcel of property to provide ingress and egress primarily for the occupants of the property.