What protective rights should neighborhoods have regarding public notice of and participation in public and private development projects in or near them?
ATN began a search for various neighborhood protective measures following a number of situations in which neighborhoods felt they were not informed in a timely manner on development projects in or near them and/or had little or no say in how those projects could be more compatible with the neighborhoods (see Related Information below.) We identified a number of places that had a neighborhood bill of rights for those situations. ATN reviewed the examples and came up with a draft Neighborhood Bill of Rights.
In April, 2019, we talked about the concept with Tallahassee’s City Parks Recreation and Neighborhood Affairs and they agreed to incorporate some form of NBOR as they were revising their neighborhood outreach policy. They, however, wanted to write the initial NBOR for review by the city management team and pertinent city departments.
July 14, 2021
Following a final comment process initiated by Neighborhood Affairs, the City Commission adopted the updated Neighborhood Notification, Engagement, and Involvement Policy. While this new policy does not specifically include a Bill of Rights section, the neighborhood notification and engagement items that ATN recommended for the Bill of Rights were included. Carrie Litherland, ATN Chairperson, presented an ATN letter of appreciation to the mayor and commissioners for their support for the updated policy.
March 18, 2021
So far, that review process has taken nearly two years. We are hearing that is should be concluded very soon. Still, we have not seen the city version of the NBOR. We’ve had some meetings with Neighborhood Affairs during the two-year review and that gives us some pause as to what the city’s version will actually address. The city hopes to present a NBOR included in the revised neighborhood outreach policy in the second quarter of 2021.
April 15, 2021
The city has released its draft version as City Policy 122: Neighborhood Enhancement and Outreach. The good news: The policy includes most of the neighborhood rights we wanted the city to incorporate. The not so good news: the neighborhood protections are not grouped as a Neighborhood Bill of Rights and are not presented upfront in the Purpose section of the policy. Still, we appreciate the work done by the city’s Neighborhood Affairs division in completing this draft. ATN will review it and get with Neighborhood Affairs regarding any suggested revisions. The hope is for the policy to be approved by the City Commission before its summer break.
Related Information and Articles