In May of 2005 the Mayor and Commission adopted a program created to facilitate communication between neighborhoods and developers about projects proposed in or adjacent to the neighborhood's boundaries. This program is called the Neighborhood Notification Initiative (NNI).
In February of 2006, the first group of neighborhoods and special interest overlay areas were adopted, and as registration information is submitted and endorsed, new groups are added to the program. Each area corresponds to a listserv group for which members of the public may sign up to receive email notification about proposed development throughout the community. Please click here for more information about the NNI.
NNI Neighborhood Directory: View contact information and maps for neighborhoods registered with Athens-Clarke County's Neighborhood Notification Initiative.
Neighborhood Notification Initiative Brochure: This brochure is available at the Planning Department or here by download. If you are thinking about registering your neighborhood to participate in the NNI or if you just want to let neighbors know how to sign up for planning department notifications, this brochure explains the basics of how to participate and includes a list of all registered neighborhood areas and overlay notification areas.
Federation of Neighborhoods: A coalition of neighborhood and citizens' groups in Athens since the 1960s, the Athens-Clarke County Federation of Neighborhoods exists to study and inform neighborhood groups and citizens about local issues that affect them. The Federation takes formal stands and action on current issues when members deem necessary.
Guide for Starting a Successful Neighborhood Organization: This guide was adapted for Athens-Clarke County from one produced by the City of Fayetteville, Arkansas. This comprehensive organizational resource includes tips for running effective meetings, incorporating a neighborhood groups, participating in the local political process, communicating effectively, and spearheading fun neighborhood projects.
Establishing a Nonprofit: A guided online tutorial for establishing a nonprofit from The Foundation Center. While the focus is not specifically neighborhood organizations, many of the steps for establishing a successful nonprofit organization outlined here also apply to neighborhood groups. This tutorial includes the process of incorporation, board development, by-laws, tax exemption, fundraising, and more.
i-Neighbors: i-Neighbors is a social networking service that connects residents of geographic neighborhoods. i-Neighbors helps individuals, communities and homeowner's associations by providing a website for neighbors to find each other, organize, share information and work together to address local problems. Founded in 2004 as a not-for-profit, advertising and spam-free service, i-Neighbors is operated as an ongoing experiment in community building by a team of faculty and students at the University of Pennsylvania.
Neighborhood Planning in Other Communities:
Atlanta, Georgia - Neighborhood Planning Units (NPUs) in Atlanta, Georgia divide the city limits of Atlanta among twenty-four NPUs, which are citizen advisory councils that make recommendations to the Mayor and City Council on zoning, land use and other planning issues. The NPU system was established in 1974 to provide an opportunity for citizens to participate actively in the Comprehensive Development Plan, which is the city's vision for the next 5, 10 and 15 years.
Boise, Idaho - Neighborhood planning in Boise, Idaho has three basic components: the pre-application meeting, the City Grant Funds and Neighborhood Reinvestment Program, and Neighborhood Plans.
Charlotte, North Carolina - Charlotte, North Carolina has a separate Neighborhood Development Department distinct from its Planning Department. Neighborhood Development administers Code Enforcement, Neighborhood Services, and Housing Services. The Planning Department develops area plans with input from registered neighborhood organizations and communicates with these same groups regarding rezones.
Charlottesville, Virginia - For planning purposes, the City of Charlottesville, Virginia is divided into 18 neighborhoods that provide complete coverage of the city's jurisdiction. Smaller neighborhood associations may operate within the larger groups, but capital improvement planning and neighborhood-scale comprehensive plans utilize the standard 18 areas of the city for tailoring city initiatives to neighborhood needs.
Fayetteville, Arkansas - Similar in focus to Athens's Federation of Neighborhoods, the mission of the Council of Neighborhoods in Fayetteville, Arkansas, is "to promote and enhance the quality, stability, and vitality of the various neighborhoods in the City of Fayetteville; to provide a forum for neighborhood associations to share information, experiences, concerns, and ideas; and to help facilitate communication between neighborhoods through their associations and government agencies."