Neighborhood Associations bring neighbors together in order to improve the livability of Albuquerque’s neighborhoods.
What is a Neighborhood Association?
A Neighborhood Association is a group of residents, business representatives, and/or other interested citizens that devote their time and energy to improve and enhance a well-defined, geographic area that they and others live. Neighborhood Associations offer an opportunity for government officials, developers or others to solicit input from the residents that live within a specific geographic area. A neighborhood association is not a homeowners association (HOA) that’s formed by a developer and applies to a specific development. In HOAs, homeowners are compelled to follow covenants and restrictions governing the development and pay homeowner association dues.
Neighborhood associations, however, are voluntary. Each is geographically defined, and while they vary in size, they have a common identity. A neighborhood association gives residents a body to discuss common concerns and consider solutions. Neighbors volunteer their time and energy to serve on their association’s board, and residents join and participate at various levels — or not. It’s their individual choice.
Most neighborhood associations are concerned with issues that affect the quality of life in the community. Building upon the assets of their neighborhood, residents can identify and prioritize important projects for the neighborhood to undertake. Neighborhoods can be proactive by preparing neighborhood plans, safety and crime, zoning, neighborhood cleanups and street repair,or undertaking specific projects such as starting community gardens, upgrading park equipment, or installing traffic calming on a residential street. A collective group of motivated residents can be extremely effective.
A neighborhood association meeting, project, or social event is a place to meet neighbors, exchange ideas, prioritize projects, propose solutions, and implement plans for the neighborhood.
Why Start a Neighborhood Association?
Neighborhoods usually organize to:
- Build a sense of community among neighbors;
- Address a particular issue of the neighborhood;
- Provide the neighborhood with an effective communication link with government officials regarding policy, planning, and projects;
- Empower residents to work together in improving their neighborhood:
Organizing a neighborhood brings people together to form a collective, united voice. A well-organized, diverse group of neighbors can be a powerful force in building a cohesive neighborhood where people want to become involved in neighborhood issues and neighbors lives.
So What are the Benefits of Having an Active Neighborhood Association and being recognized as a Neighborhood Association by the City of Albuquerque ?
Recognized neighborhood associations give a voice to the neighborhood with a clear, organized way to speak to government elected officials and administrative departments. Neighborhood associations (and neighborhood coalitions — see below) are entitled to receive notice of developer permit applications, variance and conditional use requests, information about projects and construction happening around the city, and they get automatic appeal standing under the city’s zoning system, the Integrated Development Ordinance (IDO).
This means if someone is building a fence or an addition in your neighborhood that require a variance, or a business submits a request for a permit, the points of contact for the neighborhood association will be notified.
Finally Tip O’Neill, Former Speaker of the US Housing of Representatives said, “all politics are local.” You can’t get more local than your neighborhood. Join your neighborhood association, for the impact it can make in the community as well as connections with your neighbors.