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New Ordinance Expedites Neighborhood Input In City Projects
When it comes to Clearwater citizens' quality of life and the future of our city, Clearwater's local government maintains an ongoing commitment to timely and effective open dialog with residents. But a recently adopted city ordinance called the Neighborhood Bill of Rights gives neighborhood groups a stronger voice than ever to connect with local government regarding city issues such as land use and zoning changes, and city or publicly-funded construction projects that affect them.
Following the lead of other cities across Florida that are taking citizen communication on government projects and quality of life issues to a new level, Clearwater neighborhood groups can now take advantage of similar opportunities to engage in decision-making processes and receive notifications that affect their neighborhoods and the community.
Neighborhoods must register annually to take advantage of the ordinance and will receive the following benefits:
- Courtesy notices of building, zoning or land use proposals, as well as approved public works or utility projects in or around their neighborhoods.
- Opportunities for affected neighborhoods to provide input in proposed city land use changes, utility project proposals or other approved city projects.
- Citywide opportunities for neighborhoods to participate in the planning of proposed publicly-funded projects within city limits such as (but not limited to) bridges, roads, public parks, public safety or recreation facilities, etc.
- Courteous and prompt response to reasonable neighborhood association questions and requests for public records or meetings with city officials or personnel regarding applicable project or land use issues.
Existing neighborhood associations and informal, voluntary neighborhood groups who form ad hoc associations are eligible to register and neighborhoods are defined by their unique geographic boundaries inside the city limits. First-time registrants must meet with Clearwater Neighborhoods Division staff as part of the registration process, and each entry must include names of two neighbors who represent the resident groups' majority interests. The registration application and contact information is stored in a registry maintained by the city and registrations and must be updated each October for the following fiscal year.
Neighborhood association representatives may click here to access registration applications for Neighborhood Bill of Rights benefits. Registration for the coming 2011-12 fiscal year must be completed by October 31, 2011 and must be done IN PERSON at the Municipal Services Building, 100 S. Myrtle Ave., 3rd Floor, Room 374. For further information about the new ordinance, Clearwater Public Information Coordinator Eric Wilson at (727) 562-4554.