Community Working Together

Etiquette to being a Good Neighbor.

iStock_000067825079_Medium-810x540.jpg

1.     Welcoming Committee

You don’t have to enlist the help of a formal welcoming committee, but it’s simple and easy to make a new family feel welcomed to the neighborhood. Stop by to introduce yourself and your family (and even your pets!) and consider exchanging phone numbers (or email addresses). Bring a small dish or bouquet of fresh flowers to make their likely-bare new home feel lived in. Ask the new family if they would like recommendations for utilities providers, doctors, dentists, vet’s office or anywhere else. If you are willing and able, offer to host a dinner/cookout once they are settled so they can meet with other neighbors.

 

2.     Maintain Curb Appeal

No one wants to have the house that drags down the value of all other homes on the street. Be conscientious of maintaining your lawn and landscaping, at least to the same level as the rest of the neighborhood. This includes mowing the lawn, trimming bushes and trees, keeping clutter at bay (or at least not visible to neighbors), and correcting any home maintenance or safety issues that are especially visible. You’ll appreciate a well-manicured lawn and tidy home appearance from your neighbors as well!

 

3.     Respectful of Outdoor Noise

Chances are, you checked out many neighborhoods before settling on the home you are moving into. You should have a good idea of the demographics/backgrounds of the types of people who live in your new neighborhood. Make sure that you maintain respect when hosting gatherings or parties, whether it be during the daytime or in the evening. Ask guests to park in your driveway or in front of your house so as not to block neighbors parking. Try to keep noise to a minimum when a party lasts late into the evening. And, when possible, just invite the neighbors to attend!

 

4.     Go the extra Mile

Does your neighborhood have an HOA? Do you own pets? Make sure you know and follow any HOA rules that apply to your community. Be responsible with your pets, ensuring that you clean up after them and follow any/all leash laws in your city. If you have an issue with a neighbor, try to first discuss it with that person. Don’t be the neighborhood gossip. Respect your neighbor’s property and their belongings. Lend a helping hand when you can.

How Do We Create a Successful, Vibrant Downtown Crozet? The Case for a Public/Private Partnership

Photo by The Daily Progress. The Crozet Library Book Brigade.

Photo by The Daily Progress. The Crozet Library Book Brigade.

Community meetings have reinforced the importance of creating a vibrant downtown Crozet.  Residents were encouraged to “think big,” and they did. Bold ideas were put forth for a well-connected, gridded network of streets and bike/pedestrian facilities, parking structures, and high-quality civic space. People also reiterated the need for more quality employment opportunities in downtown. The big question is: how can we as a community help make it happen?

It was clear at the public meetings that local businesses are a top priority. In order to attract and support local businesses, the cost of the commercial space must be affordable for them. In order for it to be affordable, there will need to be a partnership between the developer, property owners, the Crozet community and Albemarle County. Each partner will have an important role to play. The county needs an effective economic development plan to attract businesses. It also needs to assist with some of the infrastructure that won’t be built without public participation. Developers and private property owners need to attract private investment capital and meet requirements of the banks that provide development loans. The community can serve as a channel for both public and philanthropic funds that may be available to help bridge the remaining gap. Community-wide support and input for the development also is vital. Success for all parties will require trust, transparency and steadfast commitment to a shared vision that creates real opportunities for businesses, property owners and the Crozet community.  

This idea is not a new one. In fact, it has been used in many mixed-use developments across the nation. Gary Okerlund, a local architect with Okerlund Associates and a faculty member of the University of Virginia's School of Architecture, wrote a 4-page paper outlining the process that citizens, developers and local government should take to ensure that community revitalization projects are a success. He says that in order for projects like Barnes Lumber to have long-term success, full citizen involvement is crucial. You can read more about this article here