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Welcome to: Tapped-Out Neighborhood Associations

There’s a new city ordinance in the mill that’s getting some neighborhood association folks hot under the collar.

Jennifer Woodruff of Shepherd Forest says the city’s public works department is considering charging neighborhood associations $1,000, plus a $100 yearly renewal fee, to put up neighborhood markers and signs on esplanades. She writes that her understanding of the proposed ordinance is that it’s designed to charge fees for any signs encroaching on public areas.

“It means that we will no longer have marked entrances to our neighborhood because the onerous fee would drain the meager funds we collect as a not-for-profit [neighborhood] organization,” Woodruff states.

“Has the [public works department] forgotten the fact that esplanade adoption by neighborhood civic groups assists in the beautification of an otherwise blighted inner city?" she continues. "Our neighborhood signs help demonstrate our commitment to a clean, deed-restricted community – and they want to take that away, along with our sense of civic pride and community.”

However, Public Works and Engineering Department spokesman Alvin Wright says nothing is set in stone. Yet, at least.

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“We’re still in the planning stages,” he says. “There’s nothing solid as of yet. They’re looking into how to make it better for us and the homeowner associations as well.”

So something is in the works. But if you can't trust the Public Works Department to do it right, who can you trust?

Wright said he did not know all of the specifics of the proposed ordinance but that there was no firm timetable for getting it done.

-- Chris Vogel

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