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429c10688f5b2593666f76fa09f8332a?d=mm Kyle Ellis

Proposed Nov. 7, 2017

For issues that directly relate to items of local concern, i.e. street vending, alcohol permits, developments, etc., the City should require individuals and companies to go to the local Neighborhood Council(s) for the area(s) affected and submit their plan/development/whathaveyou to the Neighborhood Council for review. The NC then writes an opinion about the project, which the proponent then includes in its application process for permits. The agency in charge of issuing permits then takes that opinion into consideration when coming to a decision. This would allow the NCs a chance to see projects early, advocate on behalf of their neighborhood, and, hopefully, create a more inclusive and collaborative process for decision-making on issues of local importance. It should be noted that at its most basic implementation this would not require the City to expend any money, as NCs are comprised entirely of volunteers; nor would it invest disproportionate power in NCs, as the final say on any permit would ultimately rest with the agency. All that this would do would be to create a much more robust role for NCs in their local community, allow neighbors who bring their concerns to NCs to know that their voices will actually be heard by the City, and allow the City and its citizens to use NCs as local clearinghouses of communications between the City its neighborhoods. To achieve the best results from this sort of program the City would need to devote additional funding and staffing to the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, so that DONE could take on a larger role in facilitating the administration of this program by: (1) creating the training & materials, (2) maintaining enough of a staff to help the NCs hold the necessary reviews, (3) ensuring that the agencies and the NCs are able to easily communicate with each other and the citizens so that the citizens' opinions are taken into account on each project.


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