Ask a Community Development Question

This page offers you a safe place to ask a community development question.  We define the term very broadly.  Then if we accept your question, you  receive an answer right here online from one of our editors.  Possibly another visitor will chime in with a helpful addition. This provides a service not only to an individual site visitor, but also to future visitors, who can see the question and our answer and discussion.

You will find many interesting questions and much good information here.

We have received so many good questions that we started separating them into categories, creating a hub page for each group.  These groupings are shown below, after which this article resumes.  Questions that don't fall into any category remain reachable from this page; you can click the title to see the entire question and answer.

Each question accepted creates a new web page.  Answers are placed on the same page after the question.  A few questions are not accepted because they are unclear, too specific to be useful to others, or too redundant with content already on the website.

Rest assured that both questions and answers are moderated and edited for clarity, civility, spelling, and such.


Finding Other Resources for Information and Advice

Perhaps you really do not want to ask your community development question where it might be seen on this website, even though you can ask anonymously.  There are some excellent reliable resources on the web, although there is plenty of bad advice and jargon-laden pretentious stuff too. We would recommend the American Planning Association site or two University-based resources, either The Community Tool Box from the University of Kansas or Community Development Toolbox from the University of Illinois.

Another possibility is to find some local experts. You might think your location is too remote to attract experts, but if you're in a developing nation, your national government will have more answers than you think. Provinces and states usually have someone to advise you, and there are semi-public agencies and non-profits that can help too. In the U.S. extension services, community action agencies, and any community development corporation or umbrella housing development agency will be likely to know how to point you in the right direction.




Use This Form to Ask Your Community Development Question

Returning to our main purpose here, we want to inspire you to ask your question now on this site, using the form just below. We want to help you in your community work. Don't worry about whether you are in the right category or not; we can fix that. Certainly feel free to give us a pseudonym rather than your real name if you wish, but being somewhat specific about your location will probably help you receive a more appropriate answer. You will see that you also can leave the name and location blank.


Have A Question?

Would you like to ask the other visitors and/or the editors a question? Here's your place to ask and then watch for the answers to pop up.

Other Questions and Answers

Click below to see contributions from other visitors, and answers.

Vines on home: code violation or landscaping enhancement? 
Visitor Question: A single-family home in my neighborhood has vines covering much of the exterior. The growth appears uncultivated and uncontrolled. …

Neighbor Tree Trimming Issue 
I am trying to purchase my home. Branches from a tree behind my house have grown over the roof of my house. Please tell me how I can get help in getting …

Serial Pest in the Neighborhood 
We have a member of our community who has a slight mental disability, but more behavioral problems, who constantly abuses people. The organisation …

Combining subdivided lots 
I am considering purchasing a 16 acre piece of property. It has already been divided into smaller lots. Can some of the lots be put back together to create …

Restoring an historic "town square" 
I live in an urban city that annexed an area of the county many years ago that, for a short while, was an independent town. It was created as a planned …

Old building needs love 
We have a beautification fund in our town that started as a result of junk cars sitting on abandoned lots. Almost the whole town (about 100 people) backed …

Felt needs community development theory 
Visitor Question: What is felt needs theory in community development? Editors Reply: "Felt needs" is an idea about a change that is considered …

How to regulate food trucks 
I am on the City Council in a nice suburban community with some office parks. Recently food trucks have been parking at lunch time outside of one office …

Beautification Projects cost money and North Carolina provides Special Funding or Grants 
Are grants provided by a State, such as North Carolina, required to be paid back in any way or fashion? How do I find the information and what is the simplest …

Community Development tradeoffs 
What happens when conflicts arise between the policy makers and some of the community members, such as the community thinking jobs is more important than …

How to become an urban planning consultant 
How does one go about becoming an urban planning consultant? Are there any educational or licensing requirements? Editors' Reply: We have experience …

City Involvement in a CDC 
We are a small suburban city and what is the expectation of a Mayor's involvement in a CDC? Do Mayors, Council, Directors get involved and at what level. …

How far can the city go in forcing citizens to obey codes? 
Our city is really gonzo about forcing citizens to keep their property "code worthy." Every person up and down our street has received a "code violation" …

Monitoring Community Development  Not rated yet
Visitor Question: How do you monitor and evaluate a strategy for community development? Editors Reply: Thank you for a great question. We think …

Significance of Strong Institutions in Governance  Not rated yet
Visitor Question: What is the significance of institutions and institutional checks in local governance processes? Editors Reply: Institutions …

Locked Out of Home in Probate Not rated yet
Visitor Question: My house is in probate, and the electric and water were turned off. I live in an old historic home. They won't allow me to live there …

Who Is a Community Developer Not rated yet
Site Visitor Asks These Questions: 1. what is community 2. development means what in community 3. what is community planning 4. U.N definition for …

Kennel Preventing Occupancy Permit Issuance Not rated yet
Visitor Question: I purchased an old house with two kennels built, ONE DIRECTLY BEHIND THE HOUSE AND ONE ADJACENT TO THAT BUILDING. It is zoned light …

Saving Abandoned House from Demolition Not rated yet
Visitor Question: Hi. My in-laws have been taking care of the house next to them for the last 15 years, as in keeping the yard mowed and trimmed. This …

Retention Pond Ownership and Maintenance Not rated yet
I live in a subdivision in Cobb County Georgia. The subdivision contains 2 lakes. The HOA and Covenants were established in 1989. Up to 2007 the lakes …

Community Clean Up Projects Helping Individuals  Not rated yet
I would love to start a community based program where we help other residents with their yard work or other projects. The people I would like to benefit …

Taking Possession of Abandoned House Not rated yet
My mother had got married to this guy and she passed away. He has abandoned the house. How do I go about getting back into my home? Editors Reply: …

Indigenous Culture and Community Development Not rated yet
How would you apply the concepts of indigenous culture to community development? Editors Reply: Thanks for that question. First, let's define indigenous …

Non-functioning HOA Not rated yet
In the State of Ohio, the developer has deeded the common properties to the HOA. Included in the common properties is a vacant lot to be used for recreational …

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Code Enforcement Right to Enter Property  Not rated yet
Visitor Question: Can a Non-Certified, non-law enforcement Code Enforcer in Colorado enter your property without permission or a warrant? Editors …

Developer Extending Our Neighborhood Not rated yet
Note: When a developer proposes to extend a neighborhood and submits a plan that is quite different from the original subdivision proposal, all sorts …

Multiple CDC's Not rated yet
Is it possible to have 2 CDC's? If one just patronizes senior citizens and home owners. And the new one wants to patronize the whole community from Toddlers …

Can Bed and Breakfast Become Group Home? Not rated yet
In a non-zoned area, can a property with multiple buildings being used as a bed and breakfast be sold as a residential property for a non profit group …

City Sign Regulations Too Tough on New Business  Not rated yet
Our city has refused to allow us to even apply for a permit for a flag to advertise our business. They have railroaded us into 8 months of work to obtain …

Code enforcement targeting an individual Not rated yet
Could I be targeted for code violations? Editors Respond: We assume that you mean that you feel that the city or a city employee is targeting you …

Elected officials and a CDC  Not rated yet
We have a CDC (community development corporation) in our city that has created a roadmap for the development of key areas in the city. The CDC includes …

Objection to neighbors variance Not rated yet
I live in a small town in New Jersey. The town is only a mile wide and long. New people bought a home next to ours; it is on a corner lot. In 1980 …

Definition of Economic Development Corporation Not rated yet
What is an economic development corporation? Is that the same thing as a community development corporation? Editors Say : Generally speaking, these …

Elected Officials and Ordinance Enforcement Not rated yet
Is it legal for the Mayor or city council member to enforce city ordinances but not obey them on their own properties? Editors Reply Well, of …

Auto Repair Business vs. Boat Repair Business Not rated yet
Our ordinances limit a boat repair business much more than auto repair. I'm just wondering what the rationale is behind that? I am looking to submit a …

Recognition as a Community Development Corporation Not rated yet
We are in planning to establish a Community Development Corporation in the State of Florida. We have a 501(c)3. Is there an application or process that …

Is Urban Sprawl a Problem Not rated yet
Do you consider this a problem? Why or why not? What are you doing to help solve or prevent this problem? Do you have any suggestions about what …

Finding a Manufacturer of small community event artifacts? Not rated yet
I was recently asked to serve as a volunteer, on the Recreation Advisory Board (5 board members) in our small rural community of 1900 people. Someone came …

Aims and Objectives of Community Development Not rated yet
Visitor Question: What are the basic aims and objectives of community development? Editors' Reply: Amel, we're glad you asked this question and …

Essential Steps in Strategic Planning for Communities Not rated yet
What are the most important steps in a strategic planning process for a community? Is it necessary to do a SWOT analysis? Editors' Reply: It isn't …

Searching for Measurement Scales ,Questionnaires, and Surveys for A Thesis Not rated yet
I am a student in the process of writing my thesis. My topic is Sense of Community and Community Development. I am in search of an instrument, and questionnaire …

How can a community improve a neighborhood Not rated yet
What are some ways in wich a community can get involved in improving a neighborhood? Editors' Reply: Juan, you ask a question we just love to answer. …

How community can evaluate their parks  Not rated yet
We need to know what to look for when evaluating our neighbourhood parks? What should we look for. Editors' Reply: We think neighborhood parks should …

How do you give a neighborhood character? Not rated yet
Our neighborhood seems plain. What can we do about it? Editors' Reply: We elaborate on both neighborhood character and small town character on …

Saw the New Page about Recycling Buildings Not rated yet
I was doing a search and I found the page about recycling buildings. I guess it is new because when I was doing a paper about this topic last semester, …

What is a CDFI Not rated yet
I heard that a CDFI can be important in neighborhood revitalization. What is that anyway? Must have something to do with finance, but I couldn't figure …

1960s Suburb Needs Refreshing Not rated yet
Our 1960s suburb used to be the envy of the city. Our reputation was of great homogenous neighborhoods, a wonderful place to raise a family, away from …

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