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Useful Community Development: What's New

Here are the most recent important changes to our website, including new articles, visitor questions, and editors' answers. You'll also find links to significantly revised pages and time-sensitive or short items we want to bring to your attention. Sometimes we also add short items of interest, especially time-sensitive notes about conferences, webinars, or seasons.

Denial of LED Sign

Visitor Question: Background: Our church council president recently went before the city planning commission to ask for 3 variances for a new LED messaging

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Unenforceable Parking Restriction

Visitor Question: My condominium association is a two unit association within a two-family home. I am the Declarant who created the association and still

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Too Many Apartments and Group Homes

Visitor Question: Our County and City have repeatedly put sober living homes, homes for the previously chronically homeless and mentally ill along with

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How to Be Sure House Not Covered by Restrictions

Visitor Question: The house I am buying is the only house built on estate land. The owner of the house bought this lot and another 24 acres of land from

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Where to Find Easement Information

Visitor Question: I have lost my original contract to my home. There is a variance listed on it for use of a small portion of my neighbor's property for

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Neighborhood Associations, How to Maintain and Grow Them

Neighborhood associations provide problem solving and fun while building a community. Tips and discussion about effective permanent and temporary organizations will help leaders.

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Homeless Person Unable to Save for Permanent Housing

Visitor Question: I am a homeless recovering addict that is bettering my life, but do not even know where to begin in my search for housing. I am currently

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Street Lighting Sets the Mood and Illuminates Hazards

Street lighting is sometimes seen as a crime prevention measure, but also it can accent your business district or make it easier for the kids to get home after dark. Here's what you need to know.

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Cluster Housing Saves Open Space

Cluster housing groups homes into a conservation subdivision, preserving open space and rural life.

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Code Enforcement Letters Not Received

Visitor Question: So I had a rather large problem arise involving a code enforcement and wanted some info before dealing with it. A complaint was issued

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Our Quick Notes Newsletter Archive

This page contains the links visitors need in order to access the Useful Community Development newsletter archive for our monthly Quick Notes.

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Block Units Effective in Building Community

Block units organize residents of a block into a simple organization to maximize assets and address problems. We tell you how.

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Comprehensive Plan Contents Should Match Community Needs

Comprehensive plan contents should be flexible enough to respond to the uniqueness of the community. This is true even when state law requires certain elements.

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Deed Restriction Setbacks Stricter Than County

Visitor Question: Are front, rear, and side lot setbacks enforceable if deed restrictions are stricter than county rules? Editors' Reply: Yes indeed,

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Grant Opportunity: African-American Civil Rights History

Right now you could work on an application for National Park Service funding for two types of civil rights movement history. Both non-profits and local governments are eligible.

The deadline is Sept. 29, 2017. Like most federal grants now, the application must be filed online, so don't wait till the last minute to figure out the mechanics.

Pre-preservation and preservation projects of $75,000-500,000 are eligible to apply. A National Register listing must be already in place, or the application needs to include a nomination.

History projects from $15,000-50,000 also will be funded.

Thankfully, local matches are not required for these grants. It's a good opportunity for some of you.

For information, see

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