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.

Signs of neighborhood decline

Visitor Question: What are the signs of neighborhood decline? I have been in a nice enough neighborhood for about 25 years. My next door neighbor has been

Continue reading "Signs of neighborhood decline"

Racial Equity and Community Development Must Progress Jointly

Many people think racial equity and community development are already well linked; this page points out 7 areas where the relationship should be stronger.

Continue reading "Racial Equity and Community Development Must Progress Jointly"

Planning Commissioners, Decisions and Conditional Use Permits

Visitor Question: Can Planning Commissioners legally reference the General Plan as a basis for their decisions on a conditional use permit? Editors Reply:

Continue reading "Planning Commissioners, Decisions and Conditional Use Permits"

Special exception for commercial tree company

Visitor Question: A commercial tree company has filed for a special exception next door to me in our rural residential town. It would be completely out

Continue reading "Special exception for commercial tree company"

How Community Engagement Builds a Better Plan

Community engagement and public participation for city planning processes may include meetings, open houses, charrettes, surveys, focus groups, and more.

Continue reading "How Community Engagement Builds a Better Plan"

Code Enforcement in Rural Areas

Visitor Question: Is there any code enforcement in rural areas? I'm tired of living around junked cars, rusting machinery, old couches on the front porch,

Continue reading "Code Enforcement in Rural Areas"

Community Anti Drug Coalitions Bring Many Stakeholders to the Table

Community anti drug coalitions encompass representatives from prevention organizations, education, law enforcement, business, and others. Learn how one works.

Continue reading "Community Anti Drug Coalitions Bring Many Stakeholders to the Table"

Difference between open space and preserve

Visitor Question: What is the difference between open space and a nature preserve? We have what the neighbors call a preserve behind our house. It is just

Continue reading "Difference between open space and preserve"

Is a gate a fence

Visitor Question: We purchased a one acre home lot. In our deed it states no fence across the 20' pipeline easement on the back of my property. If a 20'

Continue reading "Is a gate a fence"

Planning Commissions and Deed Restrictions

Visitor Question: Should Planning Commissions ignore deed restrictions, since they are agreements between private properties and the Town Government is

Continue reading "Planning Commissions and Deed Restrictions"

Alley Clean Up or Re-Use Stories and Illustrations

Alley clean up improves safety for curious kids and for cars that might be driving through. It also reduces problem animals, vegetation, break-ins and graffiti.

Continue reading "Alley Clean Up or Re-Use Stories and Illustrations"

Building setbacks

building setbacks

Continue reading "Building setbacks"

Percentage of home owners needed to extend restrictions

Visitor Question: I live in a deed restricted neighborhood. In Florida what is the lowest percentage of owners needed to extend the restrictions? Ours

Continue reading "Percentage of home owners needed to extend restrictions"

Can we be forced to stop renting through Airbnb

Visitor Question: We just received a warning to stop doing short term rentals. To cut a long story short, my husband was involved in a bad accident a few

Continue reading "Can we be forced to stop renting through Airbnb "

A Night Mayor Helps a City Promote Great Nightlife and Address Issues

A night mayor is a city or downtown association employee who improves both the employment and recreational aspects of a city after dark. We explain advantages.

Continue reading "A Night Mayor Helps a City Promote Great Nightlife and Address Issues"

Subscribe to our monthly e-mail newsletter, called USEFUL COMMUNITY PLUS, which provides you with short features or tips about timely topics for neighborhoods, towns and cities, community organizations, rural environments, and our international friends. Unsubscribe any time. Give it a try.