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.

Code Enforcement and Standing Water

Website Visitor's Original Question: A family purchased a small inflatable swimming pool during the summer, and placed the pool in the backyard. Children

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How Far from Property Line Should Trees Be

Visitor Question: How far from someone’s property line does someone have to be in order to plant large growing trees? Editors Reply: In most places, the

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Feel harassed by code enforcement officer

Visitor Question: I was given a code violation for graffiti on my fence. Every year I have had to correct this. This year in around April I had to paint

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Can a church meet in a building that is zoned industrial?

Visitor Question: I am a member of a local church congregation (less than 100 people) that has been meeting in a school gymnasium. Due to Covid-19,

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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

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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.

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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:

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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

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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.

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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,

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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.

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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

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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'

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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

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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.

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