Neighborhood Quality of Life
Questions and Answers

neglected commercial building, an important neighborhood quality of life issue

Last Updated: May 12, 2021

Here you can ask a question about neighborhood quality of life, an umbrella term we're using for that one situation in your immediate community that has become a big issue to you. 

Because humans are human, usually your overwhelming thought about your neighborhood quality of life is that one particular issue is ruining it.  You could surprise us with a positive take on what's happening in your part of the world though.

Especially in times past, these little (or big) annoyances were called a nuisance in municipal law.  In many U.S. states the courts have whittled away at nuisance law until there is almost no general power for your municipal government to issue an ordinance violation  letter on the basis of something that is just generally obnoxious.


Is a Rundown Building, Vacant Lot, or Problem Park Limiting Your Neighborhood Quality of Life?

Every kind of feedback we're receiving on this site shows that to many of you, community development is about eliminating the annoyance that lack of property maintenance and investment brings.

Sometimes different standards for maintaining property appearance are at play; other owners just may not care very much.  But more often, there is an economic or other kind of reason for the behavior that is stressing you.

Our first advice would be to familiarize yourself with the whole concept of code enforcement and then contact your local government to see if the irritant is actually a code violation. If so, give the government a chance to resolve the problem. If they fail you, then you will need other tactics as described below.

Everything from animals to noise to different ideas of appropriate conduct may be causing you to seek advice in an anonymous way about what is happening.

We would encourage you to speak up and become an activist in your community, but if the possibility of being recognized as the person doing the complaining is more than you can bear, please feel free to ask for some general advice here. Remember you can stay anonymous too.

Since the law is less and less on your side in the U.S., in that usually you must have spotted a specific ordinance violation, you will need to take the activist and public pressure routes in order to win.  This also means plugging into the power of community organizations or neighborhood associations.

Note that some of you may have severe challenges in your neighborhood. We talk about some of these on our abandoned buildings and abandoned homes pages, as well as the partial solution of vacant building registration.

Below is a form where you can ask your question about anything you perceive as a threat to neighborhood quality of life. If we think discussion of your situation will be valuable to any of our visitors, we will answer your neighborhood quality of life question at the bottom of this page.  Other visitors then will be able to add comments.  All of this is moderated and edited by a live human being too, so we keep it civil. Before you write up your question, you may want to check out what others have asked below the form.


Have A Question About a Neighborhood Quality of Life Issue?

Would you like to ask the other visitors and/or the editors a question about something annoying or alarming that's happening in your neighborhood? Here's your place to ask and then watch for the answers to pop up.

Related Questions and Answers

Click below to see contributions from other visitors.

Construction business operating in residential area 
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Junk yard in the city limits 
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Cars Parked on Narrow Residential Streets 
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Hazardous tree 
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High taxes but no traffic or code enforcement  
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Neighbor repairing multiple vehicles in back yard  
Visitor Question: My neighbor's new husband began towing multiple vehicles to her home. We stopped him from placing one car on the street in front of …

Should you always remove graffiti in your neighborhood 
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Signs of neighborhood decline 
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Criminals in your neighborhood 
Visitor Question:> How can you deal with criminals in your neighborhood? My neighborhood is being terrorized by a relatively few bad buys (and one bad …

Multiple Gas Leaf Blowers  
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Opposing a Proposal for Apartments and Businesses 
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Village created dumping ground 
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Strangers Using Common Ground by Lake 
Visitor Question: I want to know do you have any suggestions on how to curtail this problem? We are one of 10 homeowners along a small lake in Illinois. …

Camps and Retreats Permit 
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Could Residents and Landlords Collaborate to Plant Shrubs 
Visitor Question: My city has no requirement for shrubs on residential properties, and rental properties often have none. At least one block in my neighborhood …

New Construction Causes More Noise, Emissions and Traffic 
Visitor Question: We need help against having all this construction. Once these buildings are finished we will have more people looking for parking, …

Importance of Community Beautification 
Why is community beautification important? Editors Reply: If the street, public area between the street and the private property line, and all of …

File a Neighborhood Complaint 
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Slum Lords Took Over Our City 
I live in a small town, Connellsville, Pennsylvania. Our city government has been run by the "Good Old Boy" network for many years now, with special interest …

Is it legal for town to buy vacant building 
Is it legal for a town or city to purchase a vacant building within its city limits, or do they need to form a committee to make this purchase? Editors' …

Abandoned home in the village 
Visitor Question: We live in a small village (pop. 3500) about 20 miles east of Buffalo,N.Y. We have had an abandoned house in the village for 15 years. …

Can a Special Exception Be Exempt from Nuisance Laws? 
I bought a historical home in a historical subdivision. Five years after I moved in I began to hear sounds of children screaming only to discover that …

How to get our city to condemn an empty building 
Visitor Question: I live in a very rural town in North Eastern Washington State. There is nothing for the children (or adults) to do. We have found …

Unkempt businesses 
Visitor Question: How do you get a business owner to take some pride in their property and make it look presentable. We have a business owner who …

Click here to write your own.

Benefits of Beautification and Addressing Boarded-Up Housing 
1.Where do I find the statistics and research to convince local officials of the benefits of town beautification? 2.Where do I find research and stats …

How to own an abandoned house 
Visitor Question: If you can't afford an abandoned house and it's an eye sore to the block how can you purchase the house or assume ownership? …

Locating Vacant Properties and Owners 
Visitor Question: HOW DO I LOCATE VACANT PROPERTIES AND THEIR OWNERS (IN ORANGE COUNTY, CA)? THANK YOU. Editors' Reply: We don't know of a foolproof …

Are gun buy-backs a good program for crime prevention? 
Our city council woman thinks that a gun buy-back program would solve everything. Like if we have no guns, we have no crime. That might do some good, but …

How can we discourage groups of teenagers in the mall? 
Visitor Question: We have too many big groups of teenagers traveling in packs in our shopping mall. They are loud, they run over old ladies, and they …

Neighborhood Break-Ins 
Visitor Question: My normally quiet neighborhood has experienced one actual day-time break-in and one rattling of the door to see if it was locked. This …

What can we do about people selling drugs in our neighborhood? 
Since the people hanging out and selling stuff in our neighborhood don't live here, how can we handle this? They just walk around, avoid the police, and …

What's the best way to get a grocery store? 
Visitor Question: What can we do to attract a real grocery store? Most of us are kind of poor, so it's several miles. Editors' Reply: First of …

A Transit Oriented Development Fable 
Website Visitor Writes: Once upon a time there was a little light rail system that didn't think it was anything special. It didn't think that it deserved …

Click here to write your own.


Read More About Neighborhood Quality Issues

For further reading, please go to our Sitemap page and look for the link to a list of our  neighborhoods topics in the yellow box a few paragraphs down. (There is an additional link for topics particular to distressed neighborhoods.) Or follow the links below to get you started.



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