"Meaningful citizen participation yields better long-term solutions for neighborhood issues."
It shall be the Goal of the City to achieve healthy and livable neighborhoods by:
- Maximizing opportunities for all citizens to have meaningful involvement in the decisions that affect their neighborhood;
- Maximizing compatibility between residential and non-residential uses;
- Ensuring neighborhood safety and quality of life;
- Developing safe, aesthetically pleasing and efficient transportation networks;
- Preserving, protecting and enhancing neighborhood aesthetics, identity, and natural and historic resources; and,
- Embracing an Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) philosophy by focusing on the capacities and assets of associations and citizens.
Below are typical characteristics of active City neighborhood associations:
- Meet regularly.
- Have recognized leadership.
- Communicate with residents.
- Communicate with government.
- Take formal action to officially represent.
- Have articles of association/incorporation.
- Have delineated neighborhood boundaries.
- On record with Neighborhood and Development Services.
If your neighborhood is not within an existing neighborhood association and is interested in organizing a new Neighborhood Association, take the first step and download and fill out the form provided here:
Neighborhood Action Strategy [NAS] Program
The Neighborhood Action Strategy (NAS) process is a comprehensive and participatory effort to develop an action plan for the neighborhood by the neighborhood, with assistance from the City. The effort is comprehensive because it deals with all aspects and elements of the neighborhood and because it consults with all the stakeholders in the community, including property owners, renters, and businesses.
The City established the Neighborhood Action Strategy process in 1999 as a programmatic approach to revitalizing and investing in neighborhoods affected by blight or potential blight. Those investments range from capital improvement projects to focusing City staff resources on a specific neighborhood issue or concern. NAS plans have been adopted for eight City neighborhoods: Park East, Gillespie Park, Rosemary District, Bayou Oaks, Central Cocoanut, Arlington Park, Alta Vista and Poinsettia Park. The last Neighborhood Action Strategy was adopted in 2007. Staff actively manages the implementation of action items from these NAS´s and tracks their progress while providing results to service users and providers. There are a total of 646 individual action items for the eight NAS neighborhoods.
- Eight Adopted Neighborhood Action Strategies (NAS)
Neighborhood Grant Program
The intent of the Neighborhood Partnership Grant Program is to assist and strengthen the City of Sarasota neighborhood associations and improve the quality of life within City neighborhoods. Neighborhood Partnership Grants are offered twice per fiscal year Fall and Spring. During each grant cycle, the City Commission votes to approve Neighborhood Grant applications based on recommendations from the Grant Review Committee. Applications are ranked and given a maximum of 100 points as follows:
- Project Description [20 Points]: How well the application describes the project and its goals.
- Demonstration of Community Need [ 20 Points]: How well the application explains a community need and whether the project addresses said community need.
- Evidence of Community/Association Strengthening [20 Points]: Whether the project has the potential to strengthen the Association and/or Neighborhood.
- Community Support [20 Points]: Whether there is community consensus for the project as well as resident involvement in implementation of the project.
- Appropriate Proposed Budget and Funding Source [20 Points]: Whether the budget revenues and expenses are clear and justifiable and whether the funding source is appropriate.
Past Neighborhood Partnership Grants have funded the following types of initiatives: Newsletters, Crime Watch, Public Landscape Improvements, Neighborhood Entry Signage, Website Development, Meeting Signs, Membership Drives, Safety Programs, T-Shirts, Special Events and more. Neighborhood Associations are eligible to receive one Neighborhood Partnership Grant per fiscal year.
- Neighborhood Partner Grant Application (Available June 2018)
Community Building Grant Program
A Community Building grant is also offered for neighborhood associations to support community gatherings, celebrations or special events. Such events have the ability to increase neighborhood pride and deepen a sense of community. A sample of eligible funding projects includes: supplies, entertainment, printing, food and provisions (excluding alcohol and tobacco products), and permitting fees in conjunction with neighborhood festivals/celebrations. Neighborhood Associations are eligible to receive one Community Building grant per fiscal year. There is no application deadline for this ongoing program.
- Community Building Grant Applications will be available October 1, 2017
Neighborhood Sign Identification Program
In 2005, the City Commission established the City neighborhood signs design standards identified in the link below. Neighborhood identification signs must adhere to these design standards when City funds are utilized as payment for the signs.