As part of my work with the NOPA Neighborhood association, I recently launched our first ever land use committee. We announced the committee publicly in the May edition of the NOPNA news; check out the letter below or read the full edition here.
I originally joined NOPNA as a way of giving back and meeting neighbors. What immediately struck me was the role NOPNA played in influencing the decisions that most impact the community: from safety, to transportation, to land use. Conversations about land use with community members, focused on new developments or changes to streets and sidewalks, proved to be the most contentious — and for good reason. New developments not only represent a change to our built environment, they also serve as key contributors to livability, sustainability, and opportunity. NOPNA has the opportunity to engage and amplify the voice of our community in these conversations. For this reason, we’ve decided to launch our first ever land use subcommittee.
The committee will be responsible for tracking and responding to land use and zoning proposals, both residential and retail, that substantially impact our neighborhood. We plan to work with neighborhood groups, government organizations, and the broader community to ensure a diverse perspective in our responses to developers and other impacted parties.
NOPA neighbors will have many opportunities to provide input: we will host information sessions, conduct surveys, and use other communication channels. The committee will meet bi-quarterly and will include board members and other neighborhood residents with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. In taking positions, the committee will be explicit in the projects we focus on and how we evaluate them (e.g., impacts to neighborhood livability, affordability, and sustainability). We want our efforts to be focused and effective.
What excites me most about our work is the opportunity to collectively shape our community through empathy and action and to ensure that new developments make our neighborhood greater than the sum of its parts. If you are interested in joining the conversation, reach out to me at Julian@NOPNA.org.