Chapter 18.86

18.86.000    Chapter Contents


18.86.040    Purpose.

18.86.060    Recognition of associations.

18.86.080    Responsibilities of associations.

18.86.100    Responsibilities of The City. Revised 11/23

18.86.040 Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to:

A.    Promote improved communications between neighborhood associations and City government by providing a standardized recognition policy for Olympia neighborhood associations;

B.    Provide a method of notification to neighborhood associations of major land use proposals and plans that may impact their neighborhoods;

C.    Encourage widened public participation in city land use decisions through support and recognition of neighborhood associations;

D.    Provide assistance to organize, educate and encourage the incorporation of neighborhood associations in all areas of the city;

E.    Establish city responsibility for implementation of this chapter;

F.    A purpose of this chapter is to meet the needs specified in this section, while not limiting the rights of any other person, including non-recognized neighborhood groups, to input directly into the City’s decision-making processes;

G.    Promote resolution of conflicts between neighborhood associations and proponents of development projects in early stages of review to encourage understanding and avoid misunderstanding and costly delays.

(Ord. 5517 §1, 1995).

18.86.060 Recognition of associations

A neighborhood association shall be designated a recognized neighborhood association by the City when and so long as all the following criteria are found to be met.

A.    The neighborhood association shall file with the City a current copy of their bylaws and articles of incorporation. If the neighborhood association does not allow membership to lessees or renters, the association shall file an explanation why such persons are not included and if they are to be included in the future. The bylaws shall include the following provisions.

1.    The geographic boundaries of the neighborhood association, which shall be substantially within the City or its urban growth area.

2.    The neighborhood association shall make full membership open to all persons residing within its boundaries and to all persons and legal entities owning property or having a place of business within its boundaries. Provided, that in the downtown, as defined in the Comprehensive Plan, an association additionally may, at the option of its members, be comprised solely of persons residing within its boundaries.

3.    The neighborhood association shall hold at least one (1) meeting per year for which it gives written notice to every household, place of business and property owner within the association’s boundaries. Mail, delivered handbills, or a number of prominent signs are examples of adequate notice. No election shall be held at a meeting of an association unless the meeting is so advertised.

4.    The neighborhood association shall establish a democratic decision-making process. Examples may include a vote or poll by the association board or by all eligible participants. No provision of this subsection shall apply to bylaws of a property owners association if it is in conflict therewith.

B.    Officers of recognized neighborhood associations shall annually submit a letter to the City attesting to the number of dues-paying members their records indicate for the previous year. If a neighborhood association has no dues-paying members, or if dues-paying membership does not adequately reflect an association’s size, its officers shall annually submit other evidence of the size of its active membership. If the neighborhood association does not allow membership to lessees or renters, the association shall file an explanation of why such persons are not included and if they are to be included in the future.

C.    The City Manager’s office shall be furnished with names, addresses and available phone numbers of current neighborhood association officers and/or board members.

D.    Failure to comply with any of the preceding criteria shall result in notification of noncompliance being sent to the recognized neighborhood association officers and/or board members from the City. Upon receipt of this notice, a recognized neighborhood association must offer evidence of compliance within sixty (60) days. If it does not comply, the association shall be removed from the list of recognized neighborhood associations.

(Ord. 5570 §38, 1995; Ord. 5517 §1, 1995).

18.86.080 Responsibilities of associations

Recognized neighborhood associations shall:

A.    Provide adequate notice to all members and other eligible participants in their neighborhood of all general membership meetings and the issues to be discussed. Examples of adequate notice include mailings, delivered handbills, or a number of prominent signs.

B.    Establish an orderly and democratic means for making representative decisions.

C.    Establish and follow a clear method for reporting to the City actions which accurately reflect the neighborhood’s position. When a neighborhood association presents its official position on an issue to the City, it shall be prepared to identify whether the decision, was reached by the board, a poll of the general membership, or by a vote at a general membership meeting, and the vote for and against the position.

D.    Transmit to the City Manager a copy of the minutes from each annual meeting within sixty (60) days.

E.    Comply with its bylaw provisions as specified in Section 18.86.060.

F.    Notify the City Manager of general membership meetings at least five (5) working days in advance.

G.    Notify the City Manager in writing of two (2) addresses where it wishes notice to be sent pursuant to this chapter; such designation shall be furnished by the neighborhood association at least annually, or when appropriate.

(Ord. 6886 §29, 2013; Ord. 5517 §1, 1995).

18.86.100 Responsibilities of the city Revised 11/23

A.    The City shall provide a list of recognized neighborhood associations and their contacts to the proponents of a project at each pre-submission conference. The City shall encourage the project proponents of development to discuss their project with the recognized neighborhood associations.

B.    The City shall provide notice of application to recognized neighborhood associations that any Type II, III, or IV applications, proposals, or determinations, as specified in Table OMC 18.70-3 are complete. Notice must be provided in accordance with OMC 18.70.130.

C.    Upon request the City shall provide information regarding the above actions at no charge to the two registered neighborhood association contacts. Requests for additional copies or duplicates of information already received may be charged at cost. Extraordinary requests which require substantial staff time, production cost and mailing fees will be charged to the neighborhood association when permitted by law. Payment is due upon receipt of materials.

D.    The City shall give directly affected recognized neighborhood associations notice by mail of pending major development and redevelopment projects by the City which will have a direct, significant impact on that neighborhood; such as street construction and major repair, total closing of streets, changes in size or type in City parks, or building of new City facilities. The City shall provide notice by mail or e-mail of any home occupation business licenses issued within the boundaries of a neighborhood association.

E.    For the purpose of A, B, C, and D of this section, first class letters mailed to two contact addresses submitted by a neighborhood association constitute notification. Alternatively, if an e-mail contact address is provided, notice may be provided by electronic mail.

F.    The City shall:

1.    Inform all known neighborhood associations and inquiring parties of the requirements for recognition and advise such groups on how to meet the requirements.

2.    Review its files on neighborhood associations to verify if each association has met the requirements for recognition with current information.

3.    At least annually notify each known neighborhood association of its current recognition status.

4.    Work with recognized neighborhood associations to develop an understanding of the processes for neighborhood review and comment on applications and actions pursuant to this Chapter.

5.    Supply annually to all recognized neighborhood associations a current list of all City government agencies, their department heads, and corresponding phone numbers.

6.    Make available to the public the names and addresses of the two designated recipients of notices as most recently specified by each recognized neighborhood association.

7.    Review this chapter two years after adoption to determine if modifications are needed to meet the purpose of the chapter.

G.    The City Manager shall develop a program to support the establishment of neighborhood associations and their active participation in City decision processes. The details of this program are subject to available resources, and may include:

1.    Through its publications and in response to inquiries, encourage individuals to participate with their existing neighborhood association.

2.    Encourage the development of neighborhood associations where they do not exist.

3.    Provide an opportunity, under City editorial control, to increase communications between neighborhood associations and the general public by publishing neighborhood related articles in the City’s quarterly newsletter.

4.    Provide an annual neighborhood association workshop on appropriate topics concerning City procedures and actions as well as the effective operation of neighborhood associations. A neighborhood handbook with information on the program and City resources will be made available.

5.    Advise recognized neighborhood associations of self-help projects which could enhance the quality of life within their neighborhoods. For example, the City may pass along information from organizations such as Neighborhoods USA. It will continue to work cooperatively with neighborhoods on spring clean-up drives, recycling programs, and other appropriate ventures.

6.    The City and neighborhood associations shall hold alternating quarterly forums to discuss items of interest. The City is responsible for hosting two meetings a year and shall develop agenda topics. The neighborhood associations are responsible for hosting the remaining two meetings and shall develop agenda topics. The City Manager’s Office shall coordinate these forums.

H.    With the advice and consent of the Council, the City may establish practices, rules, and guidelines necessary to implement this chapter.

(Ord. 7364 §38, 2023; Ord. 7342 §5, 2022; Ord. 6242 §2, 2002; Ord. 5570 §38, 1995; Ord 5539 §25, 1995; Ord. 5517 §1, 1995).