Chapter 2.88


2.88.010    Purpose and intent.

2.88.020    Definitions.

2.88.030    Criteria for recognition of neighborhood associations.

2.88.040    Responsibilities of recognized neighborhood associations.

2.88.050    Responsibilities of the city.

2.88.060    Neighborhood financial assistance program.

2.88.010 Purpose and intent.

It is the intent of this chapter to:

A.    Promote improved communications between citizens, foster cooperation and consensus among diverse interests within neighborhoods, and generally improve the experience of community spirit and connection experienced by residents of Shelton. This will be accomplished by creating neighborhood associations that are forums for citizens to meet and discuss neighborhood concerns and citywide issues;

B.    Promote improved communication between neighborhoods and the city government by creating avenues for direct contact between the city and neighborhood associations;

C.    Encourage wider participation in land use and other decisions that affect neighborhoods;

D.    Assist citizens in developing solutions to mutual problems consistent with the unique character or interests of their neighborhood. The capabilities of the members of the neighborhood will be brought to light through the program and may be coupled with assistance from the city;

E.    Foster broad citizen participation and interest in civic life in general. (Ord. 1499-598 § 1 (part), 1998)

2.88.020 Definitions.

Reserved. (Ord. 1499-598 § 1 (part), 1998)

2.88.030 Criteria for recognition of neighborhood associations.

A neighborhood association shall be a recognized neighborhood association by the city when and so long as all of the following criteria are found to be met:

A.    A neighborhood association shall be a nonprofit corporation.

B.    The neighborhood association shall file with the city a current copy of their bylaws and articles of incorporation. The bylaws shall include the following provisions:

1.    All residents and owners of properties within the boundaries established by the association are eligible for membership.

2.    An association shall hold at least one general meeting per year for which it gives adequate notice to every household, place of business, and property owner within the association’s boundaries. Mail, delivered handbills, or several prominent signs are examples of adequate notice. No election shall be held by the association unless the meeting is so advertised.

3.    The neighborhood association shall establish a democratic decision-making process. Examples may include a vote or poll by the association board of all eligible participants.

4.    The neighborhood association shall elect officers through the above-described democratic process. The association shall notify the city of the names and addresses of officers.

C.    The neighborhood association shall clearly define the geographic boundaries of the neighborhood and file same with the city. The boundaries shall be substantially within the city. Boundaries should be defined in such a way so as to encourage participation from a substantial geographic area. Boundaries shall not overlap with those of a previously recognized neighborhood association. Associations may negotiate changes to boundaries. The city shall be notified of any changes agreed to per this negotiation.

D.    The neighborhood association shall submit a letter to the city each January attesting to the number of dues paying members for the previous year. If the association has no dues paying members, or if the number of dues paying members does not adequately reflect the association’s size or geographic area, the officers shall submit other evidence of the size of the active membership.

E.    The city manager shall be furnished with the names, addresses, and phone numbers of current association officers and/or board members.

F.    Failure to comply with any of the preceding criteria may result in a city finding of noncompliance with this chapter. The subject association may receive a notice of noncompliance. Upon receipt of this notice, a recognized neighborhood association must offer evidence of compliance within sixty calendar days. If it does not supply such evidence the association will be removed from the city list of recognized neighborhood associations and forfeit all rights associated with that status. (Ord. 1921-0518 (part), 2018; Ord. 1499-598 § 1 (part), 1998)

2.88.040 Responsibilities of recognized neighborhood associations.

Recognized neighborhood associations shall:

A.    Provide adequate notice to all members and other eligible participants of all general membership meetings. Notice shall include a listing of the issues to be discussed. Notice may be provided by such means as mailings, hand delivered notices, a number of prominently displayed signs, or other similar means;

B.    Employ an orderly and democratic means for making representative decisions;

C.    Establish and follow a clear method of reporting to the city the decisions and positions of the association. When a position is presented to the city, the association shall be prepared to identify whether the decision or position was reached by vote of the general membership, poll of the general membership, decision of the board or officers, or other means consistent with a democratic decision-making process. The association shall be prepared to report the number of votes for and against;

D.    Transmit to the city manager a copy of minutes from each annual meeting as required under Section 2.88.030(B)(2);

E.    Comply with its bylaws as established under Section 2.88.030(B);

F.    Notify the city manager of general membership meetings at least five working days prior to the meeting;

G.    Notify the city manager in writing of at least two addresses where the association wishes notices to be sent pursuant to this chapter. Such notice must be renewed at least annually;

H.    Nominate one association member for possible appointment to a standing city-sponsored plan advisory board when and if such board is established. The city council shall choose one representative to the plan advisory board from each of a number of predetermined geographic areas. Any given association may or may not have a nominee chosen for board membership. If a representative from a nearby association is chosen to represent a given geographic area on the plan advisory board, the representative shall be responsible for attending meetings of each association within said area and reporting on the activities and decisions of the board. The association representative to the advisory board shall be an association member in good standing per his or her association’s bylaws. The representative shall maintain a record of regular attendance at advisory board meetings. (Ord. 1921-0518 (part), 2018; Ord. 1499-598 § 1 (part), 1998)

2.88.050 Responsibilities of the city.

Based on staff and other resource availability, the city shall:

A.    Establish and make available a list of the contact persons for all recognized neighborhood associations. The list will be supplied to proponents of development at site plan meetings and other contacts with the city.

B.    Mail notice to recognized neighborhood associations of all applications, proposals, or determinations listed below issued by the city:

1.    Annexations;

2.    Conditional use permits;

3.    SEPA determinations;

4.    Environmental impact statements;

5.    Shorelines permits;

6.    Variances;

7.    Subdivisions;

8.    Planned unit developments;

9.    Mobile home parks;

10.    Street or alley vacations;

11.    Rezones;

12.    Comprehensive plan amendments.

Such notice shall be in the form of either: (1) a copy of the legally required notice that is published, distributed to adjacent property owners, or provided to other governmental agencies or jurisdictions; or, (2) if no such notice is required elsewhere in law, a letter describing the proposed action, listing proponents, and listing city permits and/or approvals that are required. Such notices shall be mailed to the contact persons established pursuant to Section 2.88.040G.

C.    The city shall give recognized neighborhood associations prior mailed notification of pending major city development, redevelopment, and maintenance projects, which will have a direct, significant impact on the neighborhood. Major street or utility construction or repair, changes in city facilities or parks, or building of new city facilities are examples of the types of actions for which notice will be given.

D.    The city manager shall establish a program of informational materials and presentations to support the establishment and continuance of recognized neighborhood associations. The details of the program shall be subject to available resources, but may include:

1.    Publicizing and promoting the Shelton neighborhood associations program, including the establishment of new associations and increased participation in existing associations, through its regular publications and mailings;

2.    Assign city personnel to be available to make informational presentations to neighborhood associations at their meetings;

3.    Provide an annual neighborhood association workshop on topics including city procedures, effective organization of associations, and resources available to associations through the city;

4.    Make available to associations printed materials on subjects such as effective association organization, ideas for neighborhood activities or improvements, or issues that affect life in neighborhoods;

5.    Provide technical assistance with neighborhood projects. For example, the city recycling coordinator may advise associations regarding materials that could be recycled during a neighborhood clean up.

E.    The city will prepare and conduct informational meetings on a regular basis describing the Shelton neighborhood association program. Such meetings will be publicized in the media and held on a regular basis until such time as associations have been formed within most, if not all, areas of the city.

F.    The city will work with recognized neighborhood associations to develop an understanding of processes for neighborhood review and comment on private development projects and city sponsored projects and actions per this chapter.

G.    The city will work with recognized neighborhood associations to develop an understanding of city, state, and federal processes for project review and comment.

H.    The city will assign a staff liaison to each recognized neighborhood association. The staff liaison will be a senior staff person. Staff liaisons will serve as a first point of contact between the recognized neighborhood association and the city. The liaison may initiate contact between the association and a more appropriate staff person per the question or concern that the association has.

I.    The city will notify neighborhood associations of all openings on city advisory boards, groups, or commissions.

J.    The city will establish and maintain a neighborhood financial assistance program per Section 2.88.060. Within the program, monetary assistance may be offered to recognized neighborhood associations by the city council. The grants are subject to funding availability per annual city budget.

K.    The city will make all reasonable efforts to assist neighborhood associations with copies, signs and other costs associated with meeting their responsibilities under this chapter. In so doing the city will work with the association in an effort to make them less reliant on these types of city services in the future. (Ord. 1921-0518 (part), 2018; Ord. 1499-598 § 1 (part), 1998)

2.88.060 Neighborhood financial assistance program.

A program to provide financial assistance to eligible neighborhoods for use on projects that foster civic pride, enhance and/or beautify the neighborhood, expand citizen involvement, and promote participation in community affairs generally, will be established.

A.    The city will make available neighborhood assistance funds under the following conditions:

1.    Applicants must be recognized neighborhood associations;

2.    The project must be nonprofit in nature;

3.    The project must have lasting and/or direct benefit to the neighborhood;

4.    The project must be distinctive to the applicant neighborhood;

5.    The purposes to be accomplished by the project must be within the city’s legal authority;

6.    The applicant association must provide documentation to the city as proof of program expenditures;

7.    The applicant association must enter into a written agreement with the city under terms and conditions acceptable to the city.

B.    Applications shall be considered on a yearly basis. No project has a vested right to funding. Program funding is subject to annual city budget adoptions.

C.    The city will establish administrative guidelines and/or procedures for contract administration including: required matches, if any; application requirements; and application review and award criteria. Administrative staff will recommend assistance awards to the city council. City council will award contracts on an annual basis. (Ord. 1921-0518 (part), 2018; Ord. 1499-598 § 1 (part), 1998)