The Neighborhood Action Group is a working group of the City of Carbondale’s Human Relations Commission initiated in 2004 as a result of the City’s Study Circles Project. The purpose of the Neighborhood Action Group is to promote, preserve and revitalize Carbondale’s neighborhoods by identifying, researching and organizing on issues of significance to neighborhoods. Major goals of the Group are to promote the development of neighborhood associations and cross neighborhood work, as well as, to ensure the role of neighborhoods as stakeholders in Carbondale’s land use and design review.
2004 Spring - The Carbondale Human Relations Commission launched the Carbondale Conversations for Community Action, choosing the topic "Building Strong Neighborhoods" - from which emerged Action Groups on Housing, Neighborhoods, Aquatic Center, etc. The Neighborhood Action Group was first called the “Neighborhood/Housing Action Group”.
2005 - Joint Housing and Neighborhood Action Groups hosted first of what would become annual meeting of neighborhood and community organization meetings. Neighborhood Association Training Session, with presentations by Arbor District on organizing an association and the Police Department on organizing a Neighborhood Watch. The Housing/Neighborhood Group did research and interviews on over-occupancy in R-1 Zones and problems with rental leases in the City. Our recommendations on transparency in leasing are codified. Group researched central neighborhood revitalization/preservation models and brought Marc Barone of Paducah’s Artist’s Relocation Program to speak. Forty people attended.
2006 - The Housing/Neighborhood Action Group hosted first Neighborhood Alliance Meeting and celebrated the new ordinance to reduce over-occupancy and improve transparency in rental housing leases. Reports on preservation, Hickory Lodge and older neighborhoods in the northwest and downtown. Envisioning of possibilities for downtown (inspired by Mark Barone’s work in Paducah. Research and presentation on rational and need for design standards to Human Relations Commission; Cross neighborhood clean-up Tatum Heights. Group responds to Mayor’s Neighborhood youth summer clean-up program. Beginning of community education and advocacy on Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. Development of CPTED power point.
2007 - Neighborhood Alliance Meeting highlights were presentations on Crime Prevention through Environmental Design and on the upcoming revision of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. These topics have stayed on the agenda. Outreach and research on home ownership in Tatum Heights
2008 – Research disaster preparedness programs NAM introduced many people to CERT - Community Emergency Response Team, but also brought together in one space many groups already interested in emergency preparedness. Map Your Neighborhood (MYN), a neighborhood based disaster preparedness program is initiated by the Group. Numerous outreach and training events by group.
2009 – Advocacy and research on Tatum Heights including a community walk and development of power point on the neighborhood. Shared this with city staff and police. Continued work on MAP and the Comprehensive Plan. Research and community education on links between food security and disaster preparedness. PowerPoint on local food security. Articulated concerns to Council on restructuring and lack of staff in Development Services Department
2010 – Participation and community education development of Comprehensive Plan. Developed and presented listing of recommendations for the Plan that included the Groups work on neighborhood disaster preparedness (MYN), Crime prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED), design/performance standards in development and re-visioning role of Planning Commission. NAM kept participants aware of issues surrounding food security, Map Your Neighborhood, identified potential in the comprehensive plan. MYN outreach and training locally and regionally. Worked with neighborhoods to make “Community Investment” recommendations to the City; neighborhood successful advocacy work with neighborhood on south 51--; neighborhood advocacy Northwest Neighborhood PUD
2011 - NAM covered just about every topic – signing people up for a Map Your Neighborhood training session; presenting on sustainability; reviewing progress on the comprehensive plan; and introducing candidates for local elections. Neighborhoods meet the candidates at NAM; written comment prepared by Group regarding the “Zoning and Land Development Regulations –Diagnostic Report by Duncan Associates, September 2011.
2012 – Research and recommendations on LAMA System. MYN outreach; Research and outreach on issues of Neighborhood TIF districts; Code revision testimony.
2013 – Research and outreach on issues of Neighborhood TIF districts and Neighborhood Notification Program. Neighborhood notification Program codified; successful neighborhood advocacy with Liberty Villas Carbondale Homeowners Association on PUD. Research and advocacy on Neighborhood Business districts.