Thank you for your interest in the City of Columbia’s Neighborhood Organization Program. The City of Columbia and neighborhood residents jointly participate in the Neighborhood Organization Program. This program recognizes and fosters groups formed in pursuit of neighborhood interests. Its goal is to ensure neighborhood stability through information sharing and public participation in the municipal decision making process.
There are currently 84 recognized neighborhood associations in Columbia. Some of the benefits of having your neighborhood organization recognized by the City Council include:
1. Notification of organization president or designated contact person by City staff of pending zoning and subdivision applications in or near your neighborhood. These will include public hearing meeting dates and times at which your views can be presented.
2. Notification of city-initiated projects such as street or park improvements within your neighborhood and a description of how your input can be heard.
3. In some older neighborhoods, federal funds are available for housing and public improvements.
4. Provides the opportunity for private developers and city officials to describe and discuss proposed projects which affect your neighborhood. You will have a unique opportunity to shape the development of the community.
5. City staff is generally available to provide information at organizational meetings or to speak to your group.
6. Participate with other organizations in improving the quality of life in Columbia.
Organizing Your Neighborhood
If you or your neighbors are interested in forming a neighborhood group, a recommended procedure is suggested below:
- Identify logical boundaries for your neighborhood. These may consist of major roads or creeks.
- Define the reasons for organizing. These may range from crime watch activities to presenting a unified position to City Council on development issues.
- Contact the Office of Neighborhood Services for assistance. You will be provided with information about your neighborhood, a description of the program, furnished with sample neighborhood organization by-laws and other relevant materials.
- Conduct an organizational meeting with your neighbors. Mission statements or objectives for your group should be adopted. Officers should be elected, by-laws adopted and a schedule of meeting dates should be established.
- Submit a letter describing your neighborhood organization, including its boundaries, to the Office of Neighborhood Services.
For more information about how your neighborhood get can involved contact the Office of Neighborhood Services at 573.874.7248 or Bill.Cantin@como.gov.