Participation in the Neighborhood Conservation Program requires that an Arlington County neighborhood complete four steps:
- Letter of Commitment – Buckingham completed this in 2003/04
- Plan Preparation – Buckingham completed this step in 2004/05
- Plan Acceptance – Buckingham’s NCP was accepted in 2006/07
- Plan Implementation – Priority Project 1 was planned, funded and completed in 2008/09. Buckingham is currently working on implementation of its priority 2 and 3 projects.
Neighborhood Submits Letter of Commitment: In order to participate in the Neighborhood Conservation Program, each neighborhood must submit a Letter of Commitment to the NCAC. The neighborhood is also responsible for designating a Neighborhood Conservation Representative and an alternate. The letter should also contain the boundaries of the neighborhood conservation area. With the submission of the letter the neighborhood agrees to make every effort to complete a neighborhood plan within a specified period of time.
Plan Preparation and Writing:The neighborhood organization, typically the civic association, is responsible for preparing the Neighborhood Conservation Plan. Technical, clerical and design assistance is available to the neighborhood for all steps of plan preparation through the NC Program staff. The neighborhood develops a questionnaire for distribution to all households to determine the neighborhood’s assets, needs, and objectives. In addition, the neighborhood undertakes an inventory of its existing conditions, including land use, zoning, curb, gutter, sidewalk, drainage problems, street lights, traffic, housing, park and recreational facilities, schools, libraries, and other public facilities. The results of the questionnaire and inventory become the foundation of the Neighborhood Conservation Plan. A draft of the Plan is submitted to County staff for comments and suggestions. The neighborhood may revise the draft Plan before final neighborhood adoption, based upon the comments of County staff.
Plan Acceptance: Once the plan is complete, the neighborhood first prepares a presentation to the NCAC for acceptance. Upon approval by the NCAC, the next step is to gain acceptance from the Planning Commission. The last step is a presentation to the County Board, which then considers acceptance of the neighborhood plan.
Plan Implementation: An accepted Neighborhood Conservation Plan allows the neighborhood to seek Neighborhood Conservation Program funds for specific projects. Curb, gutter, sidewalk, and street light projects also must be requested by a petition from a specified percentage of residents on a block. Every six months, the NCAC recommends projects for funding to the County Board, which reflect neighborhood priorities. After County Board approval, the projects are scheduled for construction.
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