Neighborhood Associations Proposal

Release Date: 
02/23/2012

Chapter 96:  Neighborhood Associations

Purpose

  1. The purpose of Chapter 96 of the Hermiston Code of Ordinances is to encourage and endorse citizen involvement in the decision making process of city government.  There are issues of land use, law enforcement, traffic control, nuisances, and other issues which often are limited to smaller areas and may therefore be more appropriately considered at a local level.  To this end, the city council recognizes neighborhood associations perform a vital function in both the decision making process and evaluation of city policies.
  2. A major function of neighborhood associations is to augment the citizen involvement process in issues affecting the general health and welfare of the community.
  3. Membership in a recognized neighborhood association confers no extraordinary rights, standing or legal capacity based solely on membership, nor is a neighborhood association given any special status by this legislation that is intended to influence a court of law as to its capacity to commence litigation.

Recognition

A. Recognized neighborhood associations must satisfy the following standards:

  1. Membership in associations is not limited by race, creed color, sex, age, heritage, national origin or income.  Any resident, business owner or owner’s representative, non-profit organization, or property owner within the recognized boundary of an association is entitled to membership.  Contributions may be collected only on a volunteer basis;
  2. Boundaries of associations are determined by the association members.  Boundaries must be mutually exclusive of other formally recognized associations and must remain within or coincide with the boundaries of a single neighborhood district, if one exists;
  3. A minimum of ten signatures from residents within the association’s boundaries shall be needed to form a neighborhood association;
  4. Associations shall adopt and execute written by-laws that provide:
    • A democratic organization providing for the annual election of officers for a specified term;
    • Meetings conducted in conformance with public meetings law when the association meets to act in an advisory capacity to the council, commissions or the city manager, all meetings shall be open to the public;
    • A current map of the association boundaries and a current list of the names and addresses of the officers are kept on file with the city manager;
    • A minimum of one general association meeting each year, with the time, place and purpose well publicized throughout the neighborhood prior to the meeting;
    • A definition of the relationship between the officers and membership as a whole; and
    • A list of standards regulating voting
  5. Associations must provide an executed copy of the neighborhood association’s by-laws to the city manager and city attorney to be kept on file.  Notice and copies of amendments to the by-laws shall also be provided to the city manager and city attorney by the associations
  6. Make a written request to the city council for recognition.  A copy of the group’s by-laws, the name and address of its representative for receipt of notices and other communications and the names and addresses of the board members must accompany the request.

City Council Responsibilities

  1. Refer matters affecting the neighborhood group for comment.  Examples of these actions include but are not limited to:
    1. Traffic plans and major improvements in the neighborhood;
    2. Land use planning actions in the neighborhood;
    3. Neighborhood watch and problem oriented policing issues;
    4. Park improvements for any recreational facilities within the association’s boundaries; and
    5. At the city council’s discretion other city-wide actions that would benefit from citizen involvement.
  2. Representatives from the city council will hold an annual meeting with representatives of all neighborhood associations to discuss matters impacting the neighborhood which may not fall under regularly referred items. 
  3. The city council will make city facilities available for an annual membership meeting of each neighborhood association.

Neighborhood Association Responsibilities

  1. Advise and consult with the city council on matters affecting the livability of the neighborhood, including but not limited to, planning, zoning, housing, parks, open spaces and recreation, social services, traffic and transportation systems, and water and sewage issues.  The group shall understand that city decisions may be based on factors of long range or city impact, however, recommendations of neighborhood associations will be given appropriate weight in the decision making process.
  2. Be informed and familiar with the views and opinions of the people of the neighborhood and be able to give an accurate representation of those views.  The organization must be flexible enough to avoid causing unnecessary delays in the city decision making process and is responsible for communicating information from the city to the neighborhood.
  3. Provide that all meetings have written minutes.  A verbatim transcript is not necessary but the minutes must include a list of members present, all motions and proposals considered, results of each vote, and a summary of discussions on each issue.
  4. Copies of notices and minutes shall be presented to the city council at the annual meeting.
  5. Keep the city council informed of any changes in its bylaws, officers, board members and names and addresses of it representatives for receipt of notices and other communications.

Revocation of Charter and Inactive Status

  1. The city council may revoke the charter of any association if that group fails to comply with the requirements of the city code as specified herein or fails to comply with its by-laws.
  2. A neighborhood association may apply for inactive status when it cannot maintain an active membership.  To qualify for inactive status the group must have been chartered by the city and complied with the requirements of this chapter for at least one year.
  3. The city council may place any association on inactive status that has not held a general membership meeting for at least 24 months.
  4. Council approval of inactive status will exempt the neighborhood association from the requirements for noticing as specified above.
  5. To resume active status the inactive group must submit the names of at least 10 people who live within their boundaries that support the request.

Accessibility Statement - The City of Hermiston is committed to making its electronic and information technologies accessible to individuals with disabilities. We are currently in the process of upgrading our web site to ensure we meet or exceed the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C’s) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA and the Web Accessibility Initiative Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite (WAI-ARIA) 1.0 for web content.

For more information on how to report an issue related to the accessibility or how to file a formal Section 504 or ADA (Title II) complaint about the accessibility of any content on our website, please see our full Accessibility Statement.

Anti-Discrimination Policy - It is a policy of the City of Hermiston that there will be no discrimination or harassment on the grounds of race, color, sex, marital status, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or disability in any educational programs, activities or employment. For more information, visit the Anti-Discrimination Policy page.