Community Improvement Program
The Community Improvement Program is a cost-sharing program that preserves and improves older, yet stable residential neighborhoods. The Board of Supervisors established the program in 1978 to prevent those areas from becoming blighted and deteriorated by providing needed public improvements, such as roads, curbs and gutters, and storm drainage systems, that were absent in the original development. Incidental improvements include sidewalks, trails, streetlights, streetscape, and utility upgrading. The property owners and the County share the costs of sidewalks, curbs and gutters, and driveway entrances.
Although the steps are simple, the successful implementation of the Community Improvement Program depends largely on the dedication and hard work of the residents in each neighborhood. This program is designed to rely heavily on citizen volunteers to disseminate information to the community, inform the County staff of the neighborhood’s concerns, develop consensus among disparate elements, review plans and drawings, and explain the neighborhood’s concerns to various public bodies. In most neighborhoods, a core group of citizens is willing to perform these tasks, although all residents are normally involved at one time or another in the meetings about the projects.
The implementation of a community improvement project starts with the expression of interest from the community and moves through six basic stages:
- Initial Community Screening
- Project Selection
- Community Planning
- Detailed Engineering
To date, 45 project phases have been constructed in 29 neighborhoods throughout the County, and approximately $76 million has been expended since 1979. Funding for the program has been primarily from general obligation bonds for neighborhood improvements.
Future of the Program
In addition to the projects mentioned above, there are currently 30 neighborhoods on the waiting list. Preliminary cost estimates prepared a number of years ago indicate that approximately $130 million would be needed to implement all of the projects on the waiting list. However, no new funding has been allocated since approval of the 1989 neighborhood improvement bond.
For more information about the Community Improvement Program, please call Neelam Kohli, Administrative Assistant, at 703-246-5130, TTY: 703-385-3578.