|Here's What We Mean By
Quality of Life
by Dawn Terrodeit
North Willow Glen residents have learned not to rely on others to define what true "quality of life" is.
This page lets residents define what is important to them, and what we don't want developers, businesses and the City to downgrade.
LAST REVISED JUNE 20, 2005
A neighborhood that is a pleasure to live in;
Appealing to both residents and their guests;
A place that is free of crime, litter, and blight;
An environment that is safe for adults, children and pets;
A neighborhood that is beautiful in landscape and architecture.
The above is North Willow Glen’s mission. But what does this mean, really? Let’s say that someone is thinking of making a change to our neighborhood. How can we evaluate this proposed change, to decide if it will increase our quality of life or not?
Over the years people in North Willow Glen have faced this question, and through experience have developed a set of guidelines to use when someone proposes a change to our neighborhood. This document sets out those guidelines. It is a living document; it will change as our ideas change.
We urge residents, neighbors, developers and the City to read this document. It will help you to understand what manner of changes is acceptable to the residents of our neighborhood. Our goal is to help prevent unnecessary conflict and to focus efforts on achieving a better neighborhood for all its residents.
If you are a multi-unit developer, go to Section 1
If you are a business owner, go to Section 2
If you are a resident, go to Section 3
If you work for the City, go to Section 4
MULTI-UNIT RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT
North Willow Glen is a vintage neighborhood, and much of its quality of life depends on maintaining its vintage character. We have good reason to believe that homes in our area derive value from character (not size) and history (not newness). To this end, we actively participate in planning developments in our general area. You can count on it, in fact.
No Liquor and Tobacco. We don't care how upscale your liquor store or cigar shop intends to be - we have more than enough of these things already.
No Non-Child-Friendly Businesses. You know who you are.
No Polluting. This means no noise pollution, no air pollution, no water pollution - no adverse environmental impacts, please.
No Code Violations. You must get a clean bill of health from Code Enforcement to begin operating in our area.
ADVICE FOR NEIGHBORHOOD RESIDENTS
Voluntary Conservation. North Willow Glen is a voluntary conservation zone. We ask residents to consider adhering to guidelines about preserving vintage features and appeal of their homes. Vintage quality is rare (and getting rarer), and this scarcity translates into real value for each homeowner that participates in maintaining it. With voluntary cooperation on home size, style and character, our neighborhood can avoid the disintegration of community that is all too common in older neighborhoods.
Vintage Quality. What do we mean by "vintage quality"? For our neighborhood, let's define vintage as "homes in the styles used from 1900 to 1950." You can see these styles described on our Home Styles Tour page.
Charm and Soul. What we would hate to see happen is for our neighborhood to lose its cohesive charm. This can happen when an old home is scraped and a generic "monster" home is put up in its place, when a garage gets placed alongside or out in front of the house (a statement that says cars are more important than people), and so on. Many of the people who live in North Willow Glen chose to move here because it still has its soul.
Advice, not Rules. We are NOT interested in dictating style, interfering with home colors, or whatever.
Respect a Tree. Our trees are very important to the quality of life in our neighborhood. Any tree over 10' high gives comfort and aesthetic value not just to you, but to your neighbors. We ask residents to discuss tree removals with their neighbors in advance, and to consider planting a tree for any tree removed. Also:
Got a Question? Our neighborhood has many people who have experience doing restorations and remodels, gardening, tree planting, you name it. Email us or leave a message at 537-0393 and we'll try to hook you up.
More to come - regarding traffic and street safety, code enforcement, and so on.
ADVICE FOR CITY EMPLOYEES
We need to be informed about developments that might affect our neighborhood. If you overlook notifying us in a timely way, will we force you to go back and begin again? Yes.
We will be a full partner on city projects. Many city project managers seem to expect neighborhood activists to make their opinions known, then stand back and let the city take over. North Willow Glen activists typically do not work this way. We have a desired outcome for the project, and will track the project all the way to make sure it achieves as much of the desired outcome as possible.