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In This Issue
March-April 2015
Let's Talk Neighborhoods
HOA News
Tenant/Landlord Info
Neighborhood Grants
Nextdoor
Election Open House
Xeriscape Design Assistance
Foothills Mall Update
Dust Manual Update
Residential Environmental Programs
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Neighborhood News is published about every two months by:
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Neighborhood Services

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Back to TopLet’s Talk Neighborhoods: Leadership Event April 25
Amanda Nagl | Neighborhoods |

City of Fort Collins ImageNeighborhood Services, in partnership with the Colorado State University Center for Public Deliberation, will be hosting its second “Let’s Talk Neighborhoods” event on April 25.  Refreshments and conversation will be hosted from 8:30-9 am, with facilitated dialogue beginning at 9 and concluding at 11:30 am.   The event will be held at the Lincoln Center, in the Columbine Room.  The last session was held in November and was designed to gain insight from neighborhood leaders about what is important to them as well as to enable staff to better understand how neighborhoods across the city view themselves. 

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We would like to continue this conversation by coming back to the group, and others, with ideas about how we can continue and improve engagement and communication between the city and its neighborhoods and provide opportunities for relationship building and strengthening within neighborhoods and among leaders across the community.   We would also like to share information on an exciting initiative staff is working on that would bring neighborhood associations to the City of Fort Collins!  Our goal through this project is to enhance the quality of life for Fort Collins’ residents through increased connection, communication, collaboration, and access to the City.  It is intended to build unity within neighborhoods, provide systems of support, and ensure individuals have a voice and the ability to influence what happens in their neighborhood and surrounding areas.  Neighborhood associations would give City Staff the ability to work with our neighborhoods geographically and to connect with them on an on-going basis for improved planning, participation and decision-making.  Research is being completed on other cities that work through neighborhood associations and best practices are being identified.  We would like to present ideas based on that research and learn from neighborhood leaders how such a system can be further designed to meet neighborhood needs in Fort Collins.  We would also like to hear your ideas on how we can create an accessible and flexible system that will benefit the unique structure of neighborhoods across the city.   

Detailed information from the November event, as well as registration for the April 25 event can be found at fcgov.com/neighborhoodevent.  Registration for the event is required and is limited to 80.  Due to the limited capacity, we ask that attendees plan to stay for the entire event.  In order to assure that we have a large representation across the city, we also ask that no more than three persons who live in the same neighborhood attend; instead we ask that attendees communicate back to their neighbors about their experience and provide feedback accordingly.  Staff will work to get information on the webpage as soon after the event as possible, in an effort to keep everyone informed.  The event is open to anyone but will be most valuable to persons who have taken an active leadership role in their neighborhood, which could be a HOA, a formal association or an informal role such as--social, business, development review, events, welcome committee, code compliance or neighborhood watch or those who are interested in doing so in the future.  
 
Please contact Amanda Nagl, Neighborhood Administrator, with questions or comments at or 970-224-6070. 

Back to TopNeighborhood News is Your Hub for HOA News
Amanda Nagl | Neighborhoods |

Neighborhood Services will co-host at least five more trainings for HOA Board members (or those interested in becoming board members) in 2015. The classes are held in the Community Room at Fort Collins Police Services, 2221 Timberline Road. Attendees are asked to register at fcgov.com/hoa. The next training is on April 23 and is described below. Given that the April 23 training is about technology, immediately preceding the training, Amanda Nagl, Neighborhood Administrator, will host a one-hour session about Nextdoor for neighborhood leaders, so if you are interested in that particular tool, come at 5 pm (no need to register for that one) to participate in the conversation and to learn more about the tool.

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Technology Advances: How to Use Them in an HOA World
Whether creating a Facebook page, conducting meetings via Skype, taking minutes on your iPad, using a website or other social media to build your association's online presence, or documenting violations through your smart phone, advances in technology are proving to be beneficial in all aspects of community association governance. Learn how to take advantage of technology in the HOA world, so your association can increase its operating efficiency, accessibility, and effectiveness, while proactively addressing the associated risks. Please register at fcgov.com/hoa.

Back to TopLandlord/Tenant Information & Events
Amanda Nagl | Neighborhoods |

Neighborhood Services began an initiative in 2014 designed for landlords who manage their own properties to come together, support one another, share ideas and learn about additional resources. The initiative was termed “Brown Bag Lunches” and three opportunities were provided in the spring. Feedback of participants was very positive but after failing to provide opportunities in the fall, some were disappointed. We would like to apologize for that and recognize that the need is still there and that we will continue to support this effort.  

This year, we will be partnering with two local landlords, Lori Roland and Cherie DuCharme, who are willing to assist with coordination and hosting of these gatherings as well as examine other, less formal ways of bring landlords who manage their own properties together. We will begin the year by alternating formats and locations until we believe we have enough participation and feedback to determine preferences and set the group on a path for success, designed to meet everyone’s needs.

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Service Animals
The next brown bag lunch session discusses service animals, and is hosted at the City of Fort Collins building at 281 North College on April 7, 12-1 p.m., in the Venti Conference Room. Please go to fcgov.com/landlord-tenant to register for the event.  For all who are interested, the last fifteen minutes of the conversation will include a tour of Neighborhood Services to increase familiarity for landlords in attendance. Following the City-sponsored discussion on service animals will be an informal gathering of landlords, 1-2 p.m., hosted by Lori Roland and Cherie DuCharme. The two are local landlords who are working to create a support and information network specifically for landlords who own and manage their own properties.

If there are topics you would like to see discussed at the next City-sponsored dialogue in May, please contact me. The longer landlord education series are coming up this fall. Typically, there are no City-sponsored landlord education events throughout the summer months though the informal group may provide an opportunity to connect during that time.

February Landlord Discussion
On Tuesday, February 3, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Neighborhood Services will host a brown bag session on resident selection. The discussion will be held in the Community Room at Harmony Library.  RSVP if you are interested in attending this event at fcgov.com/landlord-tenant.

Be sure to check the current Neighborhood News for additional trainings offered in the coming months. Information is also updated frequently on the webpage, fcgov.com/landlord-tenant.

Back to TopNeighborhood Grants
Amanda Nagl | Neighborhoods |

Two neighborhood grant information sessions are scheduled so that neighbors interested in applying will have an opportunity to ask questions and receive information. For those who have previously applied, these sessions may not be needed. For those new to the process, it should be considered an opportunity (not a requirement) to get and receive information about the program. The first information session will be on Thursday, March 12, 12-1pm, in the Community Room at 215 Mason Street. The second session will be held on March 24, 5:30-6:30 pm, in the Community Room at Police Services, 2221 Timberline Road. No registration is required for either meeting. The sessions will be informal in nature and will be hosted by Amanda Nagl, Neighborhood Administrator, as an optional way to interact about the new application and discuss its use. Attendance is not in any way required as a part of the application. Amanda will be in the rooms described for the allotted time, but attendance should be considered drop-in by nature with no expectation of attending for the entire hour. Applicants who prefer to ask questions via phone or email can do so at or 970-224-6070.

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Grant applications require a minimum of four households to participate in order to qualify as a neighborhood event. Applications can be written for up to $500 for many kinds of activities: clean-up projects, block parties, potlucks, beautification efforts and others directed toward building relationships between neighbors.  Applications will be weighted according to the proposal’s ability to foster positive neighbor relationships and build pride in one’s neighborhood and community. The number of participants and the amount of additional resources, both time and money, will also be considered.

A new neighborhood grant application is being piloted with this process. All who apply will be asked to complete a survey about the application itself in order to continuously improve the process. The changes are intended to better align the application and information requested to the goals and intended outcomes of the grant program.  The contract has also been removed from the application itself and will instead be a requirement at the time of notification. An electronic signature, however, will be accepted.

There will be three funding cycles in 2015. Applications will be available online after March 9 for the first round, due by March 26. Additional deadlines will be July 16 (for Neighborhood Night Out Events only) and October 1 for events occurring after that time frame. Due to this timeframe and turnaround time required to issue checks to neighborhoods, all events planned prior to October 1 that are not for Neighborhood Night Out, August 4, should be applied for in the first round of applications--due March 26. W9 Forms are also required at the time of application and can be found on the webpage. Even for neighborhoods who have previously received funding, a new W-9 will be required.

Neighbors are welcome to brainstorm ideas or discuss projects with Amanda Nagl, Neighborhood Administrator, at or 970-224-6070. Additional information including the application, W-9 and sample budget forms can be found online.

Back to TopNextdoor
Amanda Nagl | Neighborhoods |

On April 23, 5-6 pm, there will be a one hour session hosted for neighbors who are interested in learning more about Nextdoor, the social network for neighborhoods, to ask questions and discuss concerns, as well as successes. The site is not affiliated with the City, other than some staff are able to post messages through it--as members with limited capabilities. Material shared among neighbors is not accessible to City staff; they can only view responses to their own posts.

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The Nextdoor event will precede HOA Board Member training on Technology Advances, beginning at 6 pm, though the Nextdoor training is not exclusively for HOA members. Rather, it is for anyone interested in the tool. The first half hour will be a guided tour through the tool—highlighting information provided by Nextdoor to assist neighbors in launching and administrating the tool. The second half hour will be a facilitated dialogue where actual users can share information and tips for how to create an effective system of communication in neighborhoods.

This opportunity is being created based on requests from neighborhood leaders at the November, “Let’s Talk Neighborhoods” event. There will likely be other training opportunities created later in the year, as interest grows. The design for those events will be largely based on feedback from attendees at this training opportunity. Neighborhoods who have guidelines about the use of Nextdoor in place, or who would like to share information about what has worked well or the struggles they have endured with the tool, are asked to share those prior to the event (by April 17) with Amanda Nagl, Neighborhood Administrator, , so that the content can be included in the discussion. Those who are completely unfamiliar with the tool are encouraged to go to nextdoor.com to learn more.

Back to TopVote in April 2015 and Help Shape the Future of Our Community
Wanda Nelson | City Clerk |

November isn’t the only election month in Fort Collins! Even though it seems like we just had the midterm election, another chance to vote is right around the corner. The City of Fort Collins 2015 municipal election will be held on April 7 and ballots will be mailed to voters in late March.

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During the 2015 Election, the Fort Collins community will vote for Mayor and City Council seats in District 2, 4 and 6. Other ballot issues include four City-initiated Charter amendments, the proposed quarter cent sales and use tax extension to support community capital projects, and a proposed extension of a quarter cent sales and use tax used to fund the City’s Street Maintenance Program. All municipal elections are non-partisan and candidates are not required to provide information about their party affiliation.

Attend the Election Center Open House on March 19
Are you interested in learning more about the election process? Attend a free tour of the City of Fort Collins’ election center, where you’ll have the opportunity to learn about how your ballot is processed in our local election.
Date: March 19
Time: 4:30-6 p.m.
Location: City Clerk’s Office, City Hall, 300 Laporte Avenue
Questions? Please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 970-221-6515.

Back to TopXeriscape Design Assistance Program and Installation Rebate
Lisa Garner | Utilities |

The Xeriscape Design Assistance Program provides a private, 1 ½-hour consultation with a landscape design professional. For a $50 fee paid directly to the designer, you will receive a low-water landscape plan for an area of your yard. To get started:

  • Contact Fort Collins Utilities at 970-221-6700 or to verify eligibility.
  • Receive a preparation packet, including a list of participating landscape designers.
  • Choose a designer on the list and schedule an appointment.

With a completed Xeriscape Design Assistance consultation, you are eligible for a rebate to install the planned landscape design. The rebate is $.50 per square foot (sf), up to $500 (1,000 sf). You must be a Utilities water customer to be eligible. For more information on this program and other xeriscape resources, visit fcgov.com/xeriscape, call 970-221-6700 or TDD 970-224-6003.

Back to TopFoothills Mall Update
Emily Wilmsen | Communications |

The former Sears building will be demolished by mid-March as part of the Foothills Mall redevelopment project. The building is the last major piece of the main mall building to be demolished. The only retail buildings left to be demolished are the Ross and Chico’s buildings on the perimeter of the site. Those buildings will not come down until their replacements are built. Construction of the new Sears building is complete on College Avenue; at this time, it is unknown when the building will be occupied.

Stay updated at fcgov.com/foothillsmall or the Foothills Mall revamped website, shopfoothills.com. Also watch the City’s Cable 14 during the month of March for a Full Circle episode devoted to the mall. Guests are Tom Leeson, redevelopment manager for the Fort Collins Urban Renewal Authority, and John Gaffney, Foothills Mall general manager.

Back to TopMaster Home Educator Program
Mary Pat Aardrup | Healthy Homes |

The City of Fort Collins Master Home Educator training is offered once a year in the Spring. Our 20-hour comprehensive training will teach participants the seven key principals to a healthy home. Experts in a variety of fields in biological pollutants, chemical contaminates, safety and communication/persuasion skills will prepare the Master Home Educators to conduct one on one assessments for the residents of Fort Collins concerned about the health of their homes. Twenty participants will be chosen for the training which begins April 7 and runs through April 23, 2015.

We look for diverse individuals who are committed to actively participating in the training sessions and who will commit to conducting eight residential assessments after their successful completion of the training. We look for individuals who will enjoy working together to improve their own and others' health. Please check out the training schedule. To learn more about the Healthy Homes program visit fcgov.com/healthyhomes.

Back to TopDust Manual Update
Melissa Hovey | Environmental Services |

A proposed dust control ordinance and guidance manual, which was scheduled to go before City Council on March 3, will go to Council at a later date. The manual provides residents, contractors and businesses guidelines for controlling dust emissions using readily available and nationally-recognized standard practices.

The City is continuing to receive feedback on the draft proposal at fcgov.com/dust and through additional scheduled meetings with interested parties. The draft proposal will be presented to City Council at a work session to be scheduled later this spring or early summer.

The City received input and comments from invited members of the regulated community and concerned citizens at a public stakeholder meeting for this project on December 16, 2014, and at a public open house on Febuary 4, 2015. Businesses or organizations interested in a presentation and an opportunity to discuss the issue with staff should contact me.

Back to TopResidential Environmental Program Series
Lisa Garner | Utilities |

The 28th Annual Residential Environmental Program Series offers 10 free, educational programs encouraging environmental stewardship. All programs are free to attend, but you must RSVP at fcgov.com/reps or by calling 970-221-6700. Classes are held on Wednesdays, 7-9 pm, at the Fort Collins Senior Center at 1200 Raintree Drive.

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Climate Protection: Every Action Counts
March 4
Fort Collins has been a leader in climate protection for almost two decades. Learn how the City of Fort Collins is continuing to address climate change and how you can help.

$5 Million and Change
March 11
The City is competing in a nationwide energy efficiency challenge. Learn how to reduce energy use and share your ideas on how the community could use the $5 million prize.

Be Air Aware
March 25
Learn about clearing the air in your home and community and air quality programs that can guide you to a healthier life.

Go Solar
April 1
Fort Collins Utilities will shed light on the community solar garden, low-income solar initiative, availability of solar rebates and general renewables information.

Wildscaping: Beyond the Basics
April 8
Get new design ideas and learn about the best plant selections to provide habitat for songbirds, pollinators and other wildlife with Lauren Springer Odgen and Susan Tweit.

A Cooler Future: Easy Like Water
April 15
Watch “Easy Like Water,” a film about adapting to climate change in Bangladesh by building floating solar schools. Discuss potential projects, engagement strategies and policies for our community.

Unwatered Landscapes and Crevice Gardening
April 22
Lush landscapes can be created without water. Learn techniques for installation and how to build a crevice garden.

The Art and Science of Composting
May 6
Learn the basics of turning your household’s yard trimmings and food scraps into an excellent soil amendment. More advanced problem-solving techniques will be discussed for long-time composters.

The Year in the Life of a Dry Garden
May 13
Create your own beautiful year-round garden. Learn from the director of Plant Select ® about a variety of adaptable and resilient plants that provide color, texture and architectural interest.

Your Home Energy Roadmap
May 20
The Efficiency Worksâ„¢ - Home program can map your route to a comfortable, safe and efficient home. Learn about the process, from the initial audit to the final rebate.