Welcome to the Southern Crossing Neighborhood Association, Bend, Oregon website!
Photography: ©2008 Dustin Mitsch / Alpen Exposure
What’s a Neighborhood?
Run by volunteers, neighborhood associations work to keep residents informed about issues important to their neighborhoods and to advocate for residents before city government. Neighborhoods are generally made up of people who live, own a business, or work near each other. Neighborhood associations are organizations formally recognized by the City of Bend as a forum for citizens to address the issues that you care about.
In Bend, there are 13 neighborhood associations. Southern Crossing Neighborhood Association (SCNA) was formed in 2003. Its boundaries are the Parkway and Colorado Avenue east to west and between Arizona and Powers north to south. Southern Crossing Neighborhood Association has 882.9 acres (91.4 vacant), 1,745 tax lots (1,101 developed), and 452 active business licenses.
Privileges and responsibilities come with being officially recognized by the city. One privilege is being the primary source of public input for city bureaus. Bureaus target neighborhoods for input by sending notifications to their board and membership, by attending their meetings, and by inviting their membership to serve on advisory committees.
Neighborhoods also automatically receive land use notices about development within their boundaries and can appeal land use decisions at the city level without charge. In return for their privileges, neighborhoods must follow city guidelines and rules, including following open meeting guidelines and maintaining non-discriminatory membership policies.
NAs regularly receive and distribute information from the all of the city and county departments on topics such as land use, transportation safety and connectivity, including bike and pedestrian safety, public transportation, crime prevention, access to parks, schools, shopping, entertainment and restaurants, art in the neighborhood, gathering places that create a sense of community, and above all, strengthening the ties between people and the neighborhood.
Neighborhood Association leaders can be involved with land-use changes and city-wide planning issues, they can sponsor events, create coalitions and serve as the hub of neighborhood communications—connecting residents with each other and the broader city.
According to the City of Bend Neighborhood Association Handbook, the Bend Development Code states that "the City may terminate its recognition of any neighborhood association that hasn’t held a general membership meeting in the past 18 months." Active associations receive a small stipend from City Hall for postage and other costs related to communicating with their membership. Consider becoming a a member, attend a meeting, join the board, volunteer for a committee, make a donation (we're on a limited budget) and let your voice be heard.
What Do Neighborhoods Do?
Neighborhoods work to improve the livability to their parts of the city. Members gather on a regular basis to discuss and resolve common issues including crime prevention, transportation, pedestrian safety, land use, and the environment. Neighbors also coordinate social events, programs, and projects.
Neighborhood vs Homeowner Associations
Neighborhood and homeowner associations are very different types of organizations, though their regions may overlap and they sometimes work together on issues. Neighborhood Associations are open to anyone who lives within the boundaries, whether renter or homeowner. Often, neighborhoods also have rooms for non-profit or business representatives from the organizations located within their boundaries. Homeowner associations are limited to homeowners in the area and usually require dues. Neighborhoods do not require dues, though sponsorship and voluntary donations help facilitate their work.
You Have the Power
“Good Citizens are the riches of the City.”
—Charles Wood, 1888
Since neighborhoods are participatory organizations, the work they do depends on the interests and motivation of the people who get involved. You can bring issues and concerns to the neighborhood meeting for discussion. You can contribute to the solution.