Opportunities lie in city’s civic pride

Published 12:08 am Saturday, November 13, 2010

Earlier this month, the City of Demopolis set into motion the Neighborhood Improvement Opportunity Committee.

The group is compiled of residents of the city from each of the council districts. These citizens are responsible for helping their friends and neighbors comply with city ordinances aimed at keeping yards and lots in good order.

Now, there are varying opinions on ordinances governing the appearance of private property.

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“It’s mine. I paid for it and I’ll do what I want to with it.” There’s one.

“If somebody doesn’t like my yard, they can come clean it for me.” There’s another.

There’s probably a few hundred more.

While I understand the sentiment around “being told what to do”, such a stance is unnecessary and unfair.

A properly maintained yard or lot is one of the responsibilities of ownership and it’s the first impression you make to most regarding your sense of pride.

Furthermore, failing to properly maintain your space is a disservice to your community and your neighbors.

I know many people who spend countless hours, and a lot of money, working in their yards and landscape.

They take pride in the appearance of their home and its curb appeal. It’s hardly fair for their neighbors not to share in that sense of pride and community.

Curb appeal is one of the biggest intangible assets that can impact the value of your home.

If you’ve got a million dollar home with a 10-cent curb appeal, that will be reflected in the listing price of your home. Similarly, it will be reflected in the values of the homes surrounding yours as they are the ones who have to look at it.

The committee will work with local residents who may fall outside compliance, or are on the fringes of compliance, and help them understand the ordinances and, in some cases, help them correct any infractions.

This committee is not the “landscape mafia”.

They have been asked to help their friends and neighbors at the earliest possible point in meeting compliance of existing city ordinances.

As trivial as it may sound, we all benefit from a clean and well-kept community. The appearance of your home, my home and the homes of your friends, neighbors and family, says a lot about the sense of pride that we have in Demopolis.

This committee has my support in making sure the city and county, visually, puts its best foot forward to its citizens and passersby.

Jason Cannon is the editor and publisher of The Demopolis Times.