Why Form a Neighborhood Association?
Neighborhood associations are typically formed for the benefit of the residents; to help them know one another better, to establish positive relationships, increase communication and work on issues of concern together.
One of the most important reasons that neighborhoods become registered is that it affords them legal standing in certain procedures. In 1997, the Arizona Legislature passed legislation that gives neighborhoods new rights in certain criminal cases. The Neighborhood Protection Act (NPA) allows cities to register neighborhoods interested in victims' rights notification. Once registered, a neighborhood is entitled to know about certain parts of the legal proceedings in specific kinds of cases. Registered neighborhoods have the right to:
- Be notified of certain court proceedings as they relate to the alleged crime
- Be present at any court proceeding at which a defendant has the right to be present
- Be present at and make a statement during the disposition hearing for a juvenile and the sentencing hearing for an adult
- Be heard through a written statement
- Enjoy privacy (i.e. not having to testify in court concerning your home address, phone number, etc.)
- Have a release or other decisions reconsidered if the neighborhood association is not given notice
The types of cases that registered neighborhoods are contacted about are enticement of persons for purposes of prostitution, receiving the earnings of a prostitute, keeping or residing in a house of prostitution, pandering, possession, use, or sale of marijuana, dangerous drugs, or narcotics, use of building for sale or manufacture of dangerous or narcotic drugs, conducting a chop shop and graffiti.
In the City of Tucson, registered neighborhoods also get notification of pending issues such as liquor license applications in their area and are informed of planning, transportation or other municipal issues that may affect them.
How To Form A Neighborhood Association With The Planning and Development Services Department
- Speak informally with your neighbors to decide whether there is interest or possible commitment in forming an association. If possible, get a small planning group together to discuss it.
- You will need to determine your neighborhood boundaries. (Note: Neighborhood Associations include the renters and businesses in your area as well as home owners. Home Owner Associations are not considered neighborhood associations. They are for members only and exclude others within your geographic boundaries.)
- Call us at 837-5013 and a staff person can assist you in setting up your first meeting.
Registration Policies and Procedures
- How to register to become a neighborhood association
- Registration guidelines (Mayor and Council policy 1992)
- Sample by-laws
- Responsibilities of registered neighborhood associations
- Guidelines for status changes
- Tucson Police Department Procedures for the 1997 Neighborhood Preservation Act
- Legal Opinion: DNR Support for Registered Neighborhood Associations
- Legal Opinion: Political Activities - Neighborhood Association Meeting Notices