Building Blocks for Better Neighborhoods

DATE: October 19, 1999 
TO: Board of Supervisors 
SUBJECT: BUILDING BLOCKS FOR BETTER NEIGHBORHOODS

SUMMARY:

Today's action directs staff to develop a "Building Blocks for Better Neighborhoods Program" that will upgrade and improve some of this County's residential neighborhoods. There are many residential neighborhoods in the unincorporated area of the County that could benefit greatly with some repair and improvements such as new roofing, painting, landscaping and clean-up of debris as well as improvements to streets, sidewalks and drainage facilities. The Building Blocks for Better Neighborhoods Program will coordinate already existing County efforts in some of this County's neighborhoods of greatest need, improve the efficiency of County work crews and maximize the benefit of community improvements.

Recommendation
SUPERVISOR DIANNE JACOB

1.) Direct the Chief Administrative Officer to develop a county-wide "Building Blocks for Better Neighborhoods Program" for the unincorporated area of San Diego County.

2.) Direct the Chief Administrative Officer to proceed with implementation of a pilot "Building Blocks for Better Neighborhoods Program" in the Spring Valley/Valle de Oro communities, and report back to the Board on its progress within one year of program implementation.

Fiscal Impact
Funds for this request are budgeted. No new expenditures are expected as a result of this proposal.

BACKGROUND:
The "Building Blocks for Better Neighborhoods Program" is an opportunity for individual communities to work together with County departments in a collaborative effort to improve their neighborhoods. This program will result in better County services and improved communities.

Many residential neighborhoods in the unincorporated portions of the County could benefit greatly from some repair and improvements. The "Building Blocks for Better Neighborhoods Program" will provide these benefits by coordinating existing County rehabilitation and enhancement efforts in unincorporated communities and by opening a dialog with residents to identify critical neighborhoods in need. Furthermore, it will aid in the assistance of low-income households, improve neighborhood pride, and help to decrease crime in high-risk areas.

Once an area is identified by the community, an orchestrated effort can be launched to improve and rehabilitate the residential area. Items such as roofing, painting, landscaping and clean-up of debris would be included as well as improvements to streets, sidewalks and drainage facilities. Incentives for program participation can be included such as grants, low-interest or limited term no-interest loans.

For instance, the communities of Spring Valley and Valle de Oro could greatly benefit from this program. Several blocks have already been identified in each region which are in need of residential rehabilitation, landscaping and clean-up as well as sidewalk improvements. Finally, the Spring Valley and Valle de Oro planning areas can be utilized to measure the success of the program during the project pilot.

The County has, in its resources, the tools to help assist in rehabilitating and improving some of the region's neighborhoods of greatest needs. The "Building Blocks for Better Neighborhoods Program" pulls these resources together in an effort to re-build from the ground-up, at the grass-roots level.

Respectfully submitted,

DIANNE JACOB
Supervisor, Second District