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Useful Community Plus
May 28, 2020

Featured: Help for Discussing Temporary Versus Long-Lasting
COVID-19 Impacts

May, 2020

Visit us at the Useful Community Development Website

Use Shared COVID-19 Experience
to Kick Off a Great Discussion of
Your Community's Future Direction

We know you are busy. We prepared a grid above that you could use on a Zoom call or in-person meeting of your neighborhood, town, or tribe when that becomes feasible. We expect that some aspects of our stay-at-home experience will fade quickly when the public health emergency is past in your area. Other characteristics of this period may linger.

Your community might not agree with our grid, and you folks are the ultimate authority. Use this diagram as a tool to set up your own discussion.

If these categories seem mostly wrong for your situation, make up your own grid.

When we tested this, a few people wanted to argue about whether certain effects would increase or decrease, but most discussion centered on whether changes would likely be quite temporary or longer-lasting. Let us know what happens if you talk about this. Relevant resources from our website might support your discussions:

Crime prevention

What causes people to be attached to their communities, and why this is important

Tourism and economic development and short-term rental zoning

An important discussion about economic diversification, which will be valuable to some

Housing affordability and indeed the entire housing collection of articles

Walkability, bicycle friendliness, and community gardening

Here are a few outstanding pertinent articles from other sources:

For discussion about online meetings for your community organization, use this New York Times article as background. Understand what you are losing if your meetings go online permanently.

A free ebook of coronavirus-related suggestions for local leaders published by the Strong Towns organization is helpful. Send it to your local leaders.

Many of you will soon face foreclosure issues. Track potential solutions compiled by MuniReg.

Comparing Videoconferencing Platforms for Meetings

Response to our last newsletter tells us that many of you are struggling with finding the best way to conduct virtual meetings. See this comparison chart from TechSoup.

New Articles on the Website

Almost every community has a drug problem of some sort, whether your main issue is alcohol, street drugs, or opioids. Your organization needs to join or start a community anti-drug coalition, and our new article features an interview with a leader of a rural southern Illinois coalition.

We also revamped the brownfields page to reflect significant government program changes.

The new visitor questions we answered include these:

Zoning definition changes after development platted

Code enforcement in rural areas

Is a gate a fence in an easement

Difference between open space and preserve

We'll be back next month. In the meantime, remember to download our ebook about how to start a neighborhood association if that is something you have been meaning to do.

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