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The City of Portland, Oregon

Community & Civic Life

Promote the common good

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1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 114, Portland, OR 97204

III. Neighborhood Associations

A. Recognition as a Neighborhood Association by the City of Portland
Neighborhood Associations that meet the following requirements, upon request, will be officially recognized by the City of Portland, and be eligible for the range of services provided by the Office of Neighborhood Involvement and/or their District Coalitions.  The Office of Neighborhood Involvement will send a "Letter of Recognition" to the Neighborhood Association.

1. Boundaries

A Neighborhood Association must have clearly stated boundaries in its bylaws.  The boundaries shall not overlap those of any other Neighborhood Association, except to the extent that each Neighborhood Association affected agrees in writing. 

a. Creating or Modifying Neighborhood Association Boundaries
i. Neighborhood Associations are responsible for determining their own boundaries and describing them accurately in their bylaws.
ii. No Neighborhood Association shall choose boundaries that overlap with another Neighborhood Association's boundaries except to the extent that the other Neighborhood Association agrees to the overlap in writing.  No Neighborhood Association shall enlarge its boundaries if to do so would create an overlap with another Neighborhood Association unless the latter has agreed to the overlap in writing.
iii. The District Coalition and the Office of Neighborhood Involvement should be promptly notified in writing of all boundary change(s) so that notification processes, maps and brochures can be kept current and accurate.
iv. The minimum size of a Neighborhood Association is 100 acres and 200 households and/or businesses.  Existing Neighborhood Associations with minimums below these criteria as of implementation date for these Standards are accepted as conforming.

b.  Overlapping Boundaries

Boundaries shall not overlap those of any other Neighborhood Association, except to the extent that each affected adjoining Neighborhood Association agrees in writing.  If the parties cannot make a decision, the Office of Neighborhood Involvement shall make a determination of boundaries.  This decision shall be final and unappealable.  (See also Section III, C, 3: Resolution of Boundary Disputes, this section.)
c. Neighborhood Boundaries Falling Outside the Portland City Limits
Boundaries of a recognized Neighborhood Association may extend beyond the Portland city limits at the discretion of the respective Neighborhood Association. Services to non-city residents may be limited by the District Coalition or the City.

2. Membership

Neighborhood Associations shall maintain membership, which is open to any person who lives and/or owns real property or holds a business license within the recognized boundaries of the Neighborhood Association.  Other individuals or organizations may be members as further set forth in each Neighborhood Association's bylaws.  The list of the membership is the property of the Neighborhood Association and is not subject to public record requests.
3. Non-Discrimination
Neighborhood Associations shall not discriminate against individuals or groups on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, legal citizenship, national origin, income, or political affiliation in any of their policies, recommendations or actions.
4. Bylaws
Neighborhood Associations shall maintain and file with the Office of Neighborhood Involvement and appropriate District Coalition, if within a Coalition, an up-to-date set of bylaws, which provide for meeting these standards and include provisions for adopting and amending bylaws, establishing a quorum, and setting the agenda.  Neighborhood Associations, if incorporated, must assure bylaws and articles of incorporation are in harmony.
5. Meeting Requirements
Neighborhood Associations shall set forth meeting requirements in their bylaws.
6. Open Meetings/Public Records
Neighborhood Associations shall abide by the open meetings/public records policy governing the neighborhood system as set forth in these Standards.  (See Section VIII: Open Meetings and Public Records)  
7. Grievances
Neighborhood Association bylaws shall include provisions relating to the resolution of grievances against the Neighborhood Association including: who is eligible to grieve, a process for the receipt of complaints, and a procedure for final resolution. These procedures shall abide by minimum standards outlined in Section VII: Grievance and Appeal Procedures.
8. Dues
Neighborhood Associations can not require collection of  membership dues.  Contributions made on a voluntary basis  may be accepted.
9. Involving Business District Associations
Neighborhood Associations should encourage the participation of businesses and Business District Association representatives in activities, meetings, and participation on governing bodies of Neighborhood Associations.

B. Benefits of Recognition

Recognized Neighborhood Associations are entitled to receive services including, but not limited to:

1. Placement in the Office of Neighborhood Involvement neighborhood directory, which lists the contact information of the Neighborhood Association, its President and/or other Neighborhood Association designated officers and committee chairs.  This directory is a public document, which is widely used by the City for public outreach.
2. Placement on official Neighborhood Association maps, in brochures, and handbooks relating to neighborhood affairs.
3. Notification by agencies of the City as required in the City Code on matters that fall within the Neighborhood Association boundaries in regard to planning efforts, policy matters, and decisions affecting the livability, safety, and/or economic vitality of a neighborhood.
4. Support services, when affiliated with a District Coalition, which may include assistance with general communications, newsletters, grant writing, activity planning, public relations, outreach efforts, general information and referral, and other technical assistance.
5. Support services from the Office of Neighborhood Involvement for crime prevention.

C. Operation of Neighborhood Associations

1. Communication
Neighborhood Associations are encouraged to maintain open communication with community members and neighborhood Business District Associations on pertinent matters and issues of mutual interest and to seek opportunities for discussion prior to taking action on such issues.  (See Section IV, B, 2: Communication)
2. Mediation
Neighborhood Associations are encouraged to seek mediation among themselves and/or other organizations and entities if disagreements arise.
3.   Resolution of Boundary Disputes
Boundary disputes should be resolved at the Neighborhood Association or District Coalition board level.  If two or more Neighborhood Associations are unable to agree to a proposed boundary change the District Coalition board shall assist in resolving the dispute through the following process:

a. The District Coalition and the Neighborhood Association boards shall meet together to review the proposed boundary changes and attempt to reach a compromise solution.  Mediation services are available as a helpful resource if requested.
b. If a solution to the boundary dispute cannot be reached by the affected Neighborhood Associations, they may select an alternate process, such as requesting a decision from the District Coalition board, or a survey or vote of the residents in all affected Neighborhood Associations.  Before any such process is undertaken to resolve a boundary dispute, it shall be clearly described and agreed to in writing by all affected Neighborhood Associations.  The results of any such process shall be final.
c. If the conflicting boundary dispute is not resolved within six months of the time it is formally brought to the attention of the appropriate Distrct Coalition board(s), the Office of Neighborhood Involvement shall make a determination of boundaries.  This decision shall be final and unappealable.    

4. Grievances
When grievances arrive Neighborhood Associations should consult grievance sections of their bylaws in addition to Section VII: Grievance and Appeal Procedures of these Standards.
5. Liaison to District Coalition Board
To have a voice in setting goals and priorities for a District Coalition and in determining the allocation of the District Coalition's resources, a Neighborhood Association must participate as a member of its District Coalition board.  Each Neighborhood Association that elects to participate should have a written procedure for selecting a delegate(s) to the District Coalition board.
6. Newly recognized or unaffiliated Neighborhood Association's affiliation with a District Coalition  
To become affiliated with a District Coalition, a newly recognized Neighborhood Association that is currently not affiliated with a District Coalition shall obtain a letter of agreement with the appropriate District Coalition board and inform the Office of Neighborhood Involvement no later than the end of the current calendar year.  Affiliation shall become effective at a time agreed to by the District Coalition board and the Neighborhood Association. (Same as Section IV, E, 2: Process for newly recognized or unaffiliated Neighborhood Association to affiliate with a District Coalition.)
7. Positions on electoral issues
Neighborhood Associations shall not take positions in support of or opposition to any political candidate or party.  They may take positions on ballot measures and referendums. (See also IV, B, 2, a, iii: Operational Procedure, Communication.)