What do Thriving Neighborhoods mean in Lewisville?
Lewisville is an established city. It needs to continue reinvestment in its existing neighborhoods in order to promote their long-term vitality. This Big Move is important because Lewisville’s existing housing stock must remain competitive with surrounding cities’ new residential developments. Lewisville needs to retain lifelong residents while attracting new families and residents. Thriving neighborhoods increase quality of life, support excellence in the education system and help to meet employment center needs. In addition, thriving neighborhoods are vital for positive visitor perceptions, and the ultimate image of Lewisville.
Some of the most important assets that exist in Lewisville today are its residents and existing neighborhoods. With many of the subdivisions showing signs of aging, it is important to develop strategies to maintain properties and encourage appropriate upkeep. As we look to the future and new choices, it is critically important to maintain the relevance and property values of the existing neighborhoods. This Big Move includes strategies to maintain properties physically with items such as fencing, mowing, landscaping, debris removal and painting; and it also includes strategies to encourage ownership and neighborhood renewal.
Lewisville’s neighborhoods are facing critical issues common to many Metroplex cities. The City should be proactive in addressing issues facing its existing neighborhoods, including vacant properties, decreased values, absentee property owners, high rental counts, aging building stock, limited identity and deteriorating appearances. Several Lewisville neighborhoods are migrating to rental properties rather than ownership; therefore, upkeep and code enforcement become particularly important. Furthermore, many of the neighborhoods that exist today do not have an organized homeowners association, and dialogue with residents is often difficult due to limited collaborative structures in place. In order for neighborhoods to thrive, especially those in multi-family units, targeted actions must take place in order to create a cohesive residential base with well-connected groups of neighborhood leaders.
Historically, Lewisville has not had a focus on neighborhood coordination or staff dedicated to neighborhood revitalization efforts. Going forward, in order to keep this strategic focus on neighborhood revitalization, the City should implement a neighborhood outreach program. This would likely require a new hire to be focused on getting to know each existing neighborhood association, acting as a voice for neighborhoods which do not have a neighborhood association, coordinating with partnership organizations, serving as the conduit for communication of neighborhood activities, hosting events to engage residents, and bringing a point of contact to the city that currently does not exist. In addition to the neighborhood coordinator, the neighborhood outreach program should incorporate activities to engage current residents in code enforcement and revitalization activities.