Charlotte has so many interesting and diverse neighborhoods. From NoDa to Wesley Heights to Chantilly and places in between, they all have a unique identity. One thing that unites them is active neighbors who care about their community.
Charlotte has dozens of neighborhood associations that help people connect to their neighbors and promote their shared interests. They might organize a back-to-school social, gather to clean up a park, or promote local businesses. Getting involved in a neighborhood association is a wonderful way to meet people and take an active role in making your little place in the world a great place to live.
Some of Charlotte’s most treasured events are put on by neighborhood associations! One fall favorite is the Great Elizabeth Pumpkin Wall. About a week before Halloween, the Elizabeth Community Association hosts a carving party for neighbors, then hundreds of jack-o-lanterns are displayed on a giant wooden structure. It started as a way to promote politicians just before election day. Now, the pumpkin wall is impartial and has a one-word theme each year. Last year the word was gratitude.
In October, Country Club Heights hosts the Festival in the Heights at Shamrock Park. The event draws hundreds of people every year. It features vendors, food trucks, local music and activities for the kids. Going to these events is a great way to explore a different neighborhood. This one is just off of Plaza Midwood.
Speaking of Plaza Midwood, you won’t want to miss Midwood Maynia the first full weekend in May. The outdoor festival has live music, food trucks and local brews. You can shop local artisans and show off your pooch in the pet parade. There are also bounce houses and art projects for the kids. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate the return of warmer weather and Charlotte’s spectacular spring blossoms.
IS A NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION THE SAME THING AS A HOMEOWNER ASSOCIATION?
Neighborhood organizations are different from homeowner associations.
Homeowner associations are for, well, homeowners and often have a legal responsibility for maintaining common areas and enforcing rules.
Neighborhood associations are voluntary, and often include homeowners, renters as well as business owners, and representatives from schools and churches. They function as a way for people to socialize and advocate for their community when it comes to rezoning, school boundaries and beautification projects.
HOW DO YOU FIND A NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION?
So, how do you get started? Check out Charlotte’s Neighborhood Organization Contact List. It’s an interactive map that shows all of the groups that have registered with the city and lists the website (if there is one) and contact information for a representative. Registering with the city ensures neighborhood organizations are informed about rezoning requests in the area. This way, you can voice your opinion about plans for future development. For example, wouldn’t you want to have some input on whether a 10,000 unit apartment complex is built on the next block?
WHAT IF MY NEIGHBORHOOD DOESN’T HAVE A NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION?
No problem! Charlotte also has a bevy of resources for people looking to organize a neighborhood association. The city hosts workshops, free speakers and provides information about available grants to help you get off the ground. Learn all about it here.