Westador Residents Strengthen Voice with Neighborhood Plan

Articles Community 08-06-14(2)

Having served on the Landmark Preservation Commission, Arlington resident Randy Hendricks has seen the unfortunate consequences of property neglect. Even if a building has historical significance, it could be torn down after years of abandonment due to safety concerns.

This experience motivated Hendricks to spearhead an effort to create a neighborhood plan for Westador Addition, a unique 40-lot subdivision where he resides just north of the West Mayfield Road and South Cooper Street intersection.

“The ultimate objective is to preserve the value of my home,” Hendricks explained. “And to make other people proud to live here. If they’re proud, then they’re going to take care of it.”

Subdivisions of all kinds have partnered with Arlington to create neighborhood plans, from the large Heart of Arlington Neighborhood Association to Westador Addition that has no formal homeowners association.

The neighborhood planning process allows subdivisions to discuss topics important to them, address future threats and create a policy outlining residents’ desires. After adoption by City Council, a neighborhood’s plan is the official City policy regarding its future.

“We can get recognized as a neighborhood and be a bigger voice than just one voice,” Hendricks said.

Hendricks, along with Westador residents Carole Lemonds and Judy Northup, worked with Arlington Principal Planner Clayton Husband to set up meetings and create surveys to acquire feedback on issues facing the community.

The small neighborhood was built more than 40 years ago, and almost half of its residents have lived there more than 25 years. Martha Martin, the original owner of her Westador Addition home, is excited about the plan.

“We have different needs now than we did when we first moved here in 1973,” she explained. Plus, Martin said, the neighborhood plan makes Arlington more aware of the residents’ requests. “By going through Planning and Zoning and City Council, City officials have looked over the documents and seen the needs, too, which will help us in the future.”

After working closely with the City, Henricks knows­­­ Arlington is serious about supporting neighborhoods. “They recognize that great neighborhoods make for a great city. The fact they provided resources – it’s made me realize they’re trying hard to do that.”

Creating a neighborhood plan has been on Hendricks’s mind for several years. He thought it would be more time-intensive than it was, putting it off until after he retired. After going through the process, he realized he could have started sooner.

“I think it’s a great process and the fact the City gives us resources to do it – I don’t know why anybody wouldn’t do it,” he said.

What’s next for Westador? The City will continue to work with them, assisting with the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation grant application so Westador can enhance its neighborhood entrances and improve lighting with designs created by the Arlington Urban Design Center that are included in the official plan.