Sharon Neighborhood Pride Revitalization Committee
Is an all-volunteer initiative that has been active in helping Sharon’s administration and city council develop strategies to improve the future of our neighborhoods. This committee was formed at the recommendation of the Sharon Community and Economic Development Commission.
In September of 2016, this group representing different Sharon neighborhoods got together to address an interesting but disturbing trend.
- Because of committed artists, volunteers, donors, business owners, and city government; our downtown corridor began a unique transformation when the first full year of WaterFire Sharon ended in 2013.
- While our downtown corridor improved, the condition of many neighborhoods did not.
On December 1st 2016, the committee presented their findings and recommendations to Sharon city council. The following three task forces were recommended; Full presentation here.
- Public Safety Task Force: Responsible for recommending improvements to public safety with special attention given to immediate issues.
- Blight, Code and Enforcement Task Force: Responsible for understanding code and its enforcement. Recommend changes to better reflect current city demographics.
- Planning and Vision Task Force. Responsible for understanding trends in home ownership and possible demands for future housing. Recommend strategies for improving Sharon’s neighborhoods.
After advertising for community volunteers, each task force met six times from January through the end of March 2017. Task force findings were presented at the city council workshop on April 6th 2017. The recommendations were prioritized and several have already been realized (ex. hiring a code officer and establishing a municipal land bank ordinance). The city and city council have been true partners in this effort. The complete presentation can be seen here.
The Neighborhood Pride Revitalization Committee meets on the first Monday of each month.
Excess housing inventory has created opportunities for real estate buyers (both landlords and traditional home owners). However, the number of un-procurable properties (owner can’t be identified or located), liens against the property are excessive, and/or renovations appear to have no return on investment, has grown significantly.
- Less than 14,000 people live in the city of Sharon today down from 28,000 in the early 1970’s… population loss is a trend.
- We think we have approximately 1100 abandoned homes.
- It is possible that around 250 of them are unsuitable for human occupancy…probably ever. In other words, we have blight. This is impacting property values and attracting crime.
- Over forty percent of Sharon’s occupied homes (approx. 2500) are rentals, and while there are many excellent conscientious landlords operating in our city, some; not so much. Transient tenants sometimes have property maintenance/pride issues.
- The traditional view of property ownership (buy a home; live in it; put money into it; and someday sell it for more than the investment) is not happening in many of our neighborhoods.
Public Safety is one of our priorities.
- The Fire Department responded to 1100 calls in 2016. Approximately one hundred twenty (120) of them were actual fires that needed to be extinguished. Unfortunately, over twenty of these burned structures are still partially standing due to funding limitations.
- The Police Department received 30,000 calls for service in 2016. ‘Calls for Service’ are calls received at the 911 center. There appears to be a correlation between our most blighted neighborhoods and these calls.
Sharon Vision Plan of 2011