Town NorthTown North was originally identified as a location that could benefit from neighborhood planning efforts through the Building Equitable Communities initiative. The 306-acre area is located in Central Arlington and is generally bounded by Randol Mill Road to the north, Collins Street to the east, Sanford Street to the south and Cooper Street to the west. The City began working with the Town North neighborhood in the summer of 2008, with residents holding their first neighborhood meeting on July 31, 2008. These meetings quickly became monthly. It also quickly became apparent that the neighborhood could use an action plan to help them focus their efforts and address key neighborhood concerns.

On November 20, 2008, representatives from the Community Development and Planning Department introduced the neighborhood planning process to Town North residents as a next step in the neighborhood’s progress. The monthly neighborhood meetings continued with attendees bringing up their concerns and working with the City to identify possible solutions. Ultimately, the group selected seven goals, with specific action items for success identified for each goal. The Neighborhood Action Plan goals include:

    1. Address Traffic Concerns and/or Incorporate Aesthetic Methods of Traffic Control
    2. Improve Neighborhood Infrastructure
    3. Build on Neighborhood Relations to Ensure a Safe Environment
    4. Promote Positive Relationships with City Departments, the University of Texas at Arlington, Nonprofit Organizations and Local Businesses
    5. Provide Incentives to Reduce Property Code Violations
    6. Address Vacant and Blighted Properties
    7. Promote Bike Rider Safety

Town North residents began proactively working to address their goals, even before the completion of their Neighborhood Action Plan. The neighborhood partnered with two classes in the University of Texas at Arlington School of Urban and Public Affairs to conduct face-to-face surveys with more than 190 Town North residents. These surveys helped to accurately assess the neighborhood’s challenges and assets, and the results were integrated into the plan.

The neighborhood also applied for and received a Neighborhood Matching Grant for organizational efforts through their Community Watch Group. This funding helped them establish an official organization, the Town North Neighbors, select interim officers and host two events, National Night Out in October 2008 and a spring picnic in May 2009. Town North Neighbors have gone on to apply for and receive another Matching Grant to pay for 501(c)3 application fees, so that the organization can become a registered nonprofit. Most recently, in coordination with the Community Development and Planning Department, Town North Neighbors was awarded $100,000 from the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation to begin constructing sidewalks in the area to address infrastructure concerns.