The Eastridge Neighborhood Plan is looking for members to join the neighborhood association

Published: Mar. 10, 2022 at 5:43 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The Eastridge Neighborhood Plan is one step closer to creating a better environment for the community.

In October 2021, more than half a million dollars was set aside to invest into the development of Amarillo’s Eastridge community.

The Eastridge Advisory Committee said that the biggest goals right now for transforming the neighborhood are growing economic opportunities and enhancing housing conditions.

The five overall goals in the Neighborhood Plan are:

  1. Creating new economic opportunities
  2. Improving housing conditions
  3. Reducing crime by creating safer spaces
  4. Building community by changing perceptions
  5. Public improvements and beautification

The committee believes that by implementing strategies to reach the goals, the neighborhood will be on a new path for its future.

If those priorities are not met, the committee believes that the neighborhood will continue its same trajectory and little progress will be made in improving the overall condition for residents.

Emily Koller, City of Amarillo Assistant Director of Planning, said that the Eastridge Neighborhood Plan is awaiting adoption approval.

“We are right now working through the adoption process and it’s important to the neighborhood because once the plan is adopted, then we’re able to start allocating some of these funds for project implementation,” said Koller.

Tommie Knox, Advisory Committee Member, said the next steps for implementing change in Eastridge is final approval from the City of Amarillo and Potter County.

“We have the final draft and plan put together, so the next steps are to go before the Planning and Zoning Commission, the City Commission, and the Potter County Commission for final approval,” said Knox.

The Neighborhood Plan states that the Eastridge community is very diverse.

There are 38 different languages and dialects spoken at Eastridge Elementary School, requiring the help of 19 translators.

Koller said that the first priority for the neighborhood association is to get Eastridge residents involved to share their voice.

“Right now, the neighborhood is really focused on communication and working to create the neighborhood association and figuring out the best way to communicate with residents. It’s a challenge because the area is so diverse,” said Koller.

Once the neighborhood association is formed, they will be able to determine how they would like to allocate its implementation funding of $654,000.

“What we’re looking for is members, we need members that want to join,” said Knox.

Knox said that having resident involvement will bridge the gap between local government.

“The Eastridge community has been going through economic obstacles for quite some time. The plan would give the community an opportunity to engage with local government to address the needs of the community,” said Knox.

Kox says that by becoming a part of the neighborhood association, residents will get to take part in the changes within the community.

“Get involved with this. This is an opportunity to advance on the ideas that you put forth and you want to see done in the community,” said Knox.

Koller said that this Neighborhood Plan will give Eastridge residents a better overall quality of life.

“It’s really important that people see change and it’s visible to them,” said Koller.

A major theme in the Neighborhood Plan is that Eastridge neighborhood residents desire physical space and opportunities to celebrate their cultures which in turn can add to the richness of Amarillo overall.

If the Eastridge Neighborhood Plan is voter approved, the public funding will be used on public improvement projects.

The first project priorities include:

Address illegal dumping and bulk trash in the neighborhood

  • Add more lighting for both safety and aesthetic reasons
  • Introduce traffic calming measures to reduce speeds on neighborhood streets
  • Add and repair sidewalks near Eastridge Elementary School
  • Work on crime prevention in the Target Revitalization Area
  • Coordinate the design and planning for the new neighborhood park including soccer field construction
  • Create the Eastridge Neighborhood Association and establish effective communication among the diverse language groups

The next Eastridge Neighborhood Association meeting will be on March 17, at 6 p.m. at Bethesda Outreach Center.

For additional information on the Eastridge Neighborhood plan click here.

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