Strong Neighborhoods

--Zoning decisions: Dan seeks out neighborhood feedback on rezoning requests, alerting neighborhood organizations to pending cases, and seeking feedback on traffic, noise, stormwater, and other impacts. When concerns are identified, he works to bring builders and neighbors together to resolve them.

Examples include the care taken with street connections and design for the new Hillcrest development; wooded buffers there and at other locations; and smaller items like dumpster placement at commercial projects near residential areas.

--Neighborhood and homeowners associations: An active member of his own neighborhood association, Dan works to involve these key civic groups in city planning and policy decisions. He has met and worked with Southwest Ward neighbors in Ardmore, Ashford, Atwood Acres, Burke Park, Country Club Estates, Hannaford, Knollwood Manor, Lawndale Avenue, Lockland Park, Miller Circle, Salem Woods, Sheffield Gardens, Sidestown, Westbrook, and Westmore Court. (Dan says: "If your group is not on that list yet, please call!")

--Community policing: Dan also actively works with the Winston-Salem Police Department (WSPD) to see that neighborhood crime problems are identified and addressed by our police—before they grow out of control. The community policing approach to make this happen is based on continuing two-way communication between neighbors and the police. When constituents contact Dan about crime issues, he contacts WSPD patrol district officers to see that the information gets to the right place for attention. Officers follow up with direct citizen contacts as well. Keeping everyone "in the loop" builds trust and effectiveness.

One current example that affects the Southwest Ward is the "Peters Creek Community Initiative", in which neighbors, businesses, and faith groups from Ardmore and West Salem are working together to improve the Peters Creek Parkway & Academy Street area.

--"Big box" retail rules: Dan worked for the development of Winston-Salem’s innovative new guidelines for the design and placement of large-scale retail development (the "big box" rules). These rules should help to avoid the traffic, noise, and other adverse impacts of poorly designed or sited large retail projects.

--Legacy Guide: Dan supported the development and adoption of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Legacy Guide as a member of the general public in 2001. This long-term vision document lays out policies to guide our area’s continuing quality development as a great place to live and work, through good planning and smart infrastructure investment. As an elected official, Dan has worked to apply these principles to planning and zoning decisions.

--Area Plans:  City area plans are important guidance documents for local planning and zoning staff in reviewing rezoning and new development requests.  Dan worked with neighborhoods, institutions, and businesses around the Southwest Ward for the development and approval of the Southwest Suburban Area Plan in 2008, and the Southwest Area Plan in 2009.

--Group homes: Family group homes provide an important option for community-based care (or community re-integration) for many individuals facing disabilities or other personal challenges. However, "clustering" of such homes can create neighborhood problems with traffic, parking, and related issues. In 2002, Dan led the development and adoption of new rules requiring that new family group homes be spaced a minimum distance apart, to prevent those clustering-related problems.

--Housing opportunity for all: Dan supports the city’s programs to encourage the development of more affordable housing opportunities in our community. Homeownership support efforts are especially valuable in strengthening our community. They ensure that more families share that sense of "ownership" responsibility for our neighborhoods.

--Reducing homelessness: People facing long-term or "hard-core" homelessness present a special challenge to our community. Many of them face disabilities or addictions that make them particularly hard to reach, and which lead them into problem behaviors like aggressive panhandling or petty crime. Dan supports Winston-Salem’s efforts to develop more effective coordination of support services and transitional housing to get these folks off the streets and into safe situations. Our city’s efforts in this area have recently been recognized and supported by a special $500,000 federal assistance grant, helping to fund our progressive Ten-year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness.

--Reducing panhandling: At the same time we work to reduce homelessness, we must also address the public safety issues associated with aggressive panhandling and solicitation in dangerous locations. Dan supported city ordinance changes in 2003 which prohibit problem behaviors like soliciting after dark or while intoxicated.  He supported the 2009 changes which prohibit soliciting in parking lots and decks, and restrict the dangerous practice of soliciting from medians and other locations in the street.