Schumacher Place is getting prepared for Neighborhood Pride, a city of Columbus initiative that will sweep through the community May 14-18.
Brenda Gischel, president of the Schumacher Place Civic Association, said the group largely welcomes a closer inspection by the city and some of the activities associated with the program.
"So, you know, folks aren't so thrilled when code-enforcement comes around," Gischel said. "It's not (intended) to be punitive, but informative."
City officials already have been in the area, looking for things such as improperly connected downspouts, appliances being stored in the yard, cracked windows and flaking house paint.
"These are all things property owners are expected to take care of as property owners," said Larry Black, program manager for Neighborhood Pride.
A community preview will be at 6 p.m., Wednesday, May 9, in the Schiller Community Center, 1069 Jaeger St.
Schiller also will serve as the pride week service center from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, with breakfast being served at 9:30 a.m. and lunch at noon each day.
Things have changed since Neighborhood Pride was established in 2000, Black said. Then, the city would choose neighborhoods and begin issuing citations, leading to angry residents who complained that they didn't have time to correct violations in the designated timeframe, he said.
So the city reoriented Neighborhood Pride, which now must be invited into a community by the local area commission or civic group, he said.
And it's not all about scouting the neighborhood for violations; it's about building cohesive, involved neighborhoods and improving relations with the city, Black said.
"When I present, I tell them it's not a magic-wand program," he said. "You can't fix everything, but it is something we can build off of."
For the properties that don't meet code, the city will issue a "friendly notice" to the property owner, who has six weeks to begin the compliance process, meaning if the owner is cooperative and initiates contact with officials, the time to fix a problem could be extended, Black said.
Schumacher Place -- which is bounded by East Livingston Avenue, Parsons Avenue, East Whittier Street and the eastern edge of German Village -- is the 96th neighborhood to be part of the program, Black said. Three other communities will be visited this year: Strawberry Farms, Pinecrest-Beechwood and Georgian Heights, he said.
Pride also has introduced other programming into the visits, such as the community nominating up to 10 residences to receive the Neighborhood Pride Beautiful Homes award, a mobility expo, safety academy, health and wellness screenings and a cookout on the final day of the event. For Schumacher, that will be noon to 1:30 p.m. May 18 at Schiller.
Gischel said Schumacher residents by and large are conscientious and tend to their properties and don't leave trash lying around.
She has done some reporting on her own, mainly as businesses and construction workers illegally dump waste in 300-gallon trash cans.
Gischel said she hopes the neighborhood gets behind the pride effort because it is beneficial to all.
"I understand if you don't want to go out and paint your siding," she said, "but it's a way to say, 'Let us keep the neighborhood spiffed up.' "