8 ways you can be a good neighbor this school year
By Lacey Lively, Marketing Manager
As a former Texas A&M student and now a permanent resident, I love the hustle and bustle that fall brings. Autumn also means football and pumpkin spice latte season. Whoop!
Watching the students move in and gear up for classes brings back fond memories, and it’s also a perfect opportunity to offer some friendly advice for our new residents.
A common misconception about College Station is that it’s just a college town filled with students. While Texas A&M is the heart and soul of College Station, our community is filled with more than 118,000 residents of all ages, lifestyles, and backgrounds.
College Station has been nationally recognized as one of the best college towns, best places to raise a family, and best places to retire. As a student living in a neighborhood, you might have a retired couple on one side, a young professional on the other, or a family with little ones. That’s why it’s so important to be a good neighbor so you can avoid citations and enjoy your college years to the fullest.
1. Say howdy
Don’t be shy! Meet your neighbors and exchange contact information so they can call you in case of emergencies or other issues. It’s also a good idea to let them know about any big gatherings you’re planning and ask them to contact you directly if there are any noise or parking problems. Wouldn’t you rather hear from your neighbor than a police officer?
2. Turn it down a notch
It’s unlawful for anyone to willfully make or allow continued loud noise – including barking dogs – especially from 10 p.m.-6 a.m. As a general rule, if you can hear the noise at the end of your property line, it’s too loud. If you are bothered by noise and can’t resolve the issue on your own, report it to the College Station Police Department at 979-764-3600.
3. Tend to your pets
When not on their owner’s property, dogs must be on a leash and owners must clean up after them. College Station also has four, off-leash dog parks. Dogs, cats, and ferrets are required to be licensed, tagged and vaccinated in Brazos County. Even if your pet is licensed elsewhere, you’ll still need to tag them here. You can purchase registration tags through your veterinarian or the Aggieland Humane Society. Learn more at cstx.gov/animalcontrol or call 979-775-5755.
4. Talk trash (and recycling)
The process of moving in and out can result in a mountain of unwanted items and trash. Consider donating lightly used furniture, clothing, and other household items to local organizations instead of placing them at the curb for solid waste collection.
Some things to remember:
- Trash containers must be placed at the curb in front of your residence before 8 a.m. on your designated collection day.
- Don’t place your container closer than four feet from fixed objects, mailboxes, cars or trees.
- Garbage should be bagged, tied and securely stored in your container with the lid closed at all times.
- Don’t pile bags or trash on top of or around your container, or the sanitation truck’s automated arm won’t be able to empty it.
- Items too large to fit in your container should be placed neatly on the curb for bulk collection.
- Brush should be cut into 8-foot lengths or shorter and put in a separate pile.
- You must remove your garbage and recycling containers from the curb within 12 hours of collection.
If you have a blue, single-stream recycling container, it’s collected by Brazos Valley Recycling. We encourage you to review the list of acceptable items printed on top of each container. Place only clean items in your recycling container, and anything not on the list should be put in the garbage. Shredded paper is the only recyclable that should be placed in a clear plastic bag. Bagging other items isn’t necessary and could cause significant and costly damage to the sorting equipment.
For more information about solid waste or recycling, visit cstx.gov/sanitation or contact Solid Waste Services at email@example.com or 979-764-3690. You can also download the free MyWaste app to keep up with collection schedules and updates on your mobile devices.
5. Know where to park
If you park where you’re not supposed to, you can be stuck with a costly citation. Avoid that headache by remembering our 10 most common parking violations:
- Parking within 30 feet of a traffic control device such as a stop sign, yield sign or flashing light.
- Parking facing traffic – your car must always be parked in the direction of traffic flow.
- Parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.
- Parking within 20 feet of a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
- Parking in a handicap space without a handicap placard.
- Parking on a yard – if more than half of the vehicle is parked in the grass, it’s a violation.
- Parking at expired meters.
- Overstaying allotted time periods in time-limited parking.
- Parking in loading zones.
- Blocking driveways so residents can’t get in or out.
6. Know the code
Many people don’t think about city codes until it’s too late. These are our most common code violations, which can also result in hefty fines:
- Open Storage: Don’t store anything in your yard or patio that’s not intended for outdoor use, like a couch.
- Yard Maintenance: Weeds and grass shouldn’t be higher than 12 inches.
- Flyers/Signs: Nothing should be placed on utility poles, street signs or in the public right-of-way.
- Selling Parking Spaces: It’s illegal to operate a business in a residential neighborhood in College Station. Selling parking spaces on your property is a business.
You can review a complete list of code violations at cstx.gov/codeenforcement.
7. Get out and vote
Since you are affected by these codes and ordinances, it might be a good idea to participate in your local government by voting. To register to vote in Brazos County, go to brazosvotes.org.
The next city election is Nov. 6.
8. Take advantage of job opportunities
The City of College Station has part-time and seasonal jobs available throughout the year. Go to csjobs.cstx.gov to see the latest listings and to apply.
Good luck this year!
Note to Permanent Residents: You can help College Station keep its reputation as one of the nation’s friendliest cities by helping your new neighbors out through understanding, education, and kindness. My office, Public Communications, has welcome bags available for free that includes information from this blog and more. For more information, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Blogger
Lacey Lively serves as the chief information officer for the Brazos Valley Veterans Memorial Board. She has been with the City of College Station’s Public Communications Office since 2011. Lacey previously worked as an internet marketing consultant for the Bryan-College Station Eagle and as a web designer. A native of Beaumont, Lacey earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism and communications from Texas A&M in 2009.
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