Western Students as Great Neighbors
Do Your Neighbors Love Having You Next Door?
Now that you’ll be living off-campus, you’ll be leaving the built-in social network of the Residence Halls and joining a whole new community—your immediate neighborhood, as well as the greater Bellingham community. Living in a new community is exciting, but it can be daunting, especially when nobody tells you the rules of the road. In the residence halls, your neighbors were all other students. But now that you’re off-campus, it’s important to remember that the people next door may have children, full-time jobs, and long-term investments in their property and neighborhood. You’re now a member of two communities – Western Washington University and Bellingham – and you have a responsibility to be a respectful member of both. We hope the following information and suggestions will help you to quickly make connections and feel right at home.
Get to Know Your NeighborsLots of WWU students have found good friends in their neighbors, even though they are at different stages of life. The connections you make with your neighbors can provide friendships, safety, security and even job leads!
It’s important that you make an effort to get to know your neighbors. Problems or issues that arise later will be easier to resolve if you start by simply getting acquainted. This means that when you accidentally block your neighbor’s driveway with your car, they’ll know to call you rather than the police. Or, if you forget to turn the lights off in your car, they’ll know which door to knock on, rather than letting your battery run down. How to Meet Your Neighbors.
Respect Your Neighbors’ PropertyNothing is more frustrating to a neighbor than when the nice garden they spent hours planting gets trampled because of the inconsideration of your guests. Let your friends know when they come to visit that the neighbor's property is off-limits, and help your neighbor clean or repair their yard or house if something does happen.
Keep YOUR Property Looking GoodNobody wants to own a house next to a trash pile! Keep your yard clean, control your trash and get rid of the old 70’s couch on the porch. Allowing litter and garbage to accumulate on your property is illegal for the simple reason that it creates a health hazard. It is your responsibility to arrange for its removal, whether donating useable items to a local thrift store, taking it to the dump, or arranging a special pick-up with your trash service. Accumulation of litter is regulated by Bellingham Municipal Code 9.12.070
Park Nice!Parking is a HUGE deal to most Bellingham residents, especially in neighborhoods close to campus. Besides noise, it is probably the most common source of friction among neighbors. Park in designated parking places only and if you invite guests over, be sure to let them know where they can and cannot park. Be considerate of your neighbors’ driveways and keep in mind that owners of blocked driveways often call the police, which can result in cars being towed or citations being issued. The towing fee itself is a minimum of $160.
If you want to view the whole letter of the law regarding parking, check out the following Bellingham Municipal Codes 11.33.040 and 11.33.185