Community Initiative Grant Program

City of Laurel

Community Initiative Grant Program

About the Grant Program

The Community Initiative Grant Program is meant to assist existing incorporated subdivision Homeowners Associations (HOAs) with the replacement of neighborhood recreation equipment or to create and enhance neighborhood facilities for older youth or senior citizens in designated recreation areas owned by the HOA.

The goal of this program is to help neighborhoods provide adequate recreational opportunities in terms of active or passive outdoor activities.  The City’s interest in giving these grants is to help homeowner associations succeed in renovation and upgrade of neighborhood parks or to create and enhance neighborhood facilities to provide recreational opportunities to Laurel residents.

The application packet consists of a statement of the grant policy, instructions to applicants, and an application form.  It is the Mayor’s intention to make the application process as easy as possible.

Grant Eligibility

1.   Eligibility.  An incorporated subdivision Homeowners Association (HOA) is eligible for a Community Initiative Grant for improvements to a recreation area owned by the Association.  A copy of a Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation property details must be provided with the application.

A description of the work to be done, required permits, zoning approval, type of equipment, purpose of equipment, population it will serve, i.e., young children, older children, or senior citizens and the estimated life of the equipment to be purchased and installed must be provided with the application.

2.   Amount.  Once approved, applicants for the grant program are eligible to receive a grant for reimbursement of eligible expenses of up to $2,000.

3.   Ownership.  An eligible applicant must be an incorporated Homeowners Association within the City of Laurel and the recreation area to be rehabilitated or created must be owned by the HOA.

4.   Design.  The City of Laurel Department of Parks and Recreation will assist a Homeowners Association in the design or development of an HOA recreation area and must meet all standards for ADA and other community standards.

5.   Conformance.  All improvements must conform to all Building Codes and Zoning Regulations of the City of Laurel and to criteria developed for this Program.

6.   Grant Award.  Grants applications shall be reviewed by the City Administrator, Director of Budget and Personnel Services, Director of Parks and Recreation, and Director of Community Planning and Business Services (to assure zoning and building permits compliance).  Grant award amount will be recommended to the Mayor for approval.  Permit fees may also be waived for the installation or development of the recreational area. Permit fees will not be part of the grant awarded.

7.   Limitation.  Only one (1) grant can be awarded per address in a two (2) year period.  Subsequent applications must be an expansion or enhancement of a recreation area that received a prior grant or a different recreation area in the same development.  Grants applications will be accepted only as long as grant funds are available. 

Procedural Requirements

An HOA representative must first meet with the Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation for advice and technical assistance.  A checklist is to be followed when applying for the Community Initiative Grant Program.  The applicant will submit a completed application accompanied by Proof that the Homeowners Association is Incorporated, proof of ownership of recreation area, a list of the equipment to be purchased, the purpose of the equipment, the population it will serve (i.e., young children, older children, or senior citizens) and the estimated life of the items requested for approval.  All plans must follow appropriate Department of Parks and Recreation design guidelines and Code requirements.  Improvements made prior to the approval of the application and execution of the agreement are ineligible for reimbursement.

Please call (310) 728-5300 ext. 308 for further information, copies of any documents, or to set up an appointment.

City Requirements

In order to qualify for the Community Initiative Grant Program, a Homeowners Association must be incorporated and own the designated recreation area.  The HOA must complete the application, and be prepared to comply with all City regulations.  The Department of Parks and Recreation will administer the Community Initiative Program.

Instructions to Applicants

Community Initiative Program Instructions to Applicants

This instruction form is to assist eligible applicants in preparing the necessary submittal for the Community Initiative Program.  Please refer to the handout entitled Community Initiative Grant Program for explanation regarding eligibility criteria.

After a pre-application meeting with a representative from the Department of Parks and Recreation, eligibility for this program will be determined.  The following steps need to be accomplished:

1.   Presentation of the proposed equipment expenditures shall be made to the Parks and Recreation Department representative.

2.   Replacement or new equipment or enhancements shall be discussed in the pre-application meetings.  Building permits may be required for certain types of improvements. Old equipment can be picked up by the City at no cost by arranging a special pickup with the Department of Public Works.

3.   The Homeowners Association (applicant) shall submit the following documents to the Parks and Recreation Department:

a.   A completed Application Form.

b.   Preliminary plans and preliminary cost estimates.

c.   Proof of incorporation.

d.   Proof of ownership.

e.   Project time-line.

4.   After review by the City Administrator, Director of Budget and Personnel Services, Director of Parks and Recreation, and Director of Community Planning and Business Services the application will be forwarded to the Mayor for his review and action.

5.   Upon receipt of approval outlining funding eligibility, the applicant should proceed as follows:

a.   Final plans and final cost estimates to be submitted to the Parks and Recreation Department.

b.   Final plans to be submitted to the Department of Community Planning and Business Services Department, Permits and Code Enforcement Division, for issuance of building permit(s), as applicable.

c.   Submittal of three (3) estimates from contractors to perform the work, as applicable.

6.   Applicant shall submit final cost estimates and the names of the contractors or vendors they intend to employ.

7.   A “Final Notice to Proceed” letter and draft agreement to be executed between the HOA and the City of Laurel shall be forwarded to the applicant by a representative of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

8.   After a building permit has been issued, as applicable, expenses are then authorized and work may commence.  All necessary building and other department inspections should be coordinated through the Department of Community Planning and Business Services.  A request for reimbursement may be requested by the HOA at the 75% completion state.

9.   The recreation area will be inspected by the Parks and Recreation Department representative for conformance with the final plans submitted.

10. After sign-off by all departments, submittal of progress report(s), and waiver of liens, the Parks and Recreation Department representative will process the necessary grant disbursement.

Participation in the Community Initiative Grant Program does not limit additional participation in other City programs, if any.

12. Grants will be approved by the Mayor of the City of Laurel after review and recommendation from the City Administrator, Director of Budget and Personnel Services, and Director of Parks and Recreation.

      Additional information may be requested.