Once again your neighbor representatives worked hard to accommodate their historic preservation mission and the needs of property owners.
The first project under formal review was the large historic home at 509 S 6th Avenue. The owner described in some detail the deterioration which has afflicted the property and the steps being taken to restore it to its former glory. As is often the case, major plumbing, electrical and structural updating were needed. The brick exterior was repaired with bricks closely matching the existing and on the house next door. The owner proposes to paint the brickwork. Board members advised against it but paint is not within the purview of the APHZAB. Upon being asked, the owner said that he was never informed by the real estate professionals of historic zone requirements. Long Realty was the brokerage. The board approved the project. The owners, Sheldon
Goldstein and Michelle Scopellite, deserve the community’s thanks for bringing this important historic property back to life.
Next was an informal review of proposals regarding 617 S 3rd Avenue. On a corner lot, the property has no private rear yard; it is open to view from 3rd Avenue and 16th Street. The owner wanted to extend a wood fence from an existing one to the corner of the house. The board said that would be acceptable it the historic iron fence remained in place. Removal of a historic wood porch railing is what caused this property to come to the board’s attention. The owner was advised that the railing would need to be reinstalled. As an informal review, there was no
official action taken by the board. It can be approved by the minor review process. This item was brought to the board by neighbor complaints as is often the case. If you see a similar situation, you might first approach the property owner to urge a proper historic zone review. Once the board is engaged in an unapproved project, city governmental processes begin and a stop-work order or similar may be posted. Let’s work together to preserve our historic community.
The project to construct four homes on the lot SW of the 5th Avenue and 18th Street intersection was back before the board for a formal review. The owner and architects had made significant improvements to their design based on an informal review and other discussions. Review of the “model” home was the request to the board. Details of site planning and collateral issues will be reviewed later. The only significant point of criticism was regarding the windows and doors seeming to be too small for the scale of the walls where they were placed. This issue should come back to the board with the architect’s proposed mitigation. Structure height, materials and general appearance were approved by the board.
Flexible Lot Development (FLD) is a subject of great concern to the board and should be to all of us. John Burr, APNA president shared his views on the subject. As this new process unfolds, it appears that there may not be adequate opportunity for the Historic Advisory Boards and the public to be informed of proposed projects and to comment on them. City officials, historic preservation advocates and developers are in the early stages of learning how the FLD process will actually work. Stay tuned to this subject because if the FLD process is badly applied, it will be very damaging to historic neighborhoods.
My comments are my interpretation of the events at the meeting. As always, for more details and the official recommentations of the board, go to The legal Action Report at https://www.tucsonaz.gov/files/clerks/uploads/bccfiles/23551.pdf.