APNA Board, Good Stuff and Some Not So

The good stuff:  The July meeting began with various news items and updates on efforts by committees. The new market rate rentals you may have seen in the news are quite pricy. They rent in a range of $2.20 to $2.50 per square foot or more and units are generally 1,000 square feet or less. You might expect to pay $2,500 monthly for a thousand square footer. These high prices translate to increasing property values for us owners in Armory Park. Also, property owners are also more likely to maintain their properties well to retain their value. The downside is that renters can expect to pay more in the future and it will be too expensive for many downtown workers to live near their work.

The board is updating its address list for AP property owners. They will be surveyed regarding their sidewalk repair needs. There was also discussion concerning accessibility issues where some sidewalks cross minor avenues. Minor asphalt placement can resolve those issues and some have had success in getting pothole patching crews to do a fix. In the same discussion, concern was expressed that the city may want to narrow our wide streets and avenues to allow for diagonal parking as has been done on 12th, 13th and 14th Streets. This would detract from the residential and historic character of our neighborhood. This is something to be watching for.

The June Porch Party was a great success and lead planner DeeDee Means was complemented by the group. Donna and I enjoyed the chance to visit with neighbors and all seemed to have a good time. The next party will be 6:00 – 8:00 PM on Tuesday, July 25th at the same location, 505 S 6th Avenue. Because the time covers most people’s dinner hour, there will be some plan for food at this event. We hope to see you there.

Plans are coming together for another ice cream social, probably the first week in September at the Johnny Gibson’s patio. We went to the last one and really enjoyed it.

The Baffert project (6th Avenue and 18th Street) may be coming close to an agreement among the developer, city staff and community leaders. The main issue is still the height of the proposed building and the relationship of the property to the HPZ.

Mark your calendar for the Amory Park home tour on Sunday, 12 November. The last tour introduced the community to Donna and me and led to the purchase of our home here. It is a great event to foster our sense of community while introducing new people to the neighborhood.

Not so good:  There was extensive discussion of the historic review requirements and how they should be applied. Even among the very knowledgeable individuals present there could be no definitive agreement about what would be a minor repair not requiring a historic review. The subject has many areas that are very subjective and vague. It is not even clear how a property owner should get a ruling as to whether an application should be made for historic review. Since even a minor review costs time and money, nobody wants to do one if not required. The burden for fixing this problem lies entirely with city government, hopefully under pressure from our neighborhood organizations and individuals. Michael Means and I plus a few others are working on this subject and are now collecting facts to support specific changes to practices at the city Planning & Development Services Department (PDSD). If you have had problems getting through the historic review process, we need to hear the facts of your experience. Drop me an email at ken@kmtaylor.com if you can help.  We want to support historic preservation but the process can be much easier and quicker.

 

Author: Ken Taylor

I am a relatively recent Armory Park resident (2/16) along with my wife, Donna and our little dog Lulu. In our 7+ decades, Donna and I lived over 30 years in Anchorage, Alaska before moving to Arizona. We have been Arizona residents for 16 years before coming here including 12 in Green Valley and four in west Tucson. We love the neighborhood for its history, walkability and interesting residents. Lulu insists on walking every day so you may see us following her around and picking up trash to keep our neighborhood presentable.

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