Historic Review Improvement Initiative

We are a grass roots initiative in Armory Park with an objective to cause positive changes to the historic review process and ensure Historic Preservation Zones (HPZs) remain vital and visible reminders of the history and cultural heritage of Tucson. We are concerned that the process for approving the preservation and rehabilitation of properties in Tucson’s historic districts discourages proper maintenance by property owners as needed to preserve the historic character of our community. An unreasonably difficult review process can even discourage people from buying HPZ properties. Adequate maintenance and strong property values are essential to maintaining our historic properties.

We feel the negative influence is now being felt in Armory Park and probably the other four HPZs. Community feedback on the desired outcomes we identify below will be very valuable. We will gather data here and in the other historic neighborhoods to support fact-based recommendations to decision makers.

Our overall objective is to make it easier for property owners to maintain or develop their respective properties consistent with historic standards. An onerous, burdensome process is unnecessary and is often a significant barrier to the preservation of our neighborhood. Following is a list of some desired outcomes from our initiative.

  • A simple step-by-step process for property owners to prepare for minor and major
    reviews.
  • A process that shortens the timelines for review and approval, and minimizes cost
    impacts to applicants.
  • Guidance based on established standards, not inconsistent subjective opinions.
  • Consistent enforcement of compliance with historic standards.
  • A modified approval process for conduct of routine maintenance that should not
    require a review, fee or permit (e.g. replace a broken window, patching stucco,
    replacing deteriorating boards and other like-for-like activities)
  • Improved customer service by city employees who treat owners as their customers and are held accountable for their performance and conduct.
  • Implementation of metrics within applicable city departments to improve performance measured against established organizational objectives.
  • A customer feedback process for continued organizational improvement.

We value and look forward to your feedback on our initiative. We expect to be working on this for the next several months. If you feel other items should be added to our list, please tell us. We can be reached as follows: Ken Taylor, 520-301-7113,
ken@kmtaylor.com or Michael Means, 520-548- 4122, micasaadobe4@gmail.com.

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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