Historic Board Offers Help, Gets Updates

The text in italics is extracted verbatim from the Legal Action Report of the board posted on the city website.

Formal Review, HPZ 17-59, 822 S 3rd Ave. Mellow Dawn and Thoger Lund, property owners, proposed accessory structure: studio/sleeping quarters. The owners plan to build a 1,005 sq. ft. accessory structure on a lot with a 1,336 sq. ft. principal structure and an existing 290 sq. ft. accessory structure. Board members pointed out the issues the plan as presented raises, offered suggestions on how the owners could accomplish their construction objectives within Code requirements, and referred them back to the City.822 S 3rd Action Taken: The Board rejected the plans as presented because the combined size of the proposed accessory structure and the existing accessory building exceeds more than 50% of the gross floor area of the principal structure, contrary to Tucson UDC 6.6.3.d: “The total gross floor area (gfa) of all accessory structures shall not exceed 50% of the gfa of the principal structure. Accessory structures less than 200 square feet gfa are exempt from this requirement.” Ms. McClements moved, Mr. Burr seconded. Eight votes in favor, none opposed, no abstentions.  This is another example of the city staff not fulfilling their responsibilities by sending, for formal review by the APHZAB, a project that does not meet an explicit requirement of the city code. Our board’s mission is to consider historic preservation issues. It should not be forced to police non-historic code compliance issues. The board went to some effort to offer some alternatives which might meet the applicant’s objectives without violating city code.

Historic Streetscapes Project. Steve Grede briefed on the status of the project, including upcoming training sessions for volunteers who want to participate. Armory Park, LibraryThis was another presentation to APHZAB and APNA about the effort to document the visible space in which our historic structures are set.  Steve is seeking volunteers who will receive training and then do a visual and written inventory of our public spaces. If you want to learn more, use this link (AP Streetscape) to download the very informative handout (in PDF format) that he brought to the meeting.

Historic Review Improvement Initiative Update. Ken Taylor briefed. “The Historic Review Improvement Initiative is still in the information gathering phase. Last week Michael Means and Ken Taylor witnessed a Barrio HZAB meeting and had about an hour-long conversation with the board following their meeting. Our first impression is that the Barrio faces some challenges different from those in Armory Park. The pressure for development within their zone will be a challenge because of the number of large lots that are either vacant or with derelict properties. Armory Park has pressures for development at its periphery but in the Barrio the pressure is at the heart of the neighborhood. Their board was very receptive to further conversations but the concerns of our property owners may not be a top priority for them. The Online Historic Review Survey is getting good responses in spite of a few technical difficulties. This week an email will go to the members of all HZABs with a link to the survey. It will also explain the HRII and ask for feedback regarding the issues of concern in each HZAB. A better understanding of the views of the other stakeholders is a prerequisite to engaging with city government.”  The email has been sent to all HZABs and a few responses to it have been received. The survey has had 28 responses, all from Armory Park. The survey is still open for your input and I hope we will get more responses for a broad view of your thoughts on the historic review process. You can take the survey at https://goo.gl/forms/4wVW9BEOmlHP0Mmb2.  You need not have done a historic review to answer questions about your views on historic review in Armory Park.

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