APHZAB Elections & Design Review Process

The 19 December APHZAB meeting had no projects to consider however there was other business conducted.

Michael Taku, Lead Planner at PDSD made some comments and handed out a copy of a portion of the Uniform Development Code from which I extracted the following. If you are considering any project in Armory Park you should review the process described in the code. Otherwise you may want to move past this.

5.8.8.  DESIGN REVIEW REQUIRED

  1. General
  2. Review and approval, of all properties, buildings, signs, and structures within an HPZ, is required for all development and improvements, including new construction or improvements that do not require building permits. Proposals are reviewed for compliance with Section 5.8.9Design Standards.
  3. Prior to the submittal of a proposal, the applicant should consult with the applicable historic HPZ Advisory Board and refer to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.
  4. Projects are reviewed in accordance with the Full or Minor HPZ Review Procedures.
  5. Full HPZ Review Procedure
  6. Applicability

The following project types are reviewed for compliance with the applicable standards in accordance with the Full HPZ Review Procedure:

  1. Grading or the erection or construction of a new structure;
  2. A permit for any alteration involving the modification, addition, or moving of any part of an existing structure, including signs, that would affect the exterior appearance, except as provided in Section 5.8.8.C, Minor HPZ Review;
  3. Repairs or new construction as provided for in Section 5.8.8.C, Minor HPZ Review, that the PDSD Director determines shall be approved under the full review process due to the cumulative effect of phased work that would normally be subject to the applicability of the full HPZ review process;
  4. The construction or enlargement of a parking lot within a HPZ or on a property containing a Historic Landmark; and,
  5. Exceptions. The following project types are reviewed using the Minor HPZ Review Procedure: installation of solar panels or cisterns or installation of or repairs to a roof.
  6. Preliminary Staff Review

The applicant must submit a site plan and elevation drawings to the PDSD for preliminary staff review. The PDSD staff reviews the proposed plans for compliance with applicable UDC requirements and any LUC requirements that need to be addressed either through the historic design criteria or a special application for relief. The applicant will be informed in writing of any requirements the proposed plan does not meet.

  1. Application Required

Submittal of an application to the PDSD is required in order to process the request.

  1. HPZ Advisory Board – Review and Recommendation

The applicable HPZ Advisory Board shall review and make a recommendation on the application. The recommendation is forwarded to the Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission.

  1. Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission Plans Review Subcommittee – Review and Recommendation

The Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission (TPCHC) Plans Review Subcommittee shall review and make a recommendation on the application. The subcommittee’s recommendation is forwarded to the PDSD Director.

  1. Decision

The PDSD Director reviews the application and decides whether to approve, approve with conditions, deny, or refer the application back for additional review/recommendation based on revisions to the original proposal. The PDSD Director shall consider the recommendations of the HPZ Advisory Board and the TPCHC Plans Review Subcommittee when considering a decision. The decision shall be provided in writing to the applicant, applicable HPZ Advisory Board, and the TPCHC Plans Review Subcommittee. No building permits will be issued prior to the expiration of the appeal period.

  1. Appeals

A party of record may appeal the PDSD Director’s decision to the Mayor and Council in accordance with Section 3.9.2Mayor and Council Appeal Procedure. Appeals must be filed within 14 days of the effective date of the Director ’s decision. For purposes here, the parties of record are the applicant, the applicable HPZ Advisory Board, and the Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission Plans Review Subcommittee.

  1. Documentation Required Upon Approval

Applicants must submit three copies of the site plan and elevation drawings to the PDSD for formal approval prior to application for building permits.

  1. Minor HPZ Review
  2. Applicability

In general, the Minor HPZ Review Procedure is for projects that do not require building permits. Specifically, the following project types are reviewed for compliance with the applicable standards in accordance with the Minor HPZ Review Procedure:

  1. Minor or necessary repairs to a structure provided that:

(1)   The total cost of such improvement is under $1,500, except for the replacement cost of appliances and mechanical equipment; and,

(2)   The repairs involve replacement with materials of identical or historically accurate design, size, and color to those being replaced.

  1. Emergency repairs provided that the repairs involve replacement with materials of identical or historically accurate design, size, and color to those being replaced;
  2. The change in copy of a sign;
  3. Any alteration that does not require a permit involving the modification, addition, or moving of any part of an existing structure that would affect the exterior appearance. Alterations include, but are not limited to, fences and walls, except those alterations that the PDSD Director determines shall be approved under the full review process due to the cumulative effect of phased work that would normally be subject to the applicability of the HPZ review; and,
  4. Installation of solar panels or cisterns or installation of or repairs to a roof.
  5. Application Required

An application, including site plan and elevation drawings, is required.

  1. On-Site Review Required

Upon submittal of the application, a date and time will be scheduled for the applicant, representatives from the applicable HPZ Advisory Board, Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission (TPCHC) Plans Review Subcommittee, and City staff to meet at the project site to discuss the proposal.

  1. Recommendation

The representatives from the applicable HPZ Advisory Board and the TPCHC Plans Review Subcommittee review the proposal and make a recommendation on the application to the PDSD Director.

  1. PDSD Director Decision

The PDSD Director reviews the application and decides whether to approve, approve with conditions, deny, or refer the application back for additional review/recommendation based on revisions to the original proposal. The PDSD Director shall consider the recommendations of the HPZ Advisory Board and the TPCHC Plans Review Subcommittee when considering a decision.

  1. Documentation Required

If approved, the applicant must submit three copies of the plans for formal approval by PDSD staff prior to application for building permits, if required.

(Am. Ord. 11150, 3/18/2014)

The code can be viewed online here.

In his comments, Mr. Taku expressed the value of the advisory board and requested feedback to improve the review process. This is a change of tone from my earlier experiences with Mr. Taku and it remains to be seen if there will be any real improvement in the process.

There was discussion regarding keeping the board informed, especially on appeals and whether the board can appeal a decision by the PDSD director. The board can appeal by approving a resolution at a regular or special meeting. The question remains as to whether the board will pay a fee of over $600 to make an appeal. This would be quite a burden on a board with no budget and whose members are unpaid volunteers.

The board also elected its 2018 officers. Elected unanimously were Martha McClements, Chair; Esthermarie Hillman, Vice Chair; and Michael Means, Secretary. Best wishes to them all for what promises to be a challenging year. The entire board deserves our thanks for doing an important and difficult job.

2 thoughts on “APHZAB Elections & Design Review Process”

  1. Thanks, Ken, for your efforts to keep all informed and to make the process more transparent. I think your efforts are a part of why we are getting these kinds of responses from PDSD.

    Like

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