New Houses in the ‘Hood

Many of you may have noticed the construction at the corner of 5th Avenue and 18th Street. We will soon see four new houses there designed by Tucson architect, Rob Paulus. UntitledThe houses are small on the exterior with an appearance similar to many of the historic bungalows in Armory park. Actually each bungalow has 1780 square feet of living space, 3 bedrooms and 2 baths according to the Paulus website (http://robpaulus.com/projects/18th-street-bungalows/). Each house will have one off-street parking space.

Bungalow floor plans

Four bungalows on one large corner lot is cozier than many Armory Park properties but looking at the site under construction, the space seems adequate. Some have criticized placement of four houses on the lot but that density is not without precedent in the neighborhood and it makes the project economically feasible. The developer, architect and historic board worked closely to make this project fit well in Armory Park. All should be thanked for their hard work.

We have a few more similar vacant lots in Armory Park and I would much rather see each such lot have four bungalows rather than a large apartment building or worse. The economic pressure for development of vacant lots is becoming intense so we may find that such a development is the best available alternative.

Construction of all four bungalows is moving along briskly with two of the four nearly framed. Foundation and site work looks complete for the other two.

Marketing agent for the bungalows, Rose Faitsch, informed me that, “Completion date is expected to be May 2018 for 18th Street Bungalows.  Anyone interested may contact me at rose@habitationrealty.com or call me at 520-419-3905“. The marketing website is: http://www.18thstreetbungalows.com/.

Historic Preservation Activities

It has been some time since I have posted an article because I have been busy with some exciting things related to historic preservation in Armory Park. I’ve made it clear on these pages that preserving our neighborhood’s historic character has a high priority for me.

APHZAB News – Probably the most important effort is that the historic board (APHZAB) has started the new year with a major effort to improve the historic review process. A key part of that effort is to make information more accessible to those who would like to do construction or alteration in Armory Park. The first step in better communications is the new APHZAB  information website (http://aphzab.org). The site is in the early stages but it already has some information you might find useful.

A companion to the website is a cloud drive:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1q1IMHpo9dcmCNgC5YdQzjv2nUupLBZu8?usp=sharing, which has more information which the board will use in its deliberations and you can use to prepare for a historic review. There are also links on the website to the cloud drive. If you go to the drive, please read the WELCOME note there to get started.

Earlier this month the board and PDSD staff participated in a training session. Not only did board members learn more about historic preservation and the city’s rules, discussions also brought the city staff and board members closer together for a smoother review process.

I am not a member of APHZAB but I have volunteered to provide information technology help. Please give me your feedback by email to aphzab@gmail.com. I need to learn what is helpful and what is not. Something that would be helpful to you may have been left out. Perhaps some information could have been more clearly written. Please let me know.

Historic Streetscape Project – Steve Grede, an APHZAB member and historic architecture professional, has initiated a project to document the public areas surrounding our historic structures. By recording the historic amenities (curbs, sidewalks, etc.) and others which are not(e.g. utilities) we will be able to defend preservation of the historic elements which are not buildings.

You may have seen some of us helping Steve by taking pictures and doing measurements around the neighborhood. A lot of detail has been recorded and it has been time consuming for the volunteers.

More About Fry’s – Houghton and 22nd

This rather lengthy piece  was taken from Steve Kozachik’s latest newsletter. You may recall my earlier piece on the subject based on my attendance at a public hearing. Steve’s interest is the same as mine, the casual way that city government treats its legal and ethical obligations to our communities. The motivation is economic with our local politicians prioritising economic growth and tax revenue over the environment and community wellbeing. With all of the economic activity near the city center, we should expect similar problems sooner or later. There is a lot of detail here but Steve laid out the issues better than I did.  Continue reading “More About Fry’s – Houghton and 22nd”

Two Neighborhood Elections

At the last APNA meeting (11/14), two important neighborhood organizations held elections to fill positions on their boards of directors. Outside of the scheduled APNA meeting, the historic board (APHZAB) elected three individuals by acclamation. Here are their names (and their category of membership): Michael Means (property owner), Steve Grede and Patrick O’brien (both are subject matter experts). They will join the board on the approval of Mayor and Council, expected within a month. The board will elect its officers at the next meeting. Continue reading “Two Neighborhood Elections”

City Elections

Here is what our Ward 6 councilmember, Steve Kozachik, had to say about the city election:

“I thanked people in the “Be Kind” section for calling out congratulatory comments as we pass on the street or out on the Loop. As I hope you know, last Tuesday we held citywide elections. Three council seats were up for grabs, plus a few ballot measures. I’ll share the final tallies here. Continue reading “City Elections”

Thanks Volunteers

Another excellent home tour is just behind us and it would not have been possible without the contribution of many neighbors. Those who opened their homes allowed their neighbors and others to see more of the historic structures that help make Armory Park so special. Volunteer docents made it possible for many of us to open our homes to visitors. Even more, the tour showcased the sense of community that makes this a wonderful place to live. Continue reading “Thanks Volunteers”

The Horse Race

 

The media loves the financial horse race. Who has raised the most money is an easy story to write, but it doesn’t have a nickels worth to do with Tucson Values and what the candidates stand for.

Malala Yousafzai is the youngest Nobel Prize winner in history. She stood for a woman’s right to get an education and was shot doing so. She once said, “When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.”

I am not taking campaign donations. No horse race story there. The story is asking you to donate the funds you would otherwise have given to my campaign to a nonprofit, a local group that is a “powerful voice” in this community.

My staff and I have worked on behalf of trafficking victims, refugees, and the homeless. I’ve been steadfast on issues like gun control and animal welfare. Each of those categories has a series of nonprofits that need your financial support.

Don’t just “take the money out of politics.” Shift it to a group that’s working on behalf of the underserved. You won’t get any glossy flyers sent to your home that are “Paid for by Vote Steve K.” You won’t see any factory finished signs cluttering our intersections “Paid for by Vote Steve K.”

But I hope you’ll react to the needs around us. Take the political money and turn it into productive money. Then let the media know. It’d be a more interesting story than looking into campaign check books.

Tucson values nonprofits in need. I’m asking you to help them during this campaign season. Your donations become that powerful voice speaking a message that matters.

Sincerely,
Steve Kozachik
Tucson City Council, Ward 6

Ballots are in the mail now for this all-mail election.

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. Continue reading “Historic Board Offers Help, Gets Updates”