Our Historic Streetscape

Our neighborhood is a historic gem and our homes are not the only important part of maintaining our historic character. The streetscape (everything outside of  our property lines) is an essential element of our historic neighborhood. Over the years, many significant features have been lost, often because of city government actions. A first step to keeping our streetscape is to document what is here today. Here is a way you can help. Steve Grede sent me this flyer:

Armory Park Historic Streetscape Training Flier-page-001

If you want to download a PDF of the flyer, click here:
Armory Park Historic Streetscape Training Flier

 

Problems in Santa Rita Park

I think we are not surprised to hear that there are some problems with homeless people and some criminal behavior associated with Santa Rita Park. Phyllis, Michael, DeeDee, Donna and I attended a meeting at  the Santa Cruz Parish Hall to learn more about the issues and offer support to our south side neighbors. Continue reading “Problems in Santa Rita Park”

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”

Historic Review Players

If you follow the AP listserv, you already know that there is a lot of confusion regarding the historic review process in Armory Park (and probably the other four HPZs).  The Historic Review Improvement Initiative (HRII) is a small group of your neighbors trying to drive improvements to the process. As a byproduct of our efforts, it sometimes becomes obvious that there is some misunderstanding within our community. The Roles of APNA (our neighborhood association) and APHZAB (our historic board).  Continue reading “Historic Review Players”

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. Continue reading “Historic Review Improvement Initiative”

Armory Park Election Details

I was curious about the election results in Armory Park (precinct 45) so I went to the city website and extracted the following information:

Precinct 045
REGISTERED VOTERS – TOTAL             1,197
BALLOTS CAST – TOTAL                            247
BALLOTS CAST – NONPARTISAN                 0
BALLOTS CAST – Democrat                      228     92.31%
BALLOTS CAST – Republican                     15       6.07%
BALLOTS CAST – Libertarian                       0       0%
BALLOTS CAST – Green                                 4       1.62%
BALLOTS CAST – BLANK                               2       0.81%
VOTER TURNOUT – TOTAL                                   20.63%
VOTER TURNOUT – BLANK                                    0.17%
********** (Democrat) **********
Council Member Ward 6
(VOTE FOR) 1
KOZACHIK, STEVE                                      221      97.36%
WRITE-IN                                                         6         2.64%
********** (Republican) **********
Council Member Ward 6
(VOTE FOR) 1
RODRIGUEZ, MARIANO                              13        92.86%
WRITE-IN                                                         1          7.14%
********** (Libertarian) **********
Council Member Ward 6
(VOTE FOR) 1
WRITE-IN                                                         0          0%
********** (Green) **********
Council Member Ward 6
(VOTE FOR) 1
CEASE, MIKE                                                   4      100%
OATMAN, MICHAEL                                      0           0%
WRITE-IN                                                         0           0% Continue reading “Armory Park Election Details”

Large Vote for Steve K.

This is good news and I expect Armory Park made a significant contribution to the outcome. Remember, Steve was not running against a primary opponent in this election. That means his supporters made the extra effort to cast their ballot for him even though he would be the Democratic candidate even with no votes. I feel most of you see what I do: Steve is the most competent and energetic member of our council. Thoughtful people will not agree on every subject but I hope we agree that Steve is good for our community and city. The next election is for score; rehire Steve as our council member. Continue reading “Large Vote for Steve K.”

APHZAB Approves 3, Debate Continues

I am trying a different approach in covering August’s meeting. To have more precision on the board’s formal actions and to make my job a little easier, the board’s Legal Action Report is reproduced verbatim. It is shown in italics to differentiate from my comments.

Informal Review, 617 S 3rd Ave. Debora Oslik, property owner. Proposed fence. In Ms. Oslik’s absence, she had a friend present on her behalf. Members expressed support for 617 S 3rd 2adding a trellis wall facing 3rd Ave. on the south side of the house for privacy, 6’ high if the wall facing the street were built flush with the house façade and 4’ high if the wall were extended out to the sidewalk. Members suggested using plantings to provide screening if the shorter wall provided insufficient privacy. No formal action taken.  The property is on a corner lot and so has no proper rear yard. It is fenced on the street side with a low fence that gives no privacy. The board’s recommendation allows for a privacy screening feature from the SW corner of the house to the south property line. The second option adds nothing significant to privacy. Of course, plantings are also an option since landscaping is not subject to historic review. Continue reading “APHZAB Approves 3, Debate Continues”

How to Support Steve K.

I have said in a previous post here that I support Steve Kozachik for re-election to the Tucson City council. He is the most articulate and thoughtful council member and we are fortunate to have him represent our ward 6.

Steve Kozachik 2017I hope there are many others in Armory Park who appreciate Steve’s work and would like for him to continue serving us. If you want to keep up with his re-election campaign, go to his website at https://www.votestevek.com/. He is not asking for campaign contributions or for you to post signs urging his re-election. You can talk up his value for our community and city. You can even host a coffee meeting of your friends with Steve if you wish. His website will help you show your support.

Change at Five Points

The August APNA board meeting had an interesting discussion about development of the lot at the NE corner at Five Points. The project is titled The Baffert Mixed Use Building at 5 Points. The Baffert family once owned the property. Our late neighbor, Annie Laos, was a Baffert. Larry Kappler, the developer/owner of the property, made a good presentation to the board asking for support of the project.

IMG_2606
View Looking Northeast

The key issue is the allowed building height. The proposed project would be restricted to a height of not over 44 feet. If the property is moved out of the historic zone without an agreement, it could be much taller. Since there is no legal mechanism for waiving height restrictions in an HPZ, another mechanism is needed to make the development economically viable. I won’t go into the technical details but an innovative approach termed doughnut rezoning (part of the property rezoned) will allow a compromise between protecting our HPZ and allowing economically feasible development of an otherwise unproductive vacant lot. Continue reading “Change at Five Points”