November 2018 Meeting Minutes

Minutes Date


$2221.67 – no change. But there will be a check paid for $700 for the 100-year home map


Dec 5th – Public hearing about the end of the Infill Incentive District. Last chance for input before Mayor/Council.

Dec 5th – Public hearing on amending medical marijuana zoning.

There has been discussion on the list about the TEP substation in the neighborhood. TEP has perhaps had a meeting on the matter to respond to a neighborhood letter requesting improving the aesthetic

There are murals along the substation, which were supposed to be temporary.

Tucson Water’s recharge program to make the Santa Cruz run was discussed at Menlo Park. They plan to dredge some land and provided some maps, which were circulated at the meeting.

Library has partnered to support people facing eviction, in partnership with Step up to Justice (every Monday)

Medicare signups on Fridays

Sat, Dec 1st – TEP event, which will provide LED lightbulbs and other materials

Recycled art and writing workshops at library

Intro to Finding Grants events as well as on starting a small business

A piece of the 30 Americans exhibit is in the lobby of the IDEA school. Meant to be a kitchen table gathering place.


Traffic Circle

Burkana shared material and the petition for traffic calming and a traffic circle. The proposal is for a traffic circle at 10th Avenue and 1st Street.

Jesse from the city shared about the traffic circle in relation to water flow.

A few years ago there was a broader area review of traffic mitigation.

Speed humps and traffic circles are the most effective speed mitigation. Usually 4-way stops are placed at the intersection. Speed humps have a diminishing effect over time because people get used to them.

Dunbar has a great variety of mitigation devices.

Traffic circle curbs can be designed for water harvesting. The flush circles aren’t used as much because not as effective. The design is limited if there is a manhole cover in the intersection.

Chris expressed concerns about how the circles deflect water flow.

Jesse responded that the curb can be minimalized, and the traffic circle can be dug down 18 inches for the water to soak in. The circles use rip-raff, which can’t wash away. 

There were also questions about how the water would flow over speed humps. Jesse responded that the speed humps do have a clearance on the sides for water runoff. Jesse couldn’t confirm whether or not it would be possible to put speed humps on 1st given the water flow. The hydrology experts need to weigh in. 

Another option proposed would be speed humps on 10th Ave north and south of 1st St.

Chris also shared concerns about how grass grows up on the side because of the overflow of water.

The traffic circle on 9th pushes the water to the sides since it has a higher curb. Originally it was supposed to be a flat circle, but was not built that way. Karen asked about whether the traffic circle could be remedied by cutting down the curb.

There was discussion about whether or not the traffic circles are well maintained. 

In order to put in stop signs, there has to be a study and they have to be warranted based on vehicle traffic.

Several people weighed in on the different places where people seem to drive faster and disregard pedestrians. Concerns were expressed about both 1st St and 10th Ave.

Speed humps can only go 3.5 inches. A speed table is 4 inches. Speed humps can be relatively close to the intersection.

Other than traffic mitigation, Jesse said that the only way to address it is through law enforcement.

Jesse said that the new traffic circles are flow neutral. They only absorb water, don’t deflect it.

Sky asked how the neighborhood could block people from turning into particular streets. Jesse responded that would also require a petition, and it requires 100% of resident agreement. A similar intervention was tried on Grant, but drivers disregard. It does seem to work more on University (such as University and Stone).

Karen shared that she did not feel comfortable with agreeing to a traffic circle, even with the 60%, if Chris is opposed, given that he is a long-term resident.

There is a grant that would pay for a water harvesting traffic circle, which we would likely receive. The grant wouldn’t pay for speed humps.

Burkana proposed getting a new petition requesting speed humps.

There was a question of whether the speed hump could be moved, given that there is one at the north end of 10th Ave. Chris expressed that he wasn’t consulted on the location of the original speed hump on 10th Ave.

Dan proposed doing a hydrology evaluation of the traffic circle. Jesse responded that Elizabeth Libolt in TDOT would be the point of contact. But it is unclear whether that could happen in advance of neighborhood agreement. Sky asked if Chris would oppose if the water engineers said it wouldn’t be a problem. Chris responded that he probably still would oppose because of how concerned he is about water flow.

Karen proposed contacting Elizabeth and requesting a worst case scenario for water flow with a new traffic circle.

IDEA School

IDEA school is in its 5th year and just moved into Dunbar this year. 9 out of 10 kids are on scholarship. The design came out of a group of parents at a preschool who wanted elementary to focus more on “soft skills” and design an inquiry-based curriculum. 

When kids’ curiosity is provoked, teachers follow that interest. The idea is to put kids in charge of their education.

There are now 57 kids who attend. The school is K through 6, divided in three class groups, in 3 rooms. In the next two years will build up to K-8.

Becky approached the IDEA school about taking over the garden. The school is still weighing it and trying to figure out how to manage staffing. A teacher is interested in offering the option, and there would need to be kids also interested.

IDEA School signed a 5-year lease for just 6 classrooms. Isn’t planning on growing number of students at the moment. Once the other Dunbar building is renovated, there might be a chance to expand.

IDEA School isn’t accredited yet, but planning on exploring in coming years.


City owns a parcel of land and another L-shaped part is owned by the developer. The thought at the time of the purchase was a mixed-use development. The city said they would not sell if the neighborhood didn’t agree.

Neighborhood decided against development. Developers destroyed the houses on the property but left it empty.

In 2005 the neighborhood generated ideas for what they would like to see on the lot, which was updated in 2017. The ideas include locally owned businesses, grocery store, mixed-use development. Neighborhood didn’t want gas station, student housing, or convenience store.

The developer has made threats, but can’t deliver on threats without remainder of land.

Dutch Brothers has approached the city and expressed interest in the city-owned parcel, which is on the corner. The parcel goes up to what would be an alley. 

Representatives from Dutch Brothers came to the meeting – Zach, the developer, and Jordan, the regional manager. Dutch Bros is interested because of access, traffic flow, location next to the university.

Dutch Bros contacted the city and offered to come to the meeting.

Dutch Bros likes to be close to Starbucks, because they are for different audiences.

Dutch Bros is focused on people and community impact, including giving back to schools. All the proceeds from the Wilmot grand opening went to a local charity.

Dutch Bros wants to invest in the long-term and stay connected, including teacher appreciation at events.

Jordan just moved to Tucson and is excited to root here.

Expected to serve between 2000 and 3000 cups of coffee each day.

Dutch Bros is a drive-in, with staff that runs out drinks and charges outside of the window. There is a walk-up line and covered patio.

Lot is .62 acres, about 30,000 square feet. 165x165.

Mike from the City Manager’s office clarified that the city was not marketing the parcel and wants to work with the neighborhood. The city and the ward discussed the offer, although they were initially hesitant. The city is just presenting the offer to the neighborhood and has not responded it.

The offer is $650,000 for the land. The property is zoned C-2 so it could be three floors.

Seeing some business there is better than nothing.

The site on Speedway/Stone is larger than the site that they acquired on Wilmont.

Jordan said that Dutch Bros location has never failed since founded.

Most grocery stores don’t want to open a new location, because of struggles in retail.

Sky asked if all Dutch Bros are based on drive-through.

Dutch Bros is very open to make the patio larger, incorporate native landscaping and additional bike parking.

Jordan restated that Dutch Bros wants to focus on the give-backs and responding to community concerns. 

Gail shared the experience of seeing Dutch Bros on Broadway/Wilmont and shared that the signage was confusing and the wait was long. The coffee was very good and cheaper than Starbucks.

Zach responded that the Speedway/Stone location would have more parking and have more access, which would help cars flow better.

Karen advised that Dutch Bros explore the traffic patterns a bit more, especially for the exit from the location.

Sky asked about employee wage. The usual hourly is around $15-$20. There are currently 70 employees at the Wilmot location, who park across the street at the hotel. Dutch Bros is focused on employee happiness.

Hours are 5am to 11pm almost all days.

Mike from the City Manager said that they would take back these comments about parking and traffic. City is also in communication with the people leasing space to the Flix Bus. The city will talk to Dutch Bros and update the neighborhood.

Dutch Bros can send elevations to the neighborhood.

5G Poles

Someone from Smartlink came to take photos and plan for a small pole that would enhance data access in the neighborhood.

Armory Park is meeting tomorrow about a possible Smartlink pole in the neighborhood. They shared research.

FCC rules changed in September, so neighbors don’t have any leverage over whether the poles go in.

There will be poles every 250 to 500 feet. It can go on current city light poles, TEP poles, traffic lights. They can also put in a new pole up to 40 feet in the right of way. The neighborhood doesn’t get any say.

Many phones work off of cell phone towers, which are waves that come from a longer distance. 5G hasn’t been used broadly. It sends out microwaves and the poles have to be close. Bill Gates spent a lot of money for Mesa to become a smart city using 5G. However, the technology isn’t yet ready to use 5G.

City of Tucson and other municipalities have sued against this easing of FCC rules on 5G.

If they apply for the permit, and the city doesn’t reply in two or three months, they get automatically approved. Fees are also much lower.

Burkina asked about city ordinances against the incursion in residential areas. However, the FCC rule changes in September supersede the local ordinance.

There is a historic review by the Pima County Historic Commission. But the commission can’t deny it.

At the moment, other than the lawsuit, there aren’t ways to fight. Possibly if a new FCC head is appointed in two years.

Sky suggested trying to learn more about the plan that Smartlink has for the neighborhood. Smartlink lays the groundwork for AT&T.

It seems that different cell companies are taking different tracks. So there could be multiple poles from different providers on same block.

The neighborhood will do further research on Smartlink’s potential plan and whether other cities have been able to combat.

One alternative would be fiber optic, but the companies don’t like it because they can’t collect as much user data.

11th Ave

The committee met with Keith from housing and he wants the RFP to go out in March to see whether there is interest. Keith seems more flexible. The neighborhood welcomes presentation before groups fill out paperwork to help guide proposals. The RFP would be published in New Mexico, Arizona, and Southern California. Review committee could include 3 neighborhood representatives out of 5 people total.

Concluding Remarks

In the interest of timing, the neighborhood postponed votes on cleanup and 100-year building.

Apparently certain streetlights are private.

Animal sign possibilities were passed out. There can be different animal combinations.