April 2018

Minutes Date: 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Full Text: 

Treasurer's Report

Donated a $700 check into the account, so we have $2001.01.

Announcements

There will be a peace gathering at 948 N 10th Ave on Wednesday, April 25th from 6:30 to 8:30pm.

Borderlands Theater’s Barrio Anita project will be showing on April 20th and 21st beginning just before sunset. Anyone who would like to see can walk through the neighborhood at that time..

Historic Preservation Awards on Saturday, May 19th from 9-11:30am.

Public hearing Tuesday, April 17th at 5:30pm about the Planned Area Development for the project in the Malloney’s area. “Save Fourth Avenue” is a group that is concerned about several potential development projects and how they would change the character of the street. The merchants and neighbors are participating. There are several different visions of the space and what should be built there.

If you didn’t receive a newsletter, let Karen know and she will make sure your address is registered in the neighborhood.

Thursday, April 19th at Exo is a “Hey Neighbor” program from 5:30pm to 7pm. The idea is to lead positive conversations as neighbors to celebrate the good happening in the community. This month Corky Poster will give a talk about historic preservation success stories.

The library planters were painted this weekend. Desert plants and demonstration gardens for the seed garden will be planted seasonally.

Summer reading program starts at the end of May. The Arizona Daily Star will have a summer reading challenge for adults in collaboration with the library. The summer reading theme is “Libraries Rock.” There will be three Friday lunchtime music events and one on a Saturday.

The library is sending different staff members to downtown neighborhood meetings to get more connected to the community. As part of the data collection, Karen requests that we fill out a survey at the end of the meeting.

There will be a neighborhood picnic on Sunday, April 29th from 4 to 7pm at the Oury Center. It will be a mix of potluck and bring your own food. We have access to the refrigerator, freezer, stove, microwave, and grills.

Zinman’s would like to put in a steel ramada on the Western third of the plaza, anchored to the walls. The hope would be to do it this summer.

The streetlights on 11th are out. Karen will report to the city.

Discussion

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity will be working with the Dunbar Coalition in the fall on a Neighborhood Improvement Project. This kind of project can be responsive to community concerns. The organization could also identify low income homeowners who qualify for minor home repair. Please share information on the program with people who are in need. Interested individuals can fill out an online application or call Habitat.

The Habitat mission is to bring people together to build homes, community, and hope.

The Neighborhood Partnership program is to revitalize neighborhoods. The hope is to get community members and other volunteers involved. There are two primary programs: critical repair and minor repair (“A Brush with Kindness”).

One hope is to get more high school students involved, which means that they could only do landscaping projects since they can’t operate power tools.

The focus is on resident-led change to be responsive to what local people want to see improved. At least five residents need to come together for the application. One of the intangible goals is bringing neighbors together.

If a house is chosen for a Habitat project, staff does a walk through. Habitat isn’t certified to deal with mold. Habitat won’t repair structures that aren’t part of the home.

Most left-over materials are left with the homeowner. With “A Brush with Kindness” there is a cost that the homeowner pays, on a sliding scale depending on their income. The Neighborhood Improvement Project does not have any cost.

Many volunteer groups are high school and university students.

Habitat would like to do some projects by July in Dunbar/Spring. Habitat is already planning a project potentially with the Dunbar Coalition, but it is still in early stages. The neighborhood can apply multiple times for the Neighborhood Improvement Project. Usually the projects are five hours. Habitat provides water, snacks, and any other necessary materials.

A few ideas would be the tool lending library or alley cleanups.

If someone qualifies for a “Brush with Kindness” project, Habitat will let the neighborhood know the date for the project if people want to volunteer.

The neighborhood can discuss at the May meeting which projects and which residents could benefit. Usually the project is scheduled within two weeks of the application. Some projects, such as cleaning a burned-down building, are beyond its scope.

Women Build is on May 12th so any women who want to participate are welcome.

Update on 100-Year-Old Buildings Map Project

Pima County Historic Commission approved $700 for the project. West University did approve the $350 for printing. Cirrus is giving the neighborhood a 50% discount on the printing.

The neighborhood needs to add around 15 houses for the 2018 iteration. There will also be a nice write up on the 100-year anniversary of the Dunbar School. Hopefully the map will be ready for the 100-year celebration at the end of September.

Update on Downtown Links

The lowest bid was $16 million over the project budget. All bids were rejected and the project will be starting over. The city is trying to evaluate why the project was over budget and will try to cut parts to bring it into budget.

Karen asked specifically about the deck park and the interim director of the Department of Transportation assured her that it was still in the plans. Unfortunately, RTA is the one who runs the project. There will be an RTA representative at the neighborhood meeting next month.

Elections

M(Joanna)/S (Dan)/A. Motion to approve the following slate of candidates:

President – Karen

Vice President – Natasha

Co-Secretaries – Eva and Christopher

Treasurer – Sky

Motion passed by unanimous assent.

Committee Reports

DNARC – Corky Poster shared about ongoing work on city zoning. Most zoning was created in 1948. Land is appraised at the highest and best use possible under the zoning. The infill incentive district was created to convince developers to work on projects in downtown instead of urban sprawl. They aren’t subject to as many requirements (such as parking). The project at Flycatcher is under the infill incentive district, which means that very little can be done to stop the construction. That is why “Save Fourth Avenue” is focusing energy on Malloney’s. But they are looking for a community benefit agreement from the developer and he seems willing to agree to a preference for local businesses. Rent control is illegal in Arizona, so not possible in Tucson. Some neighborhoods have plans, with the idea of guiding development, but they don’t have much legal weight so it is unclear whether it is worth the time. If there are five or six interested people, then they could spearhead this process in the neighborhood. A lot of properties currently have residences but are zoned as commercial. The homeowner can choose to zone down to residential, but the city can’t force anyone to change their zoning or else the city has to pay the difference in appraisal price. That is part of the reason the neighborhood plan doesn’t have much weight. Affordable housing in general has been possible through low income tax credits. Each state gets a specific amount of these low income tax credits and developers apply. In Tucson, projects used to have to be along the streetcar. But now with the change in the tax law, there is less need for low income tax credits because corporations in general don’t need to pay as much in taxes. This change will impact the 11th Avenue project. Barrio Sandwiches just opened up downtown as well as a new cookie place and some spas. The Mercado Annex will be opening at the beginning of May. Rio Nuevo was extended until 2035.

Downtown Links – See above.

WAMO – No updates

Neighborhood Garden – There was an Easter egg hunt at the garden with good turnout.

Dunbar Coalition – The cracks in the building are worsening around the historical side and the office. Corky and the construction engineer inspected. There seems to be water seeping in. There is the Visual and Textile Arts of Tucson upstairs. Rental rates increased from 50 cents a square foot to $2. Kore Press, a woman and poetry press, moved in this week. The Jewish Community Center and Tucson Urban League are interested. The Idea school is expanding. Debi acquired a matching fund for drainage work. The Coalition will apply for a $250,000 mortgage line of credit to fix upstairs and rent out. Joseph Graves of “War Field Kitchen” will lease the kitchen for $1500 a month. He will use it for his food truck and prep and delivery. Barbea is having a yard sale on April 20th and 21st. Dunbar Coalition will be receiving an award at the historic preservation ceremony.

Speedway/Stone Parcel – No updates.

11th Avenue Parcel – No updates.

Walkability/Neighborhood Foresters – No updates.

Approve March minutes

M(Joanna)/S(Dan)/A. Motion to approve March minutes.. Motion passed by unanimous assent with four abstentions.