January 2017

Minutes Date: 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Minutes PDF: 

Full Text: 

Treasurer’s Report – Currently all neighborhood money is located at Tucson Old Pueblo Credit Union


Fanny’s Cocina has opened up across from La Cocina downtown. They have meals to take home and eat and will deliver to our neighborhood. https://fannyscocina.com/ 3-7 Mon-Thurs.

Bookbike and Seed Library hosting a 5th Birthday Party on Sat. Feb. 4th from 2-4 at the Main Library – helmet and light giveaway, bike repair, bike rodeo, seed cleaning demo, storytime and more. Tour de Little Free Library will be held Sunday Feb. 12th.

Natasha brought up a mini-grant from the Arts Foundation. $300 maximum, project must be completed by end of April. She will apply for money to buy paint to redo the mural at the intersection of 11th Ave/University.

Tree pruning and mulching workshop on Feb. 11th 9 am in the community garden – it’s free. If you would like to have pruning at your home chipped and turned into mulch, you must contact Omar (nativeroots.az@gmail.com, 520-425-9795) to let him know by Friday, February 10. Suggested minimum donation is $30.

A small group is going to start planning a spring dinner under the stars for the neighborhood. If you are interested in helping out contact Ezra.


Pima County Supervisor Richard Elias – wide ranging discussion

  • There are 63 neighborhood associations in District 5. 90% of this district is within the city limits, it is the most urban of the districts.
  • Agrees with ½ cent sales tax the city is putting forward for roads and public safety
  • The county lost 25% of assessed value in the last 8 years. Pima County has lost 1000 employees and has increased costs for health care. Now property values are improving so there is money in the budget to possibly be used for roads. Should be divided up between the jurisdictions.
  • The state gas tax has stayed the same since 1991, it makes sense to increase it to help pay for roads. HURF (Highway Users Revenue Fund) is used to pay for Dept. Public Safety, not for roads as it should be.
  • With the election there is a changing dynamic on the board of supervisors, and there is a new sheriff.
  • Opposed to giving Monsanto a tax break – he is concerned about poor business practices, GMOs and legacy chemical issues from this company. Economic development deals are to help incentivize business’ to decide to come and provide jobs. Monsanto is already coming (they bought the land) and they don’t need a financial incentive (they are a wealthy company). The county has no authority to regulate Monsanto. There is a board meeting Feb 21, 9:00 am 130 W. Congress to discuss the Monsanto deal
  • We need to change how we pay for roads as transportation changes.
  • There is a proposal to increase sewer rates by 4%. Instead prefer a proposal to increase cost of new connection fees.
  • Question about how to advocate for more equitable distribution of money to city area for services. 60% of county budget goes to criminal areas – jails, prisons, lawyers.

Downtown Links – Tom Fisher

  • 4 lane roadway linking I-10 to Broadway. Phase 1 – 8th St Drainage was finished 2012. Phase 2 – St. Mary’s was finished 2014. Phase 3 is the most difficult part. 100% plans were submitted in 2015. 2016 properties were acquired, utilities relocated, Union Pacific master agreement signed. 2017 go to Arizona Corporation Commission, 3 more demolitions, environmental cleanup. Mid Year put out RFP in the $40-$50 million range. It will take a month to 6 weeks to review then construction company will be selected.
  • The main intent of this road is to take traffic just cutting through out of downtown.
  • Sam Credio not working on this project – Sherrie Martin is the engineer on the project.
  • Public art questions – concern about piece on St. Mary’s as it’s only part way complete and one of the artists working on it has died. Concern about deck plaza art work as citizen’s art panel hasn’t been in touch with the artist for months. Tom will contact the Arts Foundation and see what is happening.
  • Construction will start around 9th Ave because of the drainage issues. 9th Ave and 5th St will be temporarily closed. They won’t close major streets for very long but 9th Ave will most likely be closed for a year.
  • Union Pacific will need to create a shoo-fly (3rd rail) on the south side of the tracks that will start at Main and cut back in for the Stone Ave overpass.
  • Question about costs – there is $38 million available from RTA funding and $9-10 million from HURF funding. If there are overruns they will take money from other TDOT projects and delay their construction.
  • The low whistle zone will happen only at the very end of the project.

Neighborhood Preservation Zone

  • Joan Hall from Jefferson Park neighborhood talked about their process – Feldmans was the 1st neighborhood to go through the process
  • It is an overlay to an existing zone that gets approved by mayor and council. The city hired a facilitator and created a task force that included developers, neighbors and city staff to create a design manual. Then the city must look at this manual before approving any new development in the neighborhood. A design reviewer hired by the city reviews construction permits that impact the streetscape to make sure they match up with the design manual.
  • This was a contentious process for them with many letters and e-mails and meetings with elected officials. Besides the task force meetings there are zoning examiner and board of adjustments and city council meetings to attend
  • There are questions about how to amend this document moving into the future.
  • It was all volunteers who participated (10 people on task force).
  • At least 60% of the property owners need to agree to this document – they actually need to reply by phone or mail saying they agree.

Verizon update

  • We sent in a list of requests when Verizon approached us about locating the tower at Merles. Even though it has moved across the street and it’s a different process with the city in the new location, we can still send Verizon those requests. We will indicate in the letter it doesn’t matter where the pole is located, we still want these items.
  • Question about height of the pole
  • Question about whether TEP is taking down some of the transformers on Ash for Downtown Links and whether Verizon can go in that location – Ezra and Natasha will investigate this
  • Motion to revise previous letter sent to Verizon and reference requests for whatever location is used. 10 – Approve, 1 Abstain

Chicane Maintenance

  • Brad was not here to discuss this topic

Curb Coring

  • No one from the project was here to discuss this topic

Sahara Update

  • Ezra sent the letter to the Sahara and the owner seemed amicable to the idea of cleaning up the right of way and fixing the drip irrigation. We are unsure whether the city has contacted the Sahara yet or not.

Committee Reports

  • DNARC – DNARC board is holding a retreat so there was general discussion about the vision for downtown. The healthy neighborhoods subcommittee had presentations from two different land trust groups. Karen will invite the Pima County Land Trust to present at our March neighborhood meeting.
  • Downtown Links – Tom Fisher presented tonight
  • Garden – Plants are growing and there is a desire for potluck. The water bill skyrocketed (possible issue with emitter on fruit tree by 11th Ave). Lisa will talk with Becky about this.
  • Dunbar Coalition – Juneteenth event moving to the Dunbar School. No trespassing signs will be posted in the parking lot – the folks sleeping there in their cars will no longer be able to do so. There was a complaint about the chicane being overgrown close to Main. The students at the barber academy will be parking in the parking lot. There is a concern about loud music from the cars and speeding/aggressive driving in the neighborhood
  • Speedway/Stone – Subcommittee met to discuss list of requests from previous development that was going in at this location. The items on this list are still valid (and can also work for any development going in at Main/Speedway as well. The list is as follows:
    • Maximum of 3 stories facing existing houses, can go up higher as it’s stepped back
    • Shade trees
    • Bike parking
    • Front porches for the 1st story facing existing houses
    • Traffic calming measures to discourage pass through traffic
    • 33% of units would be affordable housing – this is connected to the Stone Avenue Corridor Study
    • Minimum silver LEED certification (or without certification, the parts required for certification)
    • The neighborhood will work with the design team for the development so it will be compatible with the neighborhood facing existing houses
    • Native vegetation will be planted within water harvesting earth works
    • Dark sky compliant lighting
    • Sidewalks along 9th Ave
    • Aim to get locally owned commercial retail tenants
    • 75% owner-occupied units
    • Reduce heat island effect
  • 11th Ave Parcel – grant was not approved. Glenn from City Planning Dept will be in touch as he is working on the RFP
  • Walkability – no update

Motion to approve December 2016 minutes. 8 Yes, 1 abstain