January 2018

Minutes Date: 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Full Text: 

Treasurer’s Report

There is now $1301.01 in the account. Last month we spent $150.


There is a meeting Monday at 5:30pm about a Barrio Anita project.
If anyone would like to work on the yearly newsletter they are welcome. It would need to be released by the March meeting. There is a template and the newsletter can also include info on upcoming events, information on urban forestry, and any other articles people in the neighborhood want to submit.

The neighborhood won against Verizon. The City Council worded the decision in a way that it is difficult to be subject to a legal challenge.

There is a potential development near O’Malley’s, which would be stepping up to a maximum of 150 feet. The Maloney’s building that wraps around the back will be destroyed because it is partially condemned. There is no developer yet. They are in the Planned Area Development process but can’t use the infill incentive district process because of the building it is demolishing. They are just going through the process to market the land.

There will be a development near Flycatcher (Flycatcher will be destroyed and it is not historic because it isn’t in a context). Another building has already been torn down. This development is staying within the restrictions of the infill incentive district. The building will be five stories, but not on 4th Ave. The development will not be student housing, it will be market rate with retail. The parking will be partially underground. It seems to be a very interesting building as far as massing and details. The architects and the developers are good. Matt Stuart is the civil engineer and he is good to work with. There will be a public meeting possibly on February 7th and people from Dunbar Spring are welcome.

The library is doing a series of frank talks about difficult topics facilitated by the Humanities Council. The next one is in February and is about fake news.

Downtown Links

Joan Beckam, Sherry Martin and Blake Richards presented about the status of the Downtown Links. Downtown Links started several decades ago with the intent of moving traffic from Aviation Highway to I-10 without causing more downtown traffic. The first phase was drainage, the second was St. Mary’s and the third phase is to make the final connection.

Greg Paine is working on the 9th Avenue deck plaza art and he is considering a vertical chimes installation.

There is now a third party consultant construction and administration team and the project is currently open for contractors’ bid, with a due date of February 22nd. The construction will start in April 2018.

February 14th is a meeting with the Arizona Corporations Commission to seek approval for railroad crossing changes. The neighborhood has submitted support for the quiet zone application. Union Pacific also supports the application and approved the designs and safety measures to allow the quiet zone to exist. There was a question from Barrio Anita about also expressing support and Karen will follow up.

There is not yet clarity on which direction construction will start (in the West or the East). Those decisions will be made in conjunction with a contractor. There was a suggestion that the contractor come and speak to the neighborhood. There will be an open house before starting construction to review the proposed schedule. The contractor will need to relocate fiber-optic lines to start working. The schedule will probably be driven by drainage.
The process changed from construction management at risk to low bid (lowest responsible), which means it is not qualification based. There will continue to be a commitment to public input and communication.

There was a question about the Broadway/Aviation intersection design. Sherry confirmed that the bid package does include a redesign for that intersection.

Natasha asked about continued access for pedestrian and bike traffic to downtown. Joan confirmed that point will be emphasized with the contractor. Several neighbors agreed that is critical to have this continued access.
Karen asked about whether there are proposed art installations at Broadway and Aviation. Those decisions are in process and a notice to artists is out to solicit submissions. But this decision doesn’t seem to be made with neighborhood input. Natasha also asked about money for smaller artists on the deck plaza since there has not been communication from Jeff on this matter.

Christopher asked about final plans and where they are accessible. Joan suggested downtownlinks.info, which have the aerial photos. The detailed engineering plans should also be available on the TDOT website. They also suggested looking at the Pima Association of Governments for the regional transportation plan.
520-622-9000 is the project information line. The website (downtownlinks.info) is being transitioned from just design info to construction info. Once there is an open house there will be a mailing to all people in the area.

Sky asked about remedies if there are serious problems during construction. Joan confirmed that the contractor has to be bonded, licensed and insured and their work will be monitored and evaluated constantly. There are already agreements in place for the maximum that the railroad can spend. Sky and Natasha raised numerous potential ways that the project could fail, especially because the budget doesn’t seem to be sufficient.

There was also a question of how the Citizen’s Building (9th Ave and 6th St) would have access during construction.

The representatives made a note to check on this question.

Blake is the project engineer and Sherry the manager. Sam is the transit administrator and Tom Fischer continues to work with the city in a different role (he is working on a PAD on Broadway).

Joint Picnic with Barrio Anita

Gail came to represent Barrio Anita as she is active in reviving the neighborhood association. There is a proposal to have another picnic in Esteban Park and this time in conjunction with Barrio Anita. There was a proposal of a picnic

Sunday, April 29th in the afternoon. Sky proposed having the picnic in Barrio Anita to motivate neighborhood participation.

Borderlands will be doing a production in the neighborhood in April. Wednesday nights they will be gathering information for production ideas. Attendance has been poor from the neighbors for these events.
The neighborhood is hoping to have officer elections on Wednesday, January 31st from 6 to 7:30 at Ory. That step is critical to make sure the neighborhood is notified about developments.

There are no new updates about the parcel in Barrio Anita and proposed development.

There have been some safety, including drug, concerns in the neighborhood.

Vote on Proposed RTA Presentation

A representative from the RTA offered to make a presentation about their projects. The RTA oversees road projects around town for the next twenty years, including Grant, Downtown Links, and others. There were promises of alternative transportation.

There were questions about Speedway widening and neighbors were not sure the status of the project.

M(Karen)/S(Sky)/A. Motion to ask the RTA to come to do a presentation at a future meeting. The motion passed with 6 in favor and 4 opposed.

Andy will talk about the road diet on Main in March. Karen will invite the RTA representative in February or May.

11th Ave Project

Last month the neighborhood discussed with Glenn the neighborhood proposals of asks. Glenn has been working on the document and editing. The piece that wasn’t decided on last month was the definition of affordability.

Essentially, it is a question of whether the house should be a cost burden of 30%, 35% or 40% of household income. At 30%, the price would be $168,000 (or a monthly $1200 mortgage payment). That price assumes the houses are 1500 square feet and assumes a down payment assistance program.

The neighborhood has to decide what cost burden. There were concerns about causing too much stress and anxiety for people who are buying the houses. A Section 8 voucher would help reduce the payment.

The value of the lot is $50,000 and the developer wouldn’t have any land cost.

There was discussion of why developers can increase costs based on people’s income. There was agreement that the system wasn’t necessarily sensible, but it is how affordable housing works.

There were questions about why the neighborhood can determine the prices of properties. Natasha clarified that the neighborhood is interested in affordable housing. There were concerns about requiring on street parking when people probably need to use cars.

conomic and racial diversity of the neighborhood is being lost and the hope is that this project would mitigate this issue.

M(Natasha)/S(Dan)/A. Motion to set the cost burden of the affordable housing at no more than 30% of monthly income. Motion passed with 10 in favor and 1 abstention.
Committee Updates

DNARC – The meeting spoke quite a bit about Barrio Anita. Barrio Kroger Lane (south of downtown) received a grant from the Tohono O’odham to do an economic development feasibility study. There is discussion on Broadway between Rio Nuevo’s interest in historic buildings and preservation and the city’s development interest. The Iron Horse Neighborhood has a new improv theater. The Coronado building is almost finished and will have micro-units (300 square feet apartments) at market rate. There was a forum on neighborhood and area plans. Tucson has a general plan every decade or so and it is a resolution but not a law. Area plans are also resolutions. Neighborhood plans are more specific but still are just resolutions. Only zoning is force of law and it overrides the area and neighborhood plans. But there is still confusion about when the neighborhood plans need to be amended.

Downtown Links – See above

WAMO – ADOT owns Citizen’s Warehouse and will put it up for sale. The artists there are worried about their voice in the process. There are two pending pieces to the deck plaza: public bathroom and activating the public space for events. Robert at Citizen’s suggested offering to help maintain and calendar the space and offer space for a bathroom. By helping the city, perhaps the city will be inclined to purchase the Citizen’s Warehouse. There are questions of feasibility.

Neighborhood Garden – Vince is selling his house.

Dunbar Coalition – In December the Board approved Debbie Chesmabie applying for a grant to potentially get more solar equipment. The Board has changed the structure of the meeting to have reports submitted in advance. Now, meeting time will be focused on important questions of planning and processes. This month’s question was of the 100-year celebration. The original proposal was a gala but another option is a block party with the Southwest Folk Life Alliance. The party would cost $15,000. There would be entertainment and a program. The next meeting will focus on the kitchen. An option would be to have the YMCA use the kitchen in the short term. Another topic will be the heritage garden, which could be revisited for a future grant. There has been a growing disconnect between the Dunbar Coalition and the neighborhood, which should be overcome. Barber students are now parking more in the lot and from the perspective of the neighbor who had raised concerns, there has been improvement.

Speedway/Stone Parcel – The city seems interested in moving forward, so there may be developments soon, but the city is not communicating with the neighborhood.

11th Ave Parcel – See above

Walkability – There continues to be conflict about passable access in the neighborhood. However, no one is taking on this issue. Since this week is Brush and Bulky it is a great time to trim.

Neighborhood Foresters - There will be a pruning workshop February 10th. There may be new ways to get involved for people who can’t make it to the Saturday events.

December Meeting Minutes

M(Karen)/S(Matt)/A. Motion to approve the December minutes with three edits. Motion passed by unanimous assent.