October 2016

Minutes Date: 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Minutes PDF: 

Full Text: 

Treasurer’s Report – currently $765.73 in Urban League account

Announcements

Pima Association of Governments (PAG) has funding for neighborhood watershed maps. There is a draft map on the bulletin board on 9th Ave – give feedback to Brad Lancaster. These maps show where the water drains, heat maps, bike boulevards and bike crossings and any public art that has to do with water or transportation. Later there may be a map with temperature imaging – this is only measured every 10 years. PAG will provide images for us to use on our website, for grants, etc.

Watershed Management Group wants to borrow the bike rack by the garden for an event (they have done this before)

Upcoming library events – Tue. Nov 1, noon-1 Jazz music; Sat. Nov. 5, 2-4 Short Story Writing; Sat. Nov. 19, 2-4 Gratitude writing; Sat. Nov. 19th 8:30-9:30 Bookbike volunteer training

Discussion

11th Ave. parcel – This is to be a housing project between 1st/Speedway for work-force housing. The original design model had 7 lots. We want to see a path to home ownership and that the homes will be affordable housing in perpetuity (a nonprofit would buy the home back and resell at a lower than market price). Glenn Moyer from the City of Tucson Housing and Community Development Dept. came to talk about this project. The parcel is currently cleared so the city can dispose of the parcel.

Glenn told us about the FHR Cares Foundation grant opportunity for $100,000 to be used for affordable housing. The grant is due by the end of October and the city is applying for it for this project. The city has moved away from the idea of just getting rid of the property to the idea of using this as a pilot project to see what can be replicable in other neighborhoods with other city owned parcels. As part of the grant they will include U of A design department involvement, keep the idea of long-term affordability and create homes that are affordable to operate as well as to buy. They will design in context with current homes in the neighborhood. Partners involved are the City of Tucson, City of Tucson IDA, U of A, TEP, Dunbar Spring Neighborhood and they need a builder as well. Currently, the money from the grant is targeting site engineering, but Glenn would like to use the money for a part of the project that is replicable in other neighborhoods.

There is an interest in having angled parking if available. If there are eight houses developed, we can pursue a no parking space variance.

The neighborhood’s main goal is for affordable housing, not for a developer to make money. Glenn reminded us that non-profits who build affordable housing also need to make money too to run the nonprofit.

We can create guidelines for a scoring system and set minimum requirements for selecting which developer would get the project. We can make sure the minimum requirements are honored and don’t have to just pick the highest score.

If this grant happens, Glenn will lose control of the project, but our neighborhood subcommittee will be an integral part of the process.
Motion to keep subcommittee for 11th Ave parcel project. 15 approve, 1 abstain

Main Ave Road Diet Update

Ann Chanecka, City of Tucson Bike/Ped Program gave a presentation about Main Ave Road Diet (two lanes in each direction will be reduced to one lane in each direction with a turn lane, extra cement can be used for on-street parking and bike lanes – restriping will be done for safety and livability improvements. Tucson has had over 20 road diets happen. Granada is one example of a road diet.

Our neighborhood sent letters to the Dept. of Transportation in both 2008 and 2014 expressing our interests.

This project will take place after Stone/Speedway project is done, possibly another six months.

In 2013, the traffic count on Main was about 8000 cars/day

Ideas – make them scalable with paint, so if money comes in later they can build with more permanent materials. It is important to keep the connection with University and Davis School as well as the street to get through to the west side. Most of the street is 54 feet wide – we will be able to get parking on one side only. There is strong interest in having the parked cars act as a buffer for the bike lanes. Business owners have a concern about having enough parking. Discussion of possibly alternating side of the street and parking. Concern about two bike lanes on each side of traffic. Concern about a two-lane bikeway ending up nowhere (this kind of bike lane most likely won’t happen – Ann thinks one bike lane in each direction is safer). They are exploring a baby HAWK for University and Main crossing – neighbors are interested in a crosswalk there. Our letter asked for a crosswalk and HAW crossing at University Main, and crosswalk striping to the park on 1st St. There was a question about using green paint to designate bike lane. In order to put in a crosswalk, there have to be counted on various occasions, 20 pedestrians/hour to consider it. Possibility of a pedestrian refuge if they can’t put in a crosswalk. Currently there is a crosswalk at Davis, south of the Railroad tracks, but cars don’t stop. There will not be a turn lane onto 4th Street (this comes out of Downtown Links/Less Whistle Zone project). A question about putting in angled parked revealed there would not be enough room on Main for that. If the road is comfortable with the road diet, more pedestrians and bicyclists will want to use it. The book Streetfight by Janette Sadik-Khan was recommended. A question was asked about the State Law Yield to Pedestrian signs – there is an adopt-a-sign policy so that a group would pay for the installation of the signs as well as pay for replacement if damaged. The signs have to be located in a crosswalk, on a road with a speed limit of 25 mph. Funding possibilities for this project – the pavement bond funding was renewed and that can help pay for resurfacing Main. Will need to apply for grants for expanded amentieis.

Ann Chanecka, City of Tucson will work on a variety of design concepts that she will bring to a future meeting.

Speedway/Stone development

Developers have not been in contact with Ward 1.

Motion to create a Speedway/Stone subcommittee - 15 approve, 1 abstention

Trader Joes

In conjunction with above topic, Trader Joes is looking to close an underperforming store in the area and looking at downtown area (they are also looking at the Mercado area). Do we want to send a letter saying the neighborhood wants to invite them to create a proposal for the city owned portion of the Speedway/Stone parcel?

Concern that it will not be a Trader Joes forever; concern about the size of the parking lot and overflow parking; need to check in with neighbors on 9th Ave; what kind of interface do we want to have with the neighborhood, concern that the letter would not be seen as a blank check for Trader Joes, they would still need to interact with the neighborhood

Some were excited at the thought of bringing this store to the downtown area

Comment made by someone who lived within 50 ft of the Campbell’s Trader Joes that they tend to have smaller parking lots, and they give the unsold food that they are able to the Community Food Bank and other shelters so there is not a dumpster diving situation

Motion to send a letter of interest to Trader Joes to look at the Speedway/Stone intersection - 17 approve, 0 against

Bank account at Tucson Old Pueblo Credit Union (TOPCU)

Our current bank account is with the Urban League, which we can use as a fiscal agent if we are applying for future grants.

Interest in opening a separate account that will have more flexibility and easier to both deposit money as well as for check writing.

Motion to open a business account at TOPCA with the authority to make deposits and withdrawals by Gail Toomey and Karen Greene - 16 approve, 0 against

Motion to move all but the minimum balance from the Urban League account to the new account – 16 approve, 0 against

Tree trimming

There is a concern about rogue pruning and trimming of trees in other people’s right of way (ROW) without permission.

We did already vote on this, but can’t find the record of this vote.

Request to make the body of the letter available for neighbors to send to neighbors, that would not be signed by the board. This letter could be available on the website as well as the bulletin board.

The main concern is a lack of communication, and that it is not just one person making a decision about what is right for others

Question about what would trigger a letter from the neighborhood?

This is seen as doing a kindness to a neighbor by communicating concerns since there is a city ordinance about what is expected/allowed in the ROW.

Concern about the Sahara property – both Lorraine and Ezra have been in touch with property owner and Code Enforcement has been contacted since there has been standing water which brings a concern about mosquitoes.

Concern about some neighbors not having the tools, needing help, can’t take care of the property but not knowing who to ask, or not feeling comfortable asking for assistance.

Motion to approve policy that if you are concerned enough to trim trees in another person’s ROW, you would give them a week’s notice using two of the four following means of contact – letter, e-mail, phone call or in person. 14 approve, 0 against

Fall neighborhood tour

This was a huge success with about 200 people showing up – the article in the Sunday Arizona Daily Star helped tremendously. We raised $1060 from the tour and $68 at the after party.

If we do this again, it should be longer than two hours, possibly with rotating houses so everyone would have a chance to go on the tour.

The money raised at the after party will go into our new account, and the amount from the tour will be divided by two and a check will be written for Caridad Kitchen (Community Food Bank)

Fall tree planting

This will take place Saturday Oct. 29th from 7:30 a.m until done. Meet at 813 N. 9th Ave. There will also be a basin service opportunity to dig a basin lower than street level with a November/December curb coring service possibility to redirect rain water runoff. We can do this curb coring with one permit, just have interested people chip in to cover the cost.

Tucson Audubon Habitat at Home program

This is a certification program through the Tucson Audubon – you get a sign for your yard for a variety of reasons – support native wildlife habitat, harvesting water, dark sky compliant lighting, etc. If you have a super supportive habitat you can get additional recognition. This is currently for residences and businesses, but might in the future be for neighborhoods. Go to www.tucsonaudubon.org for more information.

Walkability concerns

A subcommittee would create a neighborhood stance on this.
Motion to create a subcommittee that will create a solution for a neighborhood stance on walkability – 14 approve, 0 against

Committee Reports

DNARC – prior report sent out – group from different neighborhoods working on community-wide discussion and move for solutions for gentrification in downtown neighborhoods; Coronado Hotel changing – no longer Section 8; One West Broadway will have medical center on 1st floor; development at Park/Broadway will potentially be a 900 bed tower with 7 stories

Downtown Links – no new information except there are problems with the railroad not wanting any crossings at 7th and 9th Ave

Garden – Becky is moving ahead with garden plans

Dunbar Coalition – concern about people living in their cars in the parking lot (and perhaps doing other things in their cars that might not be legal as well). Cosmetology program has application in for November start in first floor of building.

Motion to approve September 2016 minutes. 13 Approve, 1 Abstain