September 2017

Minutes Date: 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Full Text: 

Announcements

Performing Arts Center discussion happened in August. The site has been in disuse for a prolonged period. City is looking for a proposal that would bring property up to code, use the property, and generate revenue. Hoping to receive creative proposals. There may be a follow up discussion September 21st but it may be delayed.

October 5th: planned development meeting about a hotel near the convention center (near Church and Cushing). The discussion is being initiated by Rio Nuevo and the city. There has to be a use swap to a different planned area development, but height maximum will continue to be 4 stories.

La Suprema apartments on Simpson St is applying for less parking.

There is interest in redeveloping La Placita to market rate apartments. However, the developer couldn’t afford their proposal and has had to revise it. The developer will maintain historic structures on the property.

Thursdays – Mindfulneess

Saturday – frank community talk about immigration and the American Dream (1-2:30pm)

November 18th – Tree planting

Need for a neighborhood special meeting about 11th Avenue, so propose a potluck and discussion. That could be October 22nd. We could order food from Caridad to supplement the potluck. (Will have formal vote next month).

Neighborhood century old homes tour might happen in December.

September 21st – an art show at Pima Community College with talk at 6pm. The show will be up until early October.

There is a Tucson Interpretation Collective that is happy to provide interpretation for events to promote bilingual spaces.

Treasurer’s Report

Same amount as always in account: $1446.01

Discussion

Platform site (9th Ave) presentation

Tom Warn introduced himself. He is a developer who has primarily worked in the city of Tucson, including the retail at Main Gate Square. Now he is working on the platform site. The city owns where the platforms are located, and a private company owns the rest. He has been meeting monthly with the development committee in the El Presidio neighborhood to refine site plan.

The developer owns most of the land except the Steinfeld Warehouse and the house on the corner of 6th and Church. Most of the concrete platforms will be eliminated because they don’t have structural integrity, but there will be a historic section that highlights the history of the railroad. There will be pedestrian walk crossing the site that goes past a small remaining section of the platform. The taller buildings will be against the tracks and step down from Stone to 9th. Along Franklin will be townhomes of two or three stories emulating railroad architecture. Along 9th will be retail. There is a thought of having a market move in at the triangle of 9th Ave and Church Ave. Could be between 12,500 and 17,000 feet. If not, it would be housing. The townhomes across the alley along Church would face inward because Church will start to drop in elevation as it approaches corner. There will be a courtyard connected to the Steinfeld courtyard across the alley. Housing will be market rate and parking structure on the bottom floors. The tallest building would be 148 feet (13 stories). Natasha suggested having the townhouses line up fronting Franklin on the same plane to be more historically accurate

Tom Warn said the city will be adding parking as part of Downtown Links on the north side of current 6th St. There was some dispute as to whether that is the case, but that is not part of the development so it was tabled. The parking structure will be segregated between residents of the apartments, people visiting the market and retail, and general public. It will be screened from view. On the corner across the alley, parking would be on that part of the lot. There were questions about the parking per unit and the infill improvement district (IID). IID has a lower requirement for spots per unit, but the developer plans to well exceed it because it is impossible to sell with less parking and the lender will also require it.

9th Ave will have a bike path and pedestrian path with landscaping. There will also be back-in parking to reduce bicycle accidents. Natasha was concerned about the fact that Downtown Links plans to have everything on the East side. The concern is that the bike path would be less safe on the East side. The narrowest part of 9th Ave would be 24 feet and the widest would be 40 feet. Narrowing the road is meant to slow people down. There will be a roundabout on the intersection of Franklin and Church to discourage traffic through the neighborhood along Franklin. Bikes would go around the roundabout with the traffic. There was some discussion about how to best route bikes and whether they could cut across the lot. The suggestion of having it be a multiuse path will be taken under advisement.

Karen asked about how the site anticipates accommodating the needs and use of the homeless population there. Tom agreed that is an ongoing discussion. Joanna clarified that a solution doesn’t mean kicking people out and for her is more a question of how to make spaces accessible and welcoming to a variety of populations who will use the space. There was a clarification that the Downtown Tucson Partnership is working with nonprofits to train people who accompany and help folks without homes access services. There will be a meeting at 1pm on Wednesday in the Roy Place building.

Natasha asked whether it would be gated and Tom assured that he would not accept that. He also clarified that it is market rate and not targeted to students. It will also likely not be affordable units, but possibly 15% could be affordable. In total there will be over 200 units.

The planned area development process will start soon. Tom offered to come back to the neighborhood association meeting. The earliest possible construction would be March 2019 and the fastest would be 15 months of building.

Verizon update with vote

Verizon has entered their plans with the city. There is a zoning examiner meeting Thursday, September 28th at 6pm at Mayor and Council chambers. The zoning staff has preliminarily indicated that the proposal meets the requirements. People can mail or email concerns, primarily those within 150 feet. Neighborhood residents can share views.

M(Karen)/S(Ezra)/D. Motion to approve option A “no cellphone tower wanted no matter what.” Motion failed by 5 no votes and 2 abstentions.

There was discussion about providing other options for placement. The idea of the options is to mitigate the view shed, that is, it is less obtrusive or visible from the neighborhood.

Those present at the meeting ranked the options in order, with the lowest score being the most preferable option.

M(Joanna)/S(Karen)/A. Motion to approve Option B according to neighborhood votes ranking preferences listed below: “In order for the neighborhood to support a cell tower in that area, we would like the zoning examiner to issue a continuance for Verizon to look at the following site selection ideas which have not been explored yet:

Put the roof of Entrada Real apartments, preferably closer to Stone
New pole built on the landscape island inside the courtyard at the southwest corner of the building (building North of University)

Attached to one of the already existing larger TEP poles further south on Ash Alley between University and 4th Street

Pole flush against Entrada Real apartment building (painted the same color as the building) on the southwest inside corner (building North of University).
Attach to a new pole which is flush to the interior of the existing masonry site wall on Ash Alley south of University”

Motion passed with 6 yes votes and one abstention.

Garden Presentation

There was a successful garden party and the garden wants a reimbursement for a small amount of out of pocket expenses. There were concerns about Dunbar Coalition’s responsibility to pay as well. There was no exact amount requested so the vote was tabled. It would be helpful to have receipts as well. More specificity about the work of the garden would be helpful.

Committee Reports

DNARC – No updates.

Downtown Links – Tom Fischer no longer the project manager, now Sherry Martin. There is a request for qualifications and there will likely be a request for bids at the end of the year, theoretically followed by construction three months later (in March or April). The project has been delayed several times and there is still a building to be demolished. Former chair of the citizens’ advisory committee said in a recent article that “Dunbar Spring got the short end of the stick.” Sky and Karen were both quoted.

WAMO – No updates

Neighborhood Garden – Updates above.

Dunbar Coalition – Juneteenth is doing the yearly celebration at Dunbar and is interested in having their meetings at the Dunbar Coalition. Martio is offering scholarships for the barber academy, since many were lost. He also started the Dunbar Media Institute, which would like to move into an upstairs classroom. Barbea was awarded a mastery prize for her work. Corky Poster gave a $200,000 estimate for finishing the upstairs classrooms. Current tenants will have to pay slightly more. Dunbar Coalition will advertise for tenets. The U of A is interested in a Dunbar Fellow program for students to support the work. Regina accepted the position of honorary chair for the 100-year anniversary. Date is still tentative and theme decisions are in progress. Black Women’s Task Force Gala will recognize Dunbar Coalition as a community honoree at the end of September.

Speedway/Stone – No updates.

11th Ave Parcel – Glenn will be at October meeting.

Walkability – No updates

Neighborhood Foresters – There was a successful pruning event in early September. November 18th there will be a tree planting.

August Minutes

Natasha had suggested edits so will send around suggestions before final approval. Matt will send out minutes document again to Natasha.