May 17th, 2021 Meeting Minutes Taken by Faffs Riederer
1. Call to Order - 7:03 pm
2. Sign-In & Introductions
Attending: Damian Rawoot (parliamentarian), Faffs Riederer (president), Cedar Dal Warman (vice president), Barbara Coffee, Karen Green, Sky Jacobs, Gail, Natasha Winnik, Angela H, Kermit, Mark Goehring, Lisa Scoblink ,Bradford Trojan, Abra (treasurer), Margie Donovan
3. Treasurer’s Report
Abra: 960.33$ (is the same) working on transferring the account from Natasha.
Natasha spoke with the credit union and we need an EIN. Officers will figure this out offline. 4. Announcements
a. Central Business Expansion, City Economic Development Office, Barbara Coffee: The Central Business District allows the city to offer a tax incentive for new development as a way to encourage commercial projects that have an economic impact (Program is called Government Property Lease Excise Tax or GPLET). Focused on developing undeveloped land(parking lot, empty lot) or rehabbing buildings to use in commercial use (adaptive reuse). June 22nd City Council Meeting seeking approval for the expanded CBD. They are encouraging the creation of Community Benefits Agreements with developers to use GPLET to get more concessions.
Natasha: why is 11th Ave parcel on this map, it is dedicated to affordable housing? Barbara: I can follow up with the specific story on that property.
Natasha: Can we omit areas that we don’t want included?
Barbara: Yes, they can be omitted. That’s why I’m here to get feedback. I will get the rationale for why these things were included.
Faffs: what are some good projects that have benefitted from CBD expansion? Barbara: This gives us another tool in our toolbox and lets us ask for concessions from developers.
Announcement: Karen: went to the Hotel Tucson redevelopment meeting. They will keep the hotel and add other buildings. Will plant 100 trees. Will not do solar. Height would be 2 to 3 stories. Targeting workforce housing (households making between 26K and 52K)
Sky: the building on 7th Ave and Speedway they want to redevelop into apartments.
Lisa: On the third Saturday of each month, the Tucson Urban League runs The Heritage Market at the Dunbar upper parking lot.
5. Committee Reports
a. 11th Ave Karen: Talked to Anne C. She said that the city used to own housing but got out of that business, but that there is some talk that they should get back into it. This parcel is one of three that they will be doing a request for proposals (RFP) for to see if they can find a developer that wants to build here.
6. Reports from the Field
a. DNARC - (Downtown Neighborhoods and Residents Committee) (not a committee of the DSNA) 2 staffers from the Mayor's office came. City is hiring an equity officer. Some city offices are reopening. Pop up vaccination at the fox on friday nights. Campfire cycling new bike shop is opening up. 8 more restaurants are adding outside seating parkelts.
b. Neighborhood Foresters - There were some problems with the repaving of University. Brad sent the officers a list of the problems (and sent it to the city) Cedar will follow up with Brad and see if we can support in any way.
c. Historic Fourth Ave Coalition (HFAC) - Working on a pilot public bathroom project
d. Dunbar Coalition - Lisa will send out meeting notes to the list
e. Barrio Neighborhood Coalition - Karen: looking into water rates to help low income folks pay water bills. LITECH (Low-Income Housing Tax Credit). State is looking at restoring some money into that project. Pima county land trust has gotten a grant to look into accessory dwellings as infill affordable housing. They will spend the next year looking into that.
f. Downtown Links Karen: Stone still sucks. Toole/Stone will be closed until July.
a. Central Business District Expansion Discussion and POSSIBLE VOTE to express our position (30 minutes) Karen: We have voted in the past to not support any GPLET Projects in our neighborhood. The 3rd party that is supposed to monitor the agreements and make sure the city is getting a good deal. They have approved every GPLET. Karen does not trust the city development agency at this point. GPLET is not very accessible for smaller developers.
Sky: this sounds like it incentivised larger development and is not the kind of development that we want here.
Natasha: I’m concerned as to why those areas were selected and Barbara couldn’t tell us why they were selected. The last community benefits agreement that we figured out had very small concessions. Most of the people that sit on the stakeholder meetings are developers. The parcel at Arrow Stripping will go up for development soon. Also possibly the transmission shop.
Barbara: (Via email: the number of vacant properties make it ripe for development)
Sky: do we even need incentives? Seems like housing prices are way up as it is.
Damien: Is this incentive very attractive to people building affordable housing? Karen: No. LITEC is how affordable housing is built. GPLET will not give enough incentive for it to pencil out to build affordable housing.
Natasha: The creativity that we like in buildings is smaller scale. Not large scale development. Trinity is not successful and they are not willing partition up the top floors for small businesses
Sky: Has there been affordable housing developed through GPLET?
Gail: Some questions: in all these projects, is there any discussion of water consumption? We are reading about the drying of our aquifers, is there discussion of the aesthetic of the architecture?
Angela: We are concerned about having more affordable housing. If we put in GPLET, would they have to change the zoning?
Karen: They would still have to apply to change zoning separately from GPLET
Motion: We should empower the president to write a letter to our City Council Rep Lane Santa Cruz asking that the two areas that are in our neighborhood be removed from the CBD expansion. We can add our reasons to the letter.
- We want affordable housing as a priority
- There hasn't been accountability CBDS
- Most projects have not been ones we would want in our neighborhood
- Concern about overlay on affordable housing parcel 11th
- GPLET is not as accessible to small scale development
- This area already has high property values.
Motion passed 11/0
Natasha will proofread the letter.
8. Approve April minutes
Motion passed 10/0 (one abstention)
9. Adjourn - 8:20 p.m.