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Welcome to Armory Park!

Welcome to the Armory Park, Tucson website, the official website of the Armory Park Neighborhood Association (APNA)! If you already live in Armory Park, you will find lots of useful information here. Please consider becoming an APNA member if you aren’t already one. Just click “Become a Member” to sign up. In addition to this website, we have an active listserv and a Facebook page. We have even on occasion been known to hand-deliver a paper notices to the neighborhood on important issues.

If you don’t live in Armory Park, thanks for taking the time to check us out. Maybe you’re considering moving here? You should be able to get a lot of your questions your answered – and maybe wind up with more questions than when you arrived.

Want to know anything else? Email Bill Duffy and he’ll track down an answer for you.

 

Baffert Headlines APNA Agenda

The most important subject for the meeting was the Baffert Project at 6th Avenue and 18th Street. Both APNA and APHZAB (historic board) have sent letters to the zoning examiner for entry into the record of the hearing to happen at the Mayor & Council IMG_2607chambers Thursday (12 April) at 6:00 PM. Both boards will also make presentation of their concerns at the hearing. Neither board is pleased with the proposed building height of 48 feet, much taller than any structure nearby. However, the most important issue is retaining the property in the historic zone so that the APHZAB will have some voice in how the project proceeds and to avoid a new precedent which could destroy our Historic Preservation Zone and others. The board asked for maximum resident attendance at the hearing to show that the community was very concerned about developments. There was consensus that if this rezoning is approved, there will be a succession of such actions going north along 6th Avenue (Wanslee Motors, Philbaum Gallery, Roy’s Market and more). Imagine what 6th Avenue will look like lined with buildings 48 feet tall or taller. The most public face of Armory Park will be disfigured and the western part isolated from the rest.

There was also an audit report presented by Ethermarie Hillman. President Anne Cooper had requested an audit of APNA financial records and procedures in an effort to improve the association’s financial management. Esthermarie has thoroughly examined APNA records and had a number of suggestions for improving clarity and accountability. The board was appreciative of her work and accepted a motion by outgoing treasurer David Bachman-Williams that an audit of the first quarter of this year be done to follow up on implementation of her suggestions. Further, he asked that she work with incoming treasurer, Tod Santee to facilitate his transition and further improve association financial management. Esthermarie agreed to do these things.

Follow up of last month’s item about Community Bridges offered mixed results. As a matter of policy, they will not hire security guards for their facilities, however they are looking at options for putting motion lights in areas where darkness may encourage bad behavior. On examination, parking along 3rd Avenue is likely to be cars not associated with Community Bridges.

Concern about poor police responses has been a subject of discussion on the listserv as it was at this meeting. Unless funding for the Police Department improves, this situation is likely to get worse before it gets better. Our neighborhood seems to get better responses than most but still less than acceptable. In the future it is likely that neighborhoods will need to work together to pressure M&C for higher priority for police funding. Until then, individual security measures (fences, cameras, lighting, etc.) seem like the only options.

Cleanliness of traffic circles was also a point of discussion. Primavera Works has been hired to do some cleanup but there were question as to how effective that has been. They are not very expensive but the results seemed poor to some. Follow up with Primavera may improve the situation or other landscapers may be considered. It was suggested that the APdS crew might be a good option.

Except for the Baffert issue, the agenda of the meeting may not have been exciting but these are the matters that add up to a pleasant neighborhood, or not. If you care about the community you should attend when you can and participate in committee work that fits your skills and interests. The work will always be done by a relatively small group of people but you can join in and make a difference with a small effort.

April Board Agenda

Your APNA board will conduct its regular meeting Tuesday. The meeting is likely to have some vigorous discussion, especially regarding the proposed Baffert development at 18th Street and 6th Avenue. The meeting agenda follows:
APNA Agenda 4-10-18

Armory Park Neighborhood Association

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 – 7:00 – 8:30 PM St. Andrew’s Parish Hall – 545 S. Fifth Ave.

Board Members:

Anne Cooper-P, John Burr-VP, Tod Santee-T, David Bachman-Williams- S, Fernando Chiquette,

Mark Crum, Bill Duffy, Phyllis Factor, Dee Dee Means, Sue Ellen Schuerman, Nadine Rund, Paula Wilk.

Alternates: Giovanna Hesley, Jenny Maloney, Jack McLain, Carla Proano, Tim Vanderpool.

Guests: none expected

AGENDA
Welcome and Introductions 05 minutes
• Call meeting to order at 7:00 PM Anne
• Roll Call Anne
• General Introductions All
• Agenda Anne
Approvals 05 minutes
• Minutes of March 13, 2018 meeting Anne
• Treasurer’s Report through March 2018. David
Presentations Guests 10 minutes
• APHZAB; Baffert update Martha McClements
Committee Reports: (as necessary) 30 minutes
• Communications: Anne/ All
• Civic Engagement: DNaRC, TRRG, Five Points Anne/John
• Development: Broadway, Benedictine, PADs, Union John
• Environs:
•    Sidewalk Committee John
• Historic: Paula
• Historic Funds: Possible ACTION ITEM John
• Membership: Phyllis
• Security/Crime: Magnus Town Hall Anne
• Social: Porch Party in May Dee Dee
• Southside: American Eat Co. Anne
• Transportation: John
• Other Updates:
• Clean-up/ Tree-trimming, update from Primavera Anne

 

Old Business/ Other Updates 15 minutes
Baffert Project and Rezoning. Letter from APNA—ACTION ITEM Anne/John/All
New Business 05 minutes
Donovan Durban ( Park Tucson) will come in May or June with Parking updates

Other?

Anne/John
Items for Future Meetings/ Announcements

New Development Proposals,as always

All 5 minutes
•    Announcements:

•    4-12 Zoning Examiner Hearing re Baffert 6pm M&C chamber

•    4-16 M&C

•    4-16 T-PCHC-PRS, also 4-30

•    4-17 APHZAB

•    4-21 Cultivate Tucson

•    5-7 DNaRC

•    5-8 Next APNA Meeting, SA, 7 pm

Call to the Audience
Adjourn Meeting by 8:30pm

Please note- Action Items can be made on any item, whether indicated or not, per bylaws.

If you have difficulty reading the agenda above, you can download a PDF version at: APNA Agenda 4-10-18

 

Downtown Tucsonan

Discussions in APNA and Historic Board meetings often cover things that are occurring in the downtown area. The Downtown Tucson Partnership has a feature on their website that may keep us better informed. Their Downtown Tucsonan page, reached at the NEWS tab (or https://www.downtowntucson.org/news/), will give you articles of interest. If you want a month by month reports covering  announcements, construction, housing and more, go to:  (https://www.downtowntucson.org/2017/10/downtown-pulse/).

Keeping up with the action downtown can facilitate those activities that attracted many of us to Armory Park. On the other hand you may learn of causes for concern regarding neighborhood and historic preservation. It’s a changing world out there; STAY INFORMED.

Help for Homeless Neighbors

As downtown residents, most of us are familiar with the Downtown Tucson Partnership (DTP). Their mission statement is: To be the catalyst for making Downtown Tucson the place people want to live, work, and play; where new ideas happen; and that is the economic development and cultural epicenter of the region. The ability to attract businesses and customers is an essential component.

One part of this effort is to minimize unpleasant experiences for downtown visitors. Unfortunately our large homeless population is often part of unpleasant experiences. DTP has taken a number of steps to discourage homeless people from making downtown public areas their home. One example is cleaning pavements in areas where people congregate overnight. The use of machinery and water spray makes the areas uncomfortable places to sleep.

One consequence of these steps is that homeless people move into residential areas and parks nearby. We see the increased homeless population in Armory Park on a daily basis. Also, even though these people don’t fit easily into the mainstream of society, they still deserve humane treatment.

DTP also recognizes these things so they have created a program labeled dtp connects. With this effort, DTP is trying to connect homeless individuals with the many programs which offer help.

dtp connects 1

dtp connects 2

You may want to get some of these cards to share with a homeless neighbor or to inform yourself. To learn more, go to the DTP site at https://www.downtowntucson.org/clean-and-safe/dtp-connects/. This contact information may also be helpful:

Security Ambassadors (520) 940-1038

Maintenance Ambassadors (520) 940-0806

The Downtown Tucson Partnership is located at 100 N. Stone, Suite 101, Tucson, Arizona 85701. For questions and general information, please call (520) 268-9030. 

APNA General Meeting Very Informative

Last night president Anne Cooper led a very informative general meeting of the Armory Park Neighborhood Association. It was well attended. Some of the highlights seem worth passing along to those who could not be there.

DeeDee means, APNA social chair presented recognition to those Christmas decorators who won prizes in the various categories:

Best Overall 211 S. 4th Ave. Michael Boren and Badhdadi Homeira,
El Amador Bed and Breakfast LLC
Best Old Fashioned 330 E. 3rd Ave. Jefferson Bailey and Richard Steen
Best Vintage 541 S. 6th Ave.  Matthew Noli and Megan Marcello
Best Macy’s Window Display
–  Ken Ellison and Tony Casteel  339 E. 16th St.
–  Randy Nico  333 E. 16th St.
Best Wreath 322 E. 18th St. Pedro and Rachel Vasquez
Best Inclusive 620 S.3rd Ave. Michael Lex and Dorothy Kret
Christmas Gone Wild 544 S. 6th Ave. Esthermarie Hillman
Chalk Art on 5th Ave. Janet Miller

Brian Chanecka from the main library at 101 N Stone Avenue told the group that the branch was seeking to forge closer ties with the neighborhoods nearby. He intends toLibrary attend the monthly APNA meetings to keep our community informed of activities at the library. He distributed a printed newsletter highlighting March’s activities and the month’s calendar. The best way to view the calendar and specific activities is to go to the library’s website at:
https://www.library.pima.gov/locations/mai/. If you want to know about events at the library, click on the Events tab just below the main heading. If you click on the other Events tab near the top center of the page, you can see information about all library branches.

We are fortunate to have an excellent library within walking distance, and there is free parking in the underground garage if you drive. Give our library a try.

There has been concern among residents in the northeast corner of Armory Park about disturbances which may be associated with the Community Bridges facility at 250 S Toole. Dane Binder and Toby Hall came to explain the nature of the facility and answer questions or concerns.

Community Bridges, Inc. (CBI) is a private non-profit, 501(c)(3) with a 31 year history of providing comprehensive behavioral health programs which include prevention, education and treatment services. The organization offers fully integrated medical and behavioral health care in 14 communities in Maricopa, Pinal, Gila, Yuma, Navajo, Apache and Cochise Counties. The facility next to Armory Park does outpatient services and now has 32 beds for inpatients’ short stays, usually seven days or less. For longer term care, patients are referred to other services. The facility also has mobile teams to reach out to those in distress throughout the city. The teams are available 24/7 and can be alerted through their crisis line, 622-6000. When someone constitutes an imminent risk of danger to themselves or others they are typically brought to a facility called the Crisis Response Center on Ajo Rd or a hospital with a locked unit, not Community Bridges. The community, including police, have received training surrounding that point.

Questioners and commentors raised a number of points. The facility has no exterior security. Frequent police and ambulance calls caused concern. Trash is often left around the facility. The facility attracts people who may be threatening to our residents. The CBI response was that people who come there want and need help so are less inclined to cause trouble. Staff tries to get the people inside the facility and keep them there but have no legal power to restrain them from leaving. Staff has extensive experience in dealing with such patients and can usually control the situation. When necessary, staff will call 911 for police help. Such calls have a level of 2 or 3 of the 8 levels for police response priority.

Others commented that the service provided is valuable to the community and possibly lifesaving for the patients. The facility is in an industrial area and is appropriate for that zoning. There are other activities nearby which may attract noisy and inebriated people, so one should be cautious before assuming CBI is the source of a problem. Toby and Dane will report to their company executives on the meeting and relay requests for motion lighting and exterior security. If you have any questions about Community Bridges Inc, contact Dane at dbinder2@cbridges.com. The number for the admin office based in Mesa, AZ is 480-831-7566. For immediate safety concerns please contact 911. 

Note: The verbiage above in italics was added based on feedback from Dane.

Martha McClements made a short presentation regarding the AP Historic Zone Advisory Board APHZAB). She explained that exterior changes required review and approval because most of Armory Park is in a Historic Preservation Zone. While that adds a little expense and inconvenience to exterior structural projects, it also preserves our neighborhood’s historic character and has a benefit of reduced property taxes. She said that the APHZAB is attempting to reach out in the community to keep our residents better informed. If in doubt about the review requirement for your project, contact her at mmcclements@earthlink.net. She also passed out this information sheet: Martha

After you have reviewed the website at the top of the handout, here is the link to the survey:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1_zHSTRACUxZlosBFX-W1vz8_NTaFT_sGZzYIgEU8J9I/edit

Final notes: A hearing on the Baffert project at 6th and 18th will be held in Mayor and Council chambers at 6:00 PM on April 12th. The final planning on sidewalk improvements is nearly complete. Since there is not enough money to do the entire neighborhood, the needs must be prioritized. If you have contributed money to the project, your need will be given priority consideration. The next porch party will be on March 24th from 5-7 PM. Further details will appear in the listserv. Armory Park del Sol will be having a potluck. Here is the invitation.

APdS Spring potluck 2018

Neighborhood Newsletter                    

From the President’s Pen

February 2018

Greetings friends and neighbors:

This is the first APNA newsletter for 2018.

It’s already been a busy year. In January, this year’s APNA board and alternates met for a strategic planning session. A lot of new things came out of that meeting, many of which you will see reflected in this year’s agendas.

New committees were defined and developed to address all the different things APNA is working on to help make this a better place to live. We are also seeking a stronger relationship with all the wonderful people in the neighborhood who, everyday, do special things that make this a great community to live in. We know we are missing many residents especially those who do not have computers. We want as many voices heard as this is your neighborhood and we want to represent all of you.

This year, like last, development issues will take a lot of time, effort and commitment, to help insure that the development enhances living here, rather than conflicting with our existing community. To do this, APNA has created a standing Development Committee, rather than having ad-hoc working groups.

We have also created a historic committee which will research historic monuments of the neighborhood as well as work with other historic neighborhoods in Tucson and Phoenix to share best practices in maintaining our historic standing, and mitigate over-development both locally and on a state wide level. Additionally, a historic streetscape documentation project is underway to formally document the Armory Park’s streetscape as part of the historic preservation process.

Below are updates on what we accomplished last year as well as what we will be doing this year. Look for the holiday lights contest winners, social gatherings coming up and what efforts are being made to keep Armory Park the unique neighborhood that it is.

The best way to understand what is happening, where, and why is to come to neighborhood meetings as each of the projects that impact us are discussed in real-time; we all have to work together to keep our neighborhood character alive. Please come and add your input to the conversation!

Please watch out for regular updates on meetings, news, and events at our website, www.armoryparktucson.org and our updated Facebook page, Armory Park Neighborhood Association and the Armory Park listserv. And please, let us know how you want to become involved this year!

Email us at info@armoryparktucson.org.

Best wishes,

Anne Cooper, President, APNA

Currents:

Social:

Armory Park is a vibrant and interesting place to live with an eclectic mix of individuals. Many events are happening here and in the city that affects us as a neighborhood. Connecting with each other helps us all be aware of these changes and know as group we have a voice. Our social gatherings are a great way to share ideas, hear the latest AP news, see friends and meet new people. The porch parties this past year worked out so well that two more are planned for this spring. In the fall we plan to have a Music Porch Fest. Winter will bring the Holiday Lights and Decorations contest and to end the year we wall have our neighborhood Holiday Pot Luck. Come join us on our porches!

If you would like to join the social committee, feel free to contact DeeDee Means at micasaadobe4@gmail.com.

Winners of the Armory Park 2017 Holiday Lights and Decorations Contest!

The neighborhood looked so festive this year. The judges had fun checking out so many creative displays. Below are the categories and winners of each:

  • Best Overall grand prize: 211 S. 4th Ave.;
  • Best Old Fashioned : 330 S. 3rd Ave.;
  • Best Vintage Display: 541 S. 6th Ave.;
  • Best Macy’s Window Display: 333 and 339 E. 16th St.;
  • Best Wreath: 322 E. 18th St.;
  • Best Inclusive – a large Monorah at 620 S. 3rd Ave.; and
  • Christmas Gone Wild!: 544 S. 6th Ave.

A special recognition award goes to Janet Miller who created a wonderful string of lights chalk art down her entire sidewalk.

Prize money will be given to the winners at the March 13th Armory Park Neighborhood Association meeting.

Development:

As you all know, the revitalization of downtown Tucson is going to impact the neighborhoods surrounding it in more challenging ways than anything that has ever come before.

Armory Park is pretty much at the forefront for that change because of our unique position adjacent to those changes. And we’re doing our best to maintain the unique character and way of life we have here. But the only thing constant now in that conversation is change. In some ways that’s good—85701 is now the most valuable zip code in the region, but with that new value, comes new pressures for redevelopment. There is no way to easily convey in a newsletter how complex the realities are. Armory Park Neighborhood has two historic districts, a preservation zone, about 14 overlay districts and generally horrible zoning. It’s amazing we are still here. The only area within the neighborhood that has any legal protections for its historic buildings is the city’s Historic Preservation Zone which accounts for about 80% of the area. The rest of it, inverting degrees, is up for grabs. We’re really lucky we are not next to the University or bisected by the street car as there won’t be many empty lots left in the next few years. What goes on them is an ongoing question.

Sidewalks:

APNA has been working on a project to fix the problems of our sidewalk for the last year or so. We’re finally completing the map of where that work will be done within the nearly $19K project to create the best connective network we can. We can’t do them all. The project is expected to start in March or April this year and finish within two months. Many have already contributed money to the fund to fix their problem areas, but this is the last window of opportunity for you to make sure your sidewalks are actually fixed in this project. If you’ve been cited by the city to fix yours, noticed people tripping outside your gate, or frustrated you can’t maintain broken areas, now’s the chance to correct it more cheaply than you could yourself. Remember, even though the city owns it, you are legally liable for what happens on it!

The project will be done by the city on a single permit. You won’t have to do a thing. We ask that you pay what you can, knowing that a typical 4′ by 4′ square section costs about $100 each to replace. But those who do chip in will be on the final fix list. The project can be expanded to do more if we get more money for it. Property owners will be getting a detailed letter this month with instructions, but if you have any questions, contact John Burr at jodabu@hotmail.com.

Armory Park Historic Zone Advisory Board (APHZAB):

The APHZAB is an excellent place to start the discussion about your building renovation project. To be on the agenda, please contact Martha McClements, the chairperson of the APHZAB, for guidance at mmcclements@earthlink.net or 520-629-0270. Arranging for an informal review while you’re still considering ideas for changes could be a major time and money saver for you to avoid having to redo plans. Also doing work without approvals could result in stop-work orders, fines, formal zoning violations, loss of the historic property tax break and even having to restore the property to its prior condition. Your project may be subject to city fees, but APHZAB services are free.

The APHZAB meetings are usually held in the Parish Hall of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church on E. 16th St. just east of S. 5th Ave. at 7 pm on the third Tuesday of the month. The time, place and agenda for a meeting, and the Legal Action Report documenting the results, are posted on the City’s Boards and Commissions website at:
https://www.tucsonaz.gov/clerks/boards ?board=9
in compliance with the Arizona open public meeting law requirements.

You can also visit the APHZAB page on our website at https://armoryparktucson.org/historic-zone-advisory-board/. One of our objectives this year is to create a resource folder of helpful handouts, names of APHZAB membership, key links and other information.

Armory Park Historic Streetscape Documentation Project:

The National Register of Historic Places recognizes that streetscapes are an integral aspect of historic districts, but without documentation there is little protection. Years ago the Armory Park Historic District lost many of their historic aluminum and black street signage because they were not protected. Longtime resident, Steve Grede, has developed an app to systematically document historic streetscapes (the first such project nationally). Collection of data including streets, curbs, street lights, signage, sidewalks, signage, vegetation, fences and walls began in the Armory Park Historic District last fall. Perhaps you saw some of the many volunteers standing on the sidewalk in front of your home entering data on a tablet or smart phone. The information and photographs, in combination with historic photos and plan will help determine if these are contributing features. That work is happening in the next couple weeks. His goal for this project is to download this information in a format useful to the City of Tucson and State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and to amend the Armory Park National Register documentation.

This will bring the Armory Park Historic Zone Advisory Board (APHZAB) and Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission into the review process if changes are proposed to contributing streetscape features. It makes us stakeholders in decision making where we would otherwise not have a voice.

Armory Park’s Feral Cat Program:

APNA can help out if you have feral cat issues on your property or nearby areas. The APNA Trap / Neuter / Release program has materials to loan, and can provide assistance in helping you get feral populations neutered so they don’t continue to grow. Pima County currently has a fund to cover T/N/R costs at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona. The APNA program helps get those resources, and provides back-up funding as needed. For more information, contact Nadine Rund at (520)622-5676 or nadine39@cox.net.

Neighbors Feeding Neighbors:

In 2006, St. Andrews Episcopal Church in conjunction with Armory Park Neighborhood Association started a program Neighbors Feeding Neighbors to feed those in need living in the neighborhood. The program is still partially funded through the neighborhood association through donations and the Armory Park biannual home tom. With drastic cuts to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), NFN has enlarged their boundaries to include all of the downtown area. If you or someone you know is in need of meals (recovering from surgery, or unable to cook for themselves) please contact St. Andrews Episcopal Church: saintandrewstucson@gmail.com or at (520) 622.8318.

Membership Form:

You can renew or apply for membership by downloading for printing and completion the APNA Membership Form. To accomplish all that we do over the course of the year, we need your help. We ask that you join our neighborhood association. Dues are just $10.00 per person ($20.00 per business) for the calendar year. Donations to the neighborhood and to the programs we help support are always welcome. And, please, be a real part of our neighborhood. Come to the meetings and parties. Pitch in as you can to help keep this neighborhood great.

Board Members and Officers:

Officers:
Anne Cooper— President
John Burr— Vice-President
Tod Santee – Treasurer
David Bachman-Williams— Secretary

Board Members:
Fernando Chiquette, Mark Crum, Bill Duffy, Phyllis Factor, DeeDee Means, Nadine Rund, Sue Ellen Schuerman, Paula Wilk

Alternates:
Giovanna Hesley, Jenny Maloney, Jack McLain, Carla Proano, Tim Vanderpool

General Meeting:

Our next General Meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 13th at 7:00 p.m. at St. Andrews Episcopal Church. Items on the agenda will include representatives from Community Bridges talking about their services and current and future development in the downtown area. We hope to see you there.

Armory Park Neighborhood Association,
P. O. Box 2132, Tucson, AZ 85702
(520) 955-9424
info@armoryparktucson.org
apnaazboard.gmail.com
armoryparktucson.org