November 2010 Minutes

PDF November 2010 minutes

Armory Park Neighborhood Association
Annual Meeting and Board Meeting
9 November, 2010
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Parish Hall

Board members present: Elizabeth Burden, John Burr, Tom Cline, Phyllis Factor, Elizabeth Garber, George Mairs, Brooke Sanders, Tod Santee, Jerry Swatez, Chris Stebe, Tim Vanderpool, and Nadine Rund (alternate)

Board members absent: Marian Gin (alternate)

Guests: Officer Orduño, Mark Crum, members of Batucaxé, Vernon Berry, Leslie Altizer, Peter Hoagwater, Tom Castillo, Susan Caldwell, Raymond Paduck, Fred Eisele, Nancy Mairs, Margit Ritchie, Dolores Gohdes, Ruth Kibler, Ken Helwig, deVie Weinstock, Jim Allender, Mary Sabatini, Christina Parisi

Annual Meeting

Welcome and Introductions

  • Meeting called to order at 7:07 p.m.
  • Liz Burden welcomed all persons present.

Presentations by guests

Tucson Police Department (Officer Orduño)
In October, there were 17 calls for service, including 8 larceny calls, 5 criminal damage calls, 1 house break-in (in the 14th and 3rd area), and 3 motor vehicle theft calls. Questions about vandalism of cables, trees, and other mischief were brought up. Officer Orduño reported that there is no suspect information and that the vandalism has spread north to the University West neighborhood. These incidents have been discovered in the late afternoon, and seem to occur early mornings. It was unknown if patrols have been set up and there is no intervention, according to Office Orduño, although John Burr and Tom Cline indicated that patrols during the critical times of action have been stepped up. Neighbors being affected were strongly encouraged to call TPD’s 911 line. There is also a spate of graffiti, including “1451,” stickers with the words “we’re living in a dark age” on the boxes cut, and anti-TEP graffiti.  If a visit from an officer is not desired, TPD has an on-line form for reporting crimes.

Carnaval (Brooke Sanders and Batucaxé members)
Batucaxé is coordinating Carnaval, which will take place February 19, 2011, in Armory Park; it will be the 9th annual event in Tucson. Batucaxé members explained that Carnaval is a worldwide event, brings a lot of cultures together, is a community-oriented event, and has many activities for all ages.  The theme for this year is “Dancing in the Streets.”

Liz Burden explained that one of the Board issues has been how the neighborhood should be involved with Carnaval. Brooke suggested that help with fliers in the neighborhood will be needed, as well as volunteers during the event on February 19. Batucaxé members also invited APNA neighbors to contribute their time, as the event is inclusive.

City of Tucson Entertainment District (Christina Parisi, City Manager’s Office)
The state recently passed an exemption of a law that requires 300 feet between a bar or restaurant with a series 6 liquor license and certain establishments such as schools and churches, due to an increasing density of such establishments in densely urban areas. Tucson is allowed to set up three one square mile “Entertainment Districts” where the exemption would apply.   “Entertainment includes not only bars and restaurants, but museums, art studios, etc. Applicants for liquor licenses would still go through the process of application and neighborhood feedback would still be solicited. Ms. Parisi explained that once a district is established, it is in perpetuity: it cannot be modified in the future. Guessing future use is difficult, however.

Ms. Parisi reported that the City Manager’s office is now working on a draft of boundaries for an Entertainment District that includes parts of Armory Park. They want to have only one of the districts in the downtown area and the near west side and Main Gate want to be part of the “entertainment district,” as well as North 4th Avenue businesses and the Cushing Street/TCC areas. Areas of Armory Park included are along Scott Avenue, and includes one historical residential property. To move forward, the City Manager’s office needs feedback by January.

John Burr asked why the TPD building and MOCA were not included in the district, as there is discussion about its being a museum block. He also suggested that the block east of South of 4th Ave. between E. Broadway and E. 12th St. could be taken out, as it is residential. Ms. Parisi indicated that because this block along S. 4th Ave. includes commercial zoning, this might be tricky.

Tim Vanderpool asked about Proposition 207 that restricts the city from rezoning areas without the property owner’s consent: Ms. Parisi has discussed this with other neighborhoods: they have to be careful that they don’t restrict activity that could go into a commercial zone. “It’s all about use,” she concluded.

APNA Elections (John Burr)

Reelections: Positions up for reelection were those held by Liz Burden, Elizabeth Garber, Jerry Swatez, and Chris Stebe; the position occupied by Karen Olsen was vacant. [Chuck Bressi, who held the position of Treasurer and is moving out of the neighborhood, has resigned; his position was later filled by alternate Board member Tom Cline: see Board Meeting minutes below.] Mark Crum indicated a willingness to return to the Board; the four people up for reelection have agreed to continue in their positions if elected.

APNA members present were asked if they wish to fill out a secret ballot or vote by acclamation. All agreed to vote by acclamation. John asked if anyone from the floor wanted to run for the Board or serve as an alternate. Per Board process, three calls made; no one came forward and nominations were closed at 7:58 pm. The Board slate was approved by acclamation, with no objections.

Officer positions were put forward as follows:  President: Liz Burden, Vice President: John Burr, Secretary: Elizabeth Garber, Treasurer: Jerry Swatez. After three calls for modifications or objections, the slate was closed. All officers were voted in by acclamation, with no objections.

Discussion of Neighborhood Issues

•   Plasma Center (Liz Burden)
Neighbors have been disturbed by early, long, and weekend hours of remodeling on the Center. The crew is no longer working Sundays and no longer working on loud things in the early morning.

The project is brought to the Board at this point because the client entrance to the Center has moved from S. 4th Avenue to E. 12th Street, across from residences. Further, although managers at the Center claim they are not reducing the number of parking spaces, it appears that they are, de facto. They claim they are adding parking spaces on 12th Street, which may mean angled or metered parking. They will need to contact all neighbors on that block, theoretically, but neighbors will need to be vigilant. The Center is planning to re-open late November or early December.  Management plans to operate seven days a week. They are in the Downtown Infill Incentive District and there are no parking requirements for downtown businesses.

Suggestions for mitigation were to oppose angled parking along E. 12th Street, to be firm about keeping clients on their property and not loitering on or in front of residential properties, and to contain litter from clients on the property.

• Security/ Neighborhood Watch (Tom Cline)
Tom emphasized the importance of neighbors reporting incidents to the police. He indicated that he has heard of more incidents than reported by Officer Orduño. Neighbors were encouraged to talk to Tom about security in the neighborhood.

Tom suggested that the listserv is an effective tool in reporting crimes in the neighborhood as it is what people use and that it might replace block captains. Other Board members suggested this isn’t a good plan because it is too public. Officer Orduño will be added to the neighborhood listserv.

• Proposed Parking Program (John Burr)
John explained that both ParkWise and TPD have been enforcing parking rules that have not been routinely enforced in the past. In response to this, APNA has a proposed a resident parking program, developed in conjunction with TPD. It is a test program that may be expanded to other downtown neighborhoods. Information from the program (car owner’s name, phone number, license plate, etc.) will be kept in a separate database. TPD/ ParkWise will call before ticketing and towing. John circulated a flier about the program to people in attendance.

• Expansion of APNA Boundaries (John Burr)
Liz Burden explained that the northern boundary of the neighborhood is to be moved from 12th Street to Broadway. Specific properties can opt out. Jim Allinger asked if Armory Park Apartments will be included; John responded that they are already part of the neighborhood association, but not the historic zone.

• Neighborhood Involvement on Committees (Liz Burden)
Liz invited neighbors to be involved in the neighborhood and on APNA committees, and thanked those who have been involved now and in the past.

Information sharing

•   Armory Park Historic Zone Advisory Board (Nadine Rund; report given by Phyllis Factor)
The APHZAB met October 20. The property owners of the house at 119 E. 16th Street proposed to add a double car garage and covered patio to the rear of the structure.  The APHZAB Board recommended approval of the plan as presented.

• Membership (Phyllis Factor)
Two new memberships were added to APNA in the last month. People present at the meeting were encouraged to join as the Association supports important projects and community neighborliness.

• Neighbors Helping Neighbors (George Mairs)
NHN provides volunteer resources for disabled and elderly persons, temporarily or long-term. They offer services such as friendly visits, help with transportation, etc. The program exists in at least 12 Tucson neighborhoods. The group is working with Pima Council on Aging that provides a blueprint. Tuesday, November 16 is the next meeting, to be held at Armory Park Center at 5:30 pm and George encouraged neighbors to attend and become involved. Phyllis Factor added that food is provided from St. Andrew’s kitchens for NFN and a donation can be made on the APNA membership form.

• Trap/Spay/Neuter (Tim Vanderpool)
Tim explained that the program neuters cats but does not remove them permanently, and that currently a grant supports the neuterings. Phyllis Factor noted that donations to the Feral Cat program can be made on the APNA membership form.

• Home Tour (Chris Stebe)
The main fundraiser for NFN is the Armory Park Home Tour. It will be held the last Sunday in March: March 27, 2011.

• Community Gardening Project (Chris Stebe and Tod Santee)
Chris explained the plan to start facilitating a community garden in the neighborhood, spearheaded by Tod and himself. They currently need locations.

  • Upcoming events
    • Neighborhood cleanup: coordinated by Dolores Gohdes, will be held Saturday, December 11, 8:30 am
    • The APNA Holiday Party: held at Margit Ritchie’s, 437 S. 5th Avenue, Sunday, December 12, 5-8 pm.

Call to Audience

  • Vernon Berry invited neighbors to participate in the Horseshoes project in Armory Park. They have all the equipment; he provided fliers.

Annual Meeting Adjournment: 8:40 p.m.

Armory Park Board Meeting

Meeting called to order at 8:40 pm.

Approvals and Announcements

  • Minutes for October: Jerry Swatez motioned approval, Brooke Sanders seconded; minutes were approved unanimously.
  • Treasurer’s Report (John Burr): John asked that Board members take a copy and consider finances before the strategic planning meeting. He motioned to file, seconded Tod Santee; the motion carried unanimously.

Action Items

  • Board Vacancy: Tom Cline was installed to replace Chuck Bressi’s position; all Board members voted in favor.

  • APNA expansion boundaries: Jerry Swatez moved to amend the bylaws to expand Armory Park’s boundaries; Phyllis Factor seconded the motion. All Board members voted in favor. Phyllis moved that approval of the November 2010 meeting minutes be done electronically by December 1, 2010, so that the expansion changes can take place this year; John Burr seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

  • CSL Plasma Center: John Burr moved that APNA send a letter to CSL that there will be no changes in the right of way outside the Plasma Center on E. 12th Street. The motion was approved unanimously.

A second issue discussed had to do with the public nuisance issues stemming from the Plasma Center: people loitering, sitting on stoops of private property, and generally extending themselves into residential areas. A second letter to CSL, “friendly” in tone, was suggested in which these public nuisance issues would be noted. Phyllis Factor motioned approval for this letter, seconded by Tim Vanderpool; the Board supported the motion unanimously. Liz Burden will draft the letter.

  • Parking program: John Burr proposed that the parking program take place as part of the membership drive and asked if the Board wants to pilot the program or adopt it permanently. Tim Vanderpool voiced concerns that the program causes problems with long-term visitors and argued that parking in the southern parts of the neighborhood is not an issue. Various thoughts were exchanged, such as parking is a problem in parts of the neighborhood (Phyllis Factor); at the worst, this is just a sticker (Tod Santee); that residents were not forced to participate (Elizabeth Garber); that residents all over the neighborhood might be affected if enforcement depends on TPD and ParkWise looking for stickers (Jerry Swatez). Tim argued that APNA should make an effort to change the code, which is out of sync with downtown residences where off-street parking is generally not available. He was also concerned that there are no provisions in the sticker program for visitors. John argued that if visitors follow regulations, they won’t be ticketed, pointing out that a parking sticker is not an exemption for breaking the law, but a program through which TPD and ParkWise will notify residents with stickers when there is a problem with their parking, before ticketing them.

Phyllis moved that the Board adopt a one-year pilot program beginning January 1, which was seconded by Jerry; the motion passed unanimously. Phyllis made a second motion that the Board take all steps necessary to change the Code while the pilot program is in effect, which was seconded by Tod. John suggested “all steps necessary” is strong language; Mark Crum clarified that it is city attorneys that write Code, with mayor & council approving. It was asked whether APNA liaison with other neighborhoods; John indicated that those involved with D-NRC are watching what APNA does and may become involved. The vote for the motion was unanimous.

  • Board retreat (Liz Burden): The annual Board retreat will be held January 18 at the Children’s Museum, from 5-8 pm.

  • Conversation about sponsoring Imagine Greater Tucson (Liz Burden)

Imagine Greater Tucson is inviting neighborhoods to host a community conversation in the spring. It will take the form of a big town hall meeting. There were no objections, so Liz will move forward.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 pm.

The APNA Board will meet on Tuesday, January 18, 2011, for the Annual Retreat, from 5-8 pm at the Children’s Museum. The next regular APNA Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 8, 7:00 pm, at St. Andrew’s Parish Hall.

Submitted,

Elizabeth Garber, APNA Secretary

Author: Ken Taylor

I am a relatively recent Armory Park resident (2/16) along with my wife, Donna and our little dog Lulu. Donna and I lived over 30 years in Anchorage, Alaska before moving to Arizona. We have been Arizona residents for 16 years before coming here including 12 in Green Valley and four in west Tucson. We love the neighborhood for its history, walkability and interesting residents. Lulu insists on walking every day so you may see us following her around and picking up trash to keep our neighborhood presentable.

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