From the President’s Pen
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anne Cooper, President, APNA
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 email@example.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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com 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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com or at (520) 622.8318.
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:
Anne Cooper— President
John Burr— Vice-President
Tod Santee – Treasurer
David Bachman-Williams— Secretary
Fernando Chiquette, Mark Crum, Bill Duffy, Phyllis Factor, DeeDee Means, Nadine Rund, Sue Ellen Schuerman, Paula Wilk
Giovanna Hesley, Jenny Maloney, Jack McLain, Carla Proano, Tim Vanderpool
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