Not a member of the Armory Park Neighborhood Association? Please consider joining at https://armoryparktucson.org/membership/.
Our community made a great response to the threat of the proposed Central Business District expansion within Armory Park. A team of individuals and a strong response from many residents provided our council member, Steve Kozachik, with the information he needed to take action. His results were quick and effective, so this threat has passed for now.
Neighbors have expressed appreciation for the efforts of all involved, but one player has not yet been recognized. Without the contribution of our neighborhood association (APNA) none of this would have been achieved. It was at a Board meeting that the threat first became apparent and the Board expressed its concern. Very soon after, email polling of the Board authorized an aggressive response against the expansion within Armory Park. The second Zoom meeting, attended by many residents and Board members, gave City staff notice that the fight was on. President David Bachman-Williams spoke for the neighborhood in expressing our disapproval of the expansion. Only by having an active association did we learn of the threat and have a powerful voice opposing it.
APNA is built on the membership of neighbors. Our listserv has 350 email addresses enrolled. A number of those are for couples so the number of individuals subscribed is greater. 405 people follow our Facebook page. APNA has 136 members today, a third of the listserv users and Facebook followers. More people willing to pay the $10 per person annual dues strengthens the voice of our Board and President. As small as the dues are, they pay for meeting space and other expenses. Without an APNA financial contribution, the recent sidewalk improvements could not have been completed. The bottom line:
— Please pay your dues now (If you have already, thanks). Contact Phyllis Factor (Pefnaz@gmail.com), our membership chair.
— Serve as an officer, as a Board Director, on a committee or as a project team worker. 2021 elections are this November.
Armory Park is a great neighborhood, but only active engagement by our residents can keep it that way. Thanks for your active contribution.
This morning the following was posted on the Armory Park listserv:
You have seen some discussion here about the City’s intent to expand the Central Business District (CBD) in Armory Park, prompted by Martha’s email. Yesterday your APNA Board of Directors approved a response to the related Findings of Conditions Report and expansion of the CBD within Armory Park. Both are attached as PDF documents.
The report’s statements of conditions within Armory Park are grossly inaccurate. The adjectives slum and blighted were applied to the entire proposed expansion area, including the Stone/6th Avenue corridor within Armory Park. These labels were legally essential to expand the CBD and permit the generous tax relief which can help large property development. Since there are no large vacant properties in the AP CBD area, demolition will be required to construct large developments. The CBD is the foundation for large subsidized property developments. They may take many years to appear. In Armory Park, first settled in the 1870s, we must take the long view.
At the public Zoom meeting last Wednesday, I was told that the report was not subject to rebuttal because it was merely a “finding of facts”. Our only option, the staff attorney said, would be to ask the Mayor and Council to reject the report. That effort begins today.
In the current post factual world, it is not surprising to learn of a factual report which is not factual. Nevertheless, we cannot allow these characterizations of our neighborhood to go unchallenged. The organization responsible for the report, the Office of Economic Initiatives, prepared the report and it is not hard to imagine in what direction their bias might lie. Had they consulted others, the bias might have been less prominent. APNA was not consulted or informed before the report was published. This is poor staff work at best or manipulation at worst. Mayor and Council should be embarrassed by the poor staff work. We can hope that the City Manager will be called to account.
There is another public meeting by Zoom at 11 this morning. I expect it will be another PR event but I will still participate. John Burr and I will represent the APNA position but don’t expect any change to result. If things go as expected, our first approach to Mayor and Council will happen this afternoon.
Public pressure is the only means likely to change the situation at this late date. Other residential neighborhoods are also being wrapped into the expanded CBD. If you have contacts in any of them, please alert them to the danger for their communities.
APNA Response to Findings of Conditions Report v3a
Here’s the agenda for this evening’s APNA Board meeting, being held on ZOOM:
APNA June agenda 2020
A message from APNA President David Bachman-Williams:
Hello Armory Park Neighbors and others,
We are going to have a virtual APNA board meeting tomorrow on Zoom. If you are interested in being included in the meeting please email Ken Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ken will make sure you get an invitation to be part of the Zoom meeting. If you are interested in being invited to all future APNA board meetings please let him know that, too. He will send out the invitations shortly before the meeting. You click on the link provided in his email and wait with everyone else in the virtual “waiting room”. Ken will then let us all in.
We are beginning the meeting 15 minutes early, at 6:15 so that our vice-president, Liz Burden can lead us through some icebreaker activities to get familiar with the way a Zoom meeting works. The actual meeting will start at approximately 6:30.
Attached is the agenda for the meeting. If you have any questions please let me know.
An update from Ken Taylor:
As we near the end of the first phase of the APNA sidewalks improvement project, this is to keep you informed of our progress.
Concrete replacement: All of the demolition and concrete replacement is finished for this phase. The areas around each work site should have been cleaned up. If you see anything missed, please let me know.
Grinding: Significant tripping hazards remaining in the project area for this phase are to be ground down to minimize the hazard. The work was stopped for a time while I worked with the contractor to insure that the results would be acceptable. The contractor expects work to resume next week.
Continue reading “Sidewalk Repair/Replace Status”
Here’s an update from Ken Taylor on the sidewalk repair/replacement project: “You’ve probably noticed that most of the work on 5th Ave is done. demolition on 4th Ave is underway now. Another concrete pour is scheduled yet today. The E-W streets and further south on 4th come next. Things are looking better already. The contractor expects to finish sidewalk replacement within two weeks. Grinding of tripping hazards will follow.” Kudos to Ken for putting it all together!
Come and hear what’s going on in the neighborhood and around town! Here’s the agenda for this month’s APNA Board meeting:
3-10-20 APNA Agenda
PUBLIC COMMENT SOUGHT FOR PROPOSED F-35A MISSION – The U.S. Air Force has made available for public review and comment a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) F-35A Mission. The Draft EIS identifies Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base as the Preferred Alternative, with Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (AFB) in Tucson, Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida, and Whiteman AFB in Missouri as Reasonable Alternatives. The Draft EIS evaluates the potential environmental impacts that could result from the proposed mission and flight operations of AFRC F-35A aircraft.
A public hearing will be held Tuesday, March 10, at 5 p.m., at the Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. You can also submit comments via email to HQAFRC.F-35.EIS@us.af.mil. Comments are due by March 31. You can find the Draft EIS and other information at many public libraries and online at the link below.
Read the Draft EIS: http://bit.ly/38xbTF7
From Ken Taylor: “Work on our sidewalk project started this morning on 5th Avenue just south of 15th Street. Work will begin daily as early as 7:00 AM so we can get through the project quickly to shorten the inevitable disruptions. Your patience will help complete this important neighborhood improvement. If you have questions or feedback, please email me or text me at 520-301-7113. It’s really a pleasure to see this long delayed project finally under construction.”
More background on the project below the fold:
Continue reading “Long-Awaited Sidewalk Project Begins!”