Congratulations on being a property owner (or resident) in one of Tucson’s most beautiful, diverse, and interesting historic neighborhoods! Armory Park was listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1976 as the Armory Park Historic Residential District. It is also a City of Tucson Historic Preservation Zone (HPZ).
Living in a National Register District that is also a city HPZ brings with it advantages (lower property taxes, for instance) and responsibilities for maintaining the historic integrity of your contributing property.
This article focuses primarily on the responsibilities of property owners and residents in the HPZ. For more information on the tax credit program for contributing properties in the NRHP historic district, contact the City of Tucson Historic Preservation Officer at 520-837-6968.
Property owners in the Armory Park HPZ are required by City regulations (Unified Development Code, section 5.8) to have any external changes or additions to their property reviewed and approved prior to initiating any demolition or construction. Failure to have the appropriate approvals in place prior to beginning your project may have consequences, which may include stop-work orders, fines, formal zoning violations, loss of the historic property tax break, and having to restore your property to its prior condition.
The Armory Park Historic Zone Advisory Board (APHZAB) is part of this process. It reviews all proposed demolitions, additions, and alterations to the exterior of a property and then provides its recommendations to the City of Tucson Planning and Development Services Department director.
APHZAB is an official City of Tucson Advisory Board overseen by the City Clerk’s Office. The Board acts in an advisory capacity to the Director of the City of Tucson’s Planning and Development Services Department (PDSD) and the Plans Review Subcommittee of the Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission.
APHZAB members are drawn from your fellow neighbors. They are unpaid volunteers committed to maintaining the esthetic quality and integrity of our wonderful historic neighborhood. Candidates are chosen annually at an open neighborhood meeting. Following this selection, the candidates are vetted for eligibility by the City of Tucson and are then officially appointed by Mayor and Council.
APHZAB is your resource to help guide you through the review and approval/permit process. It is strongly recommended that you contact APHZAB during the early planning stages of your project. APHZAB members are aware of precedents, neighborhood architectural styles, and the applicable regulatory environment.
Changes subject to review include, but are not limited to: demolitions, additions, new structures, windows, doors, roof materials, site walls, fences, gates, HVAC system locations, solar panels, and other rooftop equipment. Review and approval are required for proposed window replacements. Fiberglass, metal, and vinyl are not acceptable materials per HPZ design guidelines.
APHZAB’s open public meetings, at which proposed projects are reviewed, are held once a month on an as-needed basis. Time and place and agenda for a meeting, as well as the Legal Action Report document the meeting’s results, are posted on the city’s Boards and Commissions website at https://www.tucsonaz.gov/clerks/boards?board=9. A minimum of one-week advance notice to the APHZAB chair is required to ensure that an item for an upcoming meeting is included in the published agenda.
To initiate the review process, contact the City of Tucson PDSD at 520-837-4963 or 520-837-6957 prior to starting any exterior project. Be sure to mention that you are calling regarding a property in an HPZ.
It is strongly recommended that any changes you are considering to the exterior of your property be informally presented to APHZAB prior to having formal drawings or any work begun. This may save the property owner money and time and reduce the potential of having to redo the project using historically informed design and materials. To schedule an informal review of your project or for additional information regarding the conduct and business of APHZAB, please contact Martha McClements, the current APHZAB Chair, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those without email access may call Martha at 520-820-6541.
Martha McClements, APHZAB Chair: 520-820-6541, email@example.com
Michael Taku, Lead Planner, Planning and Development Services: 520-837-4963, firstname.lastname@example.org
APHZAB’s page on the City of Tucson website, with a list of APHZAB members, agendas, Legal Action Reports, and meeting minutes:
Tucson’s Unified Development Code (UDC). Article 5.8 covers HPZs; Section 9-02.0.0 in the Technical Standards Manual (scroll down to find it) has more detail on HPZs, including guidance specific to Armory Park at Section 9-02.0.7.2.
Updated September 2021