Archive for March 1st, 2012

Main Gate Urban Overlay District, UOD; reflections on its February 28th Adoption – See “Sacrifice Zone” for an explanation of UOD’s.

The City of Tucson could have supported another plan put together by WUNA (West University Neighborhood Association) that would have maintained the respect of core neighborhoods and still be a significant plan; apparently, without an immediate anchor like the one adopted.  A dilemma; maybe?  M & C chose the plan that satisfied the most immediate needs of a handful of property owners, developers and one major interest, out of town.  It is in fact a legitimate and seemingly legal choice, but one that City leadership will have to live with now, because it has ignited something beyond just WUNA’s interests.

To make this clear however, the choice to adopt that particular plan was not about design, creativity or density. I wish that was said.  I can’t be sure what the choice was about, but it showed how disregarded citizen input really is.

Clearly,  the underlying problem is an absence of a sub-regional master plan that has core neighborhoods at its heart.  Such a plan could be referenced in the 2013 general plan referendum and could guide UODs and work in the spirit of the UOD enabling ordinance;  preservation through attraction.  At best,  city planners think this is too hard to do, but that kind of certainty is a legitimate part of any esteemed university city that chooses to embrace an integrated quality of life befitting of our University of Arizona and our City of Tucson.  The U of A area plan is very inadequate and the UODs are looking like a ruse to neighborhoods.  WUNA is another slain lamb here.  I am not saying this can’t be fixed, but that damage is done.  So now,  the projects that come out of the MG UOD will get permitted just a little bit quicker.

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