Archive for the ‘Land Use Code’ Category

Reprinted with permission of  Adam Smith, Principal Planner, City of Tucson, Planning and Development Services, 837-6951

Time line of “quick fix” LUC amendments

Tuesday, June 22nd –  Mayor & Council: Public hearing at or after 5:30 pm

  • Loading Zone (allows co-location of off-street loading zones within the approach area for dumpster containers and the stacking spaces of drive-through aisles when safety and access issues are appropriately addressed)
  • Development Timeline and Expiration Dates (extends the expiration dates of tentative plats and development plans)

Wednesday, July 7th – Mayor & Council: Public hearing 5:30 pm

  • Zoning Compliance for Existing Site Improvements (aka CofO Relief – allows new uses to move into existing buildings without having to meet all of the zoning requirements, so long as the new use is permitted under the current zoning of the property and existing improvements are maintained)

Thursday, July 8th from 9AM to 11AM

  • LUC committee meeting, Public Works Building, Basement Conference room A

Wednesday, August 4th – Mayor & Council: Public hearing 5:30 pm

  • Reductions in the Number of Required Number of Motor Vehicle Parking (clarifies the performance criteria and deletes the annual review of parking mitigation plans requirement)
  • Urban Overlay District (enabling legislation allowing the creation of transit-oriented overlay districts)

Wednesday, July 21st – Planning Commission: Study Session 6 pm

  • Amendments to the Downtown Area Infill Incentive District creating the Downtown Core District

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April 28th, 2010 –

On the 9th of March, 2010, City of Tucson planning staff was directed to analyze the concept of a Downtown Core District.  You can download and view a  PDF of an April 27th mayor and council memorandum;  Potential Downtown Core District Analysis, which summarizes the mechanics of achieving this overlay.

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The LUC committee met today to start hammering out the details the first phase  of the emerging Urban Overlay District (UOD) called the Downtown Core District (DCD).  The committee is targeting August of 2010 for adoption by M & C, with various study session in between.  Content categories that are discussed include 1) expedited review,  2) Uses and dimensions, 3) DCD modification of development requirements review*  4) streetscape plan,  5)  transition plan*)  6)  Utilities*

*  will be shown on the “DCD  plan” as is referred at this time.  It is intended to be similar to a development plan

The DCD is among several future phases of focus yet to come.  It is drawn tentatively within the boundaries of previously adopted Infill Incentive District. taking of the middle portion of the district between I-10 and SPRR rail line.  This phase is viewed as the least difficult in regards to challenges by the community


The Land Use Code Committee , initiated as a quick fix, code simplification project late 08, has found a stopping point for much of its quick fix work on reworking parts of the land use code.  That committee is now shifting gears towards a sub-committee focus on urbanization in the downtown core.  For the past few weeks some of the LUC committee members met separately to probe into what was also recently introduced as urban overlay districts, the  UOD,  as it is tentatively referred.  The UOD sub-committee has in fact submitted initial findings and are scheduled to meet on tax day, Thursday, April 15th  in the basement of 201 N. Stone ( room A )  Space permitting, it is open to the public.  You can read the UOD findings here in a down loadable PDF file format.   The finding start with identifying 4 phases:  1. Downtown Core  2.  Greater Downtown  3. Infill District and 4.  Arterial Focus.  The University Interface is not included.  Comprising a large and difficult focus of distress, lack of resolve along this interface continues to weigh heavy on many university neighborhoods.  What do you think?

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The Land Use Code Committee started as a code simplification project in December of 2008.  As the economy continued to slow development down, an urgency of concern  to grease the development skids started to unfold.   Adding to planned changes in the parking code, development protocol, and rewriting and reworking many parts of the land use code, more urban oriented issues were thrust into the picture drawing new attention to the adopted Infill District and a downtown urban overlay district .  Ideas for this urban overlay district, coined the UOD came to light after the Mayor’s January address, when he proclaimed that “…no economic development project is more important to our City’s future than downtown…” This kind of overlays are occurring all over the country.  You can see a sample in Maryland’s, Columbia Downtown Overlay. Tucson’s planning commission will studying implementation starting in April, targeting a public hearing possibly in June.  The objective is to establish an enabling ordinance for the UOD target areas.  The City hopes that the UOD concept will help implements the downtownLINKS project  which is centered around the final development at the terminus of Aviation Corridor, that dead ends downtown.  It now planned to wind through the Warehouse District Masterplan as it finally makes it way towards I-10.  The UOD concept has a lot of potential to direct development where it needs to go.  It can also potentially enable urbanization overlays around the University and along the new modern street car link.  City Planner, John Beal is looking at the University Area Plan.  That plan is overdue for a bold update that can address a transition strategy between the University and its surrounding community.

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