Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘On-going Action’ Category

Land Use Code (LUC)  Project / Tucson Website

The LUC simplification project is probably not simple but it is has been ongoing for almost 2 years.  It is intended to clean up the current LUC piece by piece until it fits a vision for a prop-2007 proof land use code that better fits Tucson’s emerging development paradigm.   Paradoxically, a totally new and modern zoning code, the Unified Development Code (UDC) is emerging right by its side.  Wierd?  Not so!…  It is being designed to ultimately replace the LUC.  The LUC will remain as a pre-proposition 2007 alternative to the UDC, long enough to deal with lingering “prop-207” challenges that are expected to impact the UDC.  Ladd Keith perhaps explains the motives behind all of this in his blog, what’s next for cities & urbanism.

Read Full Post »

On June 21st, Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association (JPNA)  succeeded in becoming Tucson’s 2nd pilot Neighborhood Preservation Zone (NPZ) by adoption of the Jefferson Park Design Manual (JPDM) You can view in PDF by clicking here.   Council members Uhlich, Scott and Romero argued effectively to protect core neighborhoods and pass the manual, while Council member Kozachik and Mayor Walkup showed  remorse over the JPDM’s omission of a density strategy along arterial edges.  Considering both good and bad, the vote was unanimous.  While, we are a step closer to saving the heart of  residential zoning uses around the university, planners and stakeholders have a mandate to come up with the right answer for edge density and diversity.  In the coming weeks, this issue will get hotter, as a key vote by the board of adjustment will reverberate through out core neighborhoods.  The ruling to enforce proper residential uses is under appeal and is scheduled to be publicly heard by the Board of Adjustment  If the ruling survives, neighborhoods will still need targeted incentives and policies that will assure stable investment in their university homes.  In fact, several JPNA residents stated they were holding off on property improvements until passage of the JPDM.   Now, more than ever,  neighborhood representatives and developers would like to see a comprehensive housing vision with a clear edge strategy.  Councilman Kozachik stated after the adoption of the JPDM, regarding mixed uses and targeted zoning density along major roadways, that “…this is critical to protecting the interiors of our neighborhoods from non-conforming and incompatible building…”  One could say that implies a pro-active city government that can play a lead in the mandate for  a cohesive venture between the University, the City of Tucson, the Core Community and developers to save what is left of our core neighborhoods.  Please click on Arizona Daily Star’s editorial.

Read Full Post »

Tucson residents don’t want to imagine exploding gas prices in a typical sun belt city designed to rely on lots of roads.  That day of reckoning is moving upon us and the message is fewer cars and more sustainability.  These notions might reflect in current trends to provide student housing that will rely on the modern street car and other public transportation.   The University of Arizona recently reached a goal to house freshman students on campus. Now, developers want to tap into the rest of the market for high density sustainable housing projects with one of the first,  looking to be  The District at UA. Not withstanding, the anxiety of homeowners, West University Neighborhood is particularly unhappy with it because its edge relationship with the neighborhood is too abrupt.  That is simply, an omission of planning that the UA and City of Tucson choose to ignore.  Nonetheless, the District still speaks more of an urbanized housing future than popular inefficient alternatives. This is a question about the  balance between an urbanized university and its neighbors.

The market driver is the 30 thousand perennial UA students scattered around a few dozen neighborhoods.  They are a shifting market geared towards much less driving. That begs the question; will the vacuum that this shift creates, be in-filled with better and more stable single family housing around the U of A.   As vehicle-free high density housing projects are built, market pressure will lessen to build vehicle dependent group home style mini-dorms, which lease as fast as they are built right now; to make a point.   They are the antithesis of sustainable student  housing.  Now, as the City of Tucson sees it, group homes are not actually a residential use in its recent zoning determination.  The alternative scenario is more urbanized student housing solutions and re-vitalized single family zones surrounding the U of A.

On a bigger planning level, Tucson’s latest vision project,   Imagine Greater Tucson (IGT), actually introduced a survey of what Tucson citizens want to see happen to the greater Tucson region at the Marriot Hotel on April 7th.  Out of (9) focus areas, the University of Arizona and the subject of Urban Planning were (2) of these.  Our problems are all around us.  Its a matter of identifying and solving them,  unlike Tucson’s past vision exercises.

 

 

Read Full Post »

The downtown core district is an overlay of the Infill Incentive Zone with a variety of incentives that simplify or eliminate current provisions in the land use code, particularly parking, landscaping and loading zones.  As such these overlay incentives are being proposed as an amendment to the Infill Incentive Zone.  The DCD Draft can be downloaded and viewed here in PDF.   On August 18th the City of Tucson Planning Commission forwarded the draft to Mayor and Council for adoption with a revision to maintain portions of the NPPO ordinance in drainage corridors that run though the district.  The overlay boundaries of the DCD are concentrated in the core of downtown Tucson with its northern edge a couple blocks north of some run down commercial sites along Stone/6th/9th Ave and 5th/6th streets.  Stone in particular is considered a gateway.   The Downtown LINKS project overlays these gateway points.

One small remaining roadblock to development downtown are high cost of city revocable right of way use easements along downtown sidewalks that start @ $5000 plus annual renewals had not been adequately addressed.  This type of easement applies to things like a café using portions of wide sidewalks with right of ways for outside European style seating, marquee signage, canopies,  etc…

Read Full Post »

The university area community, developers, and planners are invited to an informal meeting at the Ward 6 office, 3202 East 1st Street, on May 4th @ 7:30Pm, large meeting room, to explore the future of neighborhoods surrounding our University and its downtown linkages.   The ward 6 office is just south of Walgreens, east of Country Club on 1st street.  See you there.   This is a privately initiated meeting forum and not a Ward 6 initiative.   People with diverse knowledge of UA neighborhoods and development have been invited to share opinions.  There will some brief  summaries and discussion on the City of Tucson’s  recent downtown initiatives,  neighborhood concern relative to the status of contextual preservation and how the new NPZ ordinance is working or not working,  the University of Arizona’s master plan, edges, and more.  The focus is on an Urban University Interface; stabilizing edges vis-a-vis complimentary private expression of urban form that ultimately enhances preservation of our neighborhoods.  What do you want to see happen?  What are we preserving? What are our options?  How do we get this ball get rolling?   See intent statement.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

From Karin Uhlich’s Office , Ward 3

“Tucson received a federal allocation of $63 million for the University/downtown streetcar. It is anticipated that this project will generate at least $1 billion of private investment.  Things are happening! The urban street car project is estimated to create 2,850 jobs over 19 industries as a result of the project’s construction.”

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts