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Archive for the ‘Politics and Editorials’ Category

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Tucson Residents for Responsive Government was an outgrowth of meetings during summer 2013 sponsored by Tucson’s Neighborhood Infill Coalition.  These meetings werean outgrowth of the Urban Neighborhood Symposium a year earlier which culminated in a white paper, that led sparked interest in a coalition.   The 2013 summer workshops that followed,  produced a foundation document called This We Believe.  In May of 2014, the  BY-LAWS  for TRRG was written and later accepted. 

 

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Main GateLast May 2012, the Main Gate Urban Overlay District (UOD) saw its first major building permit, a 35 million dollar high-rise student housing project. That set the path for the Main Gate overlay district and painted a disappointing picture of what a UOD looks like to neighborhood sustainability.  Overlays aren’t new.  Tucson has been using zoning overlays as planning tools for decades.  An original overlay, the Historic Preservation Zone is well liked.  The newest one, the Main Gate Urban Overlay District became an icon to mistrust in public process.  City planners passed a UOD fast track enabling ordinance in 2010.  Its reasons were mixed.  Infill conditions for a 63 million dollar federal streetcar grant was one.  Other reasons are downtown infill, a needed warehouse district, a desire to add density along arterial edges and the fallout of the deepest real estate recession since 1929.  Click here to view the rest of the article.

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CAMPUS ACQUISITIONS scores a win over public process.  Tucson’s mayor and council chambers was packed with angry neighborhood residents who watched their elected officials favor a Chicago based student housing developer over  their plea to downscale the development and most likely lose the project which Tucson’s development stakeholders did not want.    Many core neighborhood associations supported WUNA’s  alternative plan, but it didn’t look like a design issue.  It doesn’t even look like public process for that matter.  Forty five years and counting,  a divide and conquer strategy has worked for developers and planners;  one neighborhood at a time.  Maybe that tide is shifting now as neighborhoods react to what they see as a planning coup.  The Main Gate Urban Overlay District Zoning was adopted following  a historically quick notification and meeting process with a small handful of WUNA residents.  Under the pressure of a deep economic recession, came an almost a unanimous approval by Mayor and Council, save for Councilwoman Uhlich.   Old neighborhoods have suffered serious attrition in the past and this certainly continues that unfortunate reality.  On February 28th, 2011, historic neighborhoods were shut up again.        

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You can view a sort of fox in the hen house historical re-cap of Rio Nuevo to date, in:   A Historic Recap of Rio Nuevo.  Also view Steve Kozachik’s latest summary in his Media Release.pdf   and the Daily Star’s latest update in Rio Nuevo Audit Finds Questionable Spending of $33.8M….and as a matter facts, the blog, poco bravo’s take on the  MLK Apartments….

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The April 1st Sunday Star features a key moment in a referendum initiative by West University Neighborhood.  After celebrating in front of City Hall, the initiative ran into an anticipated brick wall at the clerks office as this citizen’s tool for process was not very well received by the City Attorney’s office.  View  Josh Brodesky: Opposition by 12,000 underlies the overlay.   Since Josh wrote this update,  roughly 6,000 of the signatures were disqualified on a very minor clerical technicality which had no bearing on the quality and intent of the signatures, as West University painstakingly followed every rule. Photo shows clerk rejecting petitions.  Stay tuned for whats next.  Here are some recent updates from April 2nd:    Josh Brodesky, Daily Star    →    Fox 11 News

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Locals protest Main Gate plan, building criteriaArizona Daily Wildcat   

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Steve Kozachik – Tucson Progressive.  Tucson Progressive Blog by Pamela Powers.  Pamela is prolific in her discussion around Tucson’s core issues.  Check out her blog.

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