Jefferson Park Neighbors Keep Up Fight

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On March 18, the city of Tucson's zoning administrator ruled in favor of the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association's "Request for Determination and Complaint of Violation" regarding the Michael Goodman mini-dorm developments that took over Feldman's Historic Neighborhood two years ago, and began to extend into Jefferson Park last year.

The ruling agreed with neighbors that Goodman's developments do no comply with R-1 zoning land-use regulations—which means mini-dorms are not single family housing.

All along, residents in these neighborhoods have been wondering: How can a five-bedroom-suite development with private bathrooms for each bedroom equal single family zoning?

From that ruling: “It is further determined that the Goodman Development is in fact being operated as group dwellings and is therefore not a permitted use in the R-1 zone.”

Yesterday, the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association sent out a press release that neighborhood resident Joan Hall, who lives next door to a Goodman mini-dorm development, filed an appeal on April 18 to the city of Tucson's Board of Adjustment, which determined that the aforementioned R-1 zoning ruling from March doesn't apply to Goodman properties being developed but "not yet in use."

From the press release (after the jump):

In excluding the properties not yet in use, the Zoning Administrator reasoned that it was not possible to determine their future use. JPNA's attorney, Minnette Burges, who filed the original Request for Determination and the appeal, argues that, based on the practices of Mr. (Michael) Goodman, it is reasonable to determine that the buildings under development will be used in the same manner as the group dwellings currently in use.

As a consequence of the appeal, a stay of government action (such as permitting and City inspection) has been issued by the Zoning Administrator. This should stop all construction on these properties.

Jefferson Park and other historic neighborhoods around the University of Arizona have been the victims of the growing encroachment of these group dwellings in their R-­‐1 and R-­‐2-­‐zoned neighborhoods for over a decade. JPNA applauds the Determination by the Zoning Administrator, but believes that it should be enforced to fully address the scope of the problem.

"We're finally beginning to see progress in the resolution of this glaring problem," says Robert "Bob" Schlanger, longtime Jefferson Park activist. "Enforcement of the Zoning Administrator's Determination is the next step that must happen. We hope that this action will bring about a progressive resolution to the challenges facing central Tucson neighborhoods."

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