Oro Valley resident Roxy Johnson explained that it is important to have a flag at Steam Pump Ranch when it opens as a park. She discussed the following:
~ It should be lit 24 hours a day.
~ The flag, pole and light should not cost the Town of Oro Valley.
~ It could be solar powered.
~ An electrician had advised her that the power be separate from the pole which is more expensive but it is the preferred method.
~ The electric company in Oro Valley quoted $900 for the power separate from the pole and $2,500 for the flag pole.
~ Ms. Johnson intends to raise the money to pay for it with a grant.
~ The pole should be placed near the home built in the 1930’s.
~ She recommends benches around the flagpole. Her Daughters of the American Revolution chapter would like to sponsor one of the benches.
~ Paving stones from the property could be sold to raise money.
Ms. Johnson explained that a solar panel would be installed and the light would be an LED shining up from the ground. It is best to have the light attached to the ground rather than the pole for weather purposes. This one-time grant from the Daughters of the American Revolution is due by the end of February, 2011.
The following discussion ensued:
~ Commissioner McClung asked if $900 covers the cost of the solar panels. Ms. Johnson stated that it did.
~ Commissioner Hannon asked if a flag was in the Master Plan. Chair Zwiener responded that nothing precludes that there be one.
~ Chair Zwiener asked Ms. Johnson to provide more information to the commission and then this item will be discussed again during the February meeting.
~ Ms. Legner stated that the item should be discussed with the Steam Pump Ranch Project Team. If it is the consensus of the commission, the design may be discussed with the Development Infrastructure Services Department to make sure that all criteria is met and then it would go to Town Manager’s Office and they would determine if it needs Council approval. Ms. Johnson consented to meeting with the Project Team.
~ Commissioner Guyer clarified that it was a United States Flag. She added that in prior experiences, she recalls issues regarding which flags to include.
~ Commissioner Hannon asked about the timeline for the general public to enjoy a flag and benches on the property. Chair Zwiener explained that the Ranch House may be complete by May 2011.
~ Commissioner McClung pointed out that the spotlight shining from the ground up could interfere with the dark sky initiative.
Chair Zweiner asked that a Steam Pump Ranch Project Team meeting be scheduled in the next couple of weeks to discuss this issue. Ms. Johnson will send the detailed information to Ms. Legner.
Item 7 was moved prior to Item 3.
Councilmember Solomon stated that Honey Bee Village was an 87 acre private parcel located at Rancho Vistoso Boulevard and Moore Road. When Rancho Vistoso was formed in 1987, the parcel was envisioned as the "town center" and was zoned in accordance to that with mixed use. The original development plan included Town office space, tennis courts, specialty shops and parking. There was no preservation plan.
It was one of the best preserved Hohokam sites in Southern Arizona. The land was entitled for full development but mitigation was required. Pima County had bond funds to preserve sites, including Honey Bee but the work done exceeded the funds available. Mr. Solomon acquired the land and a working group was then formed led by the Town. The group included the town staff, consultants, Pima County representatives, Tohono O’odham, Arizona State Museum and Mr. Solomon as the property owner. Group goals were to preserve the site, provide a historical focal point for Oro Valley, economic viability, a unique neighborhood and a compatible commercial development.
The working group developed a master plan with a neighborhood commercial center, single-family homes and condominiums. The initial boundary was problematic and the group had agreed that there was one main cluster of features and that they could change the boundary of the preserve. A wall was going to be added around the site to control access. There is direct Moore Road and public trail access. The right of way of Moore Road was dedicated to the Town. There is 100% access from the road to the site and the Town has full legal access to the site. The County bond funds were used for mitigation outside the core area and there was an extensive amount of field excavation.
Mr. Solomon’s company paid Desert Archeology to cover the Moore Road easement. Vistoso Partners which owned the land to the north contributed to have Desert Archeology excavate a portion of the site. Through these funding sources, the available portion of the site was excavated.
Stats were there for one year and data analysis was done. When the final grading was done, artifacts, a large horno mound and pit houses were discovered. The residential area was rearranged around these features for community use. A one-quarter acre was set aside in the commercial area near the mounds and pit houses. Those two parcels are common area for the HOA. The HOA has three subdivisions (commercial, single-family homes and condos).
The final plat notes that people who live there can not have direct access to the preserve from their yards. They are also not allowed to go into other open spaces seeking artifacts. Tohono O’odham provided a grant for the pima adobe slump block wall for $230,000 and the Town made up the rest ($200,000). The preserve is owned by Pima County but the wall is owned by the Town.
The pit houses were preserved and will be excavated in the future for display. The pit house is the focal point at the entrance of the commercial property. A museum and cultural center are also planned at the site.
The original agreement with Pima County stated that Mr. Solomon, as the property owner, would donate the 13 acre preserve to Pima County in exchange for using their funds for the mitigation and part of the agreement was that there be an IGA transferring the ownership from Pima County to the Town of Oro Valley. Mr. Solomon was in a legal dispute with Pima County after the final plat was approved because the IGA created by Pima County contained many unattainable requirements causing the Town to never be able to own the property. At that time, the Oro Valley Town council had indicated that they were working on other issues with Pima County and that they would come back to it. At this time there is no IGA.
Councilmember Solomon discussed the following assets:
~ The Preserve plan was funded by the Town of Oro Valley and was approved by Pima County. The Town owns it.
~ The preserve wall is owned by the Town.
~ The Town has legal access to and around the preserve.
~ Vistoso Town Center HOA owns the 1/2 acre display area (Horno) and the 1/4 acre display area (houses & mounds). Councilmember Solomon is the president of the HOA.
~ Canada Vistas Town Center has the right to artifacts for public display.
~ Preserved pit house is owned by Hansen Family Investments (owns commercial area and the condos).
~ The museum could be built on the property for no land costs but funds would be needed to build the museum. The initial cost estimates are $1.5 million for the shell of the building.
Councilmember Solomon discussed potential actions to consider at a study session:
~ Safety and protection of the area.
~ Preserve plan - no potential action.
~ Preserve wall - potential actions would be signage. It should not attract people but could state "no trespassing" or "sensitive area not to be disturbed".
~ Access easement path - no potential action.
~ 1/2 acre display area (horno) - reconstruction plan.
~ 1/4 acre display area (houses & mounds) - reconstruction plan.
~ Artifacts - partial temporary displays of artifacts (could be in the Library).
~ Preserved pit house - formal commitment about its preservation.
~ Museum - initiate planning and partnerships.
The Town has control over everything other than the 13 acres. The original plan was to activate the preserve after the commercial property was done because it would provide infrastructure and security. The homes on the perimeter would provide security for the park. Since it is uncertain when the commercial will be developed, the Town could work to begin implementing trails and guided tours.
Chair Zwiener clarified that at present the County owns the preserved areas and their bond money was dedicated to the area outside which was excavated. Councilmember Solomon confirmed and added that they had $1 million and they were in charge of mitigation process, letting and overseeing the contract and they exceeded the contract by $600,000. They then indicated that the Town had to pay for the overage and Oro Valley declined. Desert Archeology did the work and was not paid at first but now they have been paid and given the funds for the data analysis.
Chair Zwiener stated that last summer the board of supervisors encumbered funds to finish that project. The County’s position is that there will not be an IGA or a turnover of ownership of the preserve until the project is completed and the report is finished. The Town has a concept and interpretation plan for the site. The County has gone forward with a future bond proposal. The focus now is to determine what can be done to protect the site with an interpretive plan for small group access and signage to allow for legal action if someone trespasses.
Chair Zwiener indicated that the Town is having discussions with Linda Mayro regarding the Arizona State monitoring program. He stated that a site monitor plan should be prepared before the next meeting.
Commissioner Guyer stated that she, Commissioner Pullara and Commissioner McClung examined how to incorporate local student involvement with the Historic Preservation Commission. Commissioner Pullara investigated other townships and how to advertise internships to other institutions. The student designs their learning goals and objectives and they are monitored by a professor at their institution who helps them fit it into their course work. She stated that Ms. Legner has indicated positive experiences with interns and she or her designee have the willingness and experience to supervise an intern.
Commissioner Guyer asked for feedback regarding the sample description. Chair Zwiener asked how common these internships are at colleges. Commissioner Guyer stated that approximately 80% of the students who graduated from the college she worked at had worked as an intern. Chair Zwiener asked about the negotiation of the number of hours depending on academic credit. Commissioner Guyer explained that each institution is likely to have its own regulations regarding credit hours so this was created to be flexible. Professors evaluate the student’s work in order to issue a grade.
Commissioner Guyer stated that the description could be polished up and an application form developed and then the Town could contact internship offices. Ms. Legner added that once institutions know that the Town accepts interns, they will usually look for us. Some interns come with funding from the school. This has been done successfully before with a nominal charge on the Town’s part. The Town already uses interns in other departments.
Vice Chair Nagy asked if the university sets the number of credit hours for the student to accomplish. Ms. Legner confirmed and stated that often interns come during the summer but they can come for a whole semester.
The commission discussed the advantage of keeping the job summary flexible in order to allow interns to meet individual goals.
MOTION: A motion was made by Vice-Chair Nagy and seconded by Commissioner Guyer moved to accept the job description.
Discussion followed regarding the intent of the motion.
Vice Chair Nagy withdrew the motion. Commissioner Guyer withdrew her second to the motion.
MOTION: A motion was made by Commissioner Guyer and seconded by Vice-Chair Nagy to approve the concept of having an internship position with the Historic Preservation Commission in charge. Director Ainsley Legner and the subcommittee are to refine the job description and distribute it.
Chair Zwiener announced that the Town Council will discuss this item on January 19, 2011. He will meet with the Town Council to express the commission’s position.
Ms. Legner will meet with Dr. Ravesloot later this week and will make a plan for him to meet with this commission on two occasions. Due to financial constraints, he will only meet with the commission twice. Ms. Legner will work with the Chair on scheduling.
Commissioner McClung asked to have a study session on that item in order to prepare for those meetings. Chair Zwiener agreed. There should be a draft prior to the study session.
Item A was discussed following Item D.
BUDGET UPDATE - No discussion.
GRANT APPLICATION UPDATE - No discussion.
Ms. Legner stated that Monique Shephard is almost done cleaning and scanning the remainder of the chicken coop collection. The filed documents will be transferred to the Town Clerk’s archived area by the end of the week.
Chair Zwiener suggested getting information from the Oro Valley Historical Society regarding how to handle sensitive documents in the collection. Ms. Legner stated that these documents belong to the Town and that there was discretion used regarding which documents were to be kept.
Commissioner McClung asked about the roof progress and stair excavation. Chair Zwiener explained that they ran into a problem when they tried to excavate the stairwell. The stone feature became unstable so they put it back up and refilled it. The project team decided to preserve it with a trap door. It was requested that Jose Rodriguez attend the next meeting to provide an update.
EVENT PROTOCOL - No discussion.
Oro Valley resident Bill Adler expressed concerned regarding the future responsibility of the heritage garden at Steam Pump Ranch. He recommended that this item be on the agenda for the joint meeting between the Historic Preservation Commission and the Oro Valley Historic Society. The upkeep for the garden is estimated to cost $20,000 per year.
The commission determined to schedule the study session prior to regular February meeting on the 7th. Chair Zwiener and Ms. Legner will create the agenda.
No items were discussed at this time.
~ Community Conversation with Imagine Greater Tucson will be at the Library tomorrow at 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. More information can be found at their website: imaginegreatertucson.org.
~ Ms. Legner stated that the commission asked that we explore having tours of Oro Valley sites at the Historic Preservation Conference. She spoke with the organizer and they expressed interest but there is a process we need to follow. Staff will be speaking with the chair regarding the details.
MOTION: A motion was made by Commissioner Hannon and seconded by Commissioner McClung to adjourn the meeting at 6:41 p.m.
Senior Office Specialist