Questions and Answers

Q: Does West University Neighborhood Association (WUNA) review or regulate what work I can do on my house?
A: No. WUNA is only a neighborhood association. The City of Tucson (COT) appoints an historic design review board (WUHZAB) to review any changes to historic properties in West University. Historic guidelines are developed at the national, state, county and city levels and these are the guidelines that local historic review boards use for projects in Historic Preservation Zones (HPZ).

Q: Are there any extra steps I need to take before making changes to my property in the West University Historic District?
A: Yes. If your property is within the West University Historic Preservation Zone (not all of the West University Neighborhood is within the zone) there are review procedures beyond normal City of Tucson Developmental requirements. This typically involves the City of Tucson Department of Planning, the West University Historic Zone Advisory Board (WUHZAB) and the Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission (TPCHC). Small projects require only the WUHZAB review, and larger ones require both WUHZAB and TPCHC review. If your property is H zoned, the entire property is historic and any changes to the exterior (walls, fences, windows, doors, roofing, additions, etc.) are required to go through a COT mandated historic review. The basic procedure is:

  • Read through the City of Tucson Design Review Process
  • Read the 2015 Approved WUHZAB design guidelines, attached below
  • Planning & Development Services will decide what permits are necessary and what review process must be followed. Contact Michael Taku, the COT representative in charge of the historic review process: 520-837-4963
  • After the WUHZAB review, a recommendation is forwarded to TPCHC.
  • TPCHC review.
  • City of Tucson Planning Department makes the final decision.
Q: Where can I find the recommended wood windows for my historic home?
A: See the attached PDF file below for a list of windows and vendors.
 

Q: Do you have to be a Neighborhood Association board member to be on a committee or to work on a West University Neighborhood Association project?
A: No. Any member of the Neighborhood Association can be on a committee or work on a project.

Q: Is West University Neighborhood Association affiliated with the Trinity Church, you have your office and meetings there?
A: No. The Trinity Church is community oriented and provides affordable office and meeting space to many community service type organizations.

Q: How do I become a West University Neighborhood Association Board Member?
A: Volunteer. Any West University Neighborhood Association member may run for any board position at the next election. Just let the current board know you are interested. 

Q: Is West University Neighborhood Association a Homeowners' Association?
A: No. West University neighborhood Association is a community service organization. It is a volunteer organization that charges a nominal membership fee and raises money through fund raising events. It works to improve the neighborhood and the quality of life in the neighborhood while protecting its historic resources. A homeowners' association is a corporation set up by a real estate developer to own the common amenities of a neighborhood and to enforce the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions as determined by the homeowners' association. They typically charge substantial required membership fees and enforce their CCRs with fines and legal actions. 

Q: What is the Historic Property Tax Program?
A: Owners of properties that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places may enter into an agreement with the state of Arizona to maintain the property as a historic property. In exchange property taxes may be reduced by up to 45%.More information and forms are available from the State Historic Preservation Office and the City of Tucson Department of Urban Planning and design or COT Preservation FAQ's

Q: How do I tell if I am getting the historic tax rate?
A: Your property will usually be listed by the Pima Count Tax Assessor as historic, typically with an assessment ration of 5.

Q: Where can I access information about historic properties and districts within the city of Tucson?

A: Click here for the Tucson Historic Preservation Web Map to find properties, year of construction, specific property searches, print maps and more.