Welcome to West University! Congratulations on moving to one of the most vibrant areas in Tucson. As your friendly neighborhood association leaders, we’d like to provide you with some tools to help you settle in.
First, we are not an HOA. Anyone in the neighborhood can join; you do not have to be a homeowner to be part of WUNA (West University Neighborhood Association). We are different from an HOA in that we engage with our local political leaders and surrounding neighborhood activists to work towards a more cooperative, beautiful and safe community. We try to achieve these goals through various routes, but none is more important than encouraging the people who live here to feel they can participate and contribute. »more about becoming a WUNA member
We hold monthly meetings Jan-May and August-December with a summer break in June and July. We expect to go back to meeting in person in August. Meetings are held at 6.30pm the first Thursday of the month at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Fellowship Hall, located at 400 E University Blvd. »more info about WUNA Board Meetings.
We are active on Instagram and Facebook and you can contact us through these social media accounts. You’ll find our community events listed there, such as our activities in the parks, WUNA walks, bicycle tours and when we’re ready again, various happy hour gatherings.
We have four committees you are welcome to join at any time who provide info to the board concerning street improvements, our two parks, development and city building code, and finally, a group called CCRC (College Community Relations Committee) which works as our liaison with the UofA. We elect new board members annually in January. »more about WUNA’s Organizational Representatives and Committees
West University’s boundaries extend east to west from Park Ave to Stone Ave and north to south from Speedway to Sixth St. While the houses and businesses vary widely in our neighborhood, all the buildings are part of a protected historic district known as an HPZ (Historic Protection Zone).
In order to maintain this historic status and keep our protections, any additions and changes you make to the exterior of your house (aside from paint) are required to go through a permitting process that starts with a review with the city’s HPZ board for our neighborhood. This process adds a little time to your home improvement, but the permits required to do work to your house (even to add a new fence or roof) ensures that the integrity of our neighborhood doesn’t erode over time.
The steps to get a permit might seem complicated, but in truth, there are at most three steps. First, owners (or better yet, your architect or contractor!) should call Michael Taku in Planning and Development Services at 837-4963 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. If it’s something minor, he might tell them what they need to submit to get a permit for their project (usually a site plan). For larger projects, he will put them on the agenda for an upcoming monthly WUHZAB meeting. WUHZAB (West University Historic Zoning Advisory Board) is a city-assigned group which will help them get their plan approved. Once they have been cleared by this group, their request for a permit gets reviewed by another group, the Tucson Pima County Historical Commission, led by Tucson’s Historic Preservation Officer Jodie Brown. She can be reached by email or call 520-837-6968. Upon completion of review from this commission, the plan is issued a permit and work can begin!
Although this process may initially seem involved and intimidating, its purpose is meant to benefit the entire community. It also helps ensure that your historic home remains eligible for its property tax abatement.
You can always shoot us an email and we will try to get your questions answered.
Please know we are here to help and look forward to hearing what you might do to contribute to the neighborhood’s well-being.
Judy Rose Sensibar, President
Betsy Besenick Larson, Vice President