Tucson City Council approves appeal over proposed fencing at Children’s Museum

Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 10:11 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Tucson City Council on Wednesday, July 7, unanimously approved an appeal over a proposed fence for the south lawn of the Tucson Childen’s Museum.

Last year, the Children’s Museum, located at 200 S. Sixth Avenue, approached the Armory Park Historic Zone Advisory Board with plans to build a 9-foot wrought iron fence around a large portion of the space.

That board said no, as did a landscape subcommittee, but they were overruled by a planning subcommittee.

Neighborhood and historic preservation groups were against the plan too and argued there was no community input and green space is already hard to come by downtown. The fence would enclose around 4,000-square feet of lawn.

So, the Armory Park Neighborhood Association paid more than $900 to file the appeal, which was approved by the council late Wednesday night.

“It’s about preserving the feel and the look and the aesthetic of the design of that beautiful building,” said Mayor Regina Romero. “I tend to agree with my colleagues about reversing the decision.”

The museum can revise the plans and re-apply, however, staff did not indicate what they plan to do next during the meeting.

KOLD reached out to the Children’s Museum before the meeting. Executive Director Hilary Van Alsburg sent the following statement:

“Children’s Museum Tucson is excited about our plans to expand the Museum’s outdoor program space with a small extension of our existing courtyard. The Museum is investing in dedicated outdoor programming space and increasing the opportunities for families to play, learn and discover together.

The extension of our existing fence line and additional open air programming space will allow the Museum to introduce activities including a poetry path, bubble play and native pollinator garden in order to support families and children with affordable, accessible engagement. The Museum has been working on courtyard expansion plans since April 2020. The Museum gathered visitor support for the project, and has modified the plans significantly based on input from neighborhood association and historic commission feedback. The project was approved by the City of Tucson Planning and Development Services Department Director on April 23, 2021.”

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