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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

District on 5th’s early semester parties prompt neighborhood outcry

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Taylor Bacic/Arizona Daily Wildcat

As the District on 5th’s management works to resolve discontent surrounding the new student-housing complex, on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Sixth Street, some residents complain of an inadequate staff, antagonistic neighbors and vilification in the press.

Since move-in day, the Tucson Police Department has responded to several complaints regarding loud music and people partying in the pool area. Most recently, the apartment complex received a red-tag violation for the pool, according to TPD Capt. Jim Webb.

In order to deal with these issues, management has increased security measures on the property, lowered the occupancy of the pool, adjusted pool hours and enforced repercussions for violations, according to a media statement from the District.

However, some residents said they feel punished for the actions of a few others who are misbehaving.

“I don’t want to say they should enforce more laws and be stricter, but at the same time it is 10 percent of the people who are misbehaving that need to face repercussions,” said Alyssa Rogers, a sophomore studying philosophy, politics, economy and law.

Rogers is a District resident who has dealt with parties every weekend, vomit on several parking garage levels and an attack in the parking lot from an intoxicated woman. Although she understands the desire to have fun, she said she does not agree with the chaos in the complex.

“I’m not a sourpuss, I like to have fun too,” Rogers said. “But I don’t like finding vomit and trash in the hallway. I don’t pay $700 a month to find trash all throughout my hallway because some people decided to rummage through the place.”

Other residents argue that the noise and apartment problems are typical of a college town and should be expected, especially in a new apartment complex.

“I have respect for the neighbors around us, but I think they need to calm down,” said Maggie Hutcherson, a pre-education sophomore. “It’s a college town, I don’t know what they expect. It’s a brand new apartment and you’re going to get this anywhere if you build a brand new apartment.”

Some neighbors agree with District residents and understand since the complex is located so close to campus.

“Everyone is set in their ways, but we live in a college area,” said Ajia Simone, a Fifth Avenue resident for more than 15 years. “I’ve always been for it, because it’s just a part of the natural growth of the neighborhood.”

Some residents attribute the initial problems with the neighborhood and community to the limited information the District staff provided.

“We weren’t told anything before we moved in except ‘Here’s your apartment, have fun … there’s the pool,’” said Catrina Wiese, a pre-business sophomore and a District resident. “They didn’t say anything like, ‘Hey, be quiet. We have neighbors. Don’t be so crazy.’”

However, after managing issues and complaints, the apartment complex has implemented more rules to help prevent problems. In a notice sent out to residents, management explained rules for the pool, traffic and repercussions for any violations.

“This notice isn’t meant to damper your fun (college living is all about enjoying the experience), but we are asking that you observe the noise regulations that are enforced on the property and in the surrounding community,” the notice read.

Those who violate the rules will face violations ranging from a first violation fee of $50 and a 10-day notice of noncompliance to a third violation fee of $200 and a potential eviction that would still include responsibility for the rest of the lease, according to the notice.

In the notice, management also explained that as a result of “unsanctioned pool parties” the amount of pool occupants would be lowered to 70 people. Additionally, the pool hours were changed to 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday through Sunday.

Since the hours have changed and security has been enforced, TPD has not heard of any issues this past weekend, according to Webb.

There are also architectural changes planned to the north side of the property in order to mitigate the sound that would carry out into the neighborhood, according to City Councilman Steve Kozachik.

Some students voiced their concerns about the wall and about being ostracized from the community.

“I think that if you’re going to isolate us further, you’re not really treating us like adults, you’re just hiding us from the community,” Rogers said. “What’s to stop us from being this madhouse?”

However, some people are encouraging District residents to create a partnership with community members in order to prevent feelings of isolation.

“Getting off on the wrong foot doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stay that way,” Kozachik said. “If the goal is to be a part of the community, then act like you want to be a part of the community.”

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