Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Community Engagement A Must When Creating the 2015 General Plan

The Town of Oro Valley has a web page on the 2005 General Plan.  The page describes the purpose of the plan, the history of the plan, and the final version of the plan. One will also find land use and other general plan maps.

What you don't find on the web page is a discussion of the process used to develop the plan.  The process which led up to the first Town Council adoption of the Plan is described in detail within the introduction section of the 2005 general plan document.

The Oro Valley General Plan Focus 2020 began January of 2000 with the creation of a public participation plan. There were about 130 people involved:
  • Planning and Zoning Commission (7)
  • General Plan Steering Committee (21)
  • External Representatives (14)
  • Town Staff Representatives (7)
  • Town Committees and Boards (71)
The Town Council adopted the Plan in May 2003 and set a General Election in November 2003 for ratification. However, the Plan was defeated by Oro Valley voters 60% to 40%.

Following the Plan’s defeat, the Town conducted surveys and roundtable meetings in an effort to better understand the rejection of the Plan. After analyzing the data, the Town Council appointed a General Plan Revision Committee in August 2004 to address the problems and concerns expressed by the community. There were about 30 people involved:
  • Town Council (7)
  • Planning and Zoning Commission (8)
  • Update Revision Committee (11)
  • Town Staff Support (4)
The Update Revision Committee was charged with addressing problems with the Plan and to make necessary changes or revisions. The major problems was the reference to "mixed use" and "property tax" in the original document.  It was the revision committee of citizens that rewrote sections of the plan that were problematic.  Barry Gillaspie, Conny Culver and Bill Adler provided direction to the committee.

Through an extensive process of eight working sessions and one open house, the Committee concluded its initial revisions and forwarded the revised Plan to the Town Council in December 2004.

On January 13 2005, the Town Council held a Study Session with the Revision Committee and the Planning and Zoning Commission to review and discuss the revised Plan. An additional Study Session was held with the Planning and Zoning Commission January 19 to further work out details of the revisions.

Subsequent to this, the Plan was forwarded for the State Mandated 60-day agency review. Two additional Open houses were conducted during the 60-day review to solicit further input.

At the conclusion of the 60-day review the Revision Committee conducted an additional work session to assimilate and consider all input from the Town Council, Planning and Zoning Commission, Agency reviews and Open Houses. At that meeting the Revision Committee voted to forward the Plan to the Planning and Zoning Commission for review and approval.

The plan was submitted to the voters and approved in 2005.

The process of creating the plan was extensive.  There was considerable citizen input.

Since approval, various councils have attempted to amend the general plan. Such an only be accomplished by a 5-2 super majority vote.

We previously posted our "vision" for the 2015 General Plan Process.   Community involvement, such as we saw in the process of developing the 2005 plan is a centerpiece.

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