Home > Elected Officials, Flagstaff, New Media, Northern Arizona, Politics > Flagstaff Regional Plan 2030 A Small Step In The Right Direction

Flagstaff Regional Plan 2030 A Small Step In The Right Direction

By Elisha Dorfsmith

As information pamphlets and mail in ballots for the City of Flagstaff May 20, 2014 Special Election arrive in mailboxes this week, I have had several people ask for my thoughts on the one item on the ballot: the Flagstaff Regional Plan 2030.

Longtime readers will remember that I was strongly opposed to the original draft released by the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) months ago. The document threatened private property rights, encouraged a stronger police presence in every neighborhood, and focused on the wants of special interest groups rather than the needs of our City. I was extremely disappointed when the Coconino County Board of Supervisors approved that version (spelling errors intact) unanimously without any debate or discussion.

I have gone through the proposed Regional Plan plan with a fine tooth comb many times during each of its revisions, both officially (as a member of the Flagstaff Sustainability Commission) and unofficially (as a concerned member of the public). I made countless recommendations for changes and have been very pleased to see many of those changes included in the final draft.

I am especially impressed with the Flagstaff City Council and their line by line examination of the draft and the many revisions and corrections they made to the document to make it a balanced plan. There was compromise on both sides and when the final version came back to council for a vote, it was approved unanimously.

The plan now has a disclaimer attached explaining that it is a guiding document rather than an ordinance or law. Language has been included to explicitly protect private property rights. The section calling for a property maintenance ordinance has been removed.  The recommendation for a police substation in each neighborhood has been eliminated. The list of positive changes goes on and on.

Many people don’t realize that Arizona law requires cities of a certain size (including Flagstaff) to pass a regional plan every 10 years or so. If this plan was not mandated by state law, I would be opposed to it out of principle because top down central planning tramples liberty and never works the way people expect it to.

The truth is, the new plan is a vast improvement over what we are currently living with and if it passes we will have more safeguards protecting liberty and private property. It is a good small step in the right direction. Rather than fighting this improved plan on principle, those of us against central planning should take that fight to the state legislature and push to get the mandate removed.

So, if you have not figured it out by now, I will be voting YES on the Flagstaff Regional Plan 2030 on May 20th. I encourage others to do the same.

 

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  1. Pasadena
    May 17, 2014 at 7:26 am

    We own a rental in Flagstaff that we plan to retire to in about 5 years. When I heard of the regional plan I wanted to sell our home and buy one in Chino Valley. I live in Los Angeles and am dieing to get out. I didn’t want to move to mini L.A. But you say this plan is good? No climate change junk? No high density building? And what about these non-profits no mentioned in your earlier statement, are the still in there?

    • May 17, 2014 at 8:42 pm

      Many of the nonprofits specifically mentioned in the previous draft of the plan have been removed. United Way’s contract is up for renewal this year and they may not get it. This regional plan is not perfect but it’s quite a bit better than the current plan Flagstaff follows. I’m happy to see a positive step in the right direction.

      • Pasadena
        May 18, 2014 at 3:49 pm

        Can you explain how it’s on perfect? What is your outlook for Flagstaff? I know the Mayor is a great addition.

  2. May 19, 2014 at 6:33 am

    The biggest problem I have with it is that its a central plan. I don’t like central planning and I don’t like that the state mandates central planning by requiring this plan. There is a lot of fluff in the plan that will never happen including the impossible utopian vision to “eliminate homelessness”. While I agree that the homeless issue should be addressed, it will never be eliminated. It’s that kind of thing that I really dislike.

    I think things are looking up for Flagstaff but it all depends on how the election turns out in November. If the Mayor is re-elected and and we get/ keep some fiscally responsible liberty minded people on council we’ll be in good shape. If the extreme left wins (and they are running candidates) we could be in big trouble.

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