Volunteers Needed To Help Develop General Plan

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by Mike Burkett

roundup staff reporter

The precise direction Payson will take in the future could well depend on the input of 60 people and one of them could be you.

Community Development Director Bob Gould is now in the market for volunteers to participate in a trio of focus groups that will meet Oct. 11 to help update the Town of Payson's General Plan a municipal "blueprint" which evaluates and provides policy recommendations addressing overall development patterns and long-term land use trends.

"We need about 60 people for these meetings as quickly as we can," Gould said. "Once we get a list of 70 or 80 people, then we'll start dividing them into three groups and plan on scheduling about 25 people per group, so that we can be sure we'll get at least 20 people."

The members of these focus groups will meet for about two hours with planning consultant Peggy Fiandaca, president of the Valley-based Partners for Strategic Action. The purpose of the meeting will be to obtain input on the general-plan update process, get feedback as to what sorts of issues the plan need to address, and determine the different ways those issues might best be approached.

With the adoption of Growing Smarter Plus by the Arizona Legislature in 2000, cities and towns are required to complete several new elements as part of their general plans including elements for land use, open space, environmental planning, cost of development, water resources and growth areas. State statute also now requires that after council ratification, an election must be held for the citizens to vote on the general plan.

Those interested in participating in the focus groups are asked to call the community development department's Chris Floyd at 474-5242, ext. 350.

If your call is taken by an answering machine, mention that you are interested in the focus group meetings and leave your name and phone number.

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