After months of work by planning experts, the town's planning group, staff and community members, the new general plan is ready for review.
The Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed the elements regarding water then had a final look at the entire document Jan. 28. Minor changes were made and once the document has been updated by the community development staff, it will be sent to various agencies around the state for further review and comments. It is also available for public review. Copies are at the Community Development Building, at the town clerk's office and at the library, according to Community Development Director Bob Gould. The plan is also scheduled to be posted on the town website next week and copies will be available for sale. The price of the sale copies has not yet been set, Gould said.
Agencies, such as Gila County, the Central Arizona Association of Governments, the Arizona Department of Commerce and others with a stake in the future of Payson -- such as the U.S. Forest Service, the Tonto Apache Tribe, the school district and surrounding communities -- have 60 days to look at the plan.
After the review period, the planning commission and the town council will have public hearings on the plan. The residents of Payson will then vote in September to either accept the plan or reject it. If it is rejected, the existing plan will continue to be used as guidance for future growth.
The new general plan, the issues it must address, the review process and the need for a public vote for adoption were mandated by the state.
Payson's new plan includes identification of how the land will be used; where growth will be; its roads, sidewalks and bike paths; parks, trails and open space; the environment; water resources; the cost of development; and how it will all be implemented.