Lately it's become quite obvious the town's general plan is one of the least understood of the many policy documents that have been adopted by the town council. We would like to correct that situation, and there's no better means than providing information. This article provides some general facts about the plan. However, if you want to know more, we have scheduled an open public forum on the town's general plan at 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 21 in the town council chambers.
So, what is the general plan? To quote directly from the introduction: "The Payson General Plan 2002-2012 is a 10-year plan that guides future growth through the year 2012. The general plan includes policies and maps that provide the framework for decision-making." State law requires general plans. The town's plan includes the following elements:
- Land Use, which provides the proposed general distribution, location and extent of land for housing, business, industry, public facilities and open space;
- Growth Area, which identifies those areas that are particularly suited for planned multi-modal transportation and infrastructure expansion and improvements designed to support a planned concentration of a variety of uses;
- Transportation/Circulation, which identifies the general location and extent of proposed roadways as well as other forms of transportation, including transit, pedestrian, etc.;
- Parks, Trails and Open Space, which presents an analysis of forecasted needs and identifies potential locations and policies to promote a regional system of integrated open space, recreational resources and trails;
- Environmental Planning, which provides an analysis of potential implications of the general plan on air quality, water quality and natural resources;
- Water Resources, which provides an inventory of existing water supplies, determines water demand based on the land use plan, and presents policies/strategies to ensure that future growth will be adequately served by water;
- Cost of Development, which identifies policies and strategies to require development to pay its fair share toward the cost of additional public service needs generated by new development;
- Implementation, which outlines specific steps to ensure the general plan is implemented and updated in accordance with state law.
The Town of Payson General Plan 2002-2012 was developed over a two-year period with the help of the consulting firm Partners for Strategic Action. A technical advisory committee consisting of members of the planning and zoning commission, town staff and citizen representatives guided its development, holding 14 public meetings during the process. As also required by state law, the plan was submitted to the voters of Payson and approved at the Sept. 9, 2003 election by a vote of 1,754 "yes" to 1,258 "no".
If you would like to review the plan in detail, copies may be obtained at the Payson Community Development Department, 303 N. Beeline. The plan can also be downloaded in its entirety from the town's Web site at paysonaz.us.