Star Valley Begins Plan For The Future

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Every city and town in the state of Arizona with a population of more than 2,500 is required to have a general plan. Star Valley, with a population of a little more than 2,000, is taking the first steps to develop its own.

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Sean Kucewesky, co-owner of Rim Country Power Sports on East Highway 260 in Star Valley, sets up for another day of business Friday morning. Kucewesky places a row of Arctic Cat ATVs in front of his shop every morning to let customers know he's there. The Star Valley council is working with the Central Arizona Association of Governments to develop a general plan as the community prepares for future growth along this corridor and with 640 acres of property the Forest Service gives to newly incorporated towns.

The Star Valley Town Council has entered into a contract with the Central Arizona Association of Governments for $58,000 to create a plan and put it into place.

Star Valley Town Manager Vito Tedeschi said there are a lot of details to be included in the plan.

Some of the items include looking at existing zoning, future zoning and what would it mean and look like if the downtown area of Star Valley was developed.

Tedeschi said the plan will probably also look at what the town wants to do with the 640 acres of land that the Forest Service will give to them.

New towns usually receive 640 acres of forestland through the federal government upon incorporation.

The town manager said the plan will not be a quick process and will likely take between one-and-a-half to two years to complete.

He also said that while the town is not required to have a plan, because its population does not meet the 2,500 threshold, it will need to do it in the near future when reaching that amount.

"Since we are so close and will reach that (figure) soon, we want to be proactive and get it done," Tedeschi said.

The first community planning team will meet with CAAG to review the community inventory and analyze/identify local concerns and trends.

Heather Patel, community development block director for CAAG, said the members of the community planning team have yet to be chosen by the town.

She said she will be meeting with Tedeschi, council members and others to see specifically what the town wants.

Patel said each step of the process is technically a public meeting that will be posted.

Tedeschi said the public will have a huge role in what is ultimately put into the general plan.

There will be three public meetings before the draft of the plan is completed.

Those three meetings will look at community strengths and weaknesses, community vision and identification of goals and objectives of the plan. Specific elements will also be discussed.

"What basically happens is we compile what they say and put it in a draft document and then give it to different groups," Patel said.

"Everything that goes in the document is what the community asks for."

Following the public meetings, there will be five community planning/team meetings. The fifth meeting, which will be held 18 months into the process, will be a review of the draft document.

After the draft is complete, there will be a 60-day review process where distribution of the completed draft is sent to all of the required agencies.

In the 21st month of the process, there will be a second public meeting where the town council will vote on whether to adopt the plan.

Patel emphasized that the time frame is an estimate, because a lot of things can change during the process.

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