General Plan Amendments

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Many dedicated Oro Valley residents participated in the creation of the “2016 Your Voice Our Future” General Plan. One of my opponents in this election counts himself among this group.

So, why do these same Council members not follow the 2016 General Plan Amendment process? Did they misunderstand what they sent to the public for a vote?

There are 3 major criteria for General Plan amendments. (These are quoted at the bottom of this page.)

I believe criteria #1 is being met, and until recently the Town Staff have done an adequate job of ensuring that criteria #2 is met.

As for criteria #3… I think that Staff has fallen short of what the Plan drafters intended. In their presentations, Staff substitutes stability for “economic stability”. This omission is important because without long-term financial stability our experience living in Oro Valley will be negatively impacted.

Our residents also expect that applicants and Staff will “show their work” and demonstrate why the benefits to the Town will significantly outweigh the costs of following the 2016 General Plan Land Use. We residents are shown the benefits for the applicant and can clearly see the negative impacts to nearby residents. What we don’t see is the analysis as to why the benefits to the Town justify approval of the Amendment.

This applicant analysis is not being required. If you don’t believe me please watch the December 6, 2017 meeting where 3 General Plan amendments were unanimously approved by Council. See if the two incumbent opponents ask for any applicant analysis.

In my view, the 2016 General Plan indicates the General Plan Amendment process approved by the voters in 2016 is not being followed. Applicants will never mention this. The process will only change when the Council and residents insist Staff follows the process as written.

7.4.2. GENERAL PLAN AMENDMENT EVALUATION CRITERIA
General Plan amendment evaluation criteria provide a tool for the Town to judge the merits of a specific amendment
request. The criteria identifies broad themes from the General Plan that an amendment should address, as well as specific
development-related issues that will be evaluated by the Town in relation to the amendment request. The intent of this criteria
is to gather information that forms the basis for Town decision-making on amendment requests. The criteria is purposely
written using broad language to enable review of applications based on the full breadth of General Plan topics. The ultimate
decision regarding compliance with the criteria will be made by Town Council. Mitigation as needed may be incorporated as
special area policies by Town Council, or addressed in subsequent zoning and development processes.

The review and analysis shall include the following criteria:

1. On balance, the request is consistent with the vision, guiding principles, goals and policies of the General Plan as
demonstrated by adherence to all the following criteria. The request shall not:
a. Significantly alter existing development character and land use patterns without adequate and appropriate buffers and
graduated transitions in density and land use.
b. Impact existing uses with increased infrastructure without appropriate improvements to accommodate planned growth.
c. Impact other public services including police, fire, parks, water and drainage unless careful analysis and explanation of
anticipated impacts is provided to the Town for review.
d. Impact the natural beauty and environmental resources without suitable mitigation.

2. The applicant has implemented effective public outreach efforts to identify neighborhood concerns and has responded
by incorporating measures to avoid or minimize development impacts to the extent reasonably possible, as well as to
mitigate unavoidable adverse impacts.

3. All non-residential amendment requests will contribute positively to the long-term economic stability of the Town as
demonstrated by consistency with goals and policies related to economic development and financial stability.

It shall be the responsibility of an applicant to submit information, studies and analysis that will enable all participants to
adequately assess the request in relation to the criteria.

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