If the Flagstaff Regional Plan is going to be “YOUR PLAN” as is consistently stated throughout the Draft Document, then “YOUR” comments and input is needed.

I ask for your comments on the introduction section. Please submit your comments on the introduction section by Saturday, August 24th.

Comments can be made to me the following ways:
• Comment in this blog below.
Email me.

The PDF file of the INTRODUCTION section is available here.

Thank you for your participation.

Councilman Jeff Oravits

4 thoughts on “Your Comments Are Needed_INTRODUCTION SECTION

  1. I have a number of comments on the Introduction to the Regional Plan:

    On the first page following the title page under Introduction, under the heading Natural environment– the document says: “Development sensitive to environmental planning and conservation promotes a healthy natural environment which is necessary for a prosperous human community and economy. Balancing growth with open space needs, water resources and energy consumption is paramount to supporting human life in this high desert environment.”

    My comment is that just because something is “natural” does not make it good or best. It is wrong to claim that a “natural environment” is “necessary for a prosperous human community and economy.” Sometimes a totally natural environment is unsuitable for a prosperous community and economy. Sometimes I think too much emphasis is placed on “natural” in this document.

    The discussion about “balancing growth with open space…” is important. The key word is balance.

    The document refers to Flagstaff as a high desert environment. I consider it a Mountain environment.

    Under the next section: Built Environment, the paragraph says “Regional policy makers are committed to careful decision making to manage the cost of development to support fair, predictable and cost effective growth..” What is considered “fair” and by whom? How can any of this be truly predictable? It can only be a best guess. And what is considered “cost effective”?

    Under Human Environment the paragraph says “Providing quality housing. I would rather it say “safe” housing. Who defines quality? Quality as measured against what? It goes on to say “vibrant and walkable neighborhoods for people of all income levels is vital for a successful community…” In a mountain community with snow, walkability is not desirable to all people and is certainly not “vital” to a successful community. Vital means absolutely necessary and I disagree that walkability for people of all income levels is “vital for a successful community”. How do the planners define “success”? I think some of the words used in this document are used too loosely.

    On the page “This is our Plan” the top paragraph talks about providing for “acceptable” growth. Who decides what is acceptable?

    On page 1-2, first paragraph, it talks about “self-renewing healthy environment”. What is included in “self-renewing”? If that prevents fossil fuels I am against it.

    On page 1-2, third paragraph, it talks about “high performing businesses…” What is the standard for defining “high performing”?

    At the end of the third paragraph on page 1-2 I would like to see the addition of the following language (or something like it): “A thriving community is also one where individual freedom an property rights are respected and entrepreneurship is valued. A community thrives best with the least amount of government interference necessary to accomplish the goals of the safety of its citizens and to provide infrastructure.

    Page 1-3 under “Sustainability Matters” it mentions “social sustainability”. What is “social sustainability”? Also on that page under “Trust and Transparency Matter” it says “Regional community leaders, commerce, and residents expect transparency, accountability etc. It should say “expect and should receive transparency and accountability”…

    Page II-6 under “where we’re going” it implies that the majority of new residents would settle in the City. How do they know that? People might prefer to settle in the surrounding areas. Also, that section says the population increase expected to grow is based on trends, but the trends are way down for growth. This is mostly an observation.

    Page II-7 says “The community’s densities will slowly increase…” but many of us do not want densities to increase. We moved here to have more space than in the big cities. In terms of quality of life, more space is better. Earlier in the document the word balance was used. Balance is important. It would be unwise to crowd people into the city. Crowding presents problems of its own.

    The document goes on to say “The future workforce will desire to be connected to work and friends in a very efficient manner, by walking, biking, using transit, or virtually…” I’m not sure where the Planners got this idea, but many of us will continue to use our personal vehicles! The older population, those who are less fit, and snowy days accommodate cars more than walking. The Planners are making a large assumption with their statement. We do not want to be more compact. We want a balance. If people wanted to be more compact then everyone would live in apartments.

    The end of this section provides various options. It seems to me that Scenario B: Growing in and out is best because it provides for personal choice. Free people do not want to be forced into increased density.

    Page III-6 under Future Interpretations talks about who makes determinations when Plan language is unclear. I believe that where anything is unclear preference and priority should be given to the interpretation of the land owner. Government officials have a tendency of interpreting language to the detriment of the property owner.

    On Page III-9 under Open space in the chart, it says any change or expansion of an urban, suburban or rural area type to open space would be considered a minor amendment. I think it should be considered a major amendment because it would take away developable land.

    This concludes my comments on the Introduction Section of the Regional Plan.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Joy Staveley
    Flagstaff, AZ

  2. Re: “Where we are” P 11-3 “…the area does not attract as many retirees as the rest of the
    state due to weather and altitude.”
    My husband and I chose Flagstaff as our retirement community partly because of the seasonal change. We moved here 10 years ago from Southern California, where the weather rarely changes. Many retirees live here at least part of the year, partly because of the climate as well as the lower population density compared to cities such as Phoenix, Los Angeles, etc.
    Re: “Where we’re going” P 11-7 “The future workforce will desire to be connected to work and
    friends in a very efficient manner, by walking, biking, using transit, or virtually.”
    While I agree that it is convenient to live close to where you work, I seriously doubt if you will convince residents to give up their mobility (i.e., motor vehicles). And frankly, even if I was still in the work force, I would choose to live away from congested areas. Having lived a great many years in close proximity to a densely populated area, the need for breathing room is very high on my priority list, and one of the main reasons we moved to the Flagstaff area!

  3. Well said Joy. I’m checking some of my notes as social sustainability was discussed an I thought voted against being used.

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