Lets Fix This Plan

As written, the Regional Plan appears to be a vision of some but not all in our community. I have concerns with many things that are in this plan. Over the past two weeks I have offered up many suggestions on how to better this document and alleviate the hundreds of concerns that have been raised from Flagstaff constituents.

Council could alleviate a lot of these concerns by addressing three issues:

1. Is the Regional Plan a Policy or a Guide? If it’s a guide, clearly and frequently state this with language throughout the Plan.

It’s a little easier to let certain language stand if indeed this plan is simply a guide or a “dream” as has been suggested by some, including the City manager who stated this is an “aspirational document”. However, if this is more of a directive that will be used to create future laws, ordinances, zoning codes, etc, the language and policies of the plan need intense scrutiny and many amendments.

“An important task of this plan is to address where open space should be preserved, regardless of ownership” V4, Open Spaces Section

2. Regardless of whether this is a guide or policy, we should replace the definitive and commanding language (shall, will, etc.) with suggestive and encouraging language (could, may, etc.).

3. Place language that protects and preserves private property rights prominently and often throughout the Regional Plan.

It has been suggested by some that I am offering up suggestions to make it so this plan fails. Quite the opposite is true. I want a plan that will pass.

If I wanted the plan to fail I would simply sit back and offer little input on the draft plan because I think the plan as written has a high probability of failing at the polls next year if changes aren’t made. Let’s make a plan that is balanced.

12 thoughts on “Lets Fix This Plan

  1. I have done a search of the draft document and found the use of “shall” and “will” in the context of Goals and Policies a total of 3 times, as follows:

    “Shall” as cited in Goals and Policies
    Pg IV-15: Policy E&C.6.8. Disturbed areas for improvements and landscaping for new developments shall emphasize the use of native, drought-tolerant or edible species appropriate to the area.

    “Will” as cited in Goals and Policies

    pg VI-13: Policy WR.3.6. Golf courses will use reclaimed water for irrigation purposes.
    Pg VI-13: Policy WR.4.3. Development requiring public utility services will be located within the Urban Growth Boundary.

    Hope this helps assuage some concerns.

      1. Hi Flagstaff Liberty, whoever you are. Yes indeed I am Carol Bousquet, however, I would not take credit as co-writer, simply vice chair of this amazing group of folks committed to this great community. I wanted to offer some insight that I came upon to satisfy my own curiosity today. Hope it helps move the conversation along.


    1. Carol, your assertion is not quite correct.

      Appendix B IS part of the document and it has “Will” at least 14 times.

      “Shall” is used at least 6 times.

      Now, we can either do away with Appendix B completely or we can change the “will” and “shall” language.


      1. We have worked for the past four + years with the understanding that the appendices are not a part of the “official” plan, and may be updated at will. Thus, my observations were limited to the goals and policies which are the primary focus of the document. The bulk is background information which does not articulate policy, but rather attempts to provide context for the goals and policies. Does that help?

    2. No, it does NOT help at all Carol.

      Appendix B is attached to the document. How can you say it’s not part of the plan? When people look at the plan to see if they want to vote on the plan they will read Appendix B. We should get rid of the whole thing. It’s full of nonsense.

      As long as Appendix B is included in the plan along with words like “will” and “shall” I WILL campaign against the plan and vote against the plan on election day.

      You say the public had an opportunity for input. I offered my input and was not listened to. For some reason you guys are obsessed with keeping a Property Maintenance Ordinance in the plan. You wouldn’t listen to my one suggestion. And yet you say this is “our plan”. This is NOT my plan.

      1. Did you see that Appendix B begins with this phrase:

        “The following strategies are a compilation of ideas from the community and the Citizen Advisory Committee on how to implement policy. This list is unedited and has not been endorsed by any official body or subjected to legal review. Strategies are NOT policy, and as such will not be adopted as policy language. Strategies are great ideas this plan process has produced, and can be used as a check list in which government and non-government agencies, non-profit organizations, educational organizations and citizens in general can develop implementation plans. This appendix may also be updated on a regular basis for the life of the Regional Plan, as organizations, structures, budgets and technology change.”

        Perhaps the appendices should be a separate document to avoid further confusion?

    3. Absolutely it should be separate or done away with completely. If it is part of the plan in any way people will be voting on that. And that will come back to haunt us because people will say Appendix B was approved by the voters so we should use these strategies. These strategies are really bad strategies.

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