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.