Regional Plan Passes Because of Compromise

At Tuesday’s Flagstaff City Council Meeting the Amended Regional Plan passed unanimously. Most of the changes made by Council over the past few months stood with only a few minor amendments adding language further protecting dark skies and addressing some pedestrian safety issues.

After many months of debate and hundreds of constituent recommended changes, nearly 200 very sensible amendments to the plan were made.

As you may recall, initially I brought up many concerns regarding the draft plan, especially the plan’s preference towards compact development, which I believe would have fundamentally changed the character of Flagstaff. The draft’s lack of adequate planning for automobile capacity was also an oversight and would have led to greater traffic congestion. The mandatory tone of the draft plan was also a huge concern and I was glad to see the plan changed to a suggestive tone with stronger private property rights protections. During a day long Regional Plan Retreat the majority of Council agreed with these and many other changes and amended the draft plan accordingly.

I am glad to see our work as a Council come to a close. While the plan is not perfect, it is a vast improvement over the draft that was presented to Council and represents a much more balanced document.

Now the voters get to decide in May of 2014 and will have the final say.

This process is a perfect example of compromise and hard work. It also illustrates the need for a diverse viewpoint on Council. I am confident that without the change of dynamics on Council in the 2012 election, the draft plan would have been approved unchanged, as was the case with the County Board of Supervisors. The County, to many County residents’ disappointment, passed the original draft plan for the County residents in the FMPO area surrounding Flagstaff with zero changes. It is unfortunate that residents of the County will not get to vote on the final plan affecting them either. I am working with State Representative Brenda Barton and others at the Capital to change this voter inequity.

I encourage everyone to look at the plan Council passed and seriously consider voting in favor of it this May. I worked very hard to ensure private property rights are protected and that a realistic and balanced plan is set in motion.

I thank the many people involved in creating the draft and all of the constituents who commented and helped make this plan more balanced.

Your voice matters and your involvement made a huge difference.

Related stories;

Unanimous vote on regional plan a promising sign:

Unanimous Flagstaff City Council passes regional plan.

Compromises Clear the Way for Council Passage of Regional Plan

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