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Wed, Feb. 26

Prescott to get report on General Plan progress

PRESCOTT – The Prescott City Council soon will hear a report from the General Plan Steering Committee about progress on a new general plan for the city.

The committee plans to present a progress "checkpoint" to the council during the Feb. 5 study session at 3 p.m., at Prescott City Hall, 201 S. Cortez St. The purpose of the checkpoint is to inform the City Council about the committee's work so far and to ask for council direction on the plan.

The general plan serves as a long-range planning guide for the city.

The city launched its plan update in September 2001 to comply with changes in state law regarding community general plans.

The update began with a series of public meetings, a survey, and the appointment of a 12-member steering committee to aid city staff members in the development of the new general plan.

The city used the public meetings and survey to gauge public sentiment about future growth and development in the city. The steering committee has been meeting at least twice a month since September.

So far, committee work has included poring over the 1997 Prescott General Plan, conducting research, consulting experts to aid with the development of various plan elements, and preparing the draft.

Prescott's new general plan will deal with: land use, circulation, water resources, economic development, traffic circulation, environmental planning, and growth areas.

The water resources, environmental planning, and growth areas categories are new to Prescott's general plan.

They are requirements of the state's recent Growing Smarter legislation.

Along with the update on the general plan, the Feb. 5 checkpoint also will allow the council to discuss how to deal with amendments that citizens and property owners initiate before City Council members and city voters ratify the new plan.

George Worley, long-range planner for the city, explained that the Growing Smarter legislation gives cities broad powers to determine what constitutes a major plan amendment, while delineating the process for considering them.

After checking in with the City Council, the steering committee will continue to work on the plan elements. Worley estimated that preliminary drafts of each element should be ready by late May or June.

At that time, the city plans to conduct additional public meetings to allow city residents to review and comment on the drafts.

The City Council likely will review the final draft of the general plan before the end of 2002.

The city plans to take the document to the voters for ratification in the spring of 2003.

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