Tucson City Council Refers General Plan for Public's Vote on November 5th, 2013

The Tucson City Council voted on July 9, 2013 to place "Plan Tucson," the new general plan for the city, on the November 5, 2013, ballot for the public's vote.

 How will the general plan change Tucson over the next ten or more years?

How will the general plan change Tucson over the next ten or more years?

All cities of a certain population in Arizona must have a general plan to direct elements of their growth and public services. The Arizona statute requiring these general plans, A.R.S. § 9-461.05, was adopted in 1998 as part of a bundle of legislation labelled "Growing Smarter" legislation. A national organization - the American Planning Association - has developed model Growing Smarter legislation for state legislators to use, and Arizona was one of many states that adopted some version of the statutes.

Even though the City of Tucson does not seem to refer to its general plan often, the Arizona statutes require cities to do the following with regards to the general plan:

  • The City of Tucson Planning Commission must make recommendations to the city council for ways to put the general plan into effect.
  • The planning commission must create an annual report to the city council on the status of the plan  
  • The planning commission must "endeavor" to create public interest in the plan (which, incidentally, is why the new general plan is titled, "Plan Tucson," and not either of the previous title options, "Plan-tastic" or "Plan B.") 
  • The planning commission must consult and advise multiple stakeholder groups with regards to implementing the plan. 

The voters of the City of Tucson will decide whether Plan Tucson is right for Tucson in November of 2013. Given that the city could be using this document to determine important growth decisions for the next ten years or more, I will be posting in the future a brief synopsis of the 246-page plan in this space. Check back for more information.