Guest Column: Pima County plan update is a guide to prosperity - The Explorer: Northwest Chatter

Guest Column: Pima County plan update is a guide to prosperity

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Posted: Wednesday, September 3, 2014 4:00 am | Updated: 11:44 am, Tue Sep 9, 2014.

Pima County this month will release a second draft of its comprehensive plan update called Pima Prospers.

The plan, once adopted, will serve as a guiding document for county growth and prosperity for the next decade. 

According to state law: “The comprehensive plan shall be made with the general purpose of guiding and accomplishing a coordinated, adjusted and harmonious development of the area of jurisdiction pursuant to the present and future needs of the county. The comprehensive plan shall be developed so as to conserve the natural resources of the county, to ensure efficient expenditure of public monies and to promote the health, safety, convenience and general welfare of the public.“

To accomplish this goal, the county for the past year has held numerous community meetings seeking input into the Pima Prospers plan. We received thousands of comments and suggestions and the plan’s guiding committee has endeavored to incorporate as much of that community feedback into this plan as possible.

The county published a first draft in May and solicited ideas from the public, many of which have now been incorporated into the soon-to-be released second draft.

We also want feedback for this second draft. The updated draft will be published on the county website, www.pima.gov/pimaprospers, and county residents, taxpayers and stakeholders will be able to comment on the update.

More revisions will then be considered and a draft with those revisions will be published in the fall, possibly as early as October, for a formal 60-day comment period. The plan will be presented to the county Planning and Zoning Commission, which will hold a public hearing early in the new year.

In the spring, after consideration and recommendation by the commission, the plan will go before the Board of Supervisors, where another public hearing will be held.

That’s a lot of public input and feedback but participation is absolutely vital if this plan is to succeed. This is not the Pima County government prosperity plan. This plan is for everyone in Pima County. It’s your plan.

When we were working on the award-winning Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan a few years back, we noted that we also had to address the workforce and service needs of our citizens, the status of our infrastructure and the economic development of our region. Under the overarching principle of healthy communities, Pima Prospers attempts to bring all of these, including conservation, together in one set of goals, policies and implementation strategies. Until adopted by the board, Pima Prospers is a work in progress toward continuous improvement of the county meeting the challenges of serving our growing county.

Once this plan is adopted, major county functions will be aligned with the plan to achieve success, including the county budget, the capital improvement program and the county bond program.

This plan is not something we will write and put on a shelf until the state requires its dusting off and revision 10 years from now. It will be used every day to make Pima County better and more prosperous.

Help us plan for prosperity and go to the Pima Prospers website and tell us what you think. County staff is available to meet with any organization to present and discuss the draft once it is released. Call Planning Director Arlan Colton, 724-9000, to book a time and date.

 

(Editor’s Note: Chuck Huckelberry is the Pima County Administrator.)

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