The State of Arizona passed HB 2361 in 1998. The “Growing Smarter Act”  requires cities and towns to adopt general plans, and for counties to adopt Comprehensive Plans that must be updated every 10 years. The act states that county comprehensive plans

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.”

Comprehensive plans for large counties like Yavapai and Coconino must include elements that address planning for land use, water resources, transportation, environmental planning, open space acquisition and preservation, energy use, growth areas and cost of development. Yavapai County has begun the process of updating its comprehensive plan, with completion required by the end of 2022. See below. Coconino County updated its comprehensive plan in 2015.

Many aspects of a comprehensive plan lay out goals, policies and implementation measures for the entire county. But the plans are of particularly importance for unincorporated areas where county regulations guide planning and rezoning decisions. Such decisions should conform to both the county zoning code and the county comprehensive plan. Incorporated cities like Sedona and Cottonwood have their own zoning regulations and Planning and Zoning Commissions, whereas unincorporated areas like Cornville and the Village of Oak Creek are governed by County regulations with zoning change requests heard by Yavapai County Planning and Zoning and County Supervisors.

CLICK HERE for a copy of the Arizona Revised Statutes Section on Requirements of Comprehensive Plans.

Updating the Yavapai County Comprehensive Plan

Yavapai County has begun the process of updating the Yavapai County Comprehensive Plan. This update provides the opportunity to more specifically outline how the County will protect and sustain our natural environment while developing responsibly.

Since the last plan was adopted in 2012, we’ve become more aware of the economic value of our natural environment, open spaces, dark skies and water resources. We have also come to realize that our water resources are finite. The mega-drought we’re living through made worse by climate change threatens Verde Valley’s water resources as much as over-development. Land use decisions should take into account the resulting groundwater use because groundwater is the main source for the freshwater needs of Yavapai County.

Residents of Yavapai County can help protect our priceless environmental resources by participating in the update of the Yavapai County Comprehensive Plan. The County is currently reaching out to communities to solicit Vision Statements that will be incorporated into the Comprehensive Plan. Contact your community leaders if you want to contribute to the creation of those Vision Statements.

CLICK HERE to view a copy of the 2012 Yavapai County Comprehensive Plan.

CLICK HERE to access a library of resources for updating the Comprehensive Plan

Recently, Yavapai County administered a survey for residents to express their support or lack thereof on a number of issues relevant to the update to the Comprehensive Plan. They received 906 responses.

KSB considers that the responses to the ‘priority’ questions is the most important outcome of the survey and we have created a document that presents those results in 3 summarized pages.

Note that due to rounding, the percentages for each item may not add up to 100%. This is unavoidable when rounding is employed. Also, 4 respondents left all of the items blank.

CLICK HERE or in the image below to view the summarized results.

thumbnail of Survey Results

If you want to access the County webpage that presents all survey results, CLICK HERE.


Keep Sedona Beautiful Vision Statement

As part of the process to update the Yavapai County Comprehensive Plan, the County is accepting “Vision Statements” from both unincorporated communities and from organizations like Keep Sedona Beautiful.

These documents reflect the concerns and priorities of county residents and will be taken into consideration as the County crafts its Plan.

Vision Statements can address any or all of the mandatory Elements that must be included (by law) in the Plan. The County is accepting additional elements that we feel should be included in the updated Plan.

You can  read the KSB Vision Statement by CLICKING HERE, or by clicking on the image of the document above.