Camp Verde Planning and Zoning Commission updates town council on General Plan

Camp Verde Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman B. J. Davis

Camp Verde Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman B. J. Davis

CAMP VERDE - About two years ago, the Town of Camp Verde's Community Development Department began what it said was an update of the 10-year General Plan.

Last ratified in 2005, the plan - and its 10 elements, seemed a few tweaks and adjustments away from going to council.

But the Town's Planning and Zoning Commission made a few changes, - and rebuilt the plan's Land Use element to include a new concept based on the character of Camp Verde as it was broken into 10 specific geographic areas.

The document is now virtually finished, according to Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman B. J. Davis.

All that is left, Davis said, is for the commission to write the introduction. Then the document can be taken to council for approval before then going to a series of Town Hall meetings for public input.

"We also have to do a final review, just to make sure everything is consistent," Davis said.

Davis said he envisions the Town Hall meetings to be "mostly Q & A sessions."

Meetings will begin with a 30-minute introduction to review the plan with anyone who may not have taken part in the various sub-committee meetings, nor attended the commission's General Plan work sessions dating back to August 2013.

Davis and Vice Chairman Dave Freeman presented the new plan - minus the introduction, to council at a Nov. 20 work session.

According to council member Brad Gordon, who along with Vice Mayor Bruce George has attended several of the work sessions and the sub-committee meetings, the updated plan is "a really good instrument to maintaining the culture we have" in Camp Verde.

Gordon, who served on the commission before taking his seat on council, also said the nearly-finished General Plan "protects people's neighborhoods."

Salt Mine and Quarterhorse are the two character areas that have no commercial designations, meaning they are strictly residential. This designation, according to council member Gordon, "help make the [residents] feel better, that no commercial [properties] will come into their areas. And in the areas where there is commercial, the commercial is well-defined [in the General Plan]."

For much of the plan's build process, both the commission and the Community Development Department have sought public participation. The most active - and consistent public input has come from the plan's sub-committee, a group of citizens that has helped write, rewrite and explain the 2005 General Plan. Kathy Davis says she and her fellow sub-committee members have put in "a lot of work" to make sure the Planning and Zoning Commission have had a clear idea of what the people want.

"The ways that we can improve the situation for the Town and it's economic development, getting the plan up to date with all the changes the past decade, with the opportunities in front of us, such as [SR] 260, the hospital and the library," Davis said. "I'm proud of [the updated plan]. It's a real conscientious effort to value what has been done, what we're building on, to use the opportunities we have in the future."

Despite the effort of the sub-committee, Davis echoed Community Development Director Mike Jenkins when she said "we wish there had been more involvement" from the public.

During the Nov. 20 work session, Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Davis and Vice Chairman Freeman gave council a brief overview of the plan's Economic Development, Housing, Open Space & Recreation, Environmental Planning, and Water Resources elements. 

For each element Davis and Freeman discussed the vision statement and goals, and highlighted items in each element to give council an idea of what to expect when they consider approving the plan in January, said Kendall Welch, assistant planner for the Town of Camp Verde's Community Development Department.

"From my perspective in the audience, feedback from council was very positive," Welch said. "Seeing these similarities in elements of the updated plan I think helps to reassure the council that [the General Plan is] headed in the right direction."

The Town's Planning and Zoning Commission has a work session scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10 in council chambers, located at 473 S. Main St. suite 106.

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42 and Instagram @VerdeValleyNews

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