Boyce Macdonald- Planning Manager
Arizona’s counties are enabled to perform planning activities by the authority granted under Title 11, Chapter 6 of the Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS). ARS Section 11-802 states:
“The Board of Supervisors of a county, in order to conserve and promote the public health, safety, convenience and general welfare, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, shall plan and provide for the future growth and improvement of its area of jurisdiction, and coordinate all public improvements in accordance therewith, form a planning and zoning commission to consult with and advise it regarding matters of planning, zoning, and subdivision platting and in the manner provided in this chapter, adopt and enforce such rules, regulations, ordinances and plans as may apply to the development of its area of jurisdiction.”
Planning Division plans and provides for the future growth in accordance with the Yavapai County Comprehensive Plan, Planning & Zoning Ordinance, and Subdivision Regulations; Provides support, processes, and presents applications to the Planning & Zoning Commission and Board of Supervisors. Applications may be for Use Permits, Zoning Map Changes, Cell Towers, Subdivisions and other planning issues.
Design Review provides for technical review of all subdivisions, land developments and oversees that development construction is in accordance with County Ordinances. Staff also inspects bond documents and authorizes the release of monies held as assurances for subdivision construction of infrastructure of roads and utilities.
The Comprehensive Plan is described in Arizona State Statutes as a statement of goals and development policies. “The purpose of the plan is to bring about coordinated physical development in accordance with the present and future needs of the county,” and it “shall be developed so as to conserve the natural resources of the county, to insure efficient expenditure of public funds, and to promote the health, safety, convenience, and general welfare of the public.”
The Statutes mandate that the Board of Supervisors “shall adopt a comprehensive plan and subsequently amend or extend the adopted plan”; and that the “commission shall formulate” the plan for the purpose “primarily as an aid … in the performance of its duties.” The Comprehensive Plan is a guideline to aid in the decision-making process of the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors. It is not a zoning ordinance, regulatory or taxing code; nor is it a specific area or community plan. The Comprehensive Plan does not delete or amend adopted ordinances, codes, special studies or community plans.
The Growing Smarter Acts also specify that “the policies and strategies to be developed under these elements shall be designed to have regional applicability”. Other significant statutory additions state that the plan “is effective for up to ten years” and that a new plan or readoption of the existing plan must happen at that time; and that “zoning and rezoning ordinances, regulations, and specific area plans” must be “consistent with and conform to the adopted county plan.”