Ahwatukee Foothills’ future belongs to its residents. That was the message from Doug Cole, chairperson for the Ahwatukee Foothills Village Planning Committee, which met Monday to discuss a new General Plan for Phoenix.
“This vision meeting isn’t just for members of the committee, but for the public,” Cole said.
The General Plan is essentially Phoenix’s map for the future in regards to neighborhoods, transportation, sustainability, open space and many other issues that relate to the city’s development and preservation.
By law, a new General Plan must be enacted every 10 years. The new General Plan will be completed by 2012, and the public visioning process begins Oct. 9.
The plan will outline hopes for achievement in development, preservation, public transit, and other city policies and programs for the next 40 years.
Topics such as neighborhood redevelopment and programs like the “Rio Salado Project,” which aims at reclaiming Arizona’s natural habitats, were discussed.
Michelle Dodds, principal planner for the city of Phoenix, cited technology and time changes, as well as new issues and concerns for the city as reasons why a new General Plan is necessary every 10 years.
“We are hoping to hear from the public and are kind of going out there with an open slate. I really, really would like everyone to be involved in the process,” she said.
Dodds suggested looking at a bullet plan summary of the current General Plan at the next meeting to identify improvements.
“Some of the complaints we received from the public are that it’s such a large plan it’s unapproachable,” she said.
Attendee Greta Rogers was concerned with what she called a special interest in large major developments.
“Plans are meant to be followed, not meant to be violated for special interests,” she said.
Feedback from the Ahwatukee Foothills Village Planning Committee, as well as the 14 other committees in Phoenix, will be available online at the Phoenix General Plan update Web site, available October 2009.
“Achievable and attainable keeps people engaged,” committee member Laurel Arndt said.
Nicole Eskandari is a sophomore at Arizona State University and enrolled in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. She’s originally from Tempe.