What is a General Plan?
A General Plan can be described as the "blueprint" for the City's future. It represents the community's vision as goals and policies to direct decision-making. Arizona state law requires that each city adopt a general plan addressing 17 mandatory components or "elements": Land Use; Circulation; Open Space; Growth Areas; Environmental Planning; Cost of Development; Water Resources; Conservation; Recreation; Public Services and Facilities; Public Buildings; Housing; Conservation, Rehabilitation, and Redevelopment (currently addressed in the Glendale General Plan through the Redevelopment Element and the Neighborhood Element); Safety; Bicycling; Energy; and Neighborhood Preservation and Revitalization. Along with the state-required elements, Glendale's General Plan also includes four elective elements. These are Urban Design, Historic Preservation, Fiscal, and Economic Development.
What part of the City's General Plan is being updated?
While the update will cover the entire Glendale General Plan, it will focus on three main aspects:
- New state legislation passed after the adoption of the current General Plan requires two new elements to be incorporated into general plans – an Energy Element and a Neighborhood Preservation and Revitalization Element.
- State legislation requires the addition of four sections into existing elements that will need to be added during the General Plan Update. The elements that will be updated with these missing sections are Land Use, Circulation, Safety, and Neighborhoods.
- Other parts of the General Plan will be updated as necessary to reflect economic development potential, transportation corridor expansion, internal consistency, and current conditions and future trends.
What will the new elements entail?
Recent state legislation passed after the Growing Smarter and Growing Smarter Plus legislation requires that Arizona city general plans include an Energy Element and a Neighborhood Preservation and Revitalization Element. The requirements of these two elements are as follows:
- The Energy Element is intended to provide policies for the City to have adequate energy and power to continue its growth on the planning horizon of the General Plan. It requires a component that identified policies that encourage and provide incentives for efficient use of energy. It also requires an assessment that identified policies and practices that provide for greater uses of renewable energy sources.
- The Neighborhood Preservation and Revitalization Element is meant to guide the development of new neighborhoods and retain and enhance the character of existing neighborhoods. The element requires a component that identifies city programs that promote home ownership, that provide assistance for improving the appearance of neighborhoods and that promote maintenance of both commercial and residential buildings in neighborhoods. It also requires a component that identifies city programs that provide for the safety and security of neighborhoods.
What new sections (updates to existing elements) are required?
There are four sections within four existing elements that will need to be added as part of the General Plan Update. The elements to be updated with these sections are Land Use, Circulation, Safety, and Neighborhood.
- The Land Use Element must be updated to include sources of currently identified aggregates from maps that are available from state agencies, and policies to preserve currently identified aggregates sufficient for future development and policies to avoid incompatible land uses.
- The Circulation Element must also be updated to include building setback requirements and the delineations of such systems on the land, and a system of street naming and house and building numbering and other matters as may be related to the improvement of circulation of traffic.
- The Safety Element must be updated to include evacuation routes
- The Neighborhood Element must be updated to include the elimination of slums and blighted areas. This will likely be incorporated into the new Neighborhood Preservation and Revitalization Element
What other updates will occur?
The current General Plan was adopted in 2002. The City of Glendale has seen much growth and change during the last decade that will need to be captured in the General Plan Update to provide a more accurate vision of where the City will go in the next 20 years. The General Plan will be updated to include current information on demographics, growth areas, economic trends, and transportation corridors. In particular, the General Plan will include updated information on:
- the steady rate of growth within Glendale over the last decade;
- the completion of the Loop 101 (Agua Fria) Freeway;
- the construction of Northern Parkway;
- the construction of the Loop 303 Freeway;
- expansion of the Valley Metro light rail system;
- the emergence of the Glendale Sports & Entertainment District; and
- redefine growth areas in the developing areas of the Westside and Luke Environs.
How long will the entire process take?
The entire update process will take about two years (going for public vote as part of the 2016 general election) to allow ample time for public involvement of the General Plan Update.
How can people get involved?
Over the next two years there will be numerous ways for the public to participate in this process. For all information related to the General Plan Update, residents are encouraged to check back on this website. You can sign up for electronic news alerts, participate in online surveys, interactive meetings and review all relevant documents and presentations about the Update. The City will also be working closely with local news media, community groups and faith-based organizations to get information to residents.
The City will also hold a series of Public Workshops, which will give people a chance to work with City planners and our consultant team in the development of the General Plan Update.
The City's goal is to engage as many residents, business owners and stakeholders as possible to ensure that the Plan reflects the vision of the entire community.