The Town of Patagonia adopted its General Plan in 2009. This past April, the Town Council re-adopted the plan for 10 years and asked the Planning and Development Committee to review and propose amendments to update it. 

The plan’s primary purpose is to provide a tool for the community to guide decision-making and to coordinate development, maintenance and preservation efforts. It serves as a guide for development in and around Patagonia. More specific Council actions in the areas of land use, circulation (transportation), and energy and water resources should be consistent with the guidance of the General Plan. As stated in the document:

The Plan is: 

• An expression of the spirit and vision of the community.

• A framework for future decision making.

• A means of preserving and enhancing quality of life.

• A statement of Town policy.

• A legal requirement under Arizona State Law.

The Plan is not:

• A tool to promote special interests.

• A rigid, unchanging or inflexible document.

• A detailed policy or ordinance for specific properties or areas.

• A zoning map. 

The Planning and Development Committee (PD), chaired by Todd Norton and consisting of Councilmember Melissa Murrietta, David Budd, Jerry Isaac, Ike Isakson, Susan Lange, Georgette Larrouy and Brad Sander, has been reviewing the plan, section by section, at their monthly public meetings. Chairman Norton hopes they will complete their initial review and discussion in February. The next step is a work-session, including the full Council and the PD members, likely to be scheduled in March. That should be followed by the Council formal discussion and adoption of amendments in April. 

Norton stated that they do not expect to recommend major changes to the plan but will likely suggest a few amendments to make it more relevant to 2020. Areas that have received the most discussion so far have been implementing use permits, making the plan more business-friendly and clarifying further what is meant by ‘town character.’ Norton believes the greatest asset of the Town of Patagonia is its people. He hopes the Plan will serve to help unite town residents and “help us all get along.”

Town Manager Ron Robinson echoed many of Norton’s comments. He believes the current plan is a good framework and tweaking a few areas will make it better. For example, he suggests the Plan should not single out mining, but rather use a broader term like major industrial development. Robinson hopes the Council will consider the importance of generating sufficient revenue for basic town services when making amendments to the plan. He expects the Council to adopt amendments in April. 

The Town encourages community members to get involved – public participation in the amendment process is essential. Here is how you can learn more and have an impact on final decisions:

• Read the existing plan. There are two copies at the Library, plus a thumb drive you can borrow to download it on your computer. 

• Review minutes from past Planning and Development Committee meetings. You can get them from Town Clerk, Isabel Van Nest, at the Town offices

• Attend Planning and Development meetings. They are scheduled on the 1st Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. in the Council Chamber. There is a public comment opportunity at the beginning of each meeting.

• Talk to individual committee members or make written comments to the committee. 

• Attend the Planning and Development Committee and Council joint work session to be scheduled in March. There will be a public comment opportunity. You can also send written comments to Council members before or after the work-session.

• Attend the Town Council Meeting in April when plan amendments will be discussed. There will be an opportunity for public comments. 

• Follow Council actions as they take up new land use, circulation (transportation), and energy and water resources proposals to assure decisions are consistent with the adopted Patagonia Town Plan.