Regional Plan Amendment

The City of Flagstaff is proposing a Major Plan Amendment on climate change and climate action to the Flagstaff 2030 Regional Plan.

The proposed amendment will revise pages IV-11, IV-12 , and X-19 of the Flagstaff Regional Plan 2030: Place Matters (Regional Plan). View the proposed new pages here. Revisions will align the Regional Plan Climate Change and Adaptation pages with the City’s climate action work and the 2021 Carbon Neutrality Plan.

We want your input!

Join City Staff at one of three events to learn more, discuss the proposed Amendment, and provide your input. 

Info session one:

Tuesday, July 20th
5:30 to 6:30 pm
Online via zoom
Register in advance for this meeting here.

Open House / Neighborhood Meeting:

Wednesday, August 25th
5:00 to 7:00 pm
Murdoch Community Center
203 E. Brannen Ave
 Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Information Session Two:

Thursday, September 9th
6:00 to 7:00 pm
Online via zoom
Register in advance for this meeting here.

Flagstaff Community Forum:

Ask Questions or provide comments here:
https://www.opentownhall.com/10937


If you have further questions, please contact:
Jenny Niemann, Climate and Energy Specialist, at JNiemann@Flagstasffaz.gov or 928-213-2130.

Flagstaff CNP 1

City staff are proposing a major amendment to the Flagstaff Regional Plan 2030. The proposed amendment is within the Climate Change and Adaptation section of the Environmental Planning & Conservation Chapter - pages IV-11 and IV-12.  View the proposed new pages here.

What is the change?

The proposed changes to pages IV-11 and IV-12 include:

  • Changes to the narrative
  • Revisions to goals E&C 2 and E&C 3
  • Revisions to policies E&C 2.1, E&C 2.2, E&C 3.2, and E&C 4.1
  • Addition of four policies: E&C 2.3,E&C 2.4, E&C 3.5, and E&C 3.6

In addition to the text revisions on the Climate Change and Adaptation pages, this amendment also includes a wording revisions to policy T.8.1, in the Transportation chapter (located on page X-19). 

The proposed changes are detailed below. Click here to see the new proposed amendments in the Regional Plan pages:

  1. Goal: E&C.2:
    • Current: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
    • Proposed amendment: Achieve carbon neutrality for the Flagstaff community by 2030.
  2. Policy E&C.2.1:
    • Current: Policy E&C.2.1. Encourage the reduction of all energy consumption, especially fossil-fuel generated energy, in public, commercial, industrial and residential sectors. 
    • Proposed amendment: Policy E&C.2.1. Encourage the reduction of energy and material consumption.
  3. Policy E&C.2.2:
    • Current: Promote investments that create a more connected and efficient community, decrease emissions from transportation and building energy, and strengthen climate resiliency.
    • Proposed amendment: Promote investments that create a more connected and efficient community, decrease emissions from transportation and building energy, and strengthen climate resiliency.
  4. Goal E&C.3
    • Current: Strengthen community and  natural environment resiliency through climate adaptation efforts.
    • Proposedamendment: Prepare Flagstaff’s community systems and resources to be more resilient to climate change impacts, and address climate change in a manner that prioritizes those most impacted and ensures the costs and benefits of climate adaptation and mitigation are equitably distributed.
  5. Policy E&C.3.2:
    • Current: Review and revise existing regulations, standards, and plans (codes, ordinances, etc.) to reduce the community’s vulnerability to climate change impacts.
    • Proposed amendment: Review and revise existing regulations, standards, and plans (codes, ordinances, etc.) to reduce the community’s vulnerability to climate change impacts and reduce the disproportionate impacts on vulnerable communities.
  6. Policy E&C.4.1:
    • Current: Assess vulnerabilities and risks of Flagstaff’s natural resources
    • Proposed amendment: Assess vulnerabilities and risks of Flagstaff’s natural resources in the context of anticipated climate changes and resulting changes to Flagstaff’s systems.

The creation of four new policies:

  1. Policy E&C.2.3: Review and revise existing regulations, standards, and plans (codes, ordinances, etc.) to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. Policy E&C.2.4: Promote developments that help the community achieve carbon neutrality through strategies that reduce the project’s emissions from transportation, energy, and consumption.
  3. Policy E&C.3.5: Improve the ability of vulnerable community members to adapt and thrive amidst the pressures of climate change.
  4. Policy E&C.3.6: Attempt to equitably distribute the burdens and benefits of climate action policies and investments to all segments of the community.

In addition, a change is being recommended for policy T.8.1, in the Transportation Chapter. 

  • Policy T.8.1:
    1. Current: Promote efficient transportation connectivity to major trade corridors, employment centers, and special districts that enhances the region’s standing as a major economic hub.
    2. Proposed amendment: Promote efficient network connectivity to and within major trade corridors, employment centers, and special districts that enhances the region’s standing as a major economic hub.


What is a major plan amendment?

“The Flagstaff Regional Plan is a dynamic document that can be updated, revised, and improved over time to respond to emerging issues, new ideas, and changing conditions.” - The Flagstaff Regional Plan.

The State and the City of Flagstaff outline specific requirements of major plan amendments. These are outlined in Chapter III of the Regional Plan and the Flagstaff City Code, Title 11, General Plans and Subdivisions.

There are several types of major Plan amendments. This amendment is a text amendment, which adds or deletes a goal or policy in any chapter of the Plan.

Why is this change necessary?

This text amendment will update the Flagstaff Regional Plan 2030’s discussion of climate change and climate action to align with the City of Flagstaff’s climate action goals. The climate action work of the City has evolved rapidly since the 2014 adoption of the Regional Plan, creating a gap between the guidance provided in the Regional Plan and the City’s declared climate goals and the ambition of its climate actions.

This gap is exemplified in the Regional Plan’s discussion of greenhouse gas reduction targets.

  • The Flagstaff Regional Plan 2030 climate change and adaptation section sets a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: Goal E&C.2.: reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • In 2018, City Council set a goal to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.
  • In 2020, City Council declared a climate emergency and set a goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, effectively reducing emissions to net zero. The achievement of this goal will be guided by the Carbon Neutrality Plan, which is expected to be adopted in June 2021.

While these goal statements all support City action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and do not conflict with one another, and, there is a significant gap between the ambition and requisite actions of these goal statements, reflecting the growth in the urgency of climate action.

This amendment will restore alignment between the Regional Plan and the City’s climate goals, clarifying the carbon neutrality goal and the types of climate action the City will take. This will reduce confusion, increase transparency, and provide decision-makers with support when making decisions based on the City’s climate action goals.


What are the benefits of this change?

This amendment to align the Regional Plan and the City’s well-established climate action goals will provide several benefits to the community. First, formally recognizing the climate action efforts of the City of Flagstaff and its partners will increase understanding within the Flagstaff community. This amendment will help readers of the Regional Plan understand the extent of the City’s climate goals, how the City is taking climate action and where to look for detailed information on the implementation of the Regional Plan goals. 

This amendment will also increase transparency. Since the 2018 adoption of the Flagstaff Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, the City of Flagstaff has endeavored to incorporate climate change concerns and climate action into its decision-making processes. However, the broad nature of the Regional Plan greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal does not specify the extent of emissions reductions needed. In the development review process, staff and other decision-makers do not have strong climate action goals and policies to refer to for guidance in decision-making. Meanwhile, applicants may provide details on the environmental features or climate benefits of their projects. Strengthening the Regional Plan’s climate action goals and policies will clarify the importance of climate action and provide both applicants and decision-makers with a more current reflection of the City’s climate change and climate action priorities.


How to submit comments or ask questions:


Please submit questions or comments via one of the following methods. All comments must be received by 11:59 pm on Monday, September 13th, 2021.

Jenny Niemann
Sustainability Section
City of Flagstaff
211 W. Aspen Avenue
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

  • Call Jenny Niemann, Climate and Energy Specialist, at 928-213-2130. Comments can be left via voicemail. Please leave contact information if you would like us to return your call.

We look forward to your engagement in this process. If you have questions or concerns, please contact me at JNiemann@Flagstaffaz.gov or 928-213-2150.