Arizona Local Growth Management Plans, Proposition 202 (2000)
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|Local Growth Management Plans|
Text of measure
The language that appeared on the ballot:
(Summary from Arizona Legislative Council) Proposition 202 would change existing growth management statutes to add additional requirements including that all counties and cities and towns having populations of 2,500 or more would have to adopt "growth management plans" in addition to the plans already required under existing law that include specified environmental and growth regulations. A required element of each growth management ordinance is the drawing of "urban growth boundaries" within the incorporated boundaries of the county or municipality. The boundaries could be no larger than necessary to allow ten years worth of population growth, based on state agency (Department of Economic Security) population projections. Outside the urban growth boundaries, development of homes or businesses requiring rezoning of property to a higher density and extension of water, sewer and other public services to landowners would be prohibited except where it could be shown that "extraordinary and compelling circumstances" warrant an exception and the exception is approved by a four-fifths supermajority vote of the governing body, and if the exception is more than 20 acres, the exception is approved by the voters at an election. The boundaries may not be expanded unless the state agency population projections allow for it and the change is approved by the voters. The growth management plans must also ensure compliance with federal and state air and water quality standards and not unreasonably burden the supplies of surface and groundwater.
The additional growth management plans must be adopted in each county, city and town by January 1, 2003 after public hearings and approval by the local voters. Until January 1, 2003 or the date on which the plan is adopted, counties and municipalities are prohibited from approving new commercial or residential subdivisions or rezoning of land to a higher density use without a four-fifths supermajority vote of the members of the governing body. The local voters could use the initiative process to adopt or amend a growth management plan.
Proposition 202 changes existing law to permit any person, regardless of residency in the community, to file a lawsuit against any other person, including any local community, public official, public employee or private party alleging violation of Proposition 202 and seeking injunctive or other relief.
Proposition 202 would change existing planning and zoning law in other respects:
- Existing law allows counties and municipalities to assess development fees for the cost of public services required by that development including water, sewer, streets, public safety, parks and public administration facilities. Proposition 202 would require counties and municipalities to assess additional fees for the full cost of all provided public facilities including, but not limited to, mountain preserves and mass transit.
- A number of existing county and municipal planning and zoning procedures would be repealed, including elements of municipal general plans and county comprehensive plans, as well as the standards for imposing a development moratorium.
- Each general plan and comprehensive plan (the existing growth management plans) would have to conform to the additional growth management plan required by Proposition 202, and adoption of each general plan or comprehensive plan or major amendment would require a three-fourths supermajority vote of the governing body.
- Proposition 202 also proposes numerous changes to existing county and municipal planning and zoning procedures to increase public control over how land is used and developed. Counties would be given authority to regulate "wildcat subdivisions" outside of cities and towns, including lot splits (into two or three parcels) and subdivisions (into four or more parcels). State land held in trust for funding public schools and other public institutions in the State of Arizona would also have to comply with county and municipal land use plans and growth management plans, and priority would be given in state land use plans for maintaining state lands in a "natural" state, without development or alteration by humans or livestock, to the maximum extent allowed by the state constitution and Enabling Act.
There is an existing program for preserving undeveloped land owned by the State of Arizona, and $20 million in state grants per year is available for that purpose. Each grant of state money must be matched by private donations. Proposition 202 would use that money to preserve other qualifying public and private "natural areas", in addition to state land, and eliminates the requirement that applicants provide matching money. Organizations participating in the program would have to have the primary purpose and sole and exclusive motivation of conserving the natural environment or preserving natural open space. This measure removes the requirement that lands that are purchased or leased through this program be open to public access except to protect and preserve natural ecosystems or other rare and unique features. This measure eliminates monies available under this program for conservation based livestock or agriculture management, and current provisions under the program for existing leases on state trust land sold or leased for conservation.
This measure eliminates the requirement that landowners consent to rezoning of their land when such rezoning restricts their use or reduces the value.
This measure eliminates the prohibition against government entities denying reasonable access to private property.
Fiscal Impact Summary: Proposition 202 would require cities and counties with populations over 2,500 persons to develop growth management plans by January 1, 2003. The fiscal impact of this Proposition will depend on how these growth management plans are implemented. The precise form of these growth management plans will not be known for several years. As a result, it is not possible to predict the Proposition's precise impact on the state economy at this time.
If the creation of the growth management plans results in less development in the long-term, the Proposition would probably negatively affect the state's economy and state and local government revenues. Slower development would cause declines in the construction industry. This could lead to lost state and local revenue from taxes on the construction industry. This same negative impact could also occur in the short-term if the approval of the initiative delays the start of new development projects.
If the Proposition channels development into specific geographic areas without slowing growth, the fiscal impact is more difficult to predict. The more limited geographic opportunities for development would probably increase land prices. Higher land prices could increase property tax collections, but could also lead to a reduced demand for development.
The growth management plans could generate local government savings as developers would be required to pay the full cost of infrastructure development, such as streets and sewers. If developers are not currently paying these full costs, this provision would increase local revenues. The developers, however, could pass these additional costs along to consumers or businesses in the form of higher prices.
In addition, local governments could realize efficiency gains if construction is directed inward where services such as police & fire protection are already provided.