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General Plan Overview

Arizona state law requires that each city and county prepare and maintain a planning document called a general plan. A general plan is designed to serve as the city’s “blueprint” for future decisions concerning land use and resource conservation. For cities with a population of greater than 50,000, a general plan must address 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; Safety; Bicycling; Energy; and Neighborhood Preservation and Revitalization.

What part of the City’s General Plan is being updated?

  • At the time the current Buckeye General Plan was written and adopted, the City had less than 50,000 people and was not required by state law to have as many elements. With the growth of the City, new elements must be added to the General Plan
  • Six of the required elements were incorporated into the current General Plan: Land Use, Circulation, Growth Areas, Environmental Planning, Cost of Development, and Water Resources are currently adopted within the existing general plan. The remaining eleven elements will be incorporated into the General Plan during this update process.
  • Other parts of the General Plan will be updated as necessary to reflect economic development potential, transportation corridor expansion, internal consistency, and the current conditions and future trends.

The new General Plan will be separated into three themes, each with subtopics. The required elements will be categorized into one of these themes as appropriate. The three themes and their subtopics are listed as follows.

Themes and Elements

The new General Plan will be separated into three themes, each with subtopics. The required elements will be categorized into one of these themes as appropriate. The three themes and their subtopics are listed as follows.

For each element, a * denotes required element (17 total), a + denotes optional element (5 total).

buckeye growth 250  

Growth is essential for a healthy and vibrant community. Positive growth not only provides safe and well-designed housing for our residents, but growth also provides shopping and employment opportunities in close proximity to residential areas. Growth also provides the financial resources needed by the City to provide services and amenities for Buckeye residents. The General Plan helps to guide growth and development to ensure that it is balanced and promotes an overall healthy environment.

The elements that make up the Growth theme are:

Land Use*. This element will cover land use types, distribution, and intensity; population libraries, public schools and other city owned facility and building density; existing specific plans; and approved master plans.

Economic Development+. Provides policies/strategies for pursuing/retaining commercial and industrial uses and job creation by helping the city target locations, development types, compatible uses, business assistance, and timing/phasing.

Growth Areas*. Contains an inventory, analysis and potential solutions for high potential developable, accessible land that can be utilized by the city during the next 10-20 years.
Housing*. Contains goals, policies, implementation measures, and quantified objectives to facilitate the development of housing for all needs.

Cost of Development*. This element details fiscal responsibilities for the city and developers, including general fund, impact fees, capital improvement program and municipal bond expenditures that ensure adequate infrastructure and maintenance.

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Modern, efficient and reliable infrastructure is the backbone of the local community and the link to the regional economy and beyond. The General Plan guides the investment and development of these assets.

The elements that make up the Services theme are:

Public Services & Facilities*, Safety* and Buildings*. Provides a comprehensive look at the city’s public utilities, services and buildings. This element includes a wide range of public health and safety issues, including police and fire, air quality, health services, flooding, natural and man-made hazards, noise, and emergency response / evacuation routes. This element will provide an overview of the city’s investments in public buildings, including recreation facilities, police and fire stations, libraries, public schools and other city owned facilities.

Education+. This is not a state required element of the general plan. However, as the city continues to grow, it is recognized that the foundation of a good quality-of-life needs to include the proper coordination and planning with our school districts.

Transportation, Circulation* and Bicycling*. This element provides guidance on the movement of people and goods in and through the city. This includes planning for roads and highways, transit, pedestrians, aviation uses and a comprehensive look at the importance of bicycling as an alternate mode of transportation and as a form of recreation.

Water Resources*. Addresses the use, protection, and enhancement of the water resources in the city. This element will provide guidance on the protection and maintenance of municipal water systems, facilities and associated resources.

Recreation* and Open Space*. Open space and recreation in a city promotes healthy and active lifestyles that, in turn, build a strong community. This element addresses the conservation, development, and use of natural resources; agricultural lands; and plans and actions for preserving open space. This element will provide guidance on the recreation facilities and programs needed to meet the needs of the community.

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How the City manages its natural and built environments is directly related to its citizens overall quality-of-life. Several elements of the General Plan help guide the City and promote better stewardship of our resources and a balanced approach to future development.

The elements that make up the Stewardship theme are:

Environmental Planning* and Urban Design+. Linked to the conservation of resources, energy, safety and water resources elements, this element describes
all environmental planning within the city, including air quality, water quality, and natural
resource planning.

Energy* and Conservation*. Energy is a new state required element intended to provide goals, policies and programs that encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy resources. The conservation component of the element will address the development, utilization, and conservation of natural resources such as soils, floodplains, watersheds and aggregates.

Neighborhood Preservation*, Rehabilitation and Redevelopment*. Neighborhoods are the foundation of our community. This element provides a comprehensive look at the importance of preserving established neighborhoods, historic structures and landmarks, as well as honoring the city’s heritage and culture. It will also cover redevelopment of aging infrastructure, and conservation or rehabilitation of city assets that complement a “renewed” community.

Healthy Communities+. The healthy communities element of the General Plan is intended to provide opportunities to improve the planning and design of our built environment in order to help residents live a healthy lifestyle.

Arts and Culture+. Creating an Arts and Cultural element not only supports local resident’s need and desire for a higher quality-of-life, it is also a planning strategy that can support community economic development and tourism.

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