The Planning division of the Development Services Department provides both long range planning and current planning functions.

Long Range Planning

Long Range planning includes activities such as drafting and updating the General Plan and the Unified Development Ordinance along with other related policy implementation. 

What is the General Plan?

The General Plan (GP) provides a framework for growth and development and is based on the needs of the community as stated by members of the General Plan Committee and the general public during the visioning process.  It considers the existing land uses, circulation, open spaces, the environment, water resources, and the financial impact of development on infrastructure, and how the community envisions these elements affecting future growth in the Town.  The Potential Land Use Map shows what kind of growth is expected in the future, and where it is expected to occur.  

Each municipality and county in Arizona is required to prepare a comprehensive, long-range general plan every ten (10) years.   In Chino Valley, the most recently approved General Plan was adopted by Town Council on May 13, 2014 and ratified by the voters on November 4, 2014.  

In order to be enacted, changes to zoning districts, issuance of Conditional Use permits, and approvals of plats, development agreements, and master planned communities must conform to the General Plan.  This does not mean that the General Plan is a static, unchanging document.  There are two (2) types of amendments that can be made to the Plan: Major General Plan amendments (MGPA) and Minor General Plan Amendments (mGPA).  
Major General Plan Amendments (MGPA) are changes to the GP that substantially alter the Town’s land use mixture or balance as set forth in the Land Use element of the plan.  MGPA’s can only be enacted at a single public hearing during each calendar year, and must be approved by two-thirds of the Council.  
Minor General Plan Amendments (mGPA) are generally smaller in size and impact than MGPA’s.  These amendments can be approved by a simple majority of Town Council and can be considered and adopted throughout the year.   
Both MGPA’s and mGPA’s require a citizen review and public hearing process identical to that used for zone changes and text amendments to the Unified Development Ordinance.   For more details, please see the information in the Unified Development Ordinance, Section 1.9.5 regarding the Citizen Review and Public Hearing process.

Current Planning

Current planning functions deal with land use, development and growth. Current planning activities include the review and processing of applications for subdivisions, rezones, conditional use permits, lot splits, signs, and development permits. Planning staff is responsible for gathering and disseminating planning information to the public, other Town departments, the Planning Commission and the Town Council.