Prop 406, the very best fix!

Dear Editor,

Don’t be fooled by scare tactics from the past! The Thursday, July 5th half page in this newspaper decrying the Prop 406 General Plan proposal is a sad reminder of how slow some folks are to see the looming specter of inevitable change.

The Grubb/Augherton energy is to be honored for significant contributions IN THE PAST. The arguments being made in the July 5 article are simply NOT TRUE and in fact miss the point of a General Plan.

The State of Arizona requires each municipality to look ahead, solicit ideas from the Town’s citizens, and sketch out possible plans for the future. Prop 406 is just that. It’s a look ahead, and it contains current thinking about places to start planning. It is NOT DEFINITIVE, it is NOT LAW, and it is an essential tool for planning.

It is preposterous to imagine multi-story parking in downtown Cave Creek. Suggestions about parking are in Prop 406, and parking structures are included, but our zoning does NOT ALLOW buildings of any purpose to exceed 25 feet and that includes multi story parking structures. Below ground level structures are stated as preferred solutions.

Trails are in integral part of our town’s fabric. Private property is as basic as the clean air we breathe to Cave Creek’s DNA. How do we manage the two ideas? Our planning department sketches out a basic trails design for the Town, and as property owners are willing (and many are) the Town asks if the owner is interested in granting an easement for the trail. If the answer is no, that’s the end of it! As trail easements are granted, a pattern of trails begins to emerge, and adjustments are made. It’s a community effort!

We live in a real desert. Water is precious. By all accounts our water management and decisions have been dismal. Remanagement of our water resource is at the top of the current Council’s priority list, and that must be underscored for any candidate currently offering to serve.

Regarding Cave Creek Wash; The language in the 2005 (a plan 13 years old) contains lists, and specifics which were important. Since then, our Town’s zoning and building codes have been revised and offer far more specific and greater protections for our famous Creek.

The proposed 2018 General Plan (Prop 406) is pretty long, and isn’t perfect. But it is current, it comes DIRECTLY from citizen input, and it looks ahead with important sensitivities.

To understand the proposed Plan as law is an easy and unsophisticated way of thinking. Think of the proposed Plan as a TECHNICAL DESIGN toolbox. It contains ideas for future leaders to accept, to modify, or reject. The Plan addresses the current status of the Town of Cave Creek in ways that notice the rampant growth of Phoenix, the scarcity of water, and our citizen’s intense interest in maintaining a RURAL character. Through the clearly identified amendment process, this plan can be adjusted to fit changing conditions, greater strictures, or better definitions. The Plan is an essential tool!

Here’s the bottom line. Any General Plan requires UNDERSTANDING. It requires a good thinking Council and focused Planning folks to notice what’s happening around the Town, and they must have POLITICAL COURAGE enough to resist the sideline barking from old thinkers, understand the citizens interest, and act on the common vision with clarity, decisiveness and communicated purpose.

Don’t be fooled by 1986 thinking… this is 2018, Phoenix is lurking, our bucolic life behind the mountain is threatened. A strong Plan is required. Vote for Prop 406.

Paul Eelkema