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About the General Plan

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What is the purpose of the General Plan Update?

The Town of Gilbert’s General Plan is the Community’s long-range guide for future physical, economic and social development decisions over the next 20+ years. The General Plan contains a vision statement, along with maps, goals, policies and implementation strategies that address issues such as growth, housing, economic development, transportation, environment, parks and open space, community design, and preservation and conservation.

Why update the General Plan now?

State law mandates that each city and town in Arizona adopt a “comprehensive, long-range general plan for the development of the municipality.” These plans must also be updated and adopted by voters every ten years. The Town of Gilbert’s current General Plan was last ratified by voters in May of 2011.

    What is a General Plan?

What topics does the General Plan address?

There are both State-mandated and optional “elements,” or topics, that go into a General Plan. State law requires that a General Plan for a community the size of Gilbert address the following core elements:

  • Land Use
  • Circulation
  • Open Space
  • Growth Areas
  • Environment
  • Cost of Development
  • Water Resources
  • Conservation
  • Recreation
  • Public Facilities
  • Housing
  • Rehabilitation and Redevelopment
  • Safety
  • Bicycling
  • Energy
  • Preservation
  • Revitalization

To maintain Gilbert’s innovative and forward-thinking culture, the General Plan may also include additional elements that cover topics such as Health and Wellness, Education and Innovation, and Arts and Culture.

General Plan Update Timeline

General Plan Project Timeline 

What is the schedule and process for the General Plan Update?

Phase I – Recognize

This initial phase of the General Plan Update process focuses on reviewing background information and conducting initial project meetings to develop an understanding of some of the key issues, opportunities, and challenges to be addressed within the update effort.

This phase culminates with the development of a baseline Community Assessment Report. This report summarizes existing community trends and conditions, provides inventory maps, analyzes projected growth conditions and land demand, and reviews the current General Plan document. Please visit the “Review Project Documents” section to view this document.

Phase II – Engage

This cornerstone phase of the project is carried out over the entire life of the project. Efforts within this phase focus on utilizing multiple outreach tools (e.g. interactive online software, social media, community meetings, and youth workshops) to understand community preferences and assist in developing policies that guide the formulation of all draft and final plan documents. Please visit the “Get Involved” section to learn more about how you can share your input, review the input of others, as well as identify upcoming meetings and events.

Phase III – Enrich

This phase begins with establishing the overall structure of the plan and defining the basic framework of the individual themes or chapters that make up the plan. With this framework in place, all of the material developed and feedback obtained during previous phases is consolidated into a complete Public Review Draft of the updated General Plan that includes goals, policies, implementing actions, maps, and illustrations.

Phase IV – Achieve

The final phase of the project centers on addressing public review comments of the draft plan in order to prepare the Public Hearing Final Draft of the General Plan Update for Planning Commission consideration and Town Council adoption. This phase also includes the development of a digital, interactive, web-based Plan. Once adopted by Town Council, the General Plan Update is anticipated to be placed on the August 2020 ballot for final ratification by Gilbert voters.