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Meg Miller, left, and Megan Sweeney wait to collect election ballots Tuesday afternoon in the parking lot at the Coconino County elections office on Cherry Avenue. (Jake Bacon/Arizona Daily Sun)

With fewer than a quarter of all registered voters casting ballots, Flagstaff has a new regional plan.

The city uses the regional plan to help direct residential and commercial growth in the city while preserving natural resources.

According to results posted by the Coconino County Elections Office, the Flagstaff Regional Plan 2030 was ratified by a margin of 75 percent to 25 percent. 

But only 6,310 ballots out of more than 28,000 mailed out were turned in. That’s a turnout of just 22.5 percent.

The unofficial tally was Yes 4,743; No 1,557.

Mayor Jerry Nabours said the City Council received word of the results at the end of its Tuesday night meeting. 

“We were unanimously relieved and gratified,” he said. “Relieved that no one will have to continue to work on the plan and gratified that the voters agreed with the plan.”

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“I’m thrilled it passed,” said Councilmember Celia Barotz. “It was a very long process with a lot of citizen involvement. Now, it is time to move on and use the plan.”

City staff and a citizens’ advisory committee worked on updating and revising the plan for four years. Council took up the draft revisions late last summer and made nearly 200 changes to it during a retreat in December.

Many of the changes were requested by Mayor Jerry Nabours and councilmembers Mark Woodson, Karla Brewster and Jeff Oravits. They claimed the changes gave the plan a better balance between development and protecting the environment. 

Vice Mayor Coral Evans and Barotz objected to the changes, saying they weakened the previous plan and the community’s commitment to compact development and alternative forms of transportation. 

Council reversed some of the changes and compromised on others in January, when it unanimously approved putting the plan before voters. 

According to Arizona Revised Statutes, cities are required to revise their regional plans every 10 years to account for changes in a community’s business and housing sectors. The plans are also supposed to help protect the local environment and cultural and historic resources.

The Coconino County Board of Supervisors approved the draft plan in December.

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