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  • Comprehensive Plan Amendment Process and

    Submittal Guidelines

    The Comprehensive Plan is a long range county-wide land use plan that contains goals, elements, and regional rezoning and special area plan policies to guide coordinated planning for infrastructure and economic development consistent with anticipated needs of the county. 

    The Comprehensive Plan amendment process, Section 18.89.040 provides opportunities to address oversights, inconsistencies, or land use related inequities in the plan, or to acknowledge significant land use changes in a particular area or region. The process is also to promote implementation of: 

     ▪ Arizona Growing Smarter (1998) and Growing Smarter Plus (2000) legislation for mixed use, compact development, multi-modal transportation, rational infrastructure expansion and improvements, conservation of natural resources, and promoting development in growth areas;
    ▪ Community values (e.g., healthy communities, economic development principles); and
    ▪ Adopted plan policies

     The Comprehensive Plan’s Land Use Legend provides land use intensity designations that include objectives, residential density requirements, and allowable zoning districts. Rezoning and Specific Plan requests must conform to the plan as they relate to the property’s land use designation. Amendment requests are initiated by property owners who seek to rezone and develop property at densities or uses not permitted under the property’s current plan designation(s).

    The plan amendment process accepts applications twice a year:

    ▪  February-April for all applications including major amendments (640 or more acres)
    ▪  August-September for non-major amendment (less than 640 acres) applications

    Attendance at the regularly scheduled Pre-Application Meeting is a prerequisite to submitting an amendment application. The request to meet should include proposed change in land use and parcel number or numbers, and be sent at least one week prior to the meeting date to DSDPlanning@pima.gov. Pre-Application Meetings are held at 201 N. Stone Avenue, 2nd floor on the 3rd Wednesday of the month beginning at 9:00 am.

    Neighbors are notified of proposed plan amendments, with scheduled dates for the Planning and Zoning Commission and Board of Supervisors public hearings. The Commission reviews amendments and makes recommendations to the Board, who have the final decision for approval or denial. A separate Study Session may be required before the Commission if applications for one major plan amendment or three or more non-major amendments are received in an application cycle. In general, cases are heard by the Board within 3 to 6 months after the end of each application cycle.

    Submittal Requirements

    The following are required for the Comprehensive Plan amendment application:


    ▪  Comprehensive Plan amendment application

    ▪  Request Letter

    ▪  Letter of Authorization

    ▪  Sketch Plan

    ▪  Biological Impact Report

    The Request Letter should provide a narrative of the proposed use under the amendment and subsequent rezoning, and how the request supports AZ Growing Smarter and Growing Smarter Plus, implementation of adopted plan policies, consistency with the SDCP Maeveen Marie Behan Conservation Lands System, and/or addressing plan oversights, inconsistencies, or land use inequities.

    The Sketch Plan should clearly display property location and dimensions; adjacent properties, roads and land uses; existing structures and uses on property; proposed plan designations and land uses (general only); special features, such as washes, floodplain, steep slopes, riparian habitat; and basic map elements (north arrow, scale).


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