General Plan Update

General Plan Overview

Cities and towns in Arizona are required to establish a General Plan and update it every 10 to 15 years. The previous Town of Carefree General Plan 2020 was last updated in 2002, and the updated Town of Carefree General Plan 2030 was ratified by voters recently on November 6, 2012. It outlines the Town's vision, goals, and objectives for future growth and development. It is a conceptual plan for evaluating existing development conditions, making forecasts, and outlining broad policies that Town will use to implement its vision through other more specific plans and measures. Some of the more specific measures include the Zoning Ordinance (PDF), Proposed Capital Improvements, Transportation Plan, and development guidelines.

General Plan Update

On May 1, 2012, the Town Council adopted the updated general plan, and voters ratified the plan in November 2012. Between 2010 and 2012, a series of public visioning sessions and public meetings were held, in which the Planning and Zoning Commission, Town Council, and members of the public reviewed the General Plan and discussed updates. In addition, the Town analyzed growth and development over the past 10 years, made projections, presented findings to the public, considered public comments, and refined its vision and plans for the future.
General Plan Public Participation Plan
A hard copy of the General Plan 2030 (PDF) may be viewed at Town Hall for free or purchased for $30 to recoup copy fees. If you have any questions, you may call the Planning and Zoning Staff at 480-488-3686 or visit the Carefree Administrative Offices, located at 8 Sundial Circle.

The General Plan Update followed a 3-phase public process.

Phase 1 - Visioning
August 2010 - January 2011
In the Visioning Phase, a series of public meetings and workshops were held to obtain information from the public on the direction for the General Plan Update. The General Plan Update public process was established, and the vision, values, and principles for development in the Town were discussed.

Phase 2 - Evaluation/Prepare Draft General Plan
January 2011 to January 2012
During Phase 2, Planning and Zoning Staff followed the direction provided during the visioning process. They incorporated ideas from the visioning sessions into an extensive review of the general plan. Staff gathered information, conducted technical studies presented in public meetings, and coordinated with public agencies. Each section of the general plan was discussed in public workshops, and a draft general plan was prepared. The Planning and Zoning Commission approved the draft of the general plan in January 2012, subject to the 60-day review in phase 3.

Phase 3 - Public Review / Plan Ratification
January 2012 to November 2012
This phase began with a 60-day citizen and public agency review of the draft General Plan between January 20 and March 20, 2012. Comments received during this process are considered. At the end of this phase, the updated General Plan was adopted by the Planning & Zoning Commission and Town Council in public hearings. During the public hearings, citizen comments were received and considered. The adopted general plan will go to Carefree voters on November 6, 2012 for official ratification. View the general plan for the ballot (PDF).

State Requirements
Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) and Growing Smarter Legislation (1998, 2000) require cities and Towns to adopt general plans as policy documents for guiding long term local planning and development. ARS also require that general plans be updated, replaced, or re-adopted every 10 to 15 years through a public process that allows for citizen and public agency comments to be considered and incorporated into the Plan. Carefree’s general plan already contains the elements required by state regulations; however, it is anticipated that some parts will be refined or expanded. A list of the required general plan elements are:
  • Circulation
  • Cost of development
  • Environmental
  • Growth areas
  • Land use
  • Open space
  • Public services and facilities
  • Water resources