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Camp Navajo, Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station, Community Adopt Coconino JLUS

Coconino Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) policy and technical committee members came together for the last time at the Flagstaff Aquaplex in late January. The committees, which included representatives from Coconino County, Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station, Army National Guard Camp Navajo, and other local and state agencies, unanimously adopted the final JLUS on Wednesday, January 30, 2019.

Coconino County Supervisor, Matt Ryan and County Community Development Director, Jay Christelman kicked off the meeting by presenting certificates of appreciation to each member involved in the process. The committee met about every quarter over the last 18 months to identify and address compatibility issues involving community growth and the mission of the military installations.

The final overview of the Coconino JLUS was presented by Julie Bassuk, partner at MAKERS Architecture and Urban Design, the primary contractor for the JLUS. The overview touched on 20 high-priority strategies that addressed a variety of topics including dark skies, forest management, land use, transportation, and support systems for outreach, implementation, and enforcement.

Following the overview, Supervisor Ryan asked the committee members for any final proposed changes. Aside from a suggestion to correct a technical detail and make other small edits, no major changes were proposed. A motion was made and the JLUS was unanimously adopted by the committee.

The meeting segued into discussion regarding the formation of an implementation committee to continue work on JLUS recommendations. Christelman reviewed the cooperation agreement to be signed by implementation committee members after the meeting. The committee’s first meeting will determine areas of focus, form subcommittees as needed, and establish future meeting schedules. Christelman thanked everyone for their efforts and said he was happy to move on to the next steps.

Supervisor Ryan then asked committee members for final comments to conclude the Coconino JLUS. Arizona State Land Department’s Commissioner, Lisa Atkins, commented that, in her over twenty years of work on Joint Land Use Studies throughout the state, this was “one of the most robust efforts and might be the most productive JLUS, especially for the state of Arizona.” Flagstaff native Colonel Ray Garcia from Camp Navajo was honored to have participated in the important planning process, aimed to fulfill the mission of both the military and the community.

Other committee members expressed satisfaction with how smooth the JLUS process was and said that it should be a model for other planning and governmental processes. Others said it is an “inspired product” and great model for inter-agency cooperation. The committee should be commended for its collaborative, proactive approach to solving issues raised during the process

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