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General Plan Amendments


120302FutureinFocuslogoThe General Plan is designed to be a broad, flexible document. Over time the General Plan is a living document, that is legally amendable and manifested by many specific decisions and events that cause it to respond to the changing conditions, needs, and desires of the community. It can be revised through city-initiated amendments, through citizen/property owner requests, or through referenda (citizen petition and vote). Ultimately, the decision to amend the General Plan is in the hands of the City Council.

Major General Plan Amendments

Arizona State Statute defines a major amendment as a proposal that results in a substantial alteration of the municipality's land use mixture or balance, established in the city's General Plan land use element. Each city is required to establish its own criteria for what is or is not a major General Plan amendment.

Arizona State Law requires that all requests for Major General Plan Amendments be presented at a single public hearing during the calendar year in which the proposal is made. Therefore one City Council hearing is designated each calendar year to consider these applications. The amendment process involves a review and notification process, and requires two (2) separate Planning Commission hearings before going to the City Council for final approval or denial. A two-thirds majority vote of the City Council is needed to approve a Major General Plan Amendment. 

Non-Major General Plan Amendments

General Plan amendments that do not meet the criteria for a "major" amendment can be submitted and processed at any time during the year, do not require the additional Planning Commission hearing, and require a simple majority vote of the City Council for approval. The requirements are the same in all other ways: notice sent to General Plan notification list, etc.

Neighborhood Involvement

Public participation is an important component of successful planning, community building, and decision making. The following information is pertinent to the neighborhood involvement process for both Major and Non-Major General Plan Amendments.

Neighborhood Involvement (pdf/104kb/2pp)

In addition to the items check-marked on the Neighborhood Involvement Checklist:

  • Provide information to Property owners and HOAs within 750-feet of the perimeter of the subject site,
  • Post a “Project Under Consideration’ sign 10 calendar days prior to your first Open House Meeting,
  • Hold 1 open house meeting, and
  • Contact property owners and HOAs at least two times prior to the public hearing process.


Erin Perreault, AICP, Long Range Planning Manager

Planning and Development Services

Phone: 480-312-7800
Fax: 480-312-7088

7447 E. Indian School Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85251