Citizens wishing to oppose a zoning map change or seeking to get an initiative, referendum or recall on the ballot may choose to pursue one of the following options. These measures generally require strict adherence to applicable statutes and most citizens involved seek separate legal advice to ensure that they are in compliance with all requirements.
This handbook provides an overview of the Initiative and Referendum processes, instructions for how to file, statutory requirements, additional tools, links, and information to assist filers.
Article IV, Part 1, Section 1 (8) of the Arizona Constitution provides for local initiative and referendum actions in addition to statewide actions. In those cases, the State Procedure Manual (and the provisions of A.R.S. Title 19, chapter 1) also apply to the local initiative and referendum measures (with local clerks filling the role of the Secretary of State per A.R.S. 19-141).
Preparing an Initiative, Referendum or Recall
A major amendment to the General Plan is any proposal that would result in a change to the Land Use Plan that would substantially alter the Town’s planned mixture or balance of land uses. The term amendment shall apply to both text and map revisions. Major amendments are considered on an annual basis by the Town Council and require a two-thirds (2/3) majority approval. They cannot be enacted as emergency measures and are subject to public referendum and they require two (2) public hearings, one before the Planning and Zoning Commission and one before the Town Council.
Amendments to the General Plan may be initiated by the Town or by formal application by the owner(s) or their agents of real property within the Town’s incorporated boundaries and sphere of influence. Such amendments shall be in conformance with the procedures set forth in the Arizona Revised Statutes. Prior to any approval of any land development authority that is in conflict with the General Plan, an amendment to the General Plan showing the proposal to be in conformance with the General Plan must be completed. Applicants requesting an amendment to the General Plan must prove that the proposed change is an improvement to the General Plan.
Click here and go to page 16 to review the criteria used to determine whether a proposed amendment to the General Plan substantially alters the mixture or balance of land uses.