Farmington officials embark on second phase of comprehensive plan update

New plan scheduled to be adopted in November 2020

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times
Many of those who offered feedback for the first phase of the city's comprehensive plan update process expressed a strong appreciation for the city's outdoors lifestyle, and its parks and recreational opportunities.
  • City officials have said the plan is intended to direct Farmington's progress over the next 20 years.
  • The process began in July, then kicked into gear in September.
  • The second survey will remain open through Dec. 5.

FARMINGTON — Although adoption of the city's new comprehensive plan is still estimated to be a year away, Farmington officials are proceeding with the second phase of the updating process by soliciting input on a community online survey.

The city is scheduled to adopt the new plan in November 2020, and it is in the midst of a multiphase process designed to help it meet that goal. City officials have said the plan is intended to direct Farmington's progress over the next 20 years, reflecting the city's transformation from an economy predominately reliant on fossil fuels to one that is more diverse.

The process began in July, then kicked into gear in September when a technical advisory committee made up of city employees and a steering committee made up of citizens chosen by City Council members began meeting.

Those groups are working with consultants from Logan Simpson Design Inc., a firm with offices in cities throughout the Mountain West that specializes in landscape architecture design and environmental consulting services. The company has helped communities in Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and Arizona develop their plans.

The city also held community outreach events and solicited public input for a preliminary survey that closed Sept. 30. That first phase was called Foundation & Visioning. City officials said in a press release the initial phase, which included one-on-one interviews, a public kickoff event, a foundation questionnaire and meetings of the two committees, reached more than 200 people.

The second phase, Analysis + Opportunities, focuses on a community online survey that features three preliminary vision statements developed around amenities, connectivity and people. Respondents are asked to read the statements and express their level of satisfaction with how the city meets its goals related to those subjects across a five-point scale.

Those participating in the survey also are asked to provide feedback on what they think of the vision statements, and how the city could expand or add to its offerings related to amenities, connections and people. The survey will remain open through Dec. 5.

Farmington officials are in the midst of a 16-month process that calls for updating the city's comprehensive plan.

The update process includes two more phases. Strategies + Plan Development will be undertaken from March to June, during which a preliminary land use plan, plan element frameworks and preliminary implementation strategies will be developed, and a third round of public outreach efforts will be held, according to the city's website.

The fourth and final phase, Draft + Final Comprehensive Plan, will include the production of a draft comprehensive plan, another series of public outreach efforts, and a series of public hearings and adoption of the final plan. That is scheduled to take place from July to November 2020.

A 10-page summary of the phase one process can be found on the city's website under the comprehensive plan update link. The summary showed there was strong public support expressed for planning in the areas of economic development, sustainability and thoughtful growth patterns. When asked about which aspects of the community should be preserved, respondents indicated strong preferences for parks and recreation, an outdoors lifestyle, Farmington's overall quality of life and its small-town feel.

As the city of Farmington begins to shift its focus to an economy that incorporates outdoor recreation, the city is developing a new comprehensive plan to aid in that process.

When respondents were asked what they would like to improve about Farmington to make it a healthier and more sustainable city, their preferences favored job sectors/employment opportunities; parks, recreation and cultural affairs; downtown neighborhoods, and a multimodal transportation network.

In response to an open-ended question about what they would like Farmington to be in the year 2040, responses varied widely. Some of the more notable responses included a desire for the city to become the epicenter for arts and entertainment in the Four Corners; a thriving downtown that includes a mix of shopping, dining and housing; a recreation destination for families and adventure seekers, and a diversified economy of businesses and jobs that embrace the area's unique cultural and scenic landscapes.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610.