NAVAJO NATION COMPREHENSIVE PLANNING GUIDELINES James Gardner Gardner Planning Associates, LLC www.gardnerplanningservices.com 8/4/14 OVERVIEW Navajo Nation Planning Framework Recommended Guidelines Nation-wide Planning Efforts Agency Level Planning Efforts Community Based Land Use Plans Mapping/Land Suitability Development of Planning Guidelines Demography The process Visioning sessions Focus Groups Interviews LGA Framework Community vs. Comprehensive Planning Public Participation and Pre-Planning Land Withdrawal, Eminent Domain, and Zoning Housing Regional Planning Implementation Barboncito, Navajo Leader 1821-1871 NAVAJO NATION PLANNING FRAMEWORK • Nationwide • Local Governance Support Centers (Agency-wide) • Community Based Land Use Planning (Chapter Wide) The Division of Community Development (DCD) is a cabinet-level Division in the Navajo Nation. Five Departments report to the DCD Capitol Improvement Office Community Housing and Infrastructure Department Design and Engineering Services Local Governance Support Centers (LGSCs) Solid Waste Management Program The DCD was the lead agency in coordinating this planning effort Tasked with implementing the Local Governance Act (LGA) of 1998 – the seminal act in nation-wide planning in the Navajo Nation NATIONWIDE PLANNING EFFORTS LOCAL GOVERNANCE SUPPORT CENTERS (AGENCIES) The LGSCs are a relatively new phenomenon. These are offices that employ planners and support specialists. They serve as regional conduits for communication between Chapters and Navajo Nation depts. LGSCs have been integral to the implementation of certain projects as well as the development of Community Based Land Use Plans (CBLUPs) COMMUNITY BASED LAND USE PLANS (CHAPTERS) Chapters are the smallest jurisdictions in the Navajo Nation 110 Chapters 98 completed CBLUPs since LGA of 1998 35 Certified Chapters Chinle, one of our case studies, is certified and pursuing AFOG status Certification of Chapters Must meet the five criteria in order to become certified Certification affords more autonomy from national government, but is difficult to attain without proper training Certification also allows for the formation of Alternative Forms of Government (AFOG) PROBLEMS WITH CBLUPS 1. Community assessment (often based solely on Census data) 2. Land suitability analysis (unsuccessful in IDing suitable land for commercial projects) 3. Mapping (mapping is not used in a systematic way, leading to many problems) 4. Scope (the scope is limited to housing) 5. Economic development (economic development must be undertaken in order to increase tax revenue, even if it is at the cost of grazing land). Economic development can be regional to save costs. 6. Regional Planning (tied to economic development) – should be implemented to save money and reduce redundancy THE DEVELOPMENT OF PLANNING GUIDELINES • Process • LGA Framework • Community vs. Comprehensive THE PROCESS (PUBLIC PARTICIPATION) Visioning Sessions (Case Studies) Focus Groups and Interviews Black Mesa (uncertified, extremely rural) Focus groups included LGSC members, Chapter Delegates, and NNDCD staff Interviews were conducted with members of 10 different Chapters, evenly distributed throughout the 5 agencies Takeaways: Few in attendance, informal, and focus was on inadequate infrastructure, housing, and lack of funding for planning/design/build process Chinle (certified, relatively urban) Many in attendance, comprised of Chapter staff and leadership, and focused heavily on development of new Justice Center, formation of AFOG, and future strategic and land use planning efforts Training needed for capacity building Land withdrawal is a cumbersome, legally challenging process Certification is especially difficult because of a lack of training Land suitability analysis, as required by the LGA for all CBLUPs, is difficult, ill-defined, and can hold up many projects LOCAL GOVERNANCE ACT FRAMEWORK The LGA was adopted in 1998 and has guided planning efforts in Chapters since then. Shonto Chapter was one of the first to prepare a CBLUP and become certified Since, 35 Chapters have become certified by preparing a CBLUP and meeting other requirements which are beyond the scope of land use planning Requirements of LGA for CBLUPs: Include projections of future community land needs, shown by location and extent Identify areas for residential, commercial, industrial and public purposes Be based upon the guiding principles and vision as articulated by the community Include information revealed in inventories and assessments of the natural, cultural, human resources, and community infrastructure as well as consideration for land-carrying capacity. COMMUNITY VS. COMPREHENSIVE PLANNING Community-Based Planning •The Navajo Nation’s current model of planning, which includes as many members of the community as possible. •Developed under the LGA, and requires a quorum of Chapter members •Community involvement is integral to the process Comprehensive Planning •The standard in planning in America. •Several required components: There should be only one official comprehensive plan The plan should be formally adopted by the legislative body There should be a lengthy period of public debate prior to adoption The plan should be available and understandable to the public The plan should be formulated so as to capitalize on its educational potential RECOMMENDED GUIDELINES Mapping/Land Suitability Public Participation and Pre-Planning Land Withdrawal, Eminent Domain, and Zoning Housing Demography Regional Planning Implementation MAPPING/ LAND SUITABILITY RECOMMENDATIONS 1. Train employees at all levels of the Navajo Nation (national, LGSC, and Chapter) 2. Create a centralized network for quick dissemination of geographic data in order to streamline the process of data collection for the Chapters and LGSCs. 3. Emulate successful approaches elsewhere 4. Perform Land Suitability on all sites 5. Use land suitability as a basis for your community-based land use plans 6. Once land-use planning is completed, you can begin to master plan – mapping is a major tool in both phases PUBLIC PARTICIPATION AND PRE-PLANNING 1. Develop a list of requires for public participation in CBLUP process 2. Implement pre-planning processes such as decision analysis, community education, and identification of institutional constraints Adapted from (Creighton, 2005) LAND WITHDRAWAL, ZONING, AND EMINENT DOMAIN 1. Mechanize the land withdrawal process by creating a clause allowing for automatic withdrawal upon approval of CBLUP. 2. Remove the “soft requirement” of consensus from the land withdrawal process by implementing eminent domain 3. Allow eminent domain to be carried out by Chapters that are uncertified, given direct supervision by the NNDCD 4. Exercise the use of zoning for all housing and economic development projects HOUSING 1. Focus on assessing future housing needs through demographic analysis 2. Take stock of existing housing 3. Determine future housing needs by comparing existing stock to population trends 4. Consider culturally appropriate housing typologies and settlement patterns to provide housing that will be used long-term A clan-cluster near Black Mesa. Source: Google Maps, 2014 DEMOGRAPHY 1. Perform demographic analysis using census data and surveys 2. Employ Navajo Nation resources such as the Chapter Images 2004 book 3. Make use of widely-used methodology for population projection Source: (Wang & Hofe, 2007) REGIONAL PLANNING 1. Based on resounding support from Chapter membership as well as LGSC staff, implement a regional planning model 2. Base planning regions on established geographical/cultural regions in order to encourage participation among all Chapters 3. Focus on regional projects rather than Chapter-level projects in order to increase the chance of implementation and provide for a larger population IMPLEMENTATION An implementation plan should be integrated into every CBLUP. This will ensure that the plan is not just another document collecting dust on a shelf. Implementation should be prioritized by authorizing funding for staff members and by developing a timeline QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? Thank you!