Much of the Regional Plan maintains and builds upon the goals, policies, and approach of the 2001 RLUTP. For example, the vision, guiding principles, and desire to promote a more sustainable Flagstaff remain the same, and the Plan continues to find a balance between economic growth and natural resource preservation. There are however, a number of important differences as listed:
- The former Land Use Map that provided fairly precise land use designations has been replaced by a more generalized Growth Illustration that maps the region as being either urban, suburban, rural, or for employment. Activity centers in which more compact development is encouraged are also mapped.
- Since the Growth Illustration is less specific than the former Land Use Map in the RLUTP, greater emphasis will be placed on evaluating goals and policies when applying the Regional Plan or evaluating development proposals.
- Goals and policies in many chapters have been strengthened to reflect the desires of community residents, including open space, water resources, energy, and heritage preservation.
- Consistent with state law, new housing and economic development elements have been added.