Sunday, September 12, 2021

SEPTEMBER 9th MEETING HIGHLIGHTS

Community News & Announcements

* 7th Annual VOC Community BBQ: September 18th, 12-4pm.  Rumor has it that Rocky Road Ice Cream will be creating a new flavor for this FREE event at VOCA Park 690 Bell Rock Blvd. Come join the fun!


* Hazardous Waste Collection for Residents: October 2nd, 8am-12pm.  The City of Sedona and Yavapai County are hosting a Hazardous Waste and Electronic Collection event at Sedona City Hall, 102 Roadrunner Dr.  Be prepared to show a driver's license and one utility bill for proof of residence in unincorporated Yavapai County. More specifics on what can be accepted on this link: Information on Hazardous Waste Collection Event.


* Horse Mesa Ranch Final Hearing:  September 15th, 9:00am. The Board of Supervisors will make the final decision on the use permit for Horse Mesa Ranch. Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Hearing, Cottonwood County Annex Building, 10 S. 6th St., Cottonwood. Now that the county building has re-opened to the public, NO virtual testimony will be heard. Information on the meeting agenda on this link: Sept 15 Board of Supervisors Agenda.

SEPTEMBER 9th MEETING HIGHLIGHTS

Public Agency Report  Randy Hawley, president of the Sedona Oak Creek United School District (SOCUSD), summarized the district's efforts related to COVID-19 challenges.  The district has updated their COVID Mitigation Plan to include optional mask-wearing for students and staff at this time, and they continue to follow the guidance of Yavapai Community Health Services.  A new air-filtration system has been installed and surfaces are cleaned daily.  Lessons are recorded for students to review after class, which has been well received.  For the first time in a number of years the student census has increased - up 75 students from last year.  Donations from the community have made possible a free after-school program called Wildcats Kids Club. Sedona High students can now earn college credit through Dual Enrollment courses in partnership with Yavapai College, College Board Advanced Placement (AP) courses, and Valley Academy of Career and Technical Education (VACTE) central campus offerings.  The school board has added a student representative member. Bookings for the Sedona Performing Arts Center are increasing. The library space at the Big Park Community School in the Village has been leased to the Sedona Public Library with an anticipated opening date of November 1st.  During the Q&A period, a request was made for a student volunteer to assist BPRCC with audio-visual support for hybrid meetings.  Randy said he'd investigate the possibilities.  

President’s Report  Camille Cox highlighted some of the most VOC-relevant data shared at the August 25th Sedona Community Pulse event. Participating in the event was the City of Sedona, the US Forest Service, Northern AZ Healthcare, the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau, and the Big Park Council.  2020 census date revealed that the population of the VOC/Big Park Region is 6,128 compared to the City of Sedona is 9,684.  Both areas show declining resident population, but as of July there are 1,339 short term rental units in the greater Sedona area (excluding commercial properties, timeshares, B&B's and hotels).  In one month (June-July 2021) there was a 7% increase in STR's in Sedona alone.  The City's Sedona In Motion (SIM) project reported that from 2020 tp 2021 the number of days where travel time from Bell Rock Blvd to the "Y" exceeded 30 minutes increased by 65% - from 25 to 38 days.  She highlighted a few of SIM's short- and long-range plans for trailhead transportation, recommending that the Council become pro-active to have the voice of Big Park included in these planning discussions.  A suggestion was made by a Council representative that BPRCC join the Sedona Chamber of Commerce for greater involvement, which was well-received and will be explored further.  Camille then reviewed key points presented by the Red Rock Ranger District (USFS), emphasizing their efforts to mitigate the destructive impacts of OHV's (Off Highway Vehicles).  District 3 County Supervisor Donna Michaels has taken a leadership role in collaborative solution-seeking with the County, the Chamber of Commerce, the USFS and the City of Sedona.  View graphics and photos from this presentation (PDF).

Secretary’s Report  Mary Pope reported that there were no changes to Member Organizations or Representatives. 

Treasurer’s Report  Patty Reski explained that a year-to-year comparison (2020/2021) is difficult because there were extraordinary expenses in 2020 and a significant meeting room refund in 2021. Current Zoom expenses have been reduced as the need for concurrent meetings diminished, while email expenses are higher due to increased communication with the community.  She noted that the Dark-Sky and Community Plan committees are self-funding (no impact to Council operating budget), and the consultant retained for the APS Powerline subcommittee's research was also funded by a committee member. Patty recommended that a Budget Committee of Neil Pope, Phil Cox and Carolyn Fisher be appointed; which was approved by the Council. 

New Business  Camille welcomed Janet Aniol, president of the Beaver Creek Community Association (BCCA).  Janet explained the dangerous situation on I-17 Exit 293, the sole entry/exit to the Beaver Creek community of approximately 5,000 residents.  She reviewed their 35-year effort to have this situation remedied, noting that for most of this time, these much needed improvements have been on the State's 5-year plan.  She asked that the BPRCC send a letter to the State supporting the BCCA and other neighboring communities who are requesting that the improvements be prioritized. ADOT studies agree that the intersection is dangerous, confusing and frustrating.  Although not geographically in Big Park, our community is greatly impacted by the situation.  A motion was passed that the Executive Board send a letter on behalf of the Council to the Arizona Department of Transportation supporting the urgent need for improvement to the exchange at Exit 293.  View graphics and photos from this presentation (PDF).

Planning & Zoning  In the absence of Chair Mary Morris, Camille reviewed proceedings of the September 3rd committee Zoom meeting. A proposal by AT&T for a new 5G antenna installation was reviewed.  Four committee members, one advisor, the APS Powerline subcommittee chair, and 11 community members were present.  Presenting on behalf of AT&T was Mr. Steve Olson with Bechtel Infrastructure and Power Corporation.  The applicant has been pro-active and helpful providing illustrative graphics and information to the committee, which were shared with the public. They are proposing to install the antenna on a newly constructed tower on SR179, across from The Collective, on property owned by the Las Piedras Homeowners Association. 

Community concerns that were expressed at the committee meeting included marring the viewshed at the gateway to the Village and health risks of 5G. Many letters of concern from community members have been received by the Council prior to and since the meeting. A strongly held value among the citizens is preservation of the Red Rock vistas, not just for residents but for visitors and future generations.  The committee's focus is exploring creative and collaborative solutions that support robust utility infrastructure without sacrificing the magnificent, inspiring views.

The committee postponed making recommendations on the proposal in light of the incomplete application and alternative locations under consideration. They will continue to review community concerns and present them as the review process continues. (email info@bigparkcouncil.org)  Documents related to this project can be viewed/downloaded from the Council website (link to folder).

APS Subcommittee  The Environmental Assessment from the USFS, scheduled for August release, is still pending. 

Community Plan  Camille reported that the committee members are working to finalize the reports and are on target to present to the public at the end of September.

Emergency Preparedness Plan Committee (EPPiC)  Dave Norton reported that the committee met, finalized its membership and set up a standing meeting date of the Friday afternoon before each regular BPRCC meeting.  As specific assignments are identified, the committee will reach out to members of the community for help. 

Nominating Committee  Joe Skidmore spoke on behalf of the committee noting that they'd met August 18th and in addition to personal contacts, an item was included in the VOCA newsletter and a separate email went out to all on the BPRCC general mailing list (234 opens).  He said that the committee was pleased that Mary Pope and Patty Reski agreed to run again for Secretary and Treasurer respectively and that there were a couple of potential candidates for Vice President.   They are still searching for a Presidential candidate as Camille has served her second term and cannot run for a third consecutive term per the by-laws.  In discussion it was clarified that Camille will remain on the Executive Board as immediate Past-president, and that a new President would have an experienced supportive team already in place.  

The next meeting of the Council is October 14th, 9am via ZOOM

The next meeting of the Executive Board is October 5th, 2pm

The next meeting of the P&Z Committee is October 15th, 10am via ZOOM


Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Minutes of the 9-3-2021 Special Meeting of the P&Z Committee

On Friday, September 3, the P&Z Committee held a public meeting via Zoom to review a proposal by AT&T for a 5G antenna installation. Four committee members, one advisor, the APS Powerline subcommittee chair and 11 community members were present.

Mr. Steve Olson with Bechtel Infrastructure and Power Corporation (Mesa, AZ), presented on behalf of AT&T (applicant).  The applicant has been pro-active and helpful providing illustrative graphics and information to the committee, which were shared with the public.

The applicant is proposing to install the antenna on a newly constructed tower on SR179, across from The Collective, on property owned by the Las Piedras Homeowners Association.
The committee agreed to postpone making recommendations on the proposal in light of the incomplete application to the County.

Community concerns that were expressed at the meeting included marring the viewshed at the gateway to the Village and health risks of 5G. Many letters of concern from community members have been received by the Council prior to and since the meeting. The committee is will continue to review community concerns and present them as the review process continues.  (email info@bigparkcouncil.org)

A strongly held value among the citizenry of the Big Park Region is preservation of the Red Rock vistas, not just for our residents but for visitors who come from around the globe, and for future generations.  The committee is focused on pursuing creative and collaborative solutions that support robust utility infrastructure without sacrificing the magnificent, inspiring views.

Meeting Minutes: PDF Download

Meeting Slide Deck BPRDD: PDF Download

AT&T (Bechtel Engineering, Steve Olson) Meeting Presentation: PDF Download

AT&T Project Narrative: PDF Download

AT&T APS Photosim Rev 2: PDF Download

AT&T Coverage Prediction Maps: PDF Download

AT&T Las Piedras Concept Plans: PDF Download

Meeting Recording (beginning apx 5 minutes after Call to Order, Camille Cox speaking): https://us06web.zoom.us/rec/share/NzgJqQlWPOqNVepbZgnIWR_8iJaVvkN72Wsds0C83XLAzmuYYd9JiYIXhBOm2Jft.lcRmjTxNnhr94ca4



Thursday, September 2, 2021

Sept 9th Regular Meeting Agenda

If you'd like to attend this meeting, send an email with your full name and email address to info@bigparkcouncil.org.



 


Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Special Meeting of the Planning & Zoning Committee

A meeting has been called at an irregular time this month in order to provide the 

Council with recommendations on an application that may come before County 

Planning & Zoning Commission in September.  We anticipate the committee 

recommendations will be presented for discussion and vote before the Council at 

the regular meeting on September 9th. 

 

The committee meeting is being held via Zoom and is open to the public.  If you'd 

like to attend, send an email to info@bigparkcouncil.org with your full name and 

email address. 

 

Information on the application under consideration is provided with this 

message.  You may submit questions in advance of the meeting by replying to this 

message.


AGENDA 

BIG PARK REGIONAL COORDINATING COUNCIL 

PLANNING AND ZONING COMMITTEE MEETING 

Friday Sept 3rd, 2021  2:00 PM via Zoom

1. Welcome

2. Roll Call

3. Approve/Amend Agenda

4. Unfinished Business / Active Efforts

           a. Las Piedras/AT&T 5G Antenna Installation

5. New Business

6. Announcements

7. Public Comments

8. Adjourn 

 

AT&T Las Piedras Project Narrative. PDF 

AT&T APS Las Piedras Concept Plans. PDF 

AT&T APS Las Piedras Photosim. PDF 

AT&T Coverage Prediction Maps. PDF


Zoom Participation for Public Audience: 

First and last name must be provided when signing in to the Zoom meeting.

* Arrive/check-in to the Zoom Waiting Room no less than 5 minutes prior to the 2pm start to be 

admitted to the online meeting.

* If not a member of the Planning & Zoning Committee, please turn off your video.  Stay muted until 

recognized to speak by the Chair. If time allows, questions and comments may be entertained at the 

Chairman’s discretion. Use the hand-raise function to be noticed.




Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Big Park Council Presents at Sedona Chamber Pulse Event

View the event on YouTube: Link to Pulse Event RecordingOur presentation is 1:34 on the timeline.

Slide deck for all presenters   Aug 2021 Pulse Community Event



Village Census Numbers Reveal Change, Not Growth

Village Census Numbers Reveal Change, Not Growth

by Camille Cox, President
Published in the Sept issue of The Villager

A few days ago the 2020 US census data, detailing to the community level, was finally released. It may have come as a surprise to many that the Village of Oak Creek showed no growth, in fact a slight decrease! Sedona resident counts were down by 350, and the entire Verde Valley reported only 3,000 increase – 650 of which was recorded by the Yavapai Apache Nation.

These numbers provide an important context for our community, as we look to the future. I hope you will take a few minutes to study the data, and consider what it reveals about the shifts in the fabric of our community and the greater Verde Valley region.  With the surge in housing values during the last nine months, it’s probable that the resident populations in both the VOC and Sedona have diminished further.


The Community Plan Committee is currently compiling and packaging its draft reports for public review and comment. Please be on the lookout in late September for announcements. Your participation is a critical part of the process! (subscribe to our mailing list at http://www.villageplan2022.org/)

We’re pleased to report that the Council approved the creation of the new Emergency Preparedness Plan Committee (EPPiC) whose purpose is to create a Disaster Resource Repository to provide the information needed in a Big Park Community emergency. Specifically:

* To identify, monitor and provide information resources on emergencies affecting the Big Park Community;

* To explore communication channels to assure that the Big Park Community has access to timely, accurate information;

* To coordinate information with appropriate public safety agencies;

* To explore ways to improve response to an emergency situation.

This new committee is a great opportunity to play a part in making our community as safe as possible in the event of natural or other emergency. If you’re interested in learning more or possibly being part of this group, send an email to info@bigpartcouncil.org.


Friday, August 6, 2021

AGENDA BPRCC Regular Meeting August 12th 9am – via Zoom

AGENDA
BIG PARK REGIONAL COORDINATING COUNCIL, INC.
9:00 A.M. Thursday, August 12th, 2021
ZOOM Meeting

The ZOOM Waiting Room opens at 8:30am.  Each attendee will need to check in prior to the 9:00am start time.  Please arrive early so you can be checked in by the host.  See meeting protocols for rules pertaining to this meeting.  If you'd like to attend this meeting, send an email to info@bigparkcouncil.org with your full name and email address,

Public Agency Report: Yavapai County Public Works – Verl Cook, Roads Manager

  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call – Mary Pope, Secretary
  3. President’s Report – Camille Cox, President
    • Call for Nominating Committee Chair and members
  4. Secretary’s Report – Mary Pope, Secretary
    • Approve July minutes (previously distributed to reps/alternates
    • Changes to Membership and/or Representatives
  5. Treasurer’s Report – Patty Reski, Treasurer
    • Current financial standing
  6. Unfinished Business – Camille Cox
    • Hybrid Council meetings
  7. New Business
    • Discuss & vote on Emergency Preparedness Plan Committee (EPPiC) Purpose & Scope** – Gwen Hanna, Working Group Co-Chair
  8. Committee and Other Reports
    • P&Z Committee, Camille Cox, Chair pro-tem
      • Discuss & vote on Horse Mesa Ranch use permit application recommendation.*
    • P&Z Committee, Mary Morris Chair
      • APS Subcommittee letter distribution
      • APS subcommittee meeting with APS
    • Community Plan, Camille Cox will provide an update
    • VVTPO, Steve Fiedler’s report on the July meeting
  9. Announcements
  10. Adjourn

*Click here to download P&Z Recommendation on Horse Mesa Ranch: Download PDF

**Click here to download EPPiC proposed Purpose & Scope:  Download PDF

Reminders:

Next EB Meeting: Tuesday, August 31st, 2pm

Next Regular Meeting: Thursday, September 9th, 9am via Zoom


Wednesday, July 28, 2021

No Time to Waste: Emergency Plan for Our Red Rock Paradise

Villager President’s Report 
August 2021
Camille Cox, President

No Time to Waste: Emergency Plan for Our Red Rock Paradise

At the suggestion of the Sedona Village Partnership, your mission-driven Big Park Council accepted a hand-off to formulate an Emergency Plan committee.  (Details in the Highlights section of this article.)

In the aftermath of the Paradise, CA wildfire, it was learned that the town’s impressive emergency planning overlooked some critical points that resulted in horrific tragedy.  Our Village “paradise” shares many vulnerability characteristics to that Golden State community. The urgent need for a planning effort is enunciated in this investigative article from the Los Angeles Times: (https://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-camp-fire-deathtrap-20181230-story.html).

The recent wild fires demonstrated for many of us that “channeling through” the plethora of information sources to find what you need absorbs precious time which, in the case of a fast-moving situation, would be unacceptable.  In addition to fires (wild and otherwise), there are many kinds of unpredictable emergencies that are seldom planned for because “It Will Never Happen to Me”.  And, what contingencies do we have in the face of interrupted internet and/or mobile phone service?

The concept advanced by the Council is to create a standing committee that will assess our community needs, develop a plan to put tools in place, and provide ongoing stewardship.  By press time, the volunteer working group will have drafted a purpose and scope for a Emergency Preparedness Plan committee to present at the August 12th Council meeting.  Watch for ways to get involved with this important endeavor, particularly if you have experience in the public safety field.

Just as the Sedona Village Partnership and Big Park Council are collaborating on meaningful work, the Sedona Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau (SCC&TB) recently reached out to work with us on sustainable tourism measures.

We have been invited to participate in a SCC&TB event called Pulse, to be held August 25th, 8pm at the Mary Fisher Theatre.  The goal of the event is for the City of Sedona, Big Park/VOC, Oak Creek Canyon and the US Forest Service to share information on how we are (or could be) collaboratively addressing local issues to ensure a balance between a thriving visitor economy/experience with stewardship of the environment and quality of life for residents.  This is an auspicious beginning, and experience suggests that when leaders and citizens gather to listen, learn and discuss - good outcomes ensue.

At the event we will be presenting survey data on how Village residents feel about Quality of Life issues, including tourism-related pain points.  This opportunity for all of us to expand “what we think we know” about the challenges at hand, and we encourage you to attend.  We applaud the Chamber for reaching out to the Village, and APS for their sponsorship.

Register (its FREE) at https://sedonachamber.com/chamber-events/.

Monday, July 26, 2021

P&Z Recommendations to Council on Horse Mesa Ranch

 

P&Z Recommendations to Council
on Horse Mesa Ranch Application for Use Permit and Waivers

At the August 12th meeting of the Council, we will be reviewing the Horse Mesa Ranch application for a permanent, non-transferable Use Permit for operation of an equestrian recreational facility on approximately 11.416 acres in the RCU-2A zoning district.  This is not a new special use for the property, it is for continuation of the same use under new ownership.  The new owners are also requesting two Ordinance Waivers.

The BPRCC P&Z Committee reviewed the application at their July 16th open meeting (via Zoom). The committee's Recommendation/Development Assessment and the approved Minutes of that meeting can viewed and downloaded via links below.
 
At the Council meeting on August 12th, comments from the public will be limited to 2 minutes each.
 
NOTE: The Recommendation/Assessment and Minutes include information links to some of the same documents. Check before printing. 
 
The Horse Mesa Ranch application is scheduled to be heard by Yavapai County Planning & Zoning Commission on August 19th at the at the Cottonwood Annex.
 
Download  P&Z Recommendation & Assessment of the Horse Mesa Ranch Application
Download  MINUTES of the July 16th BPRCC P&Z Meeting
Yavapai County Portal for Public Comment and Additional Application Information: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/385bdb4a08e5485681639dc78d5fa5fd

If you have questions about the application or the review process, email info@bigparkcouncil.org.

The August 12th meeting agenda and ZOOM information will be published after the Executive Board meets on August 3rd.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Community Pulse Event

 Aug 25: Community Pulse Event


Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau is excited to invite YOU to the first in-person Community Pulse event since pre-COVID! 

This convening of community leaders from around the greater Sedona region will include representatives from the City of Sedona, Village of Oak Creek, Oak Creek Canyon, and the US Forest Service. 

Our goal is to provide a forum for sharing information on how we are collaboratively addressing local issues to ensure the balance between a thriving visitor economy and experience with stewardship of the environment and quality of life for our residents.

It will be from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. at the Mary D Fisher Theatre on 2030 W State Route 89A. For overflow parking, please use the Basha’s or Harkin’s parking lots.

JULY 8TH MEETING HIGHLIGHTS

President’s Report: Camille Cox reported on the two public forums that were hosted by 

the Big Park Regional Coordinating Council: June 21 on the Regional Broadband 

Initiative and July 7 for County Supervisor Donna Michaels.  Both attracted attendance 

of more than 50, split evenly between in-person at the Sedona Arts Academy and via 

Zoom. She reported that as we practice and experiment with the format, problems with 

Zoom audio will be resolved.  At the August meeting cost items associated with 

transitioning the monthly Council meetings to the live/virtual format will be reviewed. 

  

In light of the positive feedback from the two forums, other topics such as regional water 

issues may be offered in coming months.  Supervisor Michaels is open to a quarterly 

schedule.  Suggestions from the community are encouraged. 

  

We are seeking two volunteers to help with the live/virtual meetings to keep the 

microphones moving in audience and assist with setup and teardown.  Another 

volunteer who is adept with the Zoom platform is also needed, ideally someone who is 

neither a Representative or Officer. 

 

Click here for the article on the Regional Broadband Initiative forum published in The 

Red Rock News View. 

Click here to read recent article in the USA Today Network on funding for broadband in 

rural communities.

  

Council members were reminded that next month we will call for 3-4 volunteers to serve 

on the Nominating Committee.  The assignment for this committee is short (90-days). 

Camille and Mary Pope are creating a “how-to” guide for the committee. The committee 

chair must be a Representative or Alternate, other committee members may be 

Representatives, Alternates or members of BPRCC Member Organizations. Officers 

may not serve.  Individuals interested in serving are encouraged to send an email 

to info@bigparkcouncil.org. 

  

Camille read a letter of resignation from Mark Moorehead to the Community Plan 

Committee, explaining that he is moving from the Village.  Mark was an inaugural 

member of the Community Plan Committee and served as P&Z chairman in 2018 and 

2019.  She expressed the Council’s appreciation for his years of service.

 

Secretary’s Report:  Mary Pope reminded the Council that committees need to send 

her their meeting minutes.  All minutes are available to Representatives and Alternates 

by request. 

 

Treasurer’s Report:  Patty Reski reported that the routine expenses have been paid 

and the bank balance is approximately $5,000.  This total includes monies budgeted for 

the Community Plan Committee. 

 

New Business:  The president introduced Gwen Hanna of the Sedona Village 

Partnership, to speak on the need for an emergency preparedness plan in our 

community.  Gwen explained the vision of the Sedona Village Partnership, emphasizing 

their role in “Connecting the Community” and addressing emerging needs. She posed 

the questions: As a community, she questioned, are we Ready-Set-Go; Are adequate 

plans in place to assist the elderly, deal with pets and large animals;  Is signage 

sufficient; Do we have a mechanism to alert absentee homeowners, short term renters, 

tourists; Is there a plan to coordinate with businesses and/or hotels in an emergency 

situation? 

  

Gwen noted that there is an abundance of scattered information available, and this can 

be overwhelming.  The Big Park Council provides a cohesive representation of a 

significant portion of the community and has contacts within government and the 

community.  She emphasized that just having a plan isn’t enough, citing the tragedy in 

Paradise, California.  She explained the need for a pro-active strategy with clear 

coordination and transmittal of information as well as known roles and responsibilities 

for effective emergency actions and coordination with public safety agencies. 

  

Horse Mesa Ranch’s connection with equine evacuation was noted to be an available 

resource for animal evacuations of other areas as well as a staging location for local 

evacuation if needed.  In the recent Backbone and Rafael fires they received horses, as 

well as smaller animals. 

  

Other comments raised traffic control and evacuation signage issues as well as the 

potential for telephone chains to be sure all residents are informed and accounted for in 

a disaster.  There is great value in a centralized point of information distribution, with 

acknowledgement that our community is constantly changing with people moving, part-

time residents, short-term renters and tourists. 

  

Emergencies could be natural disasters such as fire and flood, or security issues such 

as a shooting, bomb or other man-made danger.  

  

A plan and an active stewardship team is recommended to ensure community safety in 

the event of natural disasters such as fire and flood, or security issues such as a 

shooting, bomb or other man-made danger. 


The creation of a BPRCC committee on Emergency Preparedness was then discussed  at length.  

It was approved for a working group to develop a concept of an Emergency Preparedness 

Committee under the guidance of Gwen Hanna and Dave Norton; permitting a small 

group to gather for the development of the committee’s draft Purpose and Scope for 

Council review and approval, potentially creating an Emergency Preparedness 

Committee. 

  

The recommendations of the working group will be circulated as part of the Council 

meeting information, to allow Representatives to share and discuss it with their 

members prior to a BPRCC vote. 

  

Motion passed unanimously.  Volunteers for the initial group include Gwen Hanna, Dave 

Norton, Camille Cox, Lenore Hemingway and Mary Pope. 

 

Committee Reports  

Planning & Zoning:  Committee Chair Mary Morris presented the results of her 

inquiries to Yavapai Development Services on three properties which may have near 

term developments.  The properties are Plaza Del Sol, (405-27-324, 6050 SR 179), La 

Plaza (405-40-020G, 6560 SR 179) and 1525 Lee Mountain Road (405-33-005M).  The 

rumored Change of Use for these properties are all allowed by current zoning, no public 

participation hearings would be required.  Mary also explained the limitations to the 

proposed uses.  It was clarified that building permits would be required by Development 

Services.  The P&Z Committee currently monitors the County permit logs and will keep 

BPRCC informed. Clicking to view presentation slides: Planning & Zoning Presentation. 

  

The next P&Z Committee meeting will be July 16th at 10:00am via Zoom.  Topics for 

discussion are the Horse Mesa Ranch Use Permit and AT&T Las Piedras wireless 

proposal.  P&Z meetings are open to the public, RSVP by email 

to info@bigparkcouncil.org. 

 

Community Plan: Camille reported that eight of the committee’s 10 topic drafts have 

been presented and in August the committee will begin formatting for presentation to 

the community.  Yavapai County has created two new surveys for the County 

Comprehensive Plan Update – Environmental Elements and Energy. The surveys will 

be distributed via email next week to the BPRCC email list, and she encouraged all to 

take them and share with others.  The next Community Plan committee meetings are 

Monday July 19th and Monday Aug 2nd at the Sedona Arts Academy. Please send an 

email to info@bigparkcouncil.org if you’d like to join.

 

Announcements

* Camille noted that the Sedona Oak Creek School District board would like to 

report in August or September.

* A boutique hotel has been proposed at the rear of Bell Rock Plaza.  No public hearing 

or input is required.

* The Sedona Library and Sedona Oak Creek School District board are in 

negotiation on a lease agreement to move the Village library location (currently in 

Bell Rock Plaza) to vacant library space in the Big Park Community School.

 

The next meeting of the Council is August 12th, 9am via ZOOM 

The next meeting of the Executive Board is August 3rd, 2pm, location TBD 

The next meeting of the P&Z Committee will be July 16th, 10am via ZOOM 

 


July 16th, 2021 PLANNING & ZONING COMMITTEE MEETING

 AGENDA

BIG PARK REGIONAL COORDINATING COUNCIL

PLANNING AND ZONING COMMITTEE MEETING

Friday July 16th, 2021  10 AM via Zoom

1. Welcome and Meeting Protocol Review

2. Roll Call

3. Approve/Amend Agenda

4. Unfinished Business / Active Efforts

a. Horse Mesa Ranch application for Special Use Permit and Waivers: 405-33-495B & 405-33-494R. Camille Cox, BPRCC President.

b. Status of Las Piedras/AT&T 5G Antenna Installation

5. New Business

a. Update on development status of various local parcels.

b. Update on USFS timeline re: APS Transmission Line.

c. Brief report on work of the Community Plan Committee, including summary of the County Community Plan Advisory Committee activity. Camille Cox, CP committee chair.

6. Announcements

7. Public Comments

8. Adjourn

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Join Us For Community Forum with Supervisor Donna Michaels

Date: Tuesday, July 6th 2-3pm

Location: Sedona Academy of Arts,  7000 Arizona 179, Sedona, AZ, 86351 (The Collective, next door to the Corner Table restaurant)


Donna Michaels, Yavapai County D3 Supervisor, will provide us with an update on issues and activities in our district and across the County.  The forum is presented by the Big Park Regional Coordinating Council as an opportunity for our County Supervisor and community members to exchange information. All members of the community are welcome, however our in-person gathering has limited seating.

You may submit questions for the supervisor ahead of the event: info@bigparkcouncil.org.

To register for the live event:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/meet-our-county-supervisor-tickets-159278709909.  Reservations are required to attend in-person as seating is limited.

To attend via Zoom:  RSVP by email to info@bigparkcouncil.org, include your email address and full name (first and last).







Monday, June 28, 2021

New Hybrid Live/Virtual Forums Provide Opportunity for Citizen Engagement

President’s Report - July 2021

Camille Cox, President

New Hybrid Live/Virtual Forums Provide Opportunity for Citizen Engagement

The fourth item in the Council’s mission statement is: To provide a forum for residents, property owners, business owners, educational institutions and investors within the Community to resolve problems and advance the interests of the Community.

This summer your Council is conducting forums on a number of topics of interest to our community.  And, for the first time, some of these will have the option of attending a real meeting (live) or Zoom (virtual) participation.  The Community Plan committee has been experimenting with the format all year, and in the Fall the Council plans to change the regular monthly meetings to this hybrid format.

The first live/virtual community forum will introduce a new Verde Valley regional broadband initiative.  Monday, June 21st at 1:00 pm, Mary Chicoine, executive director of the Verde Valley Regional Economic Organization (VVREO), will provide an overview of what is in the works to bring improved, high quality internet capability to the Village.  One of the top mentions in the recent resident surveys was the need for improved internet in our community – this initiative is a solution path! Information on how to RSVP for either the in-person (live) or Zoom (virtual) can be found at www.bigparkcouncil.org.

The second forum is your opportunity to Meet & Chat with Our County Supervisor. On Tuesday July 6th, 2:00 pm, Yavapai County D3 Supervisor Donna Michaels will provide us with an update on issues and activities in our district and across the County.  Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions.

To attend the meeting in-person: RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/meet-our-county-supervisor-tickets-159278709909. In person seating is limited, reservations are required. 

To attend via Zoom (unlimited): send an email with your full name and email address to: info@bigparkcouncil.org.

We are limited on the number of seats available for the live meeting, simply because of the room size.  There are few affordable options in the Village that offer the Intenet and conference room basics needed for the hybrid format.

We are a team of volunteers experimenting with new tools to produce these forums.  Please be patient with us when the inevitable bumps in the road show up.  If you or someone you know is skilled with A/V technologies and might be willing to help us with these productions – please pop me a message.  In particular we’d be grateful for a camera operator at the forums!

If you have a topic that you feel would be well-served by a community discussion forum, send us your concept for consideration. info@bigparcouncil.org.

APS Powerline Project  The US Forest Service informed us that the Environmental Assessment should be released in August.  The Council will be submitting our statement at that time.  In the meantime, the subcommittee is working on communication with elected officials to inform them of the community’s position.

Congratulations, Big Park Community!  The daunting, 2-year process of updating the bylaws of the Council to better serve the community was completed at the June meeting.  We had a full-house, and all 20 member organizations present voted to approve the final set of Articles and 19-1 vote to approve the new policies.  This is a remarkable, community-driven feat that attests to what can be achieved through hard work and respectful, mission-centric discussion.  You can take pride in our community for doing this important work. As problems and opportunities arise, we have a solid framework to explore and act on solutions.

June 11th MEETING HIGHLIGHTS

Public Agency Report  Fire Marshal Jon Davis informed the Council that effective Friday, June 11th, Sedona Fire District is moving into Stage II Fire Restrictions.  These restrictions prohibit all solid-fueled open fires, fire pits, and campfires. He emphasized using extreme caution and expressed hope that an earlier, wetter monsoon season would alleviate the danger.  Jon explained that “Firewise” landscaping does not mean removing all trees and shrubbery; rather that it involves creating more of a park-like setting with islands of vegetation.  Unbroken lines of plants leading up to a dwelling should be avoided and he stressed the need for horizonal and vertical separation; so as not to encourage ladder fuels.

President’s Report  Camille Cox presented Steve Fiedler as liaison to VVTPO (Verde Valley Transportation Project Organization); he was approved by acclamation.

Secretary’s Report  Mary Pope welcomed Jan Groves, new Representative for the Sedona Village Learning Center and Rose O’Donnell new Representative for Pinon Woods II East, noting that Pinon Woods II East has two new Alternates as well (Cindy Hay & Stephen Howard).  Mary expressed appreciation to Joanna McPherson and Steve Suter for their service and their continuation as Alternate Representatives.

Community Plan Committee  Committee member Jan Groves presented the draft Vision Statement.  She encouraged the Council to distribute the one question survey to their members to vote and provide feedback (villageplan2022.org).

Dark-Sky Committee  The committee’s continued work on an International Dark-Sky Community sign for the Village was reported.  Marty Aronson, proprietor of Sedona Vista Village, and the Sedona Village Partnership have provided funding.  Potential locations at the gateway to the Village are being investigated.

Verde Valley Transportation Project Organization  Steve Fiedler reported that he attended the May 26th meeting and the following programs are active: Cornville Road widening and center rumble strip; Intersection of Beaverhead Flat and SR179; and Sedona parking garage.  He noted that money for projects is available for the Regional Priority Projects list and if there are transportation projects in the Village, the VVTPO will consider adding them to the list.  Camille suggested that if Member Organizations identified needs to be addressed, they should send them directly to Steve or to info@bigparkcouncil.org.

COVID Vaccination Clinics  Clinics were held in May and June at the VOCA clubhouse and now Spectrum offers in-home vaccinations.  Information has been included with the June meeting Highlights email and posted on the Council website.

Next Executive Board Meeting: Tues, June 29th 2pm

Next Regular Meeting: Thursday, July 8th 9am, via Zoom


Friday, June 11, 2021

Learn About Initiative to Bring Faster Internet to the VOC

Community Information Forum
on
Verde Valley Regional Broadband Initiative


Monday June 21, 2021 1pm

In-person: Sedona Arts Academy, located at The Collective
7000 SR179 Suite C-100, Sedona (next to Corner Table restaurant)
– or –
Virtual Attendance via Zoom

One of the top identified priorities in the recent resident studies for the Big Park/VOC Community Plan (VillagePlan2022.org) is "Improved Broadband/Internet Service". This forum will inform us about a new regional plan to provide the Verde Valley Region, including our community, with just that!

Mary Chicoine, executive director of the Verde Valley Regional Economic Organization (VVREO), will give a presentation on the Verde Valley Regional Broadband Initiative. She will provide an overview of the plan and what has been accomplished to build a Verde Valley "middle mile network". This network is the key to providing quality broadband services to businesses and residences in the Verde Valley region.

This effort is moving fast as a partnership between the public and private sectors, and the Village of Oak Creek and Big Park area could be one of the early beneficiaries. VVREO is meeting with all Verde Valley communities to inform them of this exciting opportunity.

The forum will be a hybrid format - you may attend the meeting or join via Zoom.
  • To attend in person, make a reservation via EventBrite: Click here to RSVP.  Limited seating - reservation required. Location is the Sedona Arts Academy at The Collective in the Village of Oak Creek. (next door to Corner Table Restaurant, address top of page).
  • To attend via Zoom, send an email with your full name and email address to: info@bigparkcouncil.org.

This forum is being produced by the Big Park Regional Coordinating Council. You may direct questions to info@bigparkcouncil.org.

Home Vaccinations Now Available from Spectrum

 


Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Big Park Council Opposes APS Above-Ground Powerline

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Camille Cox, President

Big Park Regional Coordinating Council

Email: info@bigparkcouncil.org


Big Park Council Opposes APS Above-Ground Powerline

VILLAGE OF OAK CREEK, AZ (5-23-2021) – Big Park Regional Coordinating Council (BPRCC or Council) formally registered its opposition to Arizona Public Service’s (APS) proposed above-ground powerline into the Village of Oak Creek (VOC) at its May 13th public meeting.  The two-part motion was approved 12-0 with two abstentions.


The first-part of the motion supports partial burial of a 10-15 mile 69-kV high-voltage line in VOC as well as adjacent areas of Coconino National Forest designated by the U.S. Forest Service as high-value scenic areas.  


The second-part of the motion supports, as an alternative to burying the powerline, a feasibility study, including costs, of building a solar-powered community microgrid that would promote resilience and important backup in the event of power outages, and to support future power demand in the community.


Council President Camille Cox said she was pleased with the outcome, which was the result of extensive research on the issue and meetings with Forest Service and APS representatives over the past 18 months.


“This action, which received overwhelming support of Council representatives, confirms the results of our survey earlier this year in which respondents expressed strong reservations with the APS proposal,” Cox said.  She noted that the top three concerns cited in the survey were the project’s negative impact on the iconic Red Rock views that attract millions of visitors to the Sedona area each year, increased wildland fire risk posed by an above-ground powerline atop 65-foot high poles, and property values.


“The position approved by the Council will be formally conveyed to the Forest Service when it publishes a draft environmental assessment of the project for public comment,” Cox added.


ABOUT Big Park Regional Coordinating Council

The BPRCC was created in 1996 and has since been representing the Big Park Region, including the Village of Oak Creek. The Council represents between 25-30 Residential, Business and Educational organizations who, in turn, represent more than 8,000 individuals. Where appropriate, the Council provides input to County, State and Federal agencies. For more information, visit bigparkcouncil.org.






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Tuesday, May 25, 2021

May Meeting Highlights & Presidents Report

Camille Cox, President

Village Preservation and Stewardship in a Changing World


Ruminating on the return journey to visit two beloved California cities where I previously lived – Thousand Oaks in Ventura County and Del Mar in San Diego County, reinforced my appreciation for the importance of the work that our Community Plan Committee is tackling.


The current issue of a local community paper in Thousand Oaks, similar to The Villager, included pages of submitted letters decrying a proposed new General Plan – raising allowable height allowance of buildings (now only 3-story), increased density, development of open space.  Same-same-but-different.  It’s no longer a bucolic college town surrounded by protected wilderness and agriculture, home to Blue Ribbon schools… like our community, it’s now largely retirees, schools have been closing for years, and a $25M bridge is planned to span a freeway so the mountain lions can survive.  Sound familiar?


The sleepy beach town of Del Mar is no longer recognizable from the 80’s when it was my home town – the ocean is inaudible over the din of traffic.  You’ll find plenty of restaurants and starter condo’s in the $1M range, but the charm that endures smacks of Disneyland. There is no longer a “community” - just residents and loads of visitors – same short-term rental scene we face here.


Beautiful, charming locations – like our Village - are never untouched by change. But taking inventory of what is threatened, exploring options to preserve and protect what is special, and engaging as a community to take what measures can be taken, CAN be done.  We cannot alter the 300 per/day influx of new residents to Maricopa County who will come here to recreate and refresh themselves (as did we) – but we CAN investigate the various impacts and work together on smart solutions to protect the vistas, the dark sky, the strain on the environment and more.


Please stay attuned to the progress of our Community Plan (villageplan2022.org) and involve yourself by participating in our surveys, volunteering to help, and attending events that will be announced in the future.


May 13th MEETING HIGHLIGHTS

Public Agency Reports  Sgt. Brandon Rumpf from the Yavapai County Sheriff's office reported that with the lifting of COVID restrictions, the VOC substation is back to normal office hours (8a–4p M-F). He explained that the increase in visitors from other states has increased incidents of trespassing on private property to access trails. He recommended posting “Private Property - No Trespassing” signs, and those in violation of the signs can be cited and/or arrested. You may contact him personally at the substation to answer further questions.

President’s Report  Camille Cox reported that the Executive Board discussed potential for in-person meetings and recommends revisiting the matter again in August to consider hybrid meetings commencing in September. The Council agreed that this was a good course of action due to safety concerns and representative absences during the summer months.


She further reminded the Council that in August three volunteers will be needed to serve on the Nominating Committee, which is responsible for assembling a list of officer candidates for 2023. Representatives, Alternates and/or members of Member Organizations may serve.  Anyone interested in learning more about serving on the committee or as an officer is invited to observe the monthly executive board meeting.


Secretary’s Report Mary Pope welcomed Chris Hartman as the new Alternate for the Pinion Woods III HOA.  She thanked John Swingle for his years of service as an Alternate for that organization and for serving as Council liaison to the Verde Valley Transportation Projects Organization. The Annual Report has been filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission.


Treasurer’s Report: Patty Reski reported that the bank balance is just under $6,000 and the 990 forms have been submitted.


Bylaws Committee Mary Pope, co-chair of the committee, acknowledged Co-Chair Nancy Maple and members Phil Feiner, Carolyn Fisher, Margie Gershtenson, Lenore Hemingway and Camille Cox for their dedicated service, which has been a 2-year effort for some.


NOTICES of changes to Articles III, IV, V, VI, VII were reviewed in advance of scheduled discussion and vote in June. Member Organizations were encouraged to review the documents and instruct their Representatives on voting.


Decision on APS Powerline Duane Thompson, chair of the APS Powerline Subcommittee, summarized the project noting that the US Forest Service is the authority for allowing the transmission line across Forest Service land. The USFS will be publishing a draft Environmental Assessment for public comment as early as next month.  As the comment period is limited to 30 days, it is important for the Council to have its position on record when the EA is released. (Full information on the APS proposal can be found on the Meetings page of the Council website) 


APS has declined to provide technical data of power usage in the VOC and the information that was provided has complicated comparison of outages to other communities.  There were two outages reported to the Arizona Corporation Commission for the last three years.  APS has said there have been 16 outages in the last 10 years, but has not disclosed the cause of those outages. It was noted that at least one major outage was caused by local transformer box failure and not powerlines.  A Council member clarified that APS does not acquire Forest Service land, but is granted easements, typically with 40’-wide right of way and is responsible for restoration of areas impacted by installation. 


A question was raised about projected electricity demand in the VOC by APS. APS projects a 5% increase by 2031, relative to current use.


At the close of discussion, a motion to approve the position recommended by the P&Z Committee passed, all in favor with two abstentions.

The Big Park Regional Coordinating Council supports an underground powerline from the intersection of Cornville Road and Beaverhead Flat Road into the Village of Oak Creek to the Oak Creek substation (as indicated on Exhibit A), while permitting above-ground construction on the other side of Cornville Road.

Further, as an alternative to partial burial of the new powerline, the Council supports studying the feasibility of a microgrid community containing a solar-generated source of energy and relying, as needed, on conventional power from APS.

Community Plan Committee  Chair Camille Cox reported that results of the recent community survey were published and distributed to the community, including the newspaper, website and email.  The committee meets the first and third Mondays at 4pm at the Sedona Arts Academy.  A Vision Statement is expected to be completed shortly.  The Committee has its own email list with more than 800 subscribers and a dedicated website - www.VillagePlan2022.org.

Upcoming Meetings  Regular Council meeting is June 10th, 9am via ZOOM; Executive Board meeting is June 1st, 2pm; P&Z Committee meeting is June 18th, 10am via ZOOM. Check the website calendar for other committee meeting dates.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Opening for VVTPO Liaison for BPRCC

The Council has a seat on the Verde Valley Transportation Project Organization. After a "Covid hiatus", the VVTPO reconvened a month ago.

This organization is a round table that includes: the District 2 and District 3 County Supervisors; ADOT staff; representatives from the incorporated entities (Cottonwood, Sedona, Jerome, Camp Verde, Clarkdale, Yavapai-Apache Nation), representatives from the MSA unincorporated areas (Beaver Creek Community Association, Big Park Council, Cornville Community Association); Northern AZ Council of Governments (NACOG); US Forest Service; Yavapai County staff; and a few other entities. All the agencies responsible for roads are present (in numbers) in this group.

The group's purpose is to review and discuss Verde Valley-area transportation projects - those that are underway as well as problem areas that may not be "on the map". This is an information-sharing forum, not a decision-making group.

Candidate Selection Criteria:
  • Prepare ahead of time and attend every meeting (4x/year). The meetings are currently being conducted via Zoom but should be back to in-person later this year. Our understanding is that Cottonwood is the standard venue. A quarterly meeting schedule will resume after the next meeting, which is scheduled for May 26th.
  • Have visibility (name and contact info) in the community (Council website) to receive communication from residents about problems and conditions that might be brought to the forum, particularly regarding safety.
  • Promptly and courteously respond to resident suggestions and/or questions.
  • Report to the Executive Board after each quarterly VVTPO meeting and at Council meetings.
  • Be diligent in watching for problem situations and doing appropriate research to understand the problems.
It is not necessary that the liaison be an appointed representative of a Member Organization, but they should belong to a Member Organization.

If you or someone you know might be interested in this position, please contact Camille Cox, info@bigparkcouncil.org.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Voices for the BPRCC Choir: New Paths to Membership

There’s a fun tune titled All God’s Creatures Have A Place in the Choir.  Even if you’re not familiar with it, or particularly religious, you catch the drift.  The great paradox is that what seems so intuitive, may well be the ultimate challenge for us humans.  The process of arriving at a group consensus is not easy, and it is never fast… harmonizing takes Work.

With a whisper on April 8th, the Council unanimously passed two major bylaws updates to enable expanded citizen participation on the Council.  Unanimously ?!? Yes – two years of work, including surveys, research, committee meetings, and hours of Council reflection and discussion to arrive at a formula that every Member felt would ensure fuller and fairer inclusion of voices on the Council.

Not a miracle, these decisions were the result of mission-focused commitment and diligent work by our Members and community volunteers. The three categories of membership are:

* Residential Member Organizations (homeowner associations, property owner associations and residential neighborhood associations);

* Business Member Associations; 

* Educational Institution Member Organizations.

Details for each are outlined on the membership applications located on the website home page.  The mission at the Big Park Council is to “promote the best interests of the Community by making public the consensus of its Member Organizations’ views on issues affecting them”.  If you are not already represented by a member organization of the Council, there is now a clear path to adding your voice to the choir.

County Moves Comprehensive Plan Update Forward

On April 15th the County conducted the inaugural CPAC (Community Plan Advisory Committee) meeting, which was broadcast on WebEx for public viewing.  (You can watch the recording on the County’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFCaGQP2Qoo.)  The Verde Valley and the VOC are well represented on the CPAC by Supervisor Donna Michaels, Sedona resident John Black and VVREO Executive Director/ Beaver Creek resident Mary Chicoine – all with rich experience to contribute.  Although much of the meeting was administrative, when substantial discussion got underway, some important information was shared.  Most importantly, Development Services Director David Williams reported that they are relaxing due dates for the community plans.  The intention is to allow communities more time to organize and gather resources, placing the emphasis on wide community participation and producing a solid plan.  He reported that although the state does specify a due date for the Comprehensive Plan Update, there is no penalty for missing the deadline.  The county will therefore stay focused on developing a plan that will serve us well through 2032, rather than rushing the process.