Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Interview with Supervisor Donna Michaels

A local station recently interviewed our District 3 Supervisor, Donna Michaels.  In the interview she addresses many of the hot topics that impact the Big Park Region, and solution approaches.  Well worth your time.  Of key interest is what the County can and cannot do to help with protection of public lands, water and the value of community plans.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

November Meeting Highlights

Recommended Read on our Local Water Supply:  A recent article in The View entitled “Checking in on VOC Water Supplies” explains how the Colorado River water shortages will affect the Verde Valley and the VOC, and how the Supai Formation creates our local aquifer.  It emphasizes golf course water usage and notes that the Oak Creek Country Club golf course uses as much treated effluent water as is available, rather than rely solely on fresh well water. Reporter Scott Schumaker kindly provided a link to the article:

Covid Booster Shots:  For information on the locations and availability of COVID-19 vaccination shots and boosters, click the link below to go directly to Arizona Department of Health Services.  Information can be viewed as a map or in text format. 


President’s Report  Camille summarized a recent meeting with Supervisor Donna Michaels, highlighting Donna’s active policy initiatives to improve protection of public lands, including mitigating negative impacts of Off Highway Vehicles (OHV), homelessness and trash.  Camille also informed the Council that Supervisor Michaels is amenable to another public forum to discuss these issues with the Community, such as the one the Council hosted in June.  Camille thanked the Nominating Committee for its incredible outreach efforts to contact Representatives and other potential officer candidates.  She then noted that the official grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new VOC library branch was a wonderful event on an absolutely beautiful autumn day.  There are spaces within the library for meetings which may be reserved.  Camille suggested that people read the excellent article in the View on the current status of water supply for the VOC. Kevin O’Conner clarified that the water used by VOCA for its golf course is treated, although it is not drinkable.  VOCA re-uses as much water as they can for the golf course.   

Secretary’s Report  Mary Pope reported no changes to membership or member organizations.

Treasurer’s Report Patty Reski presented the Budget vs. Actual for October explaining the additional charge of $180 to the Sedona Chamber of Commerce ($150 annual dues and $30 initial processing fee). 

Unfinished Business

a. 2022 Annual Assessment (Dues):  An increase to $160 effective January 1st 2022 was discussed and approved by the required 2/3 vote of the Council.

b. 2022 Annual Budget was discussed and approved by majority vote of the Council.

c. 2022 Officer Candidates for Secretary & Treasurer:  In response to a question on the nominating process, Lenore Hemingway explained the research done by the committee and the selection criteria.  Timing and requirements for the published article in The Villager on candidates was also clarified.  After this discussion, Mary Pope and Patty Reski were elected Secretary and Treasurer respectively, by enthusiastic Council acclamation, for another one year term.  A 10-minute break was called by President Camille Cox for Council Representatives to respond to an electronic email ballot vote for the Vice President position. Candidates were Dave Norton and Duane Thompson.  The meeting reconvened and Duane Thompson declared winner. 

d. Call for Committee Members:  Camille announced 2022 opportunities to serve on BPRCC Committees.  Participation is open to Representatives, Alternates and members of the public.  Committees and volunteer opportunities are listed below.  For additional information email

i. Emergency Preparedness Plan Information Committee (EPPiC), meets monthly

ii. Planning & Zoning Committee, meets monthly unless there are no applications in process

iii. Community Plan Committee

iv. Website Support, volunteer position / not a committee

v. Meeting Support, volunteer position / not a committee

vi. Audit Committee, short assignment in each February

vii. 2023 Nominating Committee, short assignment Aug-Oct each year

New Business 

Camille reviewed the latest information on the Secret 7 Trails which is being promoted by the Sedona Chamber of Commerce and the Forest Service via new trail maps.  The public comment period on the Secret 7 Trails was pre-COVID. It was apparently very low key as no-one at the meeting recalled seeing or hearing about it. The intent of the promotion is to redistribute hikers and bikers to lesser used trails. Increased bicycle traffic is already being noticed  on Jacks Canyon Road (which does not have bicycle lanes), illegal parking on Lee Mountain Road, and trespassing on and damage to private property, as hikers look to find short-cuts to get to the trails.  It was also noted that apps such as All Trails promote unapproved social trails as well as USFS approved trails. A suggestion was made to approach the Sheriff on parking and trespass issues.  In addition, it was observed that OHV’s are increasing along Verde Valley School Road with the resultant increased noise levels.  The Public Comment period on the USFS expanded transit system closes November 19th and all are urged to express their point of view directly to the USFS.  E-mail to (include “Trailhead Transit” in the subject line)

Committee and Other Reports

a. Nominating: Lenore Hemingway, Chair, reviewed a proposed Bylaw change (officially noticed prior to the meeting) to have all officers serve with the same term limit of four years. Currently, the President and Vice President are restricted to two consecutive one-year terms, and the Secretary and Treasurer are allowed to serve four consecutive one-year terms.  There was much discussion around the current unacceptable situation of the Council asking the President to continue to serve in an un-elected capacity; as well as the absence of a succession plan. Succession planning is the responsibility of the Council Representatives.  Increased participation on Council committees over the last two years was cited as extremely positive for future officer recruitment.  To be effective, an officer needs to know and understand the mission of the organization and its bylaws. It was agreed to address the current situation and future succession planning separately, as a practical process.  There will be a Council vote on the proposed bylaw revision in December. During the discussion, the positive direction the Council is heading under Camille’s direction was emphasized, and the importance of a succession plan to continue the momentum agreed.  A suggestion to re-establish the Bylaw Committee to look into succession planning was well received with volunteers including Phil Feiner, Lenore Hemingway, Don Groves, Gwen Hanna, Duane Thompson and Mary Pope stepping up.  The committee will be formally established at the December meeting and additional volunteers are welcome.

b. Planning & Zoning:  Mary Morris, Chair, noted that the USFS environmental assessment on the APS 64Kv Powerline has been postponed until the end of November.  The November 19th P&Z regular monthly meeting has been cancelled in the absence of any pending applications.

c.  Community Plan:  Camille reported that she attended the Yavapai County Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee meeting on Nov. 10th, and that there was a reset of the County’s approach.  An expert consultant is now working with the Advisory Committee, and is already showing her expertise in the legalities around community goals, highlighting pitfalls and alternatives to accomplish agreed upon goals.  A new respect for local community input was evident, with both Supervisor Donna Michaels and Supervisor Harry Oberg advocating the importance of bottom-up input.

d.  Emergency Preparedness (EPPiC):  Gwen Hanna, Co-Chair likened the gathering of information to the gathering of ingredients for a recipe.  Much needs to be done before the recipe is complete!  She noted that the committee was making good progress and has begun to divide the information into manageable categories such as Fire, Flood, Evacuation Routes, Snow, Power/Utility outages, Equestrian/Animal rescue, Human/Social dangers and General Emergency preparedness.  As these are defined further, information that has community-wide application can be organized. The committee has also begun to generate ideas on how to disseminate the information and keep it up to date, once it is complete.  Although Gwen is willing to continue as Co-Chair, she noted her increasing responsibilities elsewhere and the need for a more active co-chair administratively. Dave Norton agreed that with his own additional responsibilities, it would be better for another Co-Chair to replace him.  Gwen thanked Dave for stepping up initially so that the committee could be created and moved forward to this stage.  Mary Pope was recommended and unanimously approved by the Council as EPPiC Co-Chair.  

Mark your Calendar

Next Executive Board Meeting: Tuesday November 30th, 2pm, location TBD

Next Regular Meeting: Thursday, December 9th, 9am, Zoom

Next P&Z Meeting: Friday December 17th at 10am, Zoom

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Coconino National Forest proposes trailhead transit expansion


Coconino National Forest proposes trailhead transit expansion

The city of Sedona, in partnership with the Coconino National Forest, seeks to provide mass transit shuttle services at select trailheads located within the greater Sedona area to reduce traffic congestion, overflow parking in residential areas and improve pedestrian safety.

By doing so, the Coconino National Forest puts forth a public comment period and proposed action to allow for city of Sedona mass transit shuttle services to drop off at Dry Creek, Little Horse, Mescal, Cathedral Rock and Soldiers Pass trailheads. 

The city expects shuttle service to run year-round from trailhead shuttle exchange parking lots to service West Sedona and State Route 179 trailheads, between 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, beginning in March 2022. Additionally, it is being proposed that Cathedral Rock and Soldiers Pass public parking would be closed during shuttle operations to encourage the use of the shuttle and alternative transportation. Walk and bike-in access to these trailheads would remain during transit hours and public parking and recreation access would remain open at Dry Creek, Little Horse and Mescal trailhead parking lots.

A description of the proposed action, along with maps and other information, can be found online at the following link.

Traffic and congested parking during peak visitation are frequent complaints by Sedona residents and visitors. Popular trailheads are often beyond parking capacity. Parking demand then displaces visitors more than a half mile away into undesignated areas, surrounding neighborhoods and surface streets. This traffic pattern results in resource damage, adverse public safety and diminished residents’ quality of life.

Access to popular trailheads can be improved by utilizing alternative modes of transportation for visitors who would otherwise drive their own vehicles to trailheads. A proposed transit program, operated by the city of Sedona, would offer reliable transportation to and from popular trailheads.

“I believe this joint venture between the Red Rock Ranger District and the city of Sedona will help mitigate some of the traffic congestion problems people face at trailheads and also improve safety for pedestrians across the board,” said District Ranger Amy Tinderholt. “With how popular these trails have become, it will be vital to find long-term solutions such as this to allow for greater and safer access, while improving the experience for everyone in the area.”

“The city is working diligently to deploy a trailhead and microtransit shuttle system this coming spring and summer. In order to make the program a success, we believe considering trailhead parking closures during shuttle operational hours at our most popular destinations is critical. While there are still many operational details to iron out between now and March 2022, this consideration is necessary to incentivize both locals and residents to take trailhead shuttles, and to provide much needed relief to the cathedral and soldiers pass neighborhoods impacted by the current oversubscription of trailhead parking. This transit service will take cars off the road, reduce carbon emissions, and provide an easier option for those seeking to access these and other sought-after trailheads," said city of Sedona City Manager Karen Osburn.

Other points of the transit proposal include: 
  • Shuttles would operate on an approximate 15- to 45-minute frequency. 
  • Pedestrian and bicycle traffic is encouraged as an alternative transportation method. 
  • Shuttles may be increased during peak-use holidays and spring break months. 
  • To accommodate shuttle access at Cathedral Rock, a trailhead re-design would convert an existing pedestrian path to a motorized route that exits onto Back O’ Beyond Road. A new pedestrian path would be constructed. 
  • Trailhead modifications may include adding a designated shuttle stop, relocating parking stalls or closing select parking stalls during shuttle operations.

How to comment

The public is invited to provide input on the Red Rock Country Trailhead Transit and Parking Restrictions Project during a 30-day comment period from Oct. 20 to Nov. 19, 2021.
Provide written comments with “Trailhead Transit” in the subject line via:
  • E-mail:
  • Fax: (928) 203-7539
  • Regular mail: Red Rock Ranger District, Attention: Trailhead Transit, P.O. Box 20429, Sedona, AZ 86431
  • Hand delivered: Red Rock District Office at 8375 State Route 179, Sedona, AZ 86351 between the hours of 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. weekdays

For additional information, please contact Recreation Special Uses Permit Administrator Mark Goshorn at

For more details on the city’s transit program, go to or contact city of Sedona Transit Administrator Robert Weber at (928) 203-5086.

Monday, October 18, 2021



Public Agency Report  Paul Amadio, Head of School for the Verde Valley School (VVS), updated the Council on the history and vision of the institution. He reported that none of the 300-acre property is currently for sale. The international college prep boarding high school has 125 students from around the world, comprised of 35 local day students and 90 boarding. The school strives to serve as an example of sustainable practices and programs for its staff, students and the community.  
Many years back, VVS partnered with Camp Soaring Eagle to develop a portion of the property as a camp for terminally ill children. That project never came to fruition.  As a result, VVS holds two Conditional Use Permits from the county – one for the school and a second for the camp. Yavapai County is now encouraging the school to apply for updated permits to accommodate the institution’s intended usage for the next ten years. Paul described some new uses that VVS envisions: a farm for educational and commercial production; updating unfinished buildings and partnership programs. Specific ideas being explored include: creation of natural walking and bicycle trails; an arboretum; development of stand-alone, off-grid accommodations for guests and staff; restoration of native vegetation; and projects to decrease the carbon footprint of the campus. 
He stressed keeping the land pristine and honoring the native peoples who once inhabited the land.  

New Business  In follow-up to September meeting suggestion, Council Representative KC Kinsey and Candace Strauss, president/CEO of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau, explained how BPRCC membership in the Chamber could bring value to the community.  As both a resident and general manager of the Hilton Hotel, KC was able to share a dual perspective - emphasizing that membership would grant BPRCC a seat at the table in discussions that impact the Greater Sedona area, including the VOC. Candace emphasized that the chamber serves the greater Verde Valley area, not just businesses located in Sedona proper. She noted that the Council’s participation at the last Pulse event was well received and the chamber wants to hear more from the VOC.  A non-profit annual membership is $150 and runs 12-months. Two Representatives offered to fund a portion of the cost. 
Candace explained that the chamber is currently focused on education that encourages visitors to recreate responsibly. She mentioned the Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) concerns and the upcoming Sedona City Council meeting at which these would be addressed. Several council representatives noted that they were chamber members and found participation to be highly valuable. It was moved and unanimously passed for the BPRCC to become a member. 

President’s Report  Camille presented a State of the Council report, beginning with a flashback to January 2020 and input she received from one-on-one discussions with 21 member representatives.  She summarized how well the Council has delivered during the past two years on the requested actions. Value has been delivered in the expansion of authentic community input to the County via polls, surveys and open discussions.  Information is being shared publicly via articles in the Villager, the View and the Arizona Republic.  She outlined the research done by the Council on community issues such as the APS powerline, Emergency preparedness, bylaws update, and COVID health and safety information, noting that the Council coordinated and promoted two community vaccination clinics. Timely information from the County to the VOC regarding development has been done for all zoning applications such as the Village Veterinary Hospital, Art & Craft Tent Shows, Horse Mesa Ranch and the proposed AT&T 5G tower. Camille mentioned that relationships with County personnel have improved significantly and a new evaluation system for providing guidance to the County has been well received. BPRCC meetings are now modeled on a code of conduct. The public has been engaged and transparency improved via local media, open meetings, published highlights and website postings.  Lastly, she noted that a formal Dark-Sky Committee was created and has grown to nine active members. 
Summarizing big improvements in communication, she outlined the evolution of meeting effectiveness beginning with a borrowed PA system that enabled improved exchange of information and discussion. She emphasized the improvements made in the quality and frequency of email notifications, with a remarkably steady subscriber list of approximately five hundred. The Council has made significant headway with local media relations.
She emphasized that most of the challenges identified by the community are regional in nature, not specific to the VOC, and stressed the importance of connection, engagement and collaboration with neighboring Verde Valley communities.

Future Meeting Format Survey  Secretary Mary Pope then summarized results of a survey of representatives and alternates on future meeting formats.  Nineteen of 26 member organizations responded. This survey was a starting point for deciding how and when to resume in-person meeting. Results reflected that health and travel concerns among the membership prohibit a return to in-person only meetings at this time. Sentiment on various advantages and disadvantages of in-person and/or virtual meetings (or a hybrid combination) were weighed, and some of the technology challenges were described. The secretary suggested that a new task force be formed to research and provide the council with options. 

Camille then outlined the situation by presenting a high-level overview of the costs and capabilities (known and unknown) of local venues, and their ability to support a hybrid meeting format. She asked the Council to consider what it will take to sustain our momentum in coming years, including financial resources and leadership. 

Secretary’s Report  Mary Pope reported no changes to membership and that Duane Thompson, chair of the APS subcommittee, was appointed as an alternate representative for the Sedona Golf Resort HOA.
Treasurer’s Report  Patty Reski presented the Budget vs. Actual for September explaining that the $575 in miscellaneous income was primarily a meeting room refund and would not be repeated in the future. She noted that the current bank balance can be misleading as more than 50% is held in reserve for potential insurance deductible. Patty then presented the proposed 2022 budget, complimenting the hard work and research done by the budget committee.  An increase in dues will be necessary as costs are increasing with communication and meeting requirements. She emphasized that the committee has taken a “skinny” approach, keeping proposed increases to a bare minimum. Patty offered to provide additional detail to representatives if they call or email her.  The proposed 2022 budget will be discussed in November and requires a 2/3 council approval to increase dues in excess of 10%.  After the dues vote, the budget itself requires a majority vote to pass. 

Nominating Committee Chair Lenore Hemingway spoke on behalf of the committee (Paul Sullivan, Joe Skidmore and Gwen Hanna). She explained their process and the efforts made to communicate with potential candidates. The committee’s nominees are: Patty Reski to continue as treasurer, Mary Pope to continue as secretary, and Duane Thompson for vice president.  Despite their efforts, the committee was unable to recruit a candidate for President.
BPRCC bylaws call for current officers to continue to serve until a replacement is elected. Concerns were raised that this new (June 2021) bylaw requirement was not intended to have an officer serve for an additional term. It was intended to provide continuity until a new officer was elected. There was much discussion about continuing the effort to find a presidential candidate.  Although the bylaws require that nominations be closed at the end of the October meeting, Camille may resign and a later presidential election held, if a candidate is identified. 

The president then asked for nominations from the floor.  Dave Norton nominated himself for vice president. With two candidates for vice president, a motion was passed for an anonymous vote via electronic ballot at the November meeting.  The electronic ballot format used by BPRCC meets all of the requirements of ARS 10-3708 entitled “Action by written ballot, online voting” and a permanent record is kept of each vote.  Nominations were then officially closed.

Planning & Zoning Committee  Chair Mary Morris noted that the Use Permit for Horse Mesa Ranch was approved by the county, and that the environmental assessment from the USFS on the APS powerline has been postponed to mid-November.

Community Plan Committee  Camille reported that the committee continues to work on finalizing documents.

Emergency Preparedness (EPPiC) Committee Mary Pope reported for Chair Gwen Hanna. Committee members are gathering available information and documents. The committee will review that content before their next meeting as a means of gaining further clarity as the possible ways to create a public resource/depository.  Committee member Bert Tibbet, who passed recently, was memorialized.  Quoting Gwen, “There are certain people who are in our lives for but a moment, but in that moment touch us deeply. Bert was one of those people for me. I hope EPPiC will do him proud.” 

Verde Valley Transportion Planning Organization (VVTPO)  Steve Fiedler noted that monsoon storm clean-up is ongoing. He also noted that SR-179 and Cornville Road improvements continue. The county is working on the SR-179/Beaver Head Flat intersection.  Steve also noted that the RRREMD (Red Rock Road Enhancement Maintenance District) is looking into addressing drainage issues on SR-179, and a bench that was hit by a car will be replaced.

Mark your Calendar
Next P&Z Meeting: Friday November 19th at 10am, Zoom
Next EB Meeting: Tuesday November 2nd, 2pm, location TBD
Next Regular Meeting: Thursday, November 11th, 9am, Zoom

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Agenda - October Meeting of the Council

9:00 A.M. Thursday, October 14th, 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.

Public Agency Reports 
  • Head of School, Verde Valley School – Paul Amadio
 Call to Order
  1. Roll Call – Mary Pope, Secretary
  2. President’s Report – Camille Cox, President
    1. State of the Council
    2. Future meeting format
  3. Secretary’s Report – Mary Pope, Secretary
    1. Approve September minutes (previously distributed to reps/alternates)
    2. Changes to Membership and/or Representatives
  4. Treasurer’s Report – Patty Reski, Treasurer
    1. Current financial standing
    2. Review of proposed 2022 Annual Budget
  5. New Business
    1. Sedona Chamber of Commerce, possible membership for BPRCC
  6. Committee and Other Reports
    1. Nominating, Lenore Hemingway
      • Presentation of 2022 Officer Candidates
    2. P&Z Committee, Mary Morris, Chair
      • Horse Mesa Ranch Use Permit BOS Decision
    3. Community Plan, TBD Committee Member
    4. EPPiC, Gwen Hanna, Chair
    5. VVTPO, Steve Fiedler, Liaison
  7. Announcements
    • Fill the Need, Kathy Wozniak, President, Board of Directors 
    • Sedona Village Learning Center "Booook Bash" -  Saturday, Oct. 30, 10a-12p , Joanna McPherson
    • Sustainability Alliance "How to Live a River Friendly Life" - Thursday, Oct 21 10-11:30am, Zoom, Kegn Marissa Moorcroft 
    • Library Update - Carolyn Fisher
  8.  Adjourn
Next P&Z Meeting: There will be no meeting in October
Next EB Meeting: Tuesday November 2nd, 2pm, location TBD
Next Regular Meeting: Thursday, November 11th, 9am, Zoom

Monday, October 4, 2021

2021 Dark-Sky Community Annual Report

 The Big Park-VOC Dark-Sky Committee has completed and submitted the required IDA Annual Report.  Click on the image to view and/or download the report.

Sunday, September 12, 2021


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.


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  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

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

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


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 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 





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

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

Friday, August 6, 2021

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

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 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


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: (

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

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:

If you have questions about the application or the review process, email

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.


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 



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 



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 



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 



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 if you’d like to join.



* 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 






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:

To register for the live event:  Reservations are required to attend in-person as seating is limited.

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