Friday, February 26, 2021

Survey: Village of Oak Creek Residents Oppose Above-Ground Powerline

VILLAGE OF OAK CREEK, AZ (February 26, 2021) – Arizona Public Service’s (APS) 

proposed above-ground powerline into the Village of Oak Creek (VOC) is opposed by nearly 

three-quarters (73.5%) of respondents to a recent survey by Big Park Regional Coordinating 

Council (BPRCC). Just over half (52.6%) favored burying the powerline that, as proposed, 

would run northwest from McGuireville and enter the Village along Kel Fox Trail before 

connecting to APS’s Oak Creek substation.  Another 38% equally favored one of two battery 

storage options – a battery storage facility or a solar-powered community microgrid (with battery 

storage) – in lieu of a new powerline.

APS must secure special approval from the U.S. Forest Service for construction of the high-

voltage powerline across Coconino National Forest since the Village is surrounded on all sides

by national forest land. APS has said the new powerline would serve as backup during power

outages and increase capacity for future growth.

“We were very pleased to see a high response rate, which indicates an incredible amount of 

interest in the proposal,” Camille Cox, president of BPRCC, said.  “The survey results will help 

assist the Council in developing a formal position on the project when we submit a comment 

letter to the US Forest Service on its draft Environmental Assessment (EA) of the project.”

The Forest Service is expected to request public comment on the draft EA later this spring.

Other Survey Highlights

* Nearly two-thirds of respondents (66.8%) considered power outages in the Village over 

the last five years to be either minor or moderately inconvenient.  Only 10.9% said 

outages have been disruptive.

* More than two-thirds (69.5%) said a new powerline was not important or not at all 

important.  Just under a quarter (24.5%) said it was important or very important to build 

the new power line.

* More than two-thirds of respondents (70%) also opposed APS’s proposed rate increase, 

which would help fund new investments in infrastructure.  Only 10.4% supported or 

strongly supported the rate increase.

* Respondents were roughly divided on a battery storage facility, given a 2019 fire at an 

APS battery facility in Surprise.  Some 54.9% said they would be concerned or very 

concerned if a battery storage facility were selected as a condition by the Forest Service, 

while 39% were not concerned, including 22.5% who said they would support a battery 

storage facility.

* Regarding a community microgrid partly powered by solar energy, respondents were 

less concerned with just over half (54.1%) saying they were not concerned, not at all 

concerned, or supported a community microgrid.

ABOUT The Survey

The survey was conducted Jan. 29-Feb. 9, 2021, and distributed to approximately 500 

individuals on  BPRCC’s subscribers list for its 25 homeowner associations, business 

representatives, and individuals who signed up to receive BPRCC information.  Several 

homeowner associations, members of the BPRCC, also encouraged their residents to respond.  

An article encouraging participation in the survey was published in the Feb. 2 edition of The 


The questions and survey results may be reviewed here (link to view/download PDF of survey).  

BPRCC received 231 valid responses to the survey.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Charles Pitcher Appointed to Yavapai County Planning & Zoning Commission

COTTONWOOD, AZ – February 23, 2021 –Yavapai County District 3 Supervisor Donna Michaels announced that Charles (Charley) Pitcher was approved by the Board of Supervisors on February 17th to serve a two-year term on the Planning & Zoning Commission.  Mr. Pitcher replaces Mr. Mumaw, filling one of the two positions representing District 3.

Supervisor Michaels stated, “On behalf of the District 3 constituents, I extend our thanks to Mark for his years of service on the commission.  His legacy of involvement includes the Big Park Council, Red Rock Road Enhancement District, and other organizations in the Village of Oak Creek and Yavapai County”.

Planning & Zoning is one of our many County boards and commissions comprised of appointed volunteers from the community.  These volunteers help ensure that an active working partnership exists between government and the public, and that the public is well-represented in the actions taken by County government.

The P&Z Commission has 10 members, two from each Supervisorial district. Their role is to advise the Board of Supervisors regarding matters of planning, zoning and subdivision platting.  They serve 4-year staggered terms, with five of the 10 members initial terms being two years, then four years thereafter.

Introducing Charley, Supervisor Michaels stated, “In recommending Charley for the position I believe we are gaining a member with demonstrated expertise in effecting positive change in diverse systems and organizations.  Charley brings both the critical thinking, experience and commitment to ensuring adherence to policy and procedures, while engaging with diverse stakeholders and appreciating their values.”

Charles “Charley” Pitcher 

Charley and his wife Rhoda became residents of Sedona in 2016, after 20 years of frequent visits with their now grown children.  He recently became involved with a community effort to stop a proposed commercial glamping development at the foot of Bear Mountain on the grounds of inappropriate density, significant fire safety issues and potential harm to Native American antiquities adjacent to the property.  On account of the community opposition, the developer pulled their application and is reevaluating the project.

Professionally, Charley led technology projects and product development  for enterprise customers as well as working directly for Microsoft for 15 years and Apple for three years.  He has well-rounded business expertise including leadership, management, strategy, financial, technical, planning, design, development, testing, marketing, partner development, selling, operating and support.

“I’m eager to get more involved with the dynamics of our county, all 240,000 people and five million plus acres of it – how we can conserve and leverage our assets better in the face of our local and countywide challenges,” says Charley.  “The timing presents a unique opportunity to be involved with the 2022 Comprehensive Plan.  In general, I feel this is an amazing chance to contribute tactical and strategic ideas for rational development towards a sustainable future.”

Update to P&Z Committee Meeting Agenda


Sunday, February 21, 2021

Your Turn - Take the County Survey


Every 10 years, Yavapai County has to update its Comprehensive Plan. We are just beginning this process and are asking for your help with a Community Vision Statement Survey.

Community Vision Statements are your opportunity to help guide the Comprehensive Plan process. This survey, and others to follow are critical to be able to provide your thoughts and point of view on the state required elements. This survey will be used at the local level in your community as well as at the County level to help identify key areas of interest and concern related to development.

Please click for our survey:

The survey should only take 10-15 minutes to complete and your thoughtful responses are be greatly appreciated.

Moving to the future, your community, along with Yavapai County Staff will begin the difficult work of assembling the thousands of comments, ideas and desires of our citizens into the 2032 Comprehensive Plan. This will involve many meetings and detailed discussions across our vast county. If you are getting this email directly from us, you are on our mailing list to be notified of all of these activities. If you know someone who may be interested, please share this information to your family, friends and neighbors.

I genuinely look forward to hearing from everyone across this amazing county on how we can move forward in the future and create a Comprehensive Plan that we are all proud of and serves this great county into the future!

Thank you, Dave Williams, Director of Development Services

Community Vision Survey

P&Z Committee Meeting Agenda - Feb 26th 10 AM via Zoom


Saturday, February 13, 2021

Highlight of the February 11th Council Meeting


From the Sedona Historical Society
Janeen Trevillyan, President of the Board, Sedona Historical Society/Sedona Heritage Museum has kindly shared a two page version of their Annual Report with us.  The Sedona Heritage Museum has safely reopened and the Annual Report provides a fascinating snapshot of their programs and progress for 2020.  Click here to download a copy of the PDF

Auto Camp Hearing The Auto Camp development plan will be considered by the County very soon.  The Board of Adjustment will be reviewing their rezone request. Interested parties must register for the Board of Adjustment hearing for the Auto Camp/Bear Mountain development on Tuesday 2/16 at 10am.  The following link can used to register to attend the hearing.   Click here

New Treasurer Assumes Office 
President Camille Cox announced Patty Reski as a candidate for treasurer with thanks to Neil Pope for again stepping up as treasurer pro-tem in the interim.  Patty was elected by unanimous acclamation and welcomed to the Executive Board.
Secretary’s Report  Secretary Mary Pope reported that information on Officers and our Statutory Agent have been updated with the Arizona Corporation Commission and welcomed Brad Baker as the new Representative for La Barranca I.
Treasurer’s Report  Treasurer Pro-Tem Neil Pope reported that January was a light month, but February expenses will be significant as annual insurance invoices are due and payable.  Twenty-three Member Organizations have already paid their dues for 2021.  
Approval of Bylaw Revisions  President Camille Cox led the discussion on the Noticed Bylaw Articles VIII Payment of Fees & Assessments and IX Indemnification, noting that no vote is required for Article X as it involved no change.  A motion for was made and passed, effective immediately, 19 in favor, 2 abstentions.
Revised Bylaws Review Session   Co-chair Nancy Maple and others became unavailable due to internet service crash. In light of losing a number of Representatives due to the interrupted connection, it was decided to delay the discussion on the selection of Member Organization Representatives until March.

P&Z Committee Chair Mary Morris noted that the Yavapai County P&Z Commission meeting (via zoom) is 2/18 at 9:00am and that she will convey the BPRCC’s position on the Art Tent Show Use Permit application, per our previously submitted report. The next committee meeting will be Feb 19th 10am via Zoom, all interested members of the community are welcome.

APS Subcommittee  Chair Duane Thompson provided an overview of the BPRCC community survey, noting excellent response and high community interest. A press release summarizing the results is currently in process. The three top concerns of those surveyed were (1) impact to the viewshed, (2) wildfire risk and (3) impact on property values.  The committee’s intention is to answer the Forest Service request for comments with both a primary recommendation from BPRCC as well as a backup recommendation.  McGuireville is also impacted by the APS plans.  They are part of the Beaver Creek Community Organization and it was suggested the committee might reach out to gauge their feelings about the project.  The committee has arranged a meeting Monday (2/17) with the USFS, APS, representatives from the Clean Coalition and committee members in attendance.  Duane indicated a limited number of other interested members of the Council could join by contacting Camille Cox (

Dark Sky Committee  Camille reported that Lew Turano from Canyon Mesa Townhomes joined the standing meeting on 2/4 to share his HOA’s  successful two-year program to update lighting in their community. They were the winner of the 2021 Keep Sedona Beautiful Dark Sky award. Committee member Jennifer Stephanow has written a feature story on the project that is in final review.  Mark Lawler of the Sedona Dark Sky committee was also a guest at the 2/4 committee meeting.  The committee has drafted an editorial calendar to keep the public informed on Dark Sky issues and progress, and will be collaborating with the Sedona committee over the course of the year on media placement. Committee member Alex Wirts volunteered to perform our twice yearly night sky readings, as required by the IDA.  Phil Feiner and Jennifer joined the Camp Verde and the Sedona Dark Sky groups at the inaugural regional Dark Sky meeting to discuss potential areas of collaboration. The next meeting will be Thursday March 4th at 3pm, all interested members of the community are welcome.

Community Plan Committee  Chair Camille Cox reported that there are now 18 core committee members, eight of whom are new to the committee this month.  Each committee member has leadership responsibility for a select topic area or task:  Land Use – Tom Binnings, Transportation – Jeff Swan, Environmental – David Gill,  Water Resources – Marianne Langridge, Open Space – David Hanke and Sandi Heysinger, Energy – Joe Skidmore, Cost of Development – Mark Moorhead, Growth Areas – Robert Czajkowski, Parks/Recs/Schools – Jan Groves, Vision Statement – Judy Poe, Business and Economy – Omar Kenney, Survey Squad – Kirk Smith and Monique Kristofors, Report Consolidation/Distribution – Toni Polakoff,  Media & Promotion – Mary Morris.

Bylaws Committee Review Session  Co-Chair Mary Pope presented the committee’s recommendations on Article III Roles & Responsibilities, which bridge three different Articles. No voting will take place until all have been reviewed. The Council of Representatives is the corporation’s Board of Directors and, as such, may delegate responsibilities to the Officers and Committees, while retaining approval authority.  Action is at the Council’s direction.  The current bylaws outline the Council’s responsibility to work with the Community Plan, legislation and other governmental rules and regulations.  This responsibility is used as a guide to direct the Council’s work in researching, gathering and presenting information and consensus in the best interests of the community.  Mary acknowledged the Council for retaining the Executive Board, showing a list of tasks which would have been assigned to the Council of Representatives at large under the Proposed Bylaws. The Council retains approval authority for these items.

Announcements  Nina Joy Rizzo announced that Pine Creek 2 has objected to the decision of its parent HOA (VOCA) regarding an interpretation of its CC&Rs and the Patel property.  Her group is raising funds for Pine Creek 2 to pursue a legal case against VOCA. Mary Morris announced that contributions to this fund may be tax deductible.

The next meeting of the Council will be March 11th, 9am via Zoom
The next meeting of the Executive Board will be March 2nd, 2pm location TBD

Monday, February 8, 2021

President's Message / February Villager

Our APS Transmission Line Sub-committee has developed a background summary and survey to gather community input on the proposed high-voltage transmission line into the Village of Oak Creek.

The past few months, they have been in discussion with the US Forest Service and APS. This is a major project that will cast a long shadow on our community, and this is the time to learn about the options and weigh in.

The preferred route that APS (Arizona Public Service) proposes begins 15 miles south in McGuireville, continues NW along Cornville Road, NE along Beaverhead Flat Road, then follows the historic Kel Fox Trail cross country into the Village.

If you are not familiar with the historic Kel Fox Trail, it offers stunning panoramic views of the Village, and is popular with hikers and equestrians. Within Big Park, the new transmission line would run along an existing line to the East, cross SR-179, then turn north terminating at the existing APS substation at the SW corner of SR-179 and Jacks Canyon Road. The powerline would be strung on 65-foot high single steel poles (monopoles) – this is 50% higher than the lines that run through the area now.

If you are a subscriber to BPRCC email communication, you would have received this survey and information on 1/26/21. The survey also available on our website (

Other Village organizations are also distributing to their members. The survey will only be open until 2/10/21, so please take action quickly.

Community Plan Revs Up
The response to last month’s Call for Volunteers to participate in the Big Park Community Plan committee was tremendous in quality and quantity. Thank you to everyone who stepped up.

The opportunity is still open and we have tasks in various areas of interest – Culture and Community Spaces, Land Use, Transportation, Environment, Water Resources, Open Space, Energy, Cost of Development, Growth Areas. If there is an aspect to our community that isn’t listed that matters to YOU, let us know. To learn more about how you can participate, simply send an email to

Highlights from January meeting

State of the Council Report:
The president summarized 2020 as a year of remarkable progress, if not perfection. She noted that dialog with Yavapai County is open and cooperative, and that the BPRCC has gained a better sense of itself.

Participation and support from both Council Members and the community at large has continued to increase. An additional Educational Institution (Sedona Village Learning Center) voice was added to the Council membership.

Email reach is now over 500 citizens and communication has expanded, including timely meeting highlights, surveys and information on issues impacting the community. Regular articles on Council activities are featured in the local press, as well as online newsletters and social media. Accomplishments noted:

• Two new committees (Dark Skies and Community Plan) and a subcommittee (APS Transmission Line) were formed, staffed and activated;

• A new website was created by a volunteer and three individuals trained to maintain it;

• Multiple bylaws amendments were reviewed and approved, in addition to great strides on the comprehensive bylaws update (scheduled for completion in June);

• New electronic meetings and voting processes were implemented, which will serve the Council for years in the future.

BPRCC Joins Sedona Village Partnership Don Groves, president of the Sedona Village Partnership (SVP), summarized his organization’s legacy of building bridges of communication and cooperation in the community. The SVP currently has 42 partners – 31 individuals and 11 organizations and businesses.

Beginning as a project of the Council, the SVP has come full circle looking to work together on communication, identification of community needs, advice and counsel. A motion was made and passed that the Council become a partner of the SVP.

Bylaws Review Focused on Representation Co- Chair Nancy Maple led discussion covering attendance requirements, representation/voting, and training. Representation and "One person-One vote" was discussed at length, noting the complexity of the issue and a perceived lack of fairness observed in the past.

The importance of discussion, and being present to listen and express a point of view was highlighted as critical to informed voting. The Council asked the committee to provide additional clarification on the questions for continued discussion next month.

P&Z Committee Members Confirmed Chairman Mary Morris welcomed the 2021 P&Z Committee members Phil Feiner, David Gill, Nancy Maple, Michael McGaughey, Camille Cox (ex officio) and APS Sub Committee Chair Duane Thompson. The P&Z Advisors for 2021 are Paul Cooley, Martha Mertz, Darcy Hitchcock and Dave Norton (Dark Skies). The committee was approved by the Council.

Dark-Skies Committee Move Forward Dave Norton reported that the committee was refining its Purpose and Goals to emphasize collaboration with Yavapai County, the International Dark-Skies Alliance, and affiliated Dark-Skies communities in our region. He noted that a much-needed update to the County lighting ordinance is in-process. The committee is working on recommendations to address a need for County support to improve Dark-Skies lighting ordinance compliance and a new concept of County-designated lighting zones to accommodate diverse environments (rural to urban). The committee looks forward to working with the County on these issues.

Community Plan Committee Members Confirmed Chairman Camille Cox welcomed the 2021 Community Plan Committee Members: David Gill, Jan Groves, David Hanke, Omar Kenney, Mark Moorehead, Mary Morris, Judy Poe and Joe Skidmore. The committee was unanimously confirmed by the Council. The committee received a bountiful response for volunteers from the recent Villager article, with more groups stepping up to participate in this process. The County is still at the concept stage of their approach to the 2022 Comprehensive Plan and early target dates have been rolled back.

The next meeting of the Council will be February 11th, 9 a.M. via Zoom. 
For committee meetings, check website calendar (

Agenda February 11th Meeting of the Council

Zoom Meeting Information - If you would like to join the meeting, send an email to with your name and email address.  You will be added to the guest list.  We welcome you!

9:00 A.M., Thurs, Feb 11th, 2020
ZOOM Meeting

The Zoom Waiting Room opens at 8:30 am.  Each attendee will need to check in prior to the 9am start time. Please arrive early so you can be checked in by the host.  See meeting protocols for rules pertaining to this meeting.
  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call – Mary Pope, Secretary
  3. President’s Report – Camille Cox, President
    1. Election of Treasurer:  Patty Reski, Nominee
  4. Secretary’s Report – Mary Pope, Secretary
    1. Approve January minutes (previously distributed to reps/alternates)
    2. Changes to Membership and/or Reps
  5. Treasurer’s Report – Neil Pope, Treasurer Pro-Tem
    1. Current Financial Standing
  6. Unfinished Business  Camille Cox, President
    1. Discussion and Vote on NOTICED Bylaws Amendments
      1. Article VIII Payment of Fees & Assessments
      2. Article IX Indemnification
  7. Revised Bylaws Review Session – Co-chairs Nancy Maple and Mary Pope
    1. Article III - Representation, continued from January
  8. Committee and Other Reports
    1. P&Z Committee, Mary Morris, Chair and Duane Thompson, Sub-committee Chair
      1. Tent Show permit:  Yavapai County P&Z ZOOM Meeting 2/18 at 9:00am  
        1. Link to County Website
      2. APS Transmission Line Survey
    2. Dark-Skies Committee, Dave Norton
    3. Community Plan, Camille Cox
    4. Adhoc Bylaws Committee, Co-chairs Nancy Maple and Mary Pope
      1. Article III - Roles & Responsibilities of the Council of Representatives
  9.  Announcements

Next Executive Board Meeting: Tuesday, March 2nd 2pm  location TBD
Next Regular Meeting: Thursday, March 11th 9am via Zoom
BPRCC Zoom Meeting Guest Etiquette
  1. Identify yourself with first and last name when you set up your zoom profile
  2. Arrive 10-20 minutes early.  Guests will be checked against our RSVP list and admitted by the co-host.
  3. We will lock the meeting at 9:15—no late entrance to avoid distraction.
  4. Audio Settings/Options
    • Zoom will ask give you audio options - choose computer audio. Other audio options can generate disruptive feedback.
    • While in the waiting room, test your audio to make sure it is working.
    • When admitted to the meeting, your audio will be automatically muted.  When called on to speak, you will need to Unmute your audio first.
  5. Make sure you are familiar with the Raise Hand command on the toolbar.  This is the only means that the Chair and presenters can see that you wish to speak.
  6. The BPRCC Code of Conduct and Basic Rules of Parliamentary Procedure will be in effect at this meeting.  As a reminder, you will find them included with this message.  Click here to Download PDF