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