Important AnnouncementRRREMD (Red Rock Road Enhancement Maintenance District) will have a public meeting on June 8th, 10:00am to discuss the budget for FY2023.
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Public Agency Speaker: Ed Rose, general manager, Sedona-Oak Creek Airport Authority. The Sedona airport serves business travelers, military and medical personnel as well as supporting local agencies in search and rescue operations and air support for fire suppression. They provide support for local air tour operators and encourage aviation groups to locate events in Sedona. The airport authority is sensitive to noise and flight pattern violations and is able to isolate an individual aircraft’s route if a complaint is lodged. Education on noise abatement is promoted on their website.
Presidents Report: Camille Cox explained what goes into the creation and execution of a BPRCC survey. The uniformity of information and validity of responses is helpful to elected officials and other organizations. Data from the survey is providing substantiation to Supervisor Michaels to lead the process to bring recycling back to the VOC. She noted that Supervisor Michaels called to thank the BPRCC for their leadership on this issue.
Secretary’s Report: Mary Pope welcomed two new Representatives, Jim Blanchard (La Barranca I) and Bob Marriott (VOCA) and one new Alternate, Brad Hanson (The Ridge).
Strategic Planning & Leadership Development: Lenore Hemingway reported that a study of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats faced by the Council was completed, and requested it be sent to all Representatives for review and comment. A document describing the respective responsibilities, duties and leadership competencies of the executive positions is in process.
Art in the Roundabouts: Task force member David Gill presented a draft purpose and scope for the proposed committee, which the Council approved. Committee co-chairs and a chair for one of two proposed subcommittees were appointed. See separate Villager article for more information.
Planning & Zoning: Mary Morris recapped the pre-application citizen participation meeting at The Collective for a Special Use Permit to allow public gatherings along with new information on the proposed AT&T 5G antenna. Applications to the County are expected soon on both projects, after which the P&Z committee will review and provide recommendations to the Council.
APS Powerline: Duane Thompson reported on a May 11th meeting that included BPRCC, KSB, APS, the Sierra Club, the USFS, representatives from Senator Kelly and Congressman O’Halleran offices, and County Supervisor Donna Michaels. The USFS is currently looking at a blended approach of “above ground” and “buried” powerlines.
Emergency Preparedness (EPPiC): Gwen Hanna reported on the committee’s meeting with Jon Jones of the Yavapai County Office of Emergency Management (YCOEM) which has responsibility for pre-incident preparedness and recovery after an incident. See separate Villager article for details.
Dark-Sky: Curt Schneider reported that a productive meeting was held April 28th with Ashley Wilson, Director of Conservation for the International Dark-Sky Alliance. Yavapai County Development Services Director Jeremy Dye, Mark Lawler of KSB/City of Sedona and a representative from Supervisor Donna Michaels office were in attendance. Revisions to the County’s outdated lighting ordinance will commence after the Board of Supervisors formally approves the 2023 Comprehensive Plan Update, expected early 2023. The possibility of Yavapai County becoming an IDA Dark-Sky Preserve is a concept under consideration. The committee is looking at the possibility of convening a yearly regional Dark-Sky conference.
Next Regular Meeting: Thursday, June 9th, 9:00am ZOOM – Guest speaker Isaac Dudley, Friends of the Verde River.
Wednesday, May 4, 2022
Guests must RSVP to receive the ZOOM link and to be on the attendees list. If you would like to join the meeting, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and email address. You will be added to the guest list. We welcome you!
Public Agency Speaker: Ed Rose, General Manager, Sedona-Oak Creek Airport Authority
1. Roll Call
2. President’s Report – Camille Cox, President
3. Secretary’s Report – Mary Pope
a. Approve April minutes
b. Changes to Membership and/or Representatives
4. Treasurer’s Report – Patty Reski, Treasurer
a. Current financial standing
5. Unfinished Business
a. Strategic Planning & Leadership Development - Lenore Hemingway
b. Art in the Roundabouts Task Force - David Gill
- Committee Purpose & Scope
- BPRCC & SVP Memorandum of Understanding
- Creation of Committee
6. Committee Reports
a. P&Z - Mary Morris
- Recap of pre-application citizen participation meeting at the Collective
- APS Subcommittee - Duane Thompson
b. EPPiC - Gwen Hanna
c. Dark-Sky – Curt Schneider
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.
The Big Park Council would like to gain an understanding of how our residents feel about recycling and the need for a local station.
The survey should take no more than five minutes to complete.
Click SURVEY to participate.
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
“Discover the Night” Star Party in the Village of Oakcreek
– Hosted by the Big Park/VOC Dark-Sky Committee –
After a two-year hiatus, the Big Park/VOC Dark-Sky committee has announced the first public star party of 2022. The event will be held on May 22nd from 8-10 pm in the Tequa ballroom parking area in front of the Hilton Sedona Resort.
This party will include a “constellation tour”, custom-designed for nature’s unique May display. Guiding the tour will be Curt Schneider, who serves as the committee chairman and also Public Program Educator/LDT Safety Technician at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff. All visitors will have an opportunity to view through the telescopes with a committee member “docent” to guide them.
No reservation is needed and the event is free, thanks to the generous support from the Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock. There is nothing to bring, but visitors are encouraged to dress comfortably for the weather. Information on Dark-Sky lighting and values will be available. Viewing will be in order of arrival, so a short wait could be involved.
The Big Park/VOC Dark-Sky committee is a group of amateur astronomers with a passion not only for enjoying the night sky, but also for preserving it for future generations. The committee provides education in the form of events and community outreach to help individuals and businesses understand how they can reduce harmful light pollution.
What is Light Pollution? According to the International Dark-Sky Association, any artificial light that is not needed is a pollutant that has serious and harmful consequences. Light pollution can disrupt wildlife, impact human health, waste money and energy, contribute to climate change and block our view of the universe. It is increasing at 2x rate of population growth and 83% of the global population lives under a light-polluted sky.
For more information on the star party or to get involved with the committee, send an email to email@example.com, attention Curt Schneider.
About International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) IDA works to protect the night from light pollution. Since 1988, the International Dark-Sky Association has promoted win-win solutions that allow people to appreciate dark, star-filled skies while enjoying the benefits of responsible outdoor lighting. IDA is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona. Learn more and find a list of events at https://www.darksky.org/.
Monday, April 25, 2022
Friday, April 22, 2022
Thursday, April 21, 2022
Monday, March 14, 2022
Public Agency Speaker: District Ranger, Amy Tinderholt of the USFS Red Rock District
Camille welcomed District Ranger Amy Tinderholt, along with Chris Johanson, USFS Recreation and Kevin Kuhl, USFS Trails. The presentation covered updates on the APS 69kV powerline, West Sedona designated camping project, Sedona trailhead shuttle, collaborative planning for OHV management and added staffing for wildfire prevention in the Verde Valley.
Click HERE to download presentation slide deck.
APS 69kV Powerline: The main concerns from citizens regarding the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) were wildfire risk and impacts on scenery, cultural resources, wildlife, soil and water, recreation resources (Kel Fox Trail) and visual concerns both from residences and the Forest. Consideration of a “micro-grid power system in lieu of the proposed powerline” was also voiced. At this point the USFS is working to better understand the issues raised and to complete their environmental surveys with an eye toward the potential effects of the proposed actions. She emphasized that a part of this process will be further communication with the Village of Oakcreek. After the Draft Decision is issued, parties who submitted comments previously on the Draft EA who feel their stated concerns were not fully addressed will have 45 days to submit arguments. BPRCC submitted comments and has the option to respond to the Draft Decision.
West Sedona Designated Camping Project: Chris Johanson reviewed the project, noting that high use has resulted in an increased number of undeveloped camping areas. To contain fire risk and protect wildlife habitat, rangeland and cultural resources, a large site in West Sedona will be closed (31,400 acres) and replaced with eight designated smaller camping areas (pods), allowing for 150-200 campsites. The new areas will be fortified with boulders to reduce potential expansion beyond the designated sites. In answer to a question about increased camping in the Beaverhead Flat area, he explained that as one area is closed, spill-over into other areas can be expected. The USFS will be monitoring the situation carefully and adjusting the allocations as needed. Click here for additional details and map.
Trailhead Shuttles: The two initial shuttles (Posse Ground to Soldiers Pass, Dry Creek and Mescal Trailheads and 179 at Bowstring to Cathedral and Little Horse Trailheads) were explained, noting that when they are in operation, Cathedral and Soldier Pass Trailhead parking lots will be closed. Increased recreation traffic to the trail system at the end of Verde Valley School Road is a community concern, and Amy agreed that spillover is expected. She emphasized that this is a learning process with adjustments expected over time. She confirmed that designated horse trailer parking will be maintained. In response to a question on trash, Amy noted that “leave no trace” educational efforts are ongoing. Shuttle stops and many – but not all -trailheads have trash bins that are frequently serviced.
Collaborative Planning for OHV Management: A shared path forward among many stakeholders is now in process with a projected timeline of 6-18 months. A number of organizations have stepped up with enthusiasm to assist. In answer to questions regarding a hiatus or pause in OHV’s on the damaged forest service roads, Amy explained that all licensed passenger vehicles (including OHV’s) have equal right to use forest service roads that are managed for passenger vehicles. It is possible however to limit access to roads designated for high clearance vehicles (eg Broken Arrow), but the regulation process can take years to complete.
Wildfire Mitigation Staff: The presentation concluded with good news that the USFS will be recruiting for five new permanent positions this Spring and six new temporary/seasonal crew members next Spring. The additional staff will expand their ability to provide community Firewise programs. In answer to a question on prescribed burns, Amy noted that we can expect more this summer.
During the general question period an issue was raised regarding signage for dangerously narrow trail areas that do not permit step off for passing, with the comment that some recent trail re-routes have resulted in increased peril for equestrians. Kevin Kuhl responded that they try to strike a balance between safety and sign pollution, and not every hazard is sign-posted. Amy offered that the FS cannot set the expectation that all hazards are signed. The national forest and trail use is inherently risky. Amy is willing to better understand the concern from equestrian users.
Tuesday, March 8, 2022
If you'd like to attend this meeting, send an email with your full name and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
BIG PARK REGIONAL COORDINATING COUNCIL, INC.
9:00 A.M. Thursday, March 10th, 2021
District Ranger, Amy Tinderholt of the Red Rock Ranger District, USDA Forest Service
Call to Order
- Roll Call
- President’s Report – Camille Cox, President
- Secretary’s Report – Mary Pope
- Approve February minutes
- Changes to Membership and/or Representatives
- Arizona Corporation Commission – Statement of Changes
- Letters to M. Aronson (Vista Village) & C. Marr (Sister Cities)
- Treasurer’s Report – Patty Reski, Treasurer
- Current financial standing
- Status of Membership Annual Assessments
- New Business
- Audit report – Duane Thompson
- Committee Reports
- Rabbit Ears Trail proposals – Mary Morris
- OHV update – Mary Morris
- APS Subcommittee – Duane Thompson
- EPPiC - Gwen Hanna
- Strategic Planning/Leadership Development Task Force
- Dark Sky – Curt Schneider
- VVTPO – Steve Fiedler
Next P&Z Meeting: Friday March 18th at 10am, Zoom
Next EB Meeting: Tues, April 5th, 3pm, location TBD
Next Regular Meeting: Thursday, April 14th, 9am, Zoom – Guest speaker Terry Alexon, Investor protection, Arizona Division of Securities
WEDNESDAY, March 16, 2022 5:00 p.m.
Keep Sedona Beautiful will host a panel discussion for its monthly Preserving the Wonder™ Speaker Series. Join either LIVE or by ZOOM on Wednesday, March 16, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. The evening’s topic is titled “KSB Panel Discussion on OHV Use in Sedona and the Verde Valley.”
PLEASE NOTE: The event will be both live at the KSB building, 360 Brewer Rd., Sedona and by Zoom. Given the most recent guidance from the CDC and the plummeting COVID case numbers, we will not require attendees to wear masks throughout the presentation. However, for this event, attendees must provide proof of vaccination. Please visit the KSB website for details, www.keepsedonabeautiful.org/.
OHV use in Sedona and the Verde Valley has increased exponentially over the past decade, bringing with it a host of challenges: disruption of neighborhoods, damage to National Forest land, frequent accidents and clouds of dust endangering residents and killing vegetation.
While most OHV users drive responsibly, a portion of those who rent OHVs and who bring their own vehicles to the area are causing a host of problems that need to be resolved.
Keep Sedona Beautiful will moderate a panel discussion that will first allow panelists to describe the current situation and then open the discussion for questions from attendees.
Panelists will include:
- Amy Tinderholt, Red Rock District Ranger
- Candace Carr Strauss, Sedona Chamber of Commerce CEO
- DeAnna Bindley, Resident
- Donna Michaels, Yavapai County Supervisor
- Joanne Keene, Sedona Deputy City Manager
- Rob Adams, Resident
The webinar Passcode is: 032022.
The presentation is free and open to the public.
Thursday, February 24, 2022
Coming Up Soon The Verde Valley School announces a free farm tour at VVS on Saturday, Feb. 26th from 9-11am. There are still a few open spots for the free tour and virtual summit. https://hopin.com/events/the-naz-future-food-producers-summit
Monday, February 21, 2022
BPRCC presentation at the 1:23 mark on the video: https://sedonachamber.com/events-presentations-library/
Thank you, again to everyone involved in the effort to share factual information, including APS for their sponsorship.
Sunday, February 20, 2022
Plan for major roadwork along Interstate 17 between Anthem Way and Sunset Point starting in 2022.
The page for the project is now live and a good place to go to for more information.
The site is www.ImprovingI17.com/
Tuesday, February 15, 2022
President’s Report Highlights of the February 9th Community Pulse event produced by the Sedona Chamber of Commerce were reported. A link to the recording will be provided as soon as available. The BPRCC presentation that Camille gave at the Pulse event covered 2021 accomplishments and 2022 priority projects. Ed Rose with the Sedona-Oak Creek Airport Authority offered to speak at a future BPRCC meeting, which Camille recommended to the Council.
Camille introduced and welcomed Curt Schneider as the new chair of the Dark-Sky Committee and welcomed Kathy Nelms as a new member of the P&Z Committee.
She recently learned that Dave Norton, chairman of RRREMD and Council Representative, was responsible for approaching the owner of Sedona Vista Village to decorate the tree at the corner of Jacks Canyon Road & SR179 for the holiday season. Owner Marty Aronson generously agreed to make that a reality. Camille suggested to the Council that Mr. Aronson’s gesture be recognized by the Council, and a motion was unanimously approved that a letter be sent, authored by either the president or secretary.
Sister Cities Camille introduced Chuck Marr to present on behalf of the Sister Cities Association. The organization is seeking letters of support from Verde Valley organizations for Sedona to become a Sister City. Although a formal governmental organization must approve the Sister City designation, they intend for the designation to include the Greater Sedona region and beyond.
The goal of the Sister Cities Association is “To promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation one individual, one community at a time,” by extending the Sedona region’s hand of friendship. He introduced another association member, Sara Crosby, who emphasized the benefits of worldwide understanding as citizen ambassadors. They are currently evaluating comparable cities overseas to find an appropriate match and requested volunteers to assist in the formation of the Association, which would include the selection process and managing the program once a “sister city” is approved.
This program builds upon community strengths by sharing learning and promoting cultural understanding and growth. Carolyn Fisher noted that Big Park/VOC is an unincorporated area of Yavapai County, asked why the City of Sedona was sponsoring this program. It was explained that a formal government entity is required for program approval. Carolyn suggested that the Yavapai Board of Supervisors be given the opportunity to participate. Kathryn Stillman voiced a concern about the impact to tourism and resulting strain on the area’s infrastructure. To that point, Sara said the program is not intended to attract more tourists, but is better understood as a special guest program. The ratio of international visitors is a small percentage. Camille noted that the Sedona Village Learning Center was featured recently in the Villager newspaper for their active program teaching world citizenship to preschool age citizens.
Carolyn Fisher’s revised motion that the BPRCC write a letter of support, authored by the secretary, was seconded by Don Groves and passed unanimously. PDF of the Sister Cities presentation, click HERE.
Refresher Training & Orientation To download a PDF of the Refresher Training & Orientation presentation, click HERE.
Planning & Zoning Mary Morris updated the Council on the Pine Valley Property Owners Association Trails Committee presentation on the deviations of the newly revised Rabbit Ears trail from the decisions approved by the USFS in 2018. She emphasized the issues of diminished view shed, steep inclines and homeowner privacy of the eastern (North/South) leg of the trail. The homeowners group is requesting that 1/2 mile of the trail be relocated to slightly higher elevation as originally designed, which they are willing to fund and/or contribute labor. Click HERE to view PDF of the presentation given to the P&Z committee.
EPPiC Gwen Hanna reported that the Emergency Preparedness Committee reviewed a draft website wireframe and one-page printed brochure concept that would provide emergency preparation and response information specific to Big Park. The committee continues to research various websites, gathering information and ideas. The committee agreed to invite representatives of the Sheriff’s office, Sedona Fire District, Yavapai County Office of Emergency Management (YCOEM) and US Forest Service to future meetings to explain our concept and solicit their suggestions and guidance. Patrick Murphy was recognized for volunteering to update the information on an ongoing basis once the website is launched. Potential funding for these efforts is being investigated.
Strategic Planning/Leadership Development Task Force Camille thanked Gwen for drafting a preliminary Purpose & Scope for this future committee. Discussion was robust and a refined Purpose & Scope are expected to be ready for Council review and approval in March.
Dark-Sky Curt Schneider reported that he and committee members Alex Wirtz and Camille Cox performed an evening lighting survey, noting areas of the Village that should be addressed. A letter to the County will be sent requesting prioritization of the long-awaited update to the lighting ordinance. Council members are encouraged to send Curt or email@example.com an email if they notice lighting concerns in the Big Park area. He also reported that a Dark-Sky event is planned for the third week in May and they are currently scouting venues.
VVTPO Mary Morris reported on behalf of Steve Fiedler, letting the Council know that Verde Valley School Road (as well as other regionally significant roads) will be resurfaced using a rubberized chip process. The current schedule is to award a construction contract mid-March for work to begin around the first of April. Yavapai County Public Works plans to relocate the sidewalk in front of Clarks Market this month.
Announcements The Public Agency speaker in March will be Amy Tinderholt of the Red Rock Ranger District.
Saturday, January 29, 2022
Wednesday, February 9 from 9:30 – 11 a.m.
Sedona Performing Arts Center
RSVP to Attend
The Big Park Council will be reporting on its 2021 accomplishments and the ambitious agenda for 2022, including:
- Launch of an online public portal hosting emergency preparedness resources for residents, businesses and visitors, along with a public outreach campaign;
- Completion of the Big Park-Village of Oak Creek community plan as part of Yavapai County’s Comprehensive Plan Update;
- Production of Dark-Sky community information resources and night sky events;
- Ongoing research, education and community engagement on proposed projects that impact the community, particularly those impacting environmental resources and quality of life.
Wednesday, January 26, 2022
The Big Park Regional Coordinating Council held its Annual Meeting on January 13th via Zoom.
Community Report Garin Marschall, board member of the Sedona Village Learning Center (SVLC), provided an update of recent activities and the challenges facing the pre-school. The school currently has two teachers, one aide and 20 students. SVLC’s current combination LLC and 501(c)3 nonprofit structures are being consolidated into a single 501(c)3 organization. Garin explained that the looming May expiration of SVLC’s lease at Big Park Community School is an urgent challenge.
He said SVLC would like to remain at the same location and to grow over time by adding more grades. However, he added that the preschool needs to find a location “they can count on” to grow. He noted the importance of local schools as learning centers and also as social institutions for community interaction. According to Garin, the optimal size for the facility is ~1800 sf with 900+sf for outside play area and parking with safe drop-off area. He invited anyone with knowledge of a potential location or other suggestions to contact SVLC at NeighborsforSVLC@gmail.com.
A Q&A session followed, with Garin responding to questions in the affirmative that SVLC would like to expand to early school grades, such as K-2. Other commenters noted the inconvenience and long bus ride to West Sedona, and that the community has lost families due to the Big Park Community School closure. To a question about the status of discussions with the school district to stay at the current location, Randy Hawley, president of the Sedona-Oak Creek United School District (SOCSD), commented that one of the lease conditions is operation of a pre-school only.
Appointment of Committee Chairs for 2022 The president reviewed the list of Council chair appointments for 2022, noting that there were few changes. The Planning & Zoning committee was expanded with the addition of Robert Czajkowski, Paul Cooley and Dave Norton as committee members, and Robin Stevens as Advisor on wireless technology and towers. Duane Thompson had volunteered to chair the Audit Committee, and representatives Carolyn Fisher and Ty DeJong agree to serve on the committee. The slate of chairs and members was approved.
New Council Members Welcomed The Council welcomed five new representatives and alternates: Cathedral Rock Ranch representative Ty deJong and alternate Robert Nora; Bell Rock Plaza Association representative Elizabeth McFarland; Pine Valley POA representative Dennis Bauman; and Piñon Woods 1 representative Susan Barber.
Meetings to Continue via Zoom Camille reviewed excerpts from a September 2021 survey regarding Council member preferences for live vs. virtual meeting format. She asked the Council what action they wished to take with consensus being to continue meeting via Zoom and revisit the topic in June.
Planning & Zoning Committee Duane Thompson reported that the APS subcommittee filed a detailed comment letter on January 4th with the U.S. Forest Service objecting to APS’s proposed new above-ground powerline into the Village. He noted that the letter was consistent with the Council’s position and that Donna Michaels, Yavapai County District 3 supervisor, and Keep Sedona Beautiful submitted similar letters.
Road Work Projects in the VOC Projects scheduled for early 2022 include Broken Lance Circle and a rubberized chip seal on Verde Valley School Road. The chip seal will include covering the full width of pavement with a rubberized chip seal and restoring the pavement striping and markings. Construction will likely begin sometime around April 1st. Public Works will also be relocating the sidewalk in front of Clarks Market in January. Residents are encouraged to report road issues to the Council (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the attention of VVTPO.
Free Services Available at the Village Library Some special free services are available for residents. On Tuesdays, free technology assistance and on Wednesdays, free notary services – both by appointment. Call 928.282.7714 ext. 8100 or email email@example.com. In mid-February, volunteers from AARP will be available to help residents with tax preparation advice. They also offer fax, scanning, printing and b/w copying capability.Next P&Z Meeting: Friday January 21st at 10am, Zoom
Next Executive Board Meeting: Tuesday February 1st, 3pm, location TBD
Next Regular Meeting: Thursday, February 10th, 9am, Zoom
Next EPPiC Meeting: Friday, February 4th at 2:00pm, location TBD
Tuesday, January 4, 2022
Big Park Council Submits Comments in OppositionTo APS Above-Ground Powerline– alerts residents to January 14, 2022 comment deadline –
Photo: View looking north from the Kel Fox Trail. Top photo shows existing condition and bottom image shows view with simulated above-ground 69kV powerline, one of two alternatives studied by the USFS. The project depicted in the simulation reflects preliminary siting information. Typical pole height is shown at 65 feet, but may range from 54.5 to 72.5 feet. Final pole placement and height may vary based on final engineering and design. (NOTE: USFS images, for illustrative purposes only.)
More Information on this project can be found here: APS Powerline Project