Minutes of July, 1998 Meeting
BIG PARK REGIONAL COORDINATING COUNCIL (BPRCC)
MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING
July 23, 1998
Village of Oak Creek Community Center
1. Call to order: 9:00 am by President Dick Byrnes, followed by pledge to Flag.
2. Establishing a Quorum and Roll Call. The following Representatives and Alternates signed the Roll Call sheet: Bob Aberg, Carol Agers, Bernice Ayres, Dick Byrnes, Bob Carlile, Craig Dible, Carolyn Fisher, Dorothy Hores, Joanne Johnson, Jim Moore, Gina Lobrey, Dottie Lucas, Gary Hofmann, Joan McClelland, Ray Spencer, Joan Steninger, representing 13 member associations, and thereby constituting a quorum (a quorum requires representation of 9 or more members).
3. Secretary’s Report. (Bob Carlile) Dorothy Hores moved that the minutes of the meeting of June 25, 1998, be accepted; seconded: Dottie Lucas; approved. Secretary Carlile reported that Harry Williams, Rep for Sundance Townhouses has resigned and will be replaced on the Council by Bernice Ayres, who is present today. Regarding correspondence, Enalo Lockard has responded to the letter to Chip Davis from the Council of May 29, 1998, regarding grading issues at Sedona Golf Resort. Mr. Lockard also included copies of correspondence between himself and Brad Swisher, Project Manager for the Sedona Gold Resort, as well as correspondence to Mr. Lockard from the Valley Vista Estates Homeowners’ Assn. Copies of this correspondence was passed out to all Council members. Next, a press release was received from SunCor, announcing a community meeting at the Sedona Golf Resort on Monday, July 27. The purpose is apparently to discuss the development by SunCor of the infamous 9 acres in front of the hotel. President Byrnes urged Council members to attend. Finally, a letter was received from Carol Agers representing the opinion of the Valley Vista Estates HA questioning the wisdom of the Council taking on the responsibility of administering grants. The letter pointed out that responsibility would include ‘accepting monies, record keeping, taking bids, handling purchase orders...’, and even the possibility of a change in tax status. The letter asked if the resources of the Council should not be allocated elsewhere. This letter was in response to the submission of a grant to the Forest Service for landscaping the median on Verde Valley School Rd. submitted by Joanne Johnson and Tom Hutchinson. Bob Aberg pointed out that typically 7% overhead is added for administration of a grant, and that administration should be in the hands of a professional. Bob Carlile said that there was the possibility that the grant could be amended to add the 7% overhead, and even to reassign it to an organization that had the machinery in place to administer it. An example is VOCA. President Byrnes asked Carol Agers to take back to her Assn. that we recognize the inherent problems particularly with the impact of changing our tax status.
4. Treasurer’s Report (Dorothy Hores). Total income to date is $2066.94; total expenses is
$1289.12; current balance in our account is $767.82. Ray Spencer moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report; seconded: Dorothy Hores; approved.
5. President Byrnes made several announcements. First, Chip Davis’ office announced that “the Big Park community had been nominated in four separate categories for general excellence awards in the State of Arizona.” The nominations included 1) the Big Park Council, 2) the community Plan, 3) the Roads committee, and 4) the creation and operation of the Big Park Wastewater Improvement District. Secondly, Harvard Investments wishes to make monetary contributions to worthwhile organizations. They are asking that the Council make recommendations. Youth organizations come to mind. Third, a Regional Planning meeting was held in Cottonwood recently whose purpose is to develop communications among the various communities and rural areas in the Verde Valley. The next meeting will be Sept. 17 at 12:00 pm in Camp Verde. Fourth, President Byrnes was pleased to announce that our own Joanne Johnson has been awarded the Bucky O’Neil, spirit of the community award. A citation from Chip Davis was read.
6. Committee Reports.
A. Community Plan (Joan McClelland). Copies of the Plan are available from the County for $10 each. Parts of the Plan which are not now within County ordinances now need to be implemented. For example, a DRO for commercially zoned land is recommended, and now needs to be developed. On another matter, a house has been built on Lot 117 in Bell Rock Vista (on Hwy. 179), zoned residential. The builder is currently using this home as a model home for sales purposes. This is a flagrant violation of zoning restrictions as well as Bell Rock Vista and VOCA CC&Rs. A letter will be sent to Chip Davis protesting the improper use of this property.
B. P&Z Liaison (Joanne Johnson). Ms. Johnson presented background information on two issues.
1. Urban Sprawl-Red Rocks Project. This proposed development is on 89A, 2 miles north of Cottonwood. It is on both sides of Bill Gray Rd., on the west side of 89A and 0.3 miles north of the Cornville Rd. The project is on 88.9 acres. The first phase will have 92 manufactured home sites (mobile homes), a commercial sales office and RV storage units built adjacent to 89A. The project was passed by P&Z at their July meeting but was turned down by the Supervisors at their July Meeting. The objections to this development were Verde Valley wide by letters and speakers in attendance at both meetings. The issues raised against this project have an impact on every area of the Verde Valley including Big Park. These include:
A. This development would be the first of its kind on 89A between Bridgeport and Sedona immediately adjacent to one of our major scenic corridors. A similar development is possible on Hwy 179 between Sedona and the Village on existing private land. Our scenic corridors must be preserved at all costs.
B. This project was also described as affordable housing. This type of housing appeals to young working couples with children. Affordable housing should be located in urban areas near schools and businesses, not several miles from urban boundaries.
C. When this development is built out, there will be a great traffic increase entering 89A probably causing a need for the first traffic light to be installed between Cottonwood and Sedona.
D. Another important concern is the availability of water. A hydrologist employed by the developer said there is enough available ground water, but did not go into detail. The same hydrologist spoke the week before at a regional planning meeting for the Verde Valley. At that time he was very concerned about the availability of water in the future for the Valley. A water study should be undertaken to determine future needs. He said the Aquifer is not the main concern; it is the continued availability of ground water in our water wells that is the concern. Areas such as Bridgeport between Cottonwood and the proposed Red Rock development are already having water problems.
E. One of the problems of a development of this size and density, located some distance from an urban area, is the leap-frog effect. The area between the development and the urban boundary whether it is private land of Forest Service land, will be developed. We will have the same problems that Phoenix is currently experiencing with urban sprawl.
F. The Verde Valley has more than 30 sections of State Trust lands. The State can sell this land to any developer and does not concern itself with any impact on the surrounding area. There are 9 sections of State Land on the north side of the Red Rock project. The surrounding land is rural and zoned RCU-2A (one unit per 2 acres). Almost all undeveloped land, even Forest Service land, is zoned this way. High density development near rural State lands will increase the possibility that the State lands will also be developed with high density.
A type of development like the Red Rock project and the above issues can occur anywhere in the Verde Valley including Hwy. 179 and the Big Park area.
2. Transportation Update. Several members of the Big Park Wastewater Improvement District Board attended the July County Supervisors meeting in Prescott. The Sewer Board’s request to delay phase 2 of the VVSR upgrade was addressed, and the Supervisors agreed to postpone the project for a year. Phase 2 will probably begin in the Spring of 1999 and take about four months to complete. President Byrnes pointed out that the drainage project will go on as scheduled.
C. Youth Activities (Jim Moore). This Committee will henceforth be called the Youth Activities Committee. The purpose is to explore the need of the community for a group oriented activity center. The Fire Station and the Big Park School are candidates for a site. The Committee is active and meeting weekly. Gary Hofmann stated that regarding youth activities, SVBA will have a fund raiser for the athletic fields at the Big Park School. Doug Coletti, the athletic director at Big Park School, wants to bring the fields at the School up to a standard so that Little League baseball and other sports can be played there. He calls his project the “Field of Dreams”. Mr. Hofmann would like Council support, including being on the list to receive Harvard Investment funds. There was some discussion about a the site for youth activities. Joan Steninger said that the Cottonwood Boys and Girls Club benefits from being adjacent to athletic fields.
D. Jacks Canyon Traffic/Access (Jim Moore). The Committee met with Mike Rozycki and Mark Kuhac (Dept. of Public Works). The bulk of the meeting was spent sharing history of how we got to where we are.
V. Old Business.
A. Design Review Overlay (Gary Hofmann). At the last meeting of SYBA there was established a committee to pursue a DRO. This Committee is collecting information from other areas, and conferring with the County. Council members are invited to participate on this Committee. In related matters, SVBA is concerned about ADOT plans for Hwy. 179 since the proposed medians will preclude left turns into many businesses, which could have the effect of wiping those businesses out. In addition, the sewer cap is extremely high.
B. Tax Status. Bob Carlile reported that Barbara Benson and Steve Owens draw a distinction between ‘tax-exempt’ and ‘non-profit’ status. By our Articles of Incorporation, we are currently ‘non-profit’. That status allows us a $25,000 exclusion before we owe taxes. ‘tax-exempt’ has to be applied for and costs a large fee, and would be needed only if our income exceeded $25,000, which at this point seems unlikely. So there seems to be no reason for this Council to go to the expense of becoming ‘tax-exempt’ at the present time.
VI. New Business.
A. Citizens for Aircraft Noise Abatement (CANA) (Tom Hutchinson). There is a new name: Quiet Skies Alliance. Tom passed out a leaflet entitled “Quiet Skies in Sedona” which described the organization and its objectives. Tom summarized its contents.
B. Ken Johnson asked for Council support is getting a use permit reactivated from the County in order to establish a B&B at Xanadu. President Byrnes referred him to our P&Z Liaison Committee.
C. Joanne Johnson reported that VOCA has been working to remove the derelict cars from the lot south of Jake Weber’s old store.
VII. Adjourn. 11:01 am.
THE NEXT REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL WILL BE AT 6:30 PM
ON THURSDAY, AUGUST 27, 1998, AT VOCA.