Sunday, March 21, 2021

VillagePlan2022 Website Now LIVE!

Keep up with our community's progress on the Big Park-VOC Vision Statement and Community Plan. This effort is part of Yavapai's County's 10-Year Update to the Comprehensive Plan.  Take the first local survey to assure that your voice is included, as we participate in mapping the future of the Big Park region.  www.villageplan2022.org


Friday, March 12, 2021

March 11, 2021 BPRCC MEETING HIGHLIGHTS

 March 11th MEETING HIGHLIGHTS

Public Agency Report Joanna McPherson of the Sedona Village Learning Center reported that pre-school enrollment has been increasing, with ½ of the students benefitting from scholarship assistance. Other exciting changes include a new Spanish immersion component, community-wide Halloween Pet Parade and Black History Month celebration. Sixteen children are currently enrolled, with an expansion goal of 24. More than $50,000 has been raised for programming and scholarships. www.SedonaVillage.org.  

Audit Report:  Vice President Dave Norton reported that the Audit Committee found BPRCC’s financial records to be in good standing. He thanked the committee comprised of Lenore Hemingway, Carolyn Fisher and Patty Reski. 
 
Secretary’s Report:  Secretary Mary Pope welcomed new and returning Representatives/Alternates: Doug Bielanski - Pinon Woods II North; Lew Turano - Canyon Mesa Townhouses; David McKinstry - Las Piedras/Cachet; and Gail Schevey - Village Park Condominiums. 
 
Treasurer’s Report:  Treasurer Patty Reski thanked Neil Pope for handling February receipts and expenses while the bank processed transition of signature authority. A refund was received from the Sedona Fire District for unused, 2020 pre-paid room rental. As the BPRCC financial situation is precarious, Patty cautioned that the Council to begin consideration of a dues increase for 2022.
 
Revised Bylaws Review Session:  As information is presented and Council discussion proceeds, straw votes are taken on specific questions to provide direction to the committee on revisions. 

Article III – Representation: Co-Chair Nancy Maple continued the Council review of Article III Representation with a summary of historical controversies regarding Representation and “One-person/One-vote”.   A requirement that Representatives and Alternates be a member of the organization they represent narrowly passed the straw vote and will move ahead.   With the advent of Zoom meetings and potential hybrid meetings in the future, many of the concerns about the inability of Representatives to attend in person have been addressed, and One-person/One-vote was agreed.  Alternative bylaw revisions were suggested to ensure that One-person/One-vote would be unambiguously assured in the future.  It was agreed is that if a Rep/Alt is selected by another member organization, it shall be in a non-voting capacity.  To permit flexibility within this system, it was further agreed that the Rep/Alt representing more than one member organization would declare at each meeting which one he/she would be voting on behalf of at that meeting. 

Article VI – Officer Roles & Responsibilities: Committee member Carolyn Fisher lead the discussion.  It was agreed to add “or until their successor is elected” to Officer terms of office.  It was further agreed that the current by law description of the President as CEO of the Corporation, who presides over meetings, is Chair of the Executive Board and signs documents on behalf of the corporation was appropriate. The Council agreed with the current bylaw permission for the President to serve ex-officio on all committees, except Nominating.   Agreement was unanimous to preserve the President’s ability to appoint Committee Chairs with Council approval, and to give Committee Chairs the ability to appoint their committee members. The President’s ability to remove a Chair without Council approval is kept, noting that the appointment of a new Chair would need to have Council approval.  The role of the Vice President as described in the current bylaws was agreed, and the role of the Treasurer was also agreed adding that a maximum of $250 total in unbudgeted expenses in a single month could be paid without Council approval.  The role of the Secretary was agreed to be Recording Secretary for the corporation taking and distributing Council Minutes. It was further agreed that a Policy document would be written concerning minutes of Executive Board and Committee meetings. The immediate Past President will continue to be a voting member of the Executive Board provided he/she had not been removed from office for cause

Next Steps Mary Pope thanked the Council for working through this long and complex process, noting that there are only two Articles left to review in April with final Notices and voting in May/June to complete the review process. 

Articles I & II NOTICE Review Because the meeting was running long, and these Articles were previously discussed at length, it was agreed to email this presentation to Representatives. Any additional questions will be answered during the discussion period in April prior to the vote.

P&Z Committee
Village Vet Hospital Chair Mary Morris reported that the Village Vet Hospital Use Permit Amendment involved a downsizing of their plan that was approved by the Council in 2019. The P&Z committee recommended approval with the stipulation of interior soundproofing in the sections of the building that housed animals. A motion to accept the committee’s recommendation passed unanimously.

Sedona Vista Village Tent Show The chairman related new information that tenant improvements for Pisa Lisa restaurant were approved by the County.  Open parking will be impacted in the tent show area. Sedona Vista Village was recently permitted for the in-process construction in the back lot, which will provide an additional 20 spaces for hotel guests and employees. It was disappointing that the P&Z Commissioners appeared to have not been provided with the BPRCC information prior to the hearing last month, given the questions that were asked. The P&Z Committee will be presenting to the Supervisors, citing safety and other concerns as per the Council’s recommendations.

APS Powerline Project Duane Thompson, subcommittee chair, summarized discussions with Arizona Public Services (APS) and the US Forest Service, noting that APS claims that a battery system would cost 3x as much as overhead powerlines and they are now considering burying some of the lines. No details were provided as to where or how much of the powerline might be buried. He invited all to attend the P&Z Committee meeting on March 19th at 10am to learn more. The results of the community survey on this project were provided to the local press, posted on the Council website and circulated to the BPRCC email subscriber list. 

Community Plan Committee:  Chair Camille Cox reported that the new Sedona Arts Academy is proving to be ideal for the committee meetings –  comfortable, convenient, well-equipped with A/V equipment and strong internet. The committee’s experience with a hybrid (Zoom + in-person) meeting format is working beautifully. She thanked the Sedona Village Partnership for their generous $1200 donation to the Community Plan project, as well as an anonymous donation of $1000, $150 by Monique Kristofors, and other smaller amounts by committee members. A standing meeting schedule has been established and reserved at the SAA. Meeting dates are posted on the Council's website calendar.

Announcements:  Lenore Hemingway requested that the Council reach out to the US Forest Service for an update on new trails being planned. There is currently little community visibility of proposals until it is too late. Paul Sullivan agreed to follow up.  

The next meeting of the Council will be April 8th, 9am via Zoom
The next meeting of the Executive Board will be March 30th, 2pm location TBD

Verde Valley School will hold the 5th annual Dream Run

Verde Valley School will hold the 5th annual Dream Run as a virtual event open to the public on March 20, 2021. The Dream Run is a great opportunity for runners and walkers to celebrate the official first day of spring while supporting Native American students.

All proceeds from the event support tuition scholarships for Native American students attending VVS, providing them access to a life-changing education.

Everyone is welcome to join the VVS Dream Run “Around the World”! Those joining virtually are encouraged to run anytime on or before the event date.

Registrants can show their support by wearing the Dream Run race bib wherever they are. They may even choose to listen to the special Spotify playlist called VVS Dream Run, filled with music from artists who have shown their support for the VVS Native American Scholarship.

After completing a 5k or 10k, participants can post their own race times to the VVS Dream Run webpage and see photos and social media from other participants around the world.

REGISTER HERE TODAY!!!


 

Thursday, March 4, 2021

NEW DATE: Community Event - Plant & Seed Sale Saturday April 10th

 

Note the New Date Due to Weather

Saturday April 10th


Agenda March 11th, 2021 Meeting

 AGENDA

BIG PARK REGIONAL COORDINATING COUNCIL, INC.
9:00 A.M., Thurs, March 11th, 2021
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.  If you'd like to join this meeting, send an email to info@bigparkcouncil.org with your full name and email address.
  1. Call to Order
  2. Roll Call – Mary Pope, Secretary
  3. President’s Report – Camille Cox, President
  4. Secretary’s Report – Mary Pope, Secretary
    1. Approve February minutes (previously distributed to reps/alternates)
    2. Changes to Membership and/or Reps
  5. Audit Report - Dave Norton, Vice President & Chair of Audit Committee
  6. Treasurer’s Report – Patty Reski, Treasurer
    1. Current financial standing
  7. Unfinished Business
  8. Revised Bylaws Review Session – Co-chairs Nancy Maple and Mary Pope
    1. Article III - Representation, continued from January
    2. Article VI – Officers Roles & Responsibilities
  9. Committee and Other Reports
    1. P&Z Committee, Mary Morris, Chair
      1. Village Vet Clinic amended use permit proposed commentary – Council review & vote
      2. Tent Show – Board of Supervisor Meeting 3/17/21  commentary
      3. Publication of APS survey information
    2. Community Plan, Camille Cox
    3. Ad hoc Bylaws Committee, Co-chairs Nancy Maple and Mary Pope
      1. NOTICE Current Bylaw Article I – Definitions, Article II – Membership
      2. NOTICE (Informational) – Proposed Policies/Applications for Member Organizations
Adjourn

Reminders:
Next Executive Board Meeting: Tuesday, March 30th  2pm  location TBD
Next Regular Meeting: Thursday, April 8th 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 at least 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

NOTE:  Please make sure you are familiar with the Raise Hand function of the application.  This is important to having an orderly and efficient meeting.

Monday, March 1, 2021

County Community Survey - Live at Last

 Let the County Know What’s Important to YOU

The first public survey for gathering citizen input on land use decision-making just went LIVE!  The survey itself was a collaborative effort by Yavapai County Development Services staff, KSB, interested citizens, and your BPRCC community plan committee. This survey covers high level topics that counties are required to address in the state-mandated Comprehensive Plan.

You’ll find a link to the survey on our website HOME page. It is the first Quick Link on the upper right column.  It’s a quick 10-15 minutes start to finish, and you can respond to all the questions or just those of importance to you.  All adult members of your household may submit a survey.

BPRCC community plan committee is developing a localized survey that will touch on our “hometown” issues and guide the creation of our Vision Statement and Plan.  Committee section leaders are working on the foundational research and reports, and we are aiming for April to launch that survey.  Additional surveys may also be forthcoming from the County.

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 

Villager.


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: https://arcg.is/0DrX0z

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 (info@bigparkcouncil.org).

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 (bigparkcouncil.org).

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 info@bigparkcouncil.org.

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 (bigparkcouncil.org).

Agenda February 11th Meeting of the Council

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

 
AGENDA
BIG PARK REGIONAL COORDINATING COUNCIL, INC.
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
Adjourn

Reminders:
Next Executive Board Meeting: Tuesday, March 2nd 2pm  location TBD
Next Regular Meeting: Thursday, March 11th 9am via Zoom
 
BPRCC Zoom Meeting Guest Etiquette
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  4. Audio Settings/Options
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  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

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Proposed APS Power Line into the Village of Oak Creek

Community Survey
– Proposed Arizona Public Service Power Line
into the Village of Oak Creek –

The purpose of this survey is for Big Park Regional Coordinating Council (BPRCC) to solicit your views on the proposed construction of a new high-voltage powerline by Arizona Public Service (APS) into the Village of Oak Creek (VOC). Your response will help inform BPRCC as it formulates a position in response to the U.S. Forest Service’s next request for public comment on the proposal.

Background information is provided below the survey link to familiarize you with the project.

Click here to take the survey (estimated time 7 minutes)

Thank you for taking the time to share your opinion with us!

Background on Proposed APS Transmission Line

  

Photo #1: View of Big Park looking south to the saddle between two mesas. Red arrow shows apx. route of Kel Fox Trail and the proposed power line into VOC. Photo #2: View from the saddle looking north across Big Park.

Project Description Arizona Public Service (APS) has proposed building an above-ground, high-voltage transmission line into the Village of Oak Creek (VOC). The powerline would be strung on 65-foot high single steel poles (monopoles). The preferred route that APS proposes would begin 15 miles south of the VOC in McGuireville, continue NW along Cornville Road, NE along Beaverhead Flat Road, then follow the historic Kel Fox Trail cross country into the Village. Within Big Park, the transmission line would run along an existing power 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.

Project Objectives According to APS, the purpose of the project is 3-fold: 1) to help prevent future power outages in the VOC; 2) to provide voltage stability (click for more info) to prevent future blackouts; and 3) to add new capacity to meet the needs of existing customers and new development.

Alternatives APS studied several other potential overland routes, as well as two alternative approaches to an above-ground line along Kel Fox Trail. Those alternate approaches were: 1) underground burial of the transmission line, which they deem too costly; and 2) a battery storage facility located in the VOC. Although APS has indicated a battery storage facility may prove the least costly alternative, they believe that battery storage fails to meet the established objectives.

APS map showing potential power line routes into VOC. All the options would converge just S of the VOC and run along Kel Fox Trail into the Village.



Project Trade-Offs

Above-Ground Transmission Line Approach

Pros

  • Would help prevent local power outages in the VOC by providing redundancy to the existing line into VOC. APS has declined to provide substantiating data requested by the BPRCC of recent power outages.
  • The new line would mitigate voltage fluctuations and add increased power capacity for new development.
Cons
  • An above-ground line would mar the scenic views along the projected route for Big Park residents and visitors. According to the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), this area is characterized as highly desired “scenic integrity.”
  • A high voltage above-ground line increases wildfire risks. USFS analysis of wildfire risk indicates the overall chance of a wildfire in populated areas of the VOC (from all sources not just power lines) is 68% higher than in other Arizona communities. In California, a major utility was reported as the cause (click for more info) for over 1,500 wildfires over a 2½ year period.
  • APS will shut down above-ground power lines as needed to reduce wildfire risk or allow first responders to enter the fire zone safely.
  • An above-ground power line would negatively impact property values of residential property in the area.
Battery Storage Facility

Pros

  • Storing electrical power from conventional transmission line, a battery storage facility would help prevent local power outages in the VOC by providing additional backup.
  • A battery storage facility is likely to be less costly than a new, above-ground transmission line, thereby reducing the need for higher utility rates.
  • A battery storage facility could eliminate the need for a new, unsightly powerline.
  • A battery storage facility could be the first step in transitioning to a community microgrid (see below) powered by solar energy, thereby reducing VOC’s greenhouse emissions.
Cons
  • Battery storage is a relatively new technology. Two years ago an APS battery storage facility in Surprise AZ caught fire, causing a container explosion and injuries to several first-responders.
  • APS claims – although it has provided no substantiating data – that a battery storage facility would not satisfy the community’s need for additional electrical power.

Community Microgrid

Pros
  • A community microgrid is a way for communities to meet their energy needs locally. A community microgrid would assist VOC in reducing greenhouse gases while allowing the option of staying connected to conventional powerlines.
  • Many state and local governments, along with local communities and APS, have committed to 100% clean energy solutions.
  • Like the battery storage option, a community microgrid is likely to cost less and lower residential utility bills over the long-term, compared to a new power line.
  • Battery storage costs are coming down with newer and more efficient battery technologies.
  • Arizona has more sunny days than any other state, according to BestPlaces.net.

Cons

  • Battery storage is a relatively new technology and could result in a thermal fire on location if not constructed to the highest standard.
  • To avoid impairing the pristine red rock views surrounding VOC, the solar panel facility would have to be sited carefully in an out-of-the way location.


Current Status APS must be granted a special waiver by the USFS in order to construct a power line on the national forestland south of the VOC into the Village. USFS is expected to release a draft Environmental Analysis for public comment sometime in late spring or summer of 2021.The USFS has essentially five options to consider in its final decision:

  • Approve the above-ground transmission line
  • Approve a buried power line
  • Approve a combination of above and below-ground
  • Approve a battery storage project (possibly adjacent to the existing VOC substation)
  • Disapprove the project
APS says that both the above and below-ground transmission line options would require a maintenance road along the route. There is an existing underground natural gas line along Kel Fox Trail. A USFS spokes-person indicated the trail may have to be re-routed if the electrical line were buried parallel to the gas line.The battery storage facility would likely be about the size of a small mobile home and include special fire barriers inside.


Photo top: Typical lithium-ion battery storage container.
Photo bottom: An APS monopole, similar to which would be used in the project.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Message from Supervisor Donna Michaels

Supervisor Donna Michaels
Representing District 3
Yavapai County Board of Supervisors

January 26, 2021

As many of you are aware, the Verde Connect project was a key issue that I addressed in my campaign for Supervisor.  At the first Board of Supervisor meeting on January 6th, I made a motion to cancel the project, which was passed unanimously.

In brief, here is a quick summary of key points that guided our decision.
1. Going forward with this project would be fiscally irresponsible. Estimates to complete the project would require County taxpayer funding of $21M or more, in addition to the grant, which would eliminate funding for other more needed road projects.  ADOT classified this project as mid- to long-term, not of immediate importance, and in its 2016 Verde Valley Master Plan called it “Not needed if Cornville Rd is widened…".

2. The $25 million Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) grant application for the Verde Connect included statements that, after subsequent evaluation, overstated the actual benefits of the project – importantly traffic congestion relief. See traffic count projections.

3. Citizen response played a key role in changing the Board’s perspective.  84% of citizens opposed this project according to a published Verde Independent poll, as did municipalities and fire districts. 
* Over 1,780 petition signatures collected by the Middle Verde neighborhood opposed the project.
* Camp Verde Town Council opposed unanimously: Resolution 2019-1028.
* Yavapai Apache Nation stated in a letter (June 17, 2019) that the project would not be allowed on their lands, even though the stated benefit of the project was to connect the “divided” Yavapai Apache Nation.
* Beaver Creek Community Association stated in a letter to the Board of Supervisors (June 24, 2019) that they were unanimously opposed. Camp Verde, Beaver Creek and the Yavapai Apache Nation are three of the communities most impacted by the proposed project.
* The City Cottonwood initiated a resolution of support, but citizen input records and meeting agenda notes reflect that there were no votes of support, so it was dropped (agenda minutes available online).
* Town of Clarkdale entertained a resolution of support, but dropped the effort on the grounds of too little information (agenda minutes available online).
* Copper Canyon Fire and Medical District met in an attempt to rally support, but encountered mixed sentiment, so no support was given (https://www.verdenews.com/news/2020/dec/01/copper-canyon-fire-board-deadlocked-verde-connect/?cvbugle-story%20(cvbugle-story).
* 84% opposition in Journal polls. 

4. The Environmental Assessment failed to consider the full extent of environmental impact to the remote and pristine section of the Verde River and Coconino National Forest selected for the bridge and road. Adverse safety, agricultural integrity, human environment and economic effects on the Town of Camp Verde, the neighborhood of Middle Verde and the citizens of the Verde Valley were not fully captured.

I want to emphasize my commitment to road improvement and forward-looking solutions that address our current and anticipated traffic congestion issues.  As a resident of the Village of Oak Creek, I personally contend with one of the Verde Valley’s most oppressive logjams on a daily basis.  We must address these issues with care and ensure that your hard-earned tax dollars are used for improvements that effectively address high priority problems.

Donna Michaels

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Message from Supervisor Donna Michaels

COVID-19 VACCINATIONS in YAVAPAI COUNTY

Now is the time for us to come together as a community, to volunteer to help insure everyone who wants a Covid-19 vaccination gets one, and for Yavapai County residents to receive their vaccination.

Starting Monday, January 25th, Spectrum HealthCare is launching a VACCINATION STATION EVENT across YAVAPAI COUNTY. The goal for this effort is to administer 1500+ COVID-19 vaccines county-wide, daily. There are vaccination sites in both Eastern and Western Yavapai County.

SPECTRUM HEALTHCARE NEEDS VOLUNTEERS
TO HELP MAKE THIS HAPPEN!

Roles and descriptions for the Cottonwood and Prescott Valley sites are listed at https://www.spectrumhealthcare-group.com/volunteer/.

Please consider sharing this message with contacts you have who may be able to assist. Each volunteer will need to sign up individually, and include their first and last name, phone number and a unique email address not linked to another volunteer. Lunch will be provided!

STAY SAFE!
WEAR YOUR MASK!
VOLUNTEER!

Your Supervisor,

Donna Michaels
Yavapai County Supervisor, District 3

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Below is the official statement from the Director of Yavapai County Community Health Services about the situation with getting shots into the arms of Yavapai County residents.

In Yavapai County, we are working to establish vaccination locations and offerings in order to accommodate the needs of our residents. Both hospitals and approximately 25 other local healthcare providers have signed up as vaccine providers as of now. We will also be rolling out a CDC Retail Pharmacy Partner program in the coming weeks (maybe as early as Jan. 19th) that will allow our local pharmacies to carry and administer vaccines. Currently, vaccinations for the Phase 1a groups (healthcare providers and healthcare support occupations, Emergency Medical Service Workers, and Long Term Care facility residents and staff) have been conducted by YCCHS, YRMC, VVMC and Spectrum Healthcare and are our priority. We are hoping to have many of these other local providers and pharmacies on-board by the end of January to help with the phase 1b populations. More information will be posted to our website at www.yavapai.us/chs as we have more updates on when, where and how people can sign up or show up for vaccinations.

For now, we are asking the public to be patient. We are only being allocated 3,900 vaccines per week in Yavapai County, and the 1b population alone is over 70,000 individuals. This is going to take us weeks, if not months to work through the 1b populations with such a limited vaccine supply. We are hoping to start vaccinating 1c populations in Spring of this year, unless more vaccine is made available to us, allowing us to expedite the process. We are currently updating our website with information, and will have more updates in the coming weeks. Please stay tuned, and we will continue to work hard to roll out the vaccine as efficiently and effectively as we can with the limitations we are facing.

Sincerely,
Leslie Horton, MA, MCHES
Director
Yavapai County Community Health Services

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Info on COVID Vaccination Availability

 ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES


News Release

For Immediate Release: January 11, 2021

Media Contact: Steve Elliott

Email: pio@azdhs.gov


Nearly 44,000 people in seven hours book appointments for state 24/7 vaccination site

Another 50,000 appointments available through end of January at State Farm Stadium

PHOENIX ‒ In just seven hours today, nearly 44,000 Arizonans have made appointments to be vaccinated at the state’s first 24/7 COVID-19 vaccination site at State Farm Stadium in Glendale. 


Of those appointments, nearly 29,000 are for the site’s first week of operation.  

The site, launched by the Arizona Department of Health Services in partnership with the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, Blue Cross® Blue Shield® of Arizona, and the Arizona Cardinals, begins offering appointments at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday for health care workers, first responders, teachers, law enforcement officers, Arizonans over age 75, and others at the top of the priority list for vaccine distribution.

“What great news to have so many Arizonans already able to take advantage of the increased vaccination capacity this site provides,” said ADHS Director Dr. Cara Christ. “Even better news is there’s room for plenty more: We have another 50,000 appointments available around the clock through the end of the month.” 


Registration is available for the vaccination site at State Farm Stadium and several other sites throughout the state at https://podvaccine.azdhs.gov/. Information about all vaccination sites across Arizona can be found at azhealth.gov/findvaccine. Those without computer access or needing extra help registering can call 1-844-542-8201, staffed through support from the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center, the Banner Health Poison and Drug Information Center, and Crisis Response Network’s 211 Arizona program. 


In addition, individuals creating an account on podvaccine.azdhs.gov/ can schedule an appointment on behalf of relatives or dependents through that account, which is recommended for those with older family members or family without access to a computer. Those scheduled for vaccination will need to show identification upon arrival to the vaccination site demonstrating they qualify for phases 1A or priority 1B.

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has established the site in part thanks to a $1 million grant from the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation. More than 300 volunteers with Blue Cross® Blue Shield® of Arizona will provide 24/7 staffing, while the Arizona Cardinals have provided the facility, tents, technical assistance, and other critical support. 


ADHS has contracted with Walgreens to provide pharmacy support and ASU to provide logistical support and additional staffing, supplies, and resources. 


For more information on COVID-19 vaccination, please visit azhealth.gov/COVID19vaccine. For more information about how to schedule an appointment through https://podvaccine.azdhs.gov/, including how to schedule an appointment for a family member, please visit azhealth.gov/patientportalguide


Monday, January 11, 2021

Agenda: Jan 14th Council Meeting

If you'd like to attend the meeting, send an email to info@bigparkcouncil.org with your name and email address.


AGENDA
BIG PARK REGIONAL COORDINATING COUNCIL, INC.
ANNUAL MEETING
9:00 A.M., Thurs, January 14th, 2021 
ZOOM Meeting

The Zoom Waiting Room opens at 8:30 am. Attendees 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
  4. Secretary’s Report – Mary Pope, Secretary
    1. Approve December 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. New Business
    1. Invitation to become Partner to Sedona Village Partnership, Don Groves
  7. Revised Bylaws Review Session – Co-chairs Nancy Maple and Mary Pope
    1. Representation 
  8. Committee and Other Reports
    1. P&Z Committee, Mary Morris, Chair
      1. Introduce P&Z Committee members for 2021
    2. Dark-Skies Committee, Dave Norton
      1. Recap of Committee Meeting with Donna Michaels
    3. Ad hoc Bylaws Committee, Co-chairs Nancy Maple and Mary Pope
      1. NOTICE of Current Bylaws Amendments
      2. Articles VIII Payment of Fees & Assessments
      3. IX Indemnification
      4. X Amendments/Effective Date
Reminders:
Next Executive Board Meeting:
Tuesday, Feb 5th 2pm location TBD
Next Regular Meeting: Thursday, Feb 11th 9am via Zoom