Friday, June 11, 2021

Learn About Initiative to Bring Faster Internet to the VOC

Community Information Forum
on
Verde Valley Regional Broadband Initiative


Monday June 21, 2021 1pm

In-person: Sedona Arts Academy, located at The Collective
7000 SR179 Suite C-100, Sedona (next to Corner Table restaurant)
– or –
Virtual Attendance via Zoom

One of the top identified priorities in the recent resident studies for the Big Park/VOC Community Plan (VillagePlan2022.org) is "Improved Broadband/Internet Service". This forum will inform us about a new regional plan to provide the Verde Valley Region, including our community, with just that!

Mary Chicoine, executive director of the Verde Valley Regional Economic Organization (VVREO), will give a presentation on the Verde Valley Regional Broadband Initiative. She will provide an overview of the plan and what has been accomplished to build a Verde Valley "middle mile network". This network is the key to providing quality broadband services to businesses and residences in the Verde Valley region.

This effort is moving fast as a partnership between the public and private sectors, and the Village of Oak Creek and Big Park area could be one of the early beneficiaries. VVREO is meeting with all Verde Valley communities to inform them of this exciting opportunity.

The forum will be a hybrid format - you may attend the meeting or join via Zoom.
  • To attend in person, make a reservation via EventBrite: Click here to RSVP.  Limited seating - reservation required. Location is the Sedona Arts Academy at The Collective in the Village of Oak Creek. (next door to Corner Table Restaurant, address top of page).
  • To attend via Zoom, send an email with your full name and email address to: info@bigparkcouncil.org.

This forum is being produced by the Big Park Regional Coordinating Council. You may direct questions to info@bigparkcouncil.org.

Home Vaccinations Now Available from Spectrum

 


Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Big Park Council Opposes APS Above-Ground Powerline

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Camille Cox, President

Big Park Regional Coordinating Council

Email: info@bigparkcouncil.org


Big Park Council Opposes APS Above-Ground Powerline

VILLAGE OF OAK CREEK, AZ (5-23-2021) – Big Park Regional Coordinating Council (BPRCC or Council) formally registered its opposition to Arizona Public Service’s (APS) proposed above-ground powerline into the Village of Oak Creek (VOC) at its May 13th public meeting.  The two-part motion was approved 12-0 with two abstentions.


The first-part of the motion supports partial burial of a 10-15 mile 69-kV high-voltage line in VOC as well as adjacent areas of Coconino National Forest designated by the U.S. Forest Service as high-value scenic areas.  


The second-part of the motion supports, as an alternative to burying the powerline, a feasibility study, including costs, of building a solar-powered community microgrid that would promote resilience and important backup in the event of power outages, and to support future power demand in the community.


Council President Camille Cox said she was pleased with the outcome, which was the result of extensive research on the issue and meetings with Forest Service and APS representatives over the past 18 months.


“This action, which received overwhelming support of Council representatives, confirms the results of our survey earlier this year in which respondents expressed strong reservations with the APS proposal,” Cox said.  She noted that the top three concerns cited in the survey were the project’s negative impact on the iconic Red Rock views that attract millions of visitors to the Sedona area each year, increased wildland fire risk posed by an above-ground powerline atop 65-foot high poles, and property values.


“The position approved by the Council will be formally conveyed to the Forest Service when it publishes a draft environmental assessment of the project for public comment,” Cox added.


ABOUT Big Park Regional Coordinating Council

The BPRCC was created in 1996 and has since been representing the Big Park Region, including the Village of Oak Creek. The Council represents between 25-30 Residential, Business and Educational organizations who, in turn, represent more than 8,000 individuals. Where appropriate, the Council provides input to County, State and Federal agencies. For more information, visit bigparkcouncil.org.






###


Tuesday, May 25, 2021

May Meeting Highlights & Presidents Report

Camille Cox, President

Village Preservation and Stewardship in a Changing World


Ruminating on the return journey to visit two beloved California cities where I previously lived – Thousand Oaks in Ventura County and Del Mar in San Diego County, reinforced my appreciation for the importance of the work that our Community Plan Committee is tackling.


The current issue of a local community paper in Thousand Oaks, similar to The Villager, included pages of submitted letters decrying a proposed new General Plan – raising allowable height allowance of buildings (now only 3-story), increased density, development of open space.  Same-same-but-different.  It’s no longer a bucolic college town surrounded by protected wilderness and agriculture, home to Blue Ribbon schools… like our community, it’s now largely retirees, schools have been closing for years, and a $25M bridge is planned to span a freeway so the mountain lions can survive.  Sound familiar?


The sleepy beach town of Del Mar is no longer recognizable from the 80’s when it was my home town – the ocean is inaudible over the din of traffic.  You’ll find plenty of restaurants and starter condo’s in the $1M range, but the charm that endures smacks of Disneyland. There is no longer a “community” - just residents and loads of visitors – same short-term rental scene we face here.


Beautiful, charming locations – like our Village - are never untouched by change. But taking inventory of what is threatened, exploring options to preserve and protect what is special, and engaging as a community to take what measures can be taken, CAN be done.  We cannot alter the 300 per/day influx of new residents to Maricopa County who will come here to recreate and refresh themselves (as did we) – but we CAN investigate the various impacts and work together on smart solutions to protect the vistas, the dark sky, the strain on the environment and more.


Please stay attuned to the progress of our Community Plan (villageplan2022.org) and involve yourself by participating in our surveys, volunteering to help, and attending events that will be announced in the future.


May 13th MEETING HIGHLIGHTS

Public Agency Reports  Sgt. Brandon Rumpf from the Yavapai County Sheriff's office reported that with the lifting of COVID restrictions, the VOC substation is back to normal office hours (8a–4p M-F). He explained that the increase in visitors from other states has increased incidents of trespassing on private property to access trails. He recommended posting “Private Property - No Trespassing” signs, and those in violation of the signs can be cited and/or arrested. You may contact him personally at the substation to answer further questions.

President’s Report  Camille Cox reported that the Executive Board discussed potential for in-person meetings and recommends revisiting the matter again in August to consider hybrid meetings commencing in September. The Council agreed that this was a good course of action due to safety concerns and representative absences during the summer months.


She further reminded the Council that in August three volunteers will be needed to serve on the Nominating Committee, which is responsible for assembling a list of officer candidates for 2023. Representatives, Alternates and/or members of Member Organizations may serve.  Anyone interested in learning more about serving on the committee or as an officer is invited to observe the monthly executive board meeting.


Secretary’s Report Mary Pope welcomed Chris Hartman as the new Alternate for the Pinion Woods III HOA.  She thanked John Swingle for his years of service as an Alternate for that organization and for serving as Council liaison to the Verde Valley Transportation Projects Organization. The Annual Report has been filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission.


Treasurer’s Report: Patty Reski reported that the bank balance is just under $6,000 and the 990 forms have been submitted.


Bylaws Committee Mary Pope, co-chair of the committee, acknowledged Co-Chair Nancy Maple and members Phil Feiner, Carolyn Fisher, Margie Gershtenson, Lenore Hemingway and Camille Cox for their dedicated service, which has been a 2-year effort for some.


NOTICES of changes to Articles III, IV, V, VI, VII were reviewed in advance of scheduled discussion and vote in June. Member Organizations were encouraged to review the documents and instruct their Representatives on voting.


Decision on APS Powerline Duane Thompson, chair of the APS Powerline Subcommittee, summarized the project noting that the US Forest Service is the authority for allowing the transmission line across Forest Service land. The USFS will be publishing a draft Environmental Assessment for public comment as early as next month.  As the comment period is limited to 30 days, it is important for the Council to have its position on record when the EA is released. (Full information on the APS proposal can be found on the Meetings page of the Council website) 


APS has declined to provide technical data of power usage in the VOC and the information that was provided has complicated comparison of outages to other communities.  There were two outages reported to the Arizona Corporation Commission for the last three years.  APS has said there have been 16 outages in the last 10 years, but has not disclosed the cause of those outages. It was noted that at least one major outage was caused by local transformer box failure and not powerlines.  A Council member clarified that APS does not acquire Forest Service land, but is granted easements, typically with 40’-wide right of way and is responsible for restoration of areas impacted by installation. 


A question was raised about projected electricity demand in the VOC by APS. APS projects a 5% increase by 2031, relative to current use.


At the close of discussion, a motion to approve the position recommended by the P&Z Committee passed, all in favor with two abstentions.

The Big Park Regional Coordinating Council supports an underground powerline from the intersection of Cornville Road and Beaverhead Flat Road into the Village of Oak Creek to the Oak Creek substation (as indicated on Exhibit A), while permitting above-ground construction on the other side of Cornville Road.

Further, as an alternative to partial burial of the new powerline, the Council supports studying the feasibility of a microgrid community containing a solar-generated source of energy and relying, as needed, on conventional power from APS.

Community Plan Committee  Chair Camille Cox reported that results of the recent community survey were published and distributed to the community, including the newspaper, website and email.  The committee meets the first and third Mondays at 4pm at the Sedona Arts Academy.  A Vision Statement is expected to be completed shortly.  The Committee has its own email list with more than 800 subscribers and a dedicated website - www.VillagePlan2022.org.

Upcoming Meetings  Regular Council meeting is June 10th, 9am via ZOOM; Executive Board meeting is June 1st, 2pm; P&Z Committee meeting is June 18th, 10am via ZOOM. Check the website calendar for other committee meeting dates.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Opening for VVTPO Liaison for BPRCC

The Council has a seat on the Verde Valley Transportation Project Organization. After a "Covid hiatus", the VVTPO reconvened a month ago.

This organization is a round table that includes: the District 2 and District 3 County Supervisors; ADOT staff; representatives from the incorporated entities (Cottonwood, Sedona, Jerome, Camp Verde, Clarkdale, Yavapai-Apache Nation), representatives from the MSA unincorporated areas (Beaver Creek Community Association, Big Park Council, Cornville Community Association); Northern AZ Council of Governments (NACOG); US Forest Service; Yavapai County staff; and a few other entities. All the agencies responsible for roads are present (in numbers) in this group.

The group's purpose is to review and discuss Verde Valley-area transportation projects - those that are underway as well as problem areas that may not be "on the map". This is an information-sharing forum, not a decision-making group.

Candidate Selection Criteria:
  • Prepare ahead of time and attend every meeting (4x/year). The meetings are currently being conducted via Zoom but should be back to in-person later this year. Our understanding is that Cottonwood is the standard venue. A quarterly meeting schedule will resume after the next meeting, which is scheduled for May 26th.
  • Have visibility (name and contact info) in the community (Council website) to receive communication from residents about problems and conditions that might be brought to the forum, particularly regarding safety.
  • Promptly and courteously respond to resident suggestions and/or questions.
  • Report to the Executive Board after each quarterly VVTPO meeting and at Council meetings.
  • Be diligent in watching for problem situations and doing appropriate research to understand the problems.
It is not necessary that the liaison be an appointed representative of a Member Organization, but they should belong to a Member Organization.

If you or someone you know might be interested in this position, please contact Camille Cox, info@bigparkcouncil.org.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Voices for the BPRCC Choir: New Paths to Membership

There’s a fun tune titled All God’s Creatures Have A Place in the Choir.  Even if you’re not familiar with it, or particularly religious, you catch the drift.  The great paradox is that what seems so intuitive, may well be the ultimate challenge for us humans.  The process of arriving at a group consensus is not easy, and it is never fast… harmonizing takes Work.

With a whisper on April 8th, the Council unanimously passed two major bylaws updates to enable expanded citizen participation on the Council.  Unanimously ?!? Yes – two years of work, including surveys, research, committee meetings, and hours of Council reflection and discussion to arrive at a formula that every Member felt would ensure fuller and fairer inclusion of voices on the Council.

Not a miracle, these decisions were the result of mission-focused commitment and diligent work by our Members and community volunteers. The three categories of membership are:

* Residential Member Organizations (homeowner associations, property owner associations and residential neighborhood associations);

* Business Member Associations; 

* Educational Institution Member Organizations.

Details for each are outlined on the membership applications located on the website home page.  The mission at the Big Park Council is to “promote the best interests of the Community by making public the consensus of its Member Organizations’ views on issues affecting them”.  If you are not already represented by a member organization of the Council, there is now a clear path to adding your voice to the choir.

County Moves Comprehensive Plan Update Forward

On April 15th the County conducted the inaugural CPAC (Community Plan Advisory Committee) meeting, which was broadcast on WebEx for public viewing.  (You can watch the recording on the County’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFCaGQP2Qoo.)  The Verde Valley and the VOC are well represented on the CPAC by Supervisor Donna Michaels, Sedona resident John Black and VVREO Executive Director/ Beaver Creek resident Mary Chicoine – all with rich experience to contribute.  Although much of the meeting was administrative, when substantial discussion got underway, some important information was shared.  Most importantly, Development Services Director David Williams reported that they are relaxing due dates for the community plans.  The intention is to allow communities more time to organize and gather resources, placing the emphasis on wide community participation and producing a solid plan.  He reported that although the state does specify a due date for the Comprehensive Plan Update, there is no penalty for missing the deadline.  The county will therefore stay focused on developing a plan that will serve us well through 2032, rather than rushing the process.


APS Powerline Discussion Forum Recording (4-28-2021)

The first part of the session where the chair, Duane Thompson summarized the project, as the co-host was occupied with late arrivals to the meeting. The discussion portion is all included. Zoom records three file types, the best for viewing is the the one labeled “playback”.


Friday, April 23, 2021

Community Discussion Forum

Presentation & Discussion 

on the Proposed APS 69kV Powerline into the VOC

Wednesday, April 28th 4pm, via Zoom

NOTE: You may submit questions ahead of the forum by email: info@bigparkcouncil.org.  The chairman will read and respond to the group. 

The Big Park Regional Coordinating Council's sub-committee has been researching and studying the APS proposal for a 69kV that would traverse through USFS land into the Village of Oak Creek.  The subcommittee's recommendations will be presented for discussion and a vote at the May 13th meeting of the Council.  The Council's recommendation will be forwarded to the USFS to be included in their deliberations and decision on what they will allow on Forest Service land.

As this is a technically complex subject, the sub-committee is offering an online ZOOM discussion forum to explain their recommendations and provide a question/answer opportunity for the entire community. 
 

To Attend the Forum (Zoom meeting)
Simply rsvp your interest with your email address and first/last name: info@bigparkcouncil.org. You will receive a reply email with the zoom meeting login information.
 

Information Resources - pdf files that can also be found on the BPRCC website.
BPRCC P&Z Committee Recommended Position: This recommendation will be presented to the Council on 5-13-2021 for discussion and decision.
Fact Sheet on APS Powerline Project:  2-page summary of the project including outcome of discussions that the subcommittee has had with APS and the USFS.
Chronology of APS Powerline Project:  This project was unveiled by APS in 2019.  This timeline shows the progress to date.
Microgrid FAQ:  Quick tutorial on a microgrid option.
APS Powerline Map: Shows the proposed routes through the USFS from McGuireville to the VOC.
Results of Community Survey on APS Powerline Project: The BPRCC conducted an online survey to gauge community opinion on the project.
Press Release on Results of Community Survey: 2-26-2021 press release on the survey results.

April 8th, 2021 BPRCC MEETING HIGHLIGHTS

Public Agency Reports
Judy Poe, Director, Sedona Public Library She thanked the Council for their $100 contribution to the Village library, which qualified for matching funds. The overall fundraising campaign reached $42,000. She and the staff have been working on a new strategic plan based on feedback gathered from a community-wide survey. There are a number of major projects underway including construction of a large outdoor patio (100-150-person capacity, stage, movie screen) to the Sedona campus that will provide open-air meeting space. The library building will also be renovated and modernized, and a concept to relocate the Village library from Bell Rock Plaza to the Big Park Community School is under investigation. This would allow greatly expanded services, including internet-enabled activities and meeting space for community gatherings.

Donna Michaels, District 3 Supervisor, Yavapai County The Supervisor expressed her appreciation for the BPRCC Committee's progress on our Community Plan, which she feels serves as a model to the other unincorporated communities in the County. She emphasized the importance including the individual community plans in the County Comprehensive Plan Update, and assured us she will be very active in that process.

A question was posed as to the timeline of the roadwork at SR179 and Beaverhead Flat Road, to which Supervisor Michaels agreed to investigate. That information arrived shortly after the meeting and is included here:
Dan Cherry, P.E., CFM
Director, Yavapai County Public Works Department
We completed a quick night-time culvert extension in the last month in preparation for the turn lane work from 179 on to Beaverhead Flat Road, but we are in a holding pattern at the request of ADOT while they move forward on a full-width pavement overlay project for that segment of SR 179. The ADOT work entails a 3" thick asphaltic concrete overlay. The ADOT project is currently out for bid and we are told their work is anticipated to start in the May/June 2021 time frame.

After that overlay is completed by ADOT, we are going to do a little re-survey of the portion of road where our turn lane project is, and a small change order on the design contract to make sure it fits the new, freshly overlain roadway surface of SR 179. We anticipate that to occur during the summer and we will get the project out to bid as soon as we can, once ADOT finishes their work and we can collect the new survey data. I am anticipating we build the turn lane reconfiguration at Beaverhead Flat around late summer/early fall of 2021.

I hope that helps. We had wanted to do this prior, but ADOT had asked us to hold off on the work so that we didn’t have conflicting construction zones, and to make sure the two projects mesh well at the conclusion.

COVID Clinic in the VOC - April 21, Moderna Vaccine With the Supervisor’s help, we were able to get Spectrum Health to provide a 1-day community clinic for COVID vaccinations. That will be April 21 10:00AM - 2:30PM at the VOCA community building. There has been a change and the vaccine will be Moderna, not the previously announced Johnson & Johnson single shot. Spectrum will return to do a follow-up clinic for the second shot to be announced at a later date. http://www.spectrumhg.org/VOC.
President’s Report: Camille Cox noted that the executive board discussed timing on returning to in-person meetings, or the possibility of a hybrid model. It was felt to be premature for April, but should be considered again next month for the May regular meeting. The board will keep the Council current on the discussion.

President's Report  The president brought the Council’s attention to the election of officers for 2022, as changes to the bylaws have been passed that impact the process. Volunteers for the nominating committee (2-4 members) are needed, for appointment at the August meeting. (this committee is appointed by the Council, not the president). That committee is responsible for presenting a list of officer candidates (president, vice president, secretary and treasurer). As the current president will have served two terms (bylaws limit), she will be the presumptive Immediate Past President in 2022.

The current members of the Council are the ideal candidates for both the nominating committee and officer candidates, as they are well-versed in the mission of the organization and the updated bylaws. The Nominating Committee chair, president and vice president must be Representatives or Alternates of a Member Organization. The treasurer, secretary and members of the Nominating Committee must only belong to a Member Organization and have permission from their organization to serve. Anyone with interest in serving - or simply learning more about the roles - is invited to attend the executive board meetings, held on the Monday of the week prior to the regular meetings. The meetings are casual and provide an inside look at what the officers do between meetings. Also, the executive board are available to answer members' questions. The next executive board meeting is scheduled for May 4th, location TBA.

Treasurer’s Report Patty Reski reviewed the details of financial activity. A new section on the chart of accounts details all income and expenses for the Community Plan Committee. Current bank balance stands at $6105.79. 

Discussion and Vote on Bylaws Amendment Article I and II: President Cox brought forth the previously noticed Bylaws Amendments. Article I: Unanimously approved by 19 present representatives. Article II: After significant discussion it was moved by Carolyn Fisher, 2nd by Paul Sullivan to approve the amendment, effective immediately with the following changes - Membership of any Member may be suspended by a majority vote of the Council of Representatives for nonpayment of dues or other assessments upon thirty (30) days notice, and failure to pay the delinquent dues or other assessments within sixty (60) days after the notice provided shall result in termination of the membership of said member. Motion was approved -18 in favor, 1 abstain.  Bylaws Article II – Membership Policy Documents: Approved 17 in favor, 2 abstain.

Revised Bylaws Review Session
Article IV– Meetings: Co-Chair Nancy Maple lead the review and discussions and the Council agreed to:
  • Keep the Current Bylaws (CBL) procedures for calling a special meeting
  • Revise the CBL to require both meeting notice and agenda to be provided no later than five (5) business days prior to the next Council meeting.
  • Keep time at the end of Council meetings for matters not on the agenda to be raised by Reps/Alts or members of the public, allowing 3 minutes per person to speak.
  • Revise the CBL to require a majority vote of the Council (not 2/3) for changes to the agenda, adding future agenda items, or referring issues to committee, whether raised by a Rep/Alt or member of the public.
  • Revise the CBL to state that Roberts Rules of Order shall be referenced for procedural matters, and will no longer be definitive.
  • Add verbiage to the existing Open Meeting Policy document as well as to the bylaws stating that Council meetings are open to the public and committee meetings are open to public observation. Article VII – Committees: The Council agreed to:
  • Keep the Current Bylaws (CBL) wording and have the Council approve the Purpose & Scope of all of its committees
  • Keep the CBL suggestion (not mandatory) that Committee Chair/Members have a four (4) consecutive years maximum term.
  • Merge Standing and regular Committees into Standing Committees and simplify the bylaws by putting their descriptions, purpose & scope of all committees in a Policy document. Audit, Budget and Nominating will remain as described in the bylaws and Ad hoc committees will continue to be created by Council motion as needed.
  • Keep the CBL requirement that committees gather information and make recommendations for action to the Council. Authority to act belongs to the Council unless specifically delegated to a committee per Article III, Section 5.
  • Committee presentation of options to the Council was favorably received where a committee is not unanimous in its recommendations. A description of this process will be added to the Policy document on Committees. Committee Reports
Paul Sullivan, Forest Service Liaison In response to the questions posed at the March meeting about the new trails in Jacks Canyon, he checked with the USFS and learned the following. They initially planned for a new loop off of the Big Park Loop, called Dairy Springs up to Rabbit Ears. That changed in favor of two trails. One is completed, called the Little Rock. The second trail is called the Rabbit Ears, but it doesn’t actually go to Rabbit Ears. Paul intends to scout them this weekend. Mary Morris raised concerns about the new trails being too slick, too narrow and unsafe for horses, in spite of the promise that they would be appropriate for equestrian use. The equestrian contingent is very concerned about the compatibility problems of bicycles and horses along Jacks Canyon and the closure of highly used trails.

APS Powerline Project Chair Duane Thompson provided a brief update on the recommendations the committee will be advancing to the Council for consideration and vote in May. Additional discussions with APS are still ongoing to gather further data validating the need for the additional line. Subcommittee meets again next week and will be delivering fact sheets to the community and Council.

P&Z Committee Chair Mary Morris reported that a letter has been received about a public participation meeting for a pending Use Permit request for Horse Mesa Ranch off of Jacks Canyon Road. That meeting will be Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at 101 Horse Ranch Road. The meeting will be both in person and streamed live online via Zoom. For the Zoom Webinar email request to publicmeeting@awdlaw.com. (The chair will be recusing herself from discussions on this matter due to a personal interest in Horse Mesa Ranch).

Community Plan Committee Chair Camille Cox updated on the progress of the committee. Response to the first survey has been excellent and the committee is currently working on the first draft of the Vision Statement. Meetings are the first and third Mondays of the month at 4pm, and they are hybrid – both Zoom and online. These meetings are open to the public and participation on the committee is open to members of the public. Information can be found at www.VillagePlan2020.org.

A moment of silence was observed in honor of Thomas Graham, who served the Council in many roles for many years.

The next meeting of the Council is May 13th, 9am via Zoom
The next meeting of the Executive Board is May 4th, 2pm location TBD
The next meeting of the P&Z Committee will be May 21st, 10am via Zoom

Two more vaccination clinics in the VOC for first and second shots.

The clinic April 21st was a nice success - thanks to VOCA for the use of their beautiful and comfortable community room.


Two additional VOC Covid Vaccination Clinics: The April 21st event was a nice success - thanks to VOCA for the use of their beautiful and comfortable community room and Supervisor Donna Michaels.

The next clinic is scheduled for Tues. May 18th, 10:00am - 2:30pm. This clinic will offer both second shots and FIRST shot. A third clinic for second shots is scheduled for Wed. June 16th. Appointments are required via Spectrum Healthcare's website.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

 

AGENDA
BIG PARK REGIONAL COORDINATING COUNCIL
PLANNING & ZONING COMMITTEE MEETING
Friday April 16th, 2021 10 AM 
via Zoom

If you'd like to attend this meeting, send an email with your full name and email address to: info@bigparkcouncil.org.
  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval/Amend Agenda
  3. Unfinished Business / Active Efforts
    1. APS Distribution Line: Brief update on the subcommittee’s 4/15 discussion w/APS.  Duane Thompson, sub-committee chair.
    2. ADOT 5-Year Transportation Plan:  Bridge improvement concepts. David Gill, P&Z Committee lead.
    3. Brief report on work of the Community Plan Committee, including summary of Yavapai County’s first meeting of their Community Plan Advisory Committee (4-15-21). Camille Cox, CP Committee chair.
  4. New Business
    1. Horse Mesa Ranch. Proactive review of the anticipated Use Permit. Public participation meeting 4/24/21, 11am at 101 Horse Ranch Road. Mary Morris 
  5. Announcements
  6. Public Comments
  7. Adjourn

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