Tuesday, December 27, 2022


President’s Report
Camille reviewed the Council’s accomplishments for 2022 by individual committee. 
  • Art in the Roundabouts (AiR) has completed its organizational steps and has a collaborative arrangement in place with the Sedona Village Partnership. The program was successfully launched at a major stakeholder event October 4th.
  • The Community Plan Committee has a robust email subscriber list, website and Facebook presence. They conducted a community survey and report on NAH Quality of Service. Other notable efforts include reviewed and submitted comments on the Yavapai County Comprehensive Plan draft, conducted a forum on STR legislation with County officials, sent County citizen surveys to the community. They continue to progress on the ten Elements of our local Community Plan.
  • The Dark-Sky committee hosted Ashley Wilson of the IDA, provided information to the public at the Village BBQ, held two star-parties in the Village and supported neighboring communities and schools with presentations and Dark-Sky events.
  • The EPPiC Committee has completed interviews with front-line responders and public agencies involved in emergency management (Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, Sedona Fire District, Yavapai County Office of Emergency Management, United States Forest Service, Arizona Power Service and the American Red Cross). Each meeting was followed by articles in the Villager and BPC Highlights. These and additional findings have been organized for an information repository and is in readiness to begin to move into the production stage of a central website.
  • The Planning & Zoning Committee has worked with the Verde Valley School on improved communication with respect to their Special Use Permit, and County review has been delayed allowing for additional public participation. They also responded to the ADOT 5-year plan proposal with a comment letter and later succeeded in convincing ADOT to do a study regarding safety issues at the intersection of SR-179 and I-17. They were successful in supporting the Las Piedras HOA on monsoon damage mitigation with County involvement. Collaborative work with AT&T on the siting of their 5G antenna was also successful. Comments on the Collective Special Use Permit were made to the County and will speak at the County hearing to be held shortly.
  • The Strategic Plan & Leadership Development Task Force and Committee completed a SWAT analysis of the corporation, updated guidelines for the nominating committee process and prepared a report on ideas for attracting leadership.
  • Other: A new corporate identity/logo was developed.Camille then recognized the 45 Villagers who volunteered their services to the BPC during 2022 and called for 2023 volunteers.
Treasurer Patty Reski presented outgoing President, Camille Cox, with a Thank-You gift certificate from the Council for dinner at Up the Creek Restaurant, expressing everyone’s gratitude for her long service to the Council, beginning as Secretary and then serving three years as President. Camille continues to serve in 2023 as Immediate Past President.

Secretary’s Report
Mary Pope asked if there were any adjustments to the draft council minutes from November 10th and hearing none, Carolyn Fisher moved, Mary Morris seconded, that the minutes be accepted as written. Motion passed unanimously. Mary then gave a presentation on Bylaw Balance between requirements and flexibility for Officers and Committee Chairs. The reasons that a requirement exists that these positions be held by a Representative or Alternate of a Member Organizations (MO) include an understanding of the workings of the Big Park Council and a meaningful connection with positive ties to the community. Flexibility is achieved for Committee Chairs by permitting either the Chair OR Vice-Chair to be a Rep/Alt. Flexibility is achieved for Officer candidates by the manner in which Reps/Alts are selected by MO’s, specifically noting that there are no BPC regulations with respect to this process. The individuals selected are not required to be a member/resident of the MO, nor is there any limitation on the number of Member Organizations an individual may represent. The bylaws also cover voting with there being one vote per MO and one person one vote on any given issue. Mary noted there were no changes to member organizations and welcomed Renald Stettler as a new Alternate for Solo de Paso. Renald has been visiting Sedona since 1988, currently resides in the Sedona Golf Resort and recently opened a business in the Village.

Treasurer’s Report
Patty Reski noted that November had minimal expenses and the back account was comfortable at $5400. She then presented the 2023 proposed budget announcing that the $160 annual member assessment will remain the same, and commending the Budget Committee of Nancy Maple, Bob Marriott and Dave Norton for their diligence and hard work especially where cost uncertainties continue to exist with respect to in-person meeting facilities. The committee recommends the creation of an ad-hoc committee in 2023 to research facilities in the Village for possible resumption of in-person meetings. Patty also expressed concerns on behalf of the committee that a number of separate websites have been created by various committees and their association with the BPC is not immediately apparent. Camille Cox noted that the Community Plan website is already accessible via the BPC home page, and that Dark-Sky website is not yet live. She also informed the Council that the BPC “website” is actually a blog created on an emergency basis by herself and Darcy Hitchcock when the original website created and maintained by Marc Fuller was shut down. She emphasized that the Community Plan is a distinct audience from the BPC general audience and has a larger dedicated subscriber list. After discussion, the Council expressed agreement that websites associated with BPC committees should reflect this association and strengthen the image and improve exposure of the BPC itself. In addition, Duane Thompson reminded the Council that while our D&O Policy covers volunteers acting on behalf of the BPC, individual websites should by clearly identified as being a part of the BPC. Discussion continued with agreement that BPC should move to a real website platform and that the creation of a committee in 2023 to look into this would be a good idea. It was suggested that Technology/Website creation and maintenance be put on the BPC agenda for February. Currently Camille handles website maintenance for the Council. A motion was made by Don Groves, seconded by Dave Norton that the 2023 Proposed Budget be approved as written. Motion passed unanimously.

Unfinished Business
Ty deJong of the Nominating Committee reminded the Council that four candidates were nominated in November and that all but the nominee for President were elected. The election for president was postponed until his appointment as a Rep/Alt could be completed. Although Renald Stettler, nominee for President, was not appointed by the Member Organization (SGRCA) where he resides, several other Member Organizations stepped up to do so and all requirements are now complete. In the interim, a second candidate for President was nominated. Ty introduced John Wichert and asked him to speak, agreeing that Renald Stettler should also speak so that both candidates would be heard before the vote. Both candidates described their background and answered questions from Council members. In answer to a question on key leadership learnings, Renald noted that this is a people business and striving for a win/win in every facet is key. John noted that listening, building consensus and soliciting ideas from the group were key.

After calling for nominations from the floor and declaring nominations closed, Camille then reminded the Council that in the event of two candidates, an electronic vote would be taken. After discussing various options, a motion was made by Mary Morris to vote during today’s meeting, seconded by Nina Joy Rizzo, passed 17 in favor, 2 opposed. A 10-minute recess was called, and Election Buddy ballot links were emailed to those Representatives in attendance. Upon completion of the election with all 19 votes tallied, the results were announced as Renald Stettler 6 votes, John Wichert 13 votes. John Wichert is the 2023 President of the Big Park Council.

Committee Reports
Planning & Zoning: In the absence of David Gill, Camille reported that the County hearing on the Special Use Permit for the Collective will be held December 22nd and David will attend to voice the BPC endorsement of the Collective’s application. In addition, there will be another public outreach meeting at the Verde Valley School regarding the school’s Special Use Permit, on January 11th at 6pm. An announcement of this meeting has already been sent out by the BPC to the full subscriber list.

Dark-Sky: Dave Norton noted that the Dark Sky Committee continues to support Dark Sky events in the Verde Valley. These have included joint events with the Camp Verde Dark Sky group at Alcantara Vineyard and Camp Verde High School and the Camp Verde Library. They are enthusiastic and will support events here as they have in the past. Co-Chairs Curt Schneider and Dave Norton are working on the annual IDA Dark Sky Report and will have it completed this month. Dark Sky readings have been taken and documented in the IDA format and they now have a reporting log system and map that can be used by future Committees. They are working on the text and including wonderful photos from our local astrophotographers. The committee has a goal in 2023 to initiate a program of educational notices to neighbors who are not in compliance with the County’s Dark-Sky requirements. The notice includes the KSB brochure and is intended to help individuals and businesses get into compliance before they are cited and fined by the County.

Emergency Preparedness & Planning (EPPiC): In the absence of Gwen Hanna, Mary Pope reported that Leslie Osborne has resigned from the committee due to health reasons and expressed the committee’s appreciation for her contributions. She will be missed. The committee feels that they have sufficient information to begin building a website/webpage to serve as a repository. Gwen Hanna confirmed that Camille Cox offered to continue to work with the committee on a website structure and Phil Feiner and Bob Marriott stepped up to work with her 1:1 as the site comes together. In terms of other collateral, the committee agreed that a news article should be written about the forthcoming website and emergency categories, and that an annual community forum should be held including our County Supervisor and Front-line responders.

VVTPO – Steve Fiedler submitted a written report which was circulated to representatives prior to the meeting. 
  1. Jack’s Canyon Rd and Horse Ranch Rd. is a hidden intersection, Donna Michaels, Dan Cherry and residents are asking/having Yavapai county add blind intersection signs, relocating stop signs, yellow safety tape/symbols, trimming back vegetation and maybe more to increase visibility.
  2. Along with number 1, I’m requesting county to mow weeds and trim plants back, at least, 3 feet from asphalt edge so walkers, runners and bicyclist can get off road when cars pass. They usually mow the weeds several times per year and have only done one. The plants are overgrown now and need to be trimmed also.
  3. Donna Michaels said she is working on some type of walking/running path for Jack’s Canyon Rd area.
  4. The attached letter was received by BPCC in response to letter sent to ADOT concerning I-17 and 179 intersection safety after recent accident with semi -truck that lost its brakes and vehicle where passengers died.
  5. AiR - roundabout art project, we’ve ask ADOT for art specifications and they are working on it. Our next meeting Dec 22nd where we will work on articles to present to the public about themes, and requirements.
  6. RRREMD, 179 Rd district, landscaper is working on removing the unsightly dead weeds/grass in rock beds.
  7. PVPOA, in Pine Valley on Longwood, erosion is occurring on the west side and undermining the pavement which will start breaking off if not supported soon. I’m asking county to add large rock in drainage ditch. 
 The meeting was adjourned at 11:18am.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Final Thoughts from the President

 It’s with a grateful heart that I offer you my final thoughts as Big Park Council president.

December marks the end of my third term as chairman, before which I served as secretary – a total of four years as an officer.  Like a 4-year hitch in the military or a 4-year course of study to earn a degree – the concentration of time has been an education and a crucible.  The experience of working with a range of community members, regional leaders and government agencies expanded my worldview significantly and elevated my appreciation for the blessing of living in a country that values and protects individual voice and choice.

As a child of the 60’s, I watched friends and cousins plucked from comfortable lives to serve in a horrific war, some not to return and others to return damaged and unappreciated. In 2019, I felt a calling to contribute something that might in the smallest way honor their contribution.  I certainly didn’t have the skills or knowledge to play a role in the big, polarizing problems that our nation faces, but contributing on a humble scale to study local issues and engage the community in civil discussion seemed do-able.

As a community, we have worked together in an impressively civil manner the past few years. That didn’t come easy, it took hard work.

It’s my greatest hope that the good work will be carried forward by new leadership with a commitment to the mission of the Council, the energy to aim for excellence, and the resolve to honor those upon whose shoulders they stand.

Camille Cox, President

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Village Tree LIghting - Dec 2nd 5pm


Nov 10th Meeting Highlights

Call to Order: President Camille Cox called the meeting to order at 9:02am and the meeting agenda was approved unanimously on a motion by Carolyn Fisher, seconded by Dave Norton.
Roll Call: Secretary, Mary Pope confirmed a quorum of 16 member organizations present and 11 guests. An additional member organization representative and guest joined the meeting before 9:15am.

Unfinished Business: Carolyn Fisher, on behalf of the Nominating Committee, introduced the 2023 nominees for president and vice president, Renald Stettler and Colleen Hinds, requesting each to say a few words about themselves. She then thanked Patty Reski and Mary Pope for agreeing to serve another term as treasurer and secretary respectively. Discussion followed including a review of requirements for the officer positions, noting that candidates for president and vice-presidential candidates must be a representative or alternate for a member organization. Each member organization has its own internal process for appointments and those processes are respected and upheld by the Council. Colleen’s appointment as an alternate for the Pine Valley POA is complete and the Sedona Golf Resort (SGR) Board of Directors is meeting next week to consider Renald. With the appointment process for Renald incomplete, several options were considered with respect to the election of 2023 officers. It was unanimously agreed on a motion by Paul Sullivan, seconded by Joe Skidmore, that the election of vice president, treasurer and secretary be held at today’s meeting and that an electronic vote of all representatives be held for president following the SGR board meeting on Wednesday, Nov.16, presuming Renald Stettler’s appointment is confirmed. Secretary, Mary Pope volunteered to manage the electronic balloting, compliant with regulations.

Many members of the Council and community expressed their appreciation to Renald and Colleen for stepping up, emphasizing the importance of the Council’s mission and activities. The candidates then answered questions from Council members, such as time availability and vision for the future.

Secretary’s Report: Mary Pope asked if there were any adjustments to the draft council minutes from October 13 and hearing none, Carolyn Fisher moved, Margie Gershtenson seconded, that the minutes be accepted as written. Motion passed unanimously. Mary then noted there were no changes to member organizations and thanked departing Verde Valley School representative Vanessa Trujillo-Tenbrink for her years of service to the BPC. She then introduced Colleen Hinds, new alternate for the Pine Valley POA and John Wichert, new alternate for Pinon Woods II. Looking to the future, Mary noted that we have one organization (Crimson Vista) considering membership and three member organizations considering new representatives/ alternates (Las Piedras, CR Ranch and Sedona Golf Resort).

Treasurer’s Report: Patty Reski noted that October had minimal expenses and the bank account was comfortable at $5600. Due to the uncertainty of the Council’s future, a proposed budget for 2023 had not been completed, and the budget committee will meet soon to do so. Patty then made a motion, seconded by Mary Morris to delay the presentation, discussion and vote on the 2023 proposed budget to the December meeting, to be followed immediately upon approval by sending out the annual invoices to member organizations. Motion passed unanimously.

New Business:
Comprehensive Plan: Camille Cox reviewed the process by which Yavapai County prepares its Comprehensive Plan in accordance with Arizona State Law. One of the critical elements for Big Park-VOC is that the 2023 Draft Comprehensive Plan proposes including individual community plans from unincorporated communities. This has not been the case for decades. The Draft Comprehensive Plan is open for public comment until November 15, and the Community Plan Committee distributed the plan to its email subscribers. You can find that information on the Community Plan Committee website, villageplan2022.org. The BPC Community Plan Committee presented a draft comment letter to be sent to the County, which the Council unanimously approved as written.

Election of Officers: In accordance with the recommendation of the nominating committee, the following candidates were unanimously elected for a one-year term beginning January 1, 2023. Vice-President: Colleen Hinds, Treasurer: Patty Reski, Secretary: Mary Pope.

Committee Reports:
Planning &Zoning: David Gill reported that the Council has received a letter from ADOT in answer to the letter sent to them expressing concerns over the dangerous I-17/SR179 interchange. He felt that their response was cooperative and attentive and although they could not commit to corrective construction, they will do a Road Safety Assessment in 2023.

He then reported that the Special Use Permit requested by The Collective will see a vote by Yavapai County P&Z on November 17. Approval is expected. Update: For unknown reasons, following the BPRCC November meeting, the BPC P&Z Committee learned that the County Planning and Zoning Commission date to consider the Special Use permit has been delayed.

David noted that there will be a public meeting at the Verde Valley School this evening in connection with the school’s Conditional Use Permit for the property, as a part of the required citizen participation process; and that community concerns included safety, noise and traffic associated with the requested changes. He emphasized that similar requests have had greater public outreach with multiple meetings, discussion and compromise. Paul Amadio, Head of School, explained that meetings with nearby neighbors have been held and that there are no changes to the Use Permit since those meetings. Ty deJong, CR Ranch representative, expressed concern that notice of the neighborhood meetings was limited as was attendance. In response to a request, Paul Amadio will send Zoom information for this evening’s meeting to Camille Cox for anyone interested in viewing the meeting virtually.

APS Subcommittee: Duane Thompson, chair, briefly summarized the history of this project, a proposed 13-mile transmission line between McGuireville and the Village, noting that 90% of the proposed route goes through USFS land. A draft environmental assessment (EA) was released by the USFS last year and comments sent to them by the Big Park Council (BPC), Keep Sedona Beautiful (KSB) and others expressing significant concerns. The final EA, which is the decision-making document for the project, which was expected to be released in December, is now planned to release in Feb/Mar 2023. Interested parties like Big Park Council would have 45 days to appeal to the Regional Forester if there were objections to the final EA.

Dark-Sky: Dave Norton noted that the committee has been very busy with star parties and programs in conjunction with school groups. Carolyn Fisher offered to put Dave in touch with the Science Vortex group whose goals coincide with Dark-Sky programs for school groups. The next general public star party will be this Saturday at the Alcantara Vineyard in Camp Verde. A donation has been received to enable the committee to purchase a sandwich-board sign to help folks find the Dark-Sky event. In answer to a question on light pollution readings in the Village, Dave explained that the meter is expected to be received this week and that Alex will be doing the readings. In answer to a question about fliers on good Dark-Sky practices, Camille noted that the IDA has brochures already printed. Dave noted that a brochure with a broader scope has been planned, and Kathryn Stillman offered to work with the committee on that project.

Strategic Planning and Long-Term Development: Camille read a letter from committee chair, Lenore Hemingway and a copy of the committee’s final report was included in meeting materials for representatives.

Emergency Preparedness & Planning (EPPiC): Gwen Hanna presented a two-month report for the committee noting that it has met with all first responders and reviewed its purpose and scope at the October meeting. The committee has concluded that the best way to provide the community with information is to create a simple website with credible links. Camille Cox has offered to assist with this effort. In answer to a question on creating a page within the BPC website instead of a separate site, Gwen noted that this was also being considered. The committee is also considering the preparation of printed materials, hosting a community forum and/or community fair. She noted the need for funding for these efforts and has received a commitment from the Sedona Village Partnership for up to $250. A request is also been placed with the BPC Budget committee for an additional $250. There may be other sources of funding from retail stores and other local sources/organizations in the Village. In answer to a question on what the overall cost would be, Gwen roughly estimated $500 annually for a website plus additional funds for community events and other types of collateral, with a rough guess of $1000 total. She also noted that our member organizations will be asked to help get information to their residents. In answer to a question that came up during a committee meeting, Gwen noted that Mary Pope spoke with Kirk Riddell of the Sedona Fire District (SFD), regarding sirens in the area. The only sirens in the Village are at our local golf course, the VOCA golf course frequently warned golfers this year of potential lightning danger. New SFD sirens have been installed in Pine Valley and up 89A (Oak Creek Canyon). The SFD sirens only purpose is to signal an evacuation. Gwen then thanked Mary Morris for her time served on the committee. There was then a discussion of the County’s change from Code Red to another system of evacuation notification. Public notification of the change has been spotty. It was requested that notice of this change be included with the BPC meeting highlights and Dave Norton provided a link to the Yavapai County Emergency Services website. As EPPiC concludes its tasks and a permanent committee is formed, it was suggested that a liaison be appointed to attend the regional front-line responder meetings so that the community can be kept informed of any upcoming changes.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

November 10th Meeting Agenda


9:00 A.M. Thursday, November 10th, 2022

If you would like to join the meeting, send an email to bigparkcouncil.inquiry@gmail.com with your name and email address. You will be added to the guest list.  We welcome you!

Call to Order
  1. Roll Call
  2. President’s Report – Camille Cox
  3. Unfinished Business
    1. Nominating Committee Report
    2. Election of Officers – OR – 
    3. Report and Discussion -- Next steps toward dissolution of the corporation (Big Park Regional Coordinating Council)
  4. Secretary’s Report – Mary Pope
    1. Approve October Minutes
    2. Changes to Membership and/or Representatives
  5. Treasurer’s Report – Patty Reski
    1. Current Financial Standing
    2. Delay/Cancellation of Budget Committee Recommendations for 2023
  6. New Business
    1. Yavapai County Comprehensive Plan letter of response
  7. Committee Reports 
    1. P&Z – David Gill
    2. APS Subcommittee – Duane Thompson
    3. Dark-Sky – Curt Schneider/Dave Norton
    4. Community Plan – Camille Cox
    5. Art in the Roundabouts 
    6. EPPiC – Gwen Hanna
    7. Strategic Plan & Longterm Development
    8. VVTPO Liaison – Steve Fiedler
  8. Announcements

Next P&Z Meeting: TBD
Next EB Meeting: Tuesday Nov 29, 3pm, location TBD
Next Regular Meeting: Thursday December 8th, 9am via ZOOM

Yavapai County 10-Year Plan DRAFT Open for Public Input


Yavapai County released the DRAFT Comprehensive 2032 Plan on September 15th for a 60-day public comment period.  This plan will set policy for growth and prosperity for the next 10 years, and may include our own Big Park/VOC Community Plan.

What is the relationship between the County Comprehensive Plan and the Big Park-VOC Community Plan?  The Comprehensive Plan will drive County policy and decisions, whereas the Big Park/VOC Community Plan establishes OUR community vision and priorities.  Our Community Plan describes the unique characteristics that establish our "sense of place".  Our plan must be align with the Comprehensive Plan in order to have weight when Planning & Zoning for our community are decided by the County.  As an unincorporated "place", the County Plan and ordinances prevail.
Why the Comprehensive Plan matters to our community?  We would not want policy directives adopted in the Comprehensive Plan that undermine our values.  Fortunately, our community provided significant input to the County surveys.  Upon examination, you can see that this DRAFT Comprehensive Plan is largely consistent with our community values as expressed in our Vision Statement (included below for reference).
Of key importance - we want Community Plans included in the Comprehensive Plan!  One of the items in the DRAFT, at the end, is a statement about incorporating Community Plans such as ours. We encourage you to tell the County that you want Community Plans integrated into the Comprehensive Plan.  (Section 10, the very last page, highlighted in blue)
What can you do?
  1. Review the Draft Plan.  To save you time, we created a shortened version with areas of greater impact to our area highlighted in blue.  (click here to download). Section 10 is the statement on Community Plans, the final page of the document.  The full strength version is 108 pages and includes interesting background on the various topics, which we removed from the short version. (click to download full version)
  2. Make your comments to the County on their site - by simply clicking the orange button below this text.
  3. Be on the watch for Community Plan details in coming weeks.
Deadline: Public comment period closes on November 15th - if you have not already weighed in, do so today!
Next Steps:  After the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee reviews the public comments, then the County Planning & Zoning Commission and Board of Supervisors will each review and incorporate their changes.  Formal adoption is forecast for Spring 2023.

Visit VillagePlan2022.org to learn more about the Big Park/VOC Community Plan and subscribe to updates.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

September 8th Meeting Highlights

President’s Report  The president began her report by noting that P&Z Committee Chair Mary Morris was stepping away from that position due to health issues and a search was underway for a new chair.  The president said during the interim P&Z Committee member David Gill and she were covering any issues brought to the attention of the Committee. 

The president then continued her report regarding a flooding issue adjacent to the Las Piedras development. Las Piedras’ board had notified Big Park Council’s Executive Board of damages sustained as a result of recurring flooding during the past two monsoon seasons.  An APS powerline pole and several sewer manholes were compromised. Further damage to either of these infrastructures could result, respectively, in a loss of power to the VOC or, with regard to the manholes, damage resulting from boulders during runoff could result in closure of the downstream sewer treatment plant.  The president indicated that Yavapai County Supervisor Donna Michaels was contacted and had organized a September 20th meeting of relevant county and local officials at the site to discuss remedial action.  The president noted that this was not a problem limited to a single homeowners’ association but had the potential to affect the entire VOC community. 

Treasurer’s Report  Patty Reski noted that a $2,500 reserve was removed at the bottom of the budget sheet due to a change in Directors & Officers insurance policies.  The $2,500 was actually a reserve in the event of any deductibles for claims against the D&O policy, and because the new policy had a zero deductible, that line item was no longer needed.  She added that the recently appointed Budget Committee was scheduled to meet within a few weeks.

Unfinished Business   

Collective Special Use Permit.  The president provided an update on the Special Use Permit for the Collective Sedona.  Due to timing issues with submitting a recommendation to the County, a vote to approve the P&Z committee’s recommendation could not wait until the September Council meeting, thus an electronic vote was conducted.  Results indicated a unanimous vote with 20 of 24 eligible voters supporting a County permit, with one abstention.  Three members did not cast votes.

Bylaw Revision  The Council was asked to vote on a minor change to Article 1, Section 3 of the Bylaws by adding “Big Park Council” as an optional descriptor for Big Park Regional Coordinating Council, Inc., in addition to the existing descriptors of “BPRCC” and “Corporation” was approved in a unanimous vote.

Big Park Council Logo  The Council was then asked to consider approval of the logo featuring a sketch of Bell Rock for use on Council stationery, for name tags, and other purposes.  The logo included the title “Big Park Council” as the other official organizational name was lengthy.  This abbreviated name necessitated the related addition of that name to the Bylaws.  A motion approving the logo was approved in a unanimous vote.

Resumption of In-Person Council Meetings  The treasurer led a discussion of the Council’s ongoing review of resuming in-person meetings. She reported that the Executive Board was in favor of returning to in-person meetings as soon as possible.  She noted that the Bylaws actually require meetings to be in-person unless “impracticable,” a term more restrictive than “impractical.”  In other words, she said, the Council was required to return to in-person meetings after Covid-19 restrictions were relaxed, and the Council was able to locate a public meeting space.

After discussion, it was determined that the Council would proceed with in-person meetings once the treasurer was able to confirm meeting space was available in the Village library at regular day/time that is acceptable to the Council.  Most Council representatives supported continuation of a morning, as opposed to afternoon, meeting. It was agreed to continue with Zoom meetings until the timing issue was resolved.  The treasurer said she would be back in touch with the library executive responsible for meeting space.

New Business   

Northern AZ Healthcare Services Survey  President Camille Cox reported preliminary results of the survey that the Council produced in collaboration with Supervisor Donna Michaels.  A full report will be published in coming days and distributed community-wide.

Supervisor Michaels provided a brief report to the Council (see slide), summarizing discussions she is having with NAH in an effort to address the kinds of concerns expressed by Verde Valley communities, including the VOC.

Committee Reports

Planning & Zoning  Committee member Dave Norton reported successful resolution to the siting of a new AT&T 5G tower on an elevation opposite The Collective on Highway 179.  The new tower would be a 35-foot high “monopine,” or pine tree-like tower with five antennas, and less obtrusive than a previous proposal.  Steve Olson of Bechtel Engineering is managing the project on behalf of AT&T.  He said his firm was preparing to go through the building permit process with the County and hopes to begin construction of the tower near the end of the first quarter or early second quarter of 2023.  On behalf of the committee, Dave thanked Mr. Olson and his company for their efforts to listen to and understand the community’s concerns and collaborate on a solution that reduced the visibility of the tower installation from the highway and from homes in the Las Piedras development.

APS Powerline  Duane Thompson, chair of the Council’s APS Powerline Subcommittee, reported on an Aug. 30th meeting hosted by the U.S. Forest Service that provided a preliminary look at the route of APS’s proposed powerline between McGuireville and Oak Creek substations.  He noted that approximately 17 persons attended the Zoom call, including the acting Coconino National Forest Supervisor Michelle Paduani and Red Rock District Ranger Amy Tinderholt.  Other participants included staff of several local congressional offices, APS engineers, and representatives from the Big Park Council and Keep Sedona Beautiful.

Duane described the proposed mitigation – by burying roughly half the 69 Kv powerline underground – as a “half-loaf.”  He noted that while much of the line would be buried along scenic stretches of Beaverhead Flat Road, only a small segment crossing Highway 179 in the Village was proposed for burial.

After a brief discussion, he indicated that the Council would likely be asked to vote on whether it was satisfied with the USFS’ final decision, or whether it should appeal the decision to the USFS regional forester in Albuquerque.

Art in the Roundabouts  Committee Co-Chair Rolf Funk reported that planning was proceeding with a launch event for the project, scheduled Oct. 4 from 4:30-6 p.m. in the VOCA ballroom.  All reps, alternate reps and executive board members have been invited and encouraged to attend.  He said the organization’s Mission Statement has been approved, which “is to display the story of our community with inspiring art.”

Community Plan Update  The president reported on a meeting at the Village library on Sept. 1st organized by the committee.  Yavapai County Supervisor Donna Michaels, Administrator Phil Bourdon and Director of Development Services Jeremy Dye provided information and answered questions on the recently enacted state law SB 1168 allowing municipalities and counties to regulate short-term rentals consistent with statutory guidelines.

In addition, county officials reported on possible renewed efforts by Arizona counties to lobby for legislation allowing larger counties to impose a transient lodging tax, i.e., bed tax, to be collected for certain “economic” purposes.  The president noted that this information will be incorporated into the draft 2022 Community Plan for the VOC.

Nominating Committee  Committee member Carolyn Fisher reported that the committee was still seeking candidates for president and vice president, and asked support from Council representatives in this effort.  She mentioned that candidates should be familiar with the Council, ideally with a couple years of experience.

Dark-Sky Committee  Committee Chair Curt Schneider reported on various activities of the committee.  A Dark-Sky event on Aug. 25 at the Beaver Creek school had disappointing attendance, but with monsoon season over, other events are planned, including a September 30th Star Party at the Red Rock Ranger Visitor Center, beginning at dusk.  In addition, the committee is collaborating the City of Cottonwood to host other events in the future.

Reminders:  See the Big Park Council website calendar for a full calendar listing. 

Next EB Meeting: Tuesday, October 4th, 3:00pm location TBD

Next Regular Meeting: Thursday, October 13th

August 11th Big Park Council Meeting Highlights

 Public Agency Speaker: Donna Michaels, Yavapai County District 3 Supervisor

Supervisor Michaels explained her position and the County’s progress with respect to a number of issues facing the Village.  She began with transportation projects by noting the new quieter road surface installed on Verde Valley School Road and the work underway expanding the turn lane onto Beaverhead Flat Road from SR179.  She then noted that, in light of the increasing frequency of severe weather events, mitigation work is underway with respect to flood control. 

Through the efforts of Supervisor Michaels and her team, recycling has returned to Cornville, provided by Squeaky Clean, a family-owned operation based in the Village. The location is 9420 E. Cornville Road, right next to Marathon gas station.  VOC residents are encouraged to try it out.  The setup is not the same as the former Clark’s station. There will be no glass, reducing the amount of noise and messiness.  The County is looking for a location in the VOC and suggestions are being sought.  Contact Director of Community Outreach Suzie Fairchild (Susan.Fairchild@yavapaiaz.gov) with location suggestions.  

Supervisor Michaels then announced that a $9.7 million state allocation was awarded for a meat processing facility to support local agriculture.  In addition, Yavapai College has begun to offer coursework on meat processing skills necessary.  

Moving on to protection of public lands, the Board of Supervisors are working on a regulation to curtail OHV use, which will be considered at this upcoming legislative session. With respect to the water crisis facing rural Arizona, she supports the creation of a Regional Management Area to regulate water use in Yavapai County.  

Supervisor Michaels' final remarks concerned the increasing challenges in healthcare delivery in the Verde Valley. Emergency care, telemedicine and availability of specialist are all decreasing in the face of increased demand.  She has written an op-ed detailing the crisis and outlining measures she recommends to improve the situation.  Click HERE to download a copy of the article.  Supervisor Michaels also asked to partner with the BPRCC on a survey to better understand our resident’s concerns and needs for healthcare service delivery.

P&Z Committee Report  Committee member David Gill provided a summary report on the Special Use Permit application from the Collective. The report included a history of the expired Use Permit (2009-2019), noting that the pre-application citizen participation requirements had been met. A citizen participation plan was filed on 1/31/22, and on 4/8/22 a mailing went out to 304 property owners within 1000-ft of the Collective, as well as to other interested parties including the BPRCC.  This was followed by a 4/20 public meeting held at the Collective with13 persons physically present and an additional seven present via ZOOM.  Many positive comments were made at the meeting. Seven letters of strong support were received and two with concerns.  The applicant acknowledged the two concerns, and included accommodations in the Use Permit application that was filed with the County.  A presentation was made to the BPRCC P&Z Committee by the attorney representing the Collective on 6/17. 

Discussion:  A question was raised as to whether the terms of the Use Permit application submitted to the County was the same as was presented to the P&Z Committee of BPRCC on 6/17.  President Camille Cox confirmed that the information was identical, and that the committee's recommendation was based on the actual Use Permit application as filed.  Other comments were supportive of the application, citing the benefits of community gatherings, music performances and other events which have been greatly missed these past few years.  Appreciation was expressed that the Applicant incorporated changes to satisfy public concerns.

The unfortunate close timing of the County’s notification did not allow for sufficient notice to the Council member representatives for a vote at today’s meeting.  As the comment deadline is 8/31, it’s not possible to postpone a vote until the September meeting. In light of the high importance of this Use Permit to the community, the following approach was recommended: The committee create a statement with their recommended comments; that statement and supporting information be sent by email to the Representatives, along with a summary of today's discussion; 7-10 days be allowed for Representatives to review and discuss with their Member Organizations; an electronic vote of the Representatives be conducted (allowable per bylaws) to affirm the Council’s recommendation which would then be submitted to the County by 8/31.

Presidents Report  Camille Cox noted that she learned at the August 10th Community Pulse event that the USFS nearing completion of scoping for the Turkey Creek trail system, and expects to release the plan in Sept/Oct. The public has 30 days to comment from the date of release.

Camille then spoke about the far-reaching value the BPRCC delivers to the community, referencing the meeting agenda: open communication and collaboration with County Supervisor Donna Michaels, a report on ways Yavapai County can address the pending water crisis, a transparent review of a new Special Use Permit, a new initiative to upgrade our corporate identity, as well as others.  She complimented the strong 2022 executive leadership team, explaining that a shift to a teamwork approach allows each officer to contribute the strengths they bring, and enjoy support from the others.  She announced that she will not be a candidate for president in 2023, however as immediate past president she will continue to serve as a member of the Executive Board. 

She emphasized that the important work of the council is dependent on volunteer leadership and requested that everyone keep that “top of mind" in the forthcoming call for nominating committee members and 2023 officers.

Secretary’s Report Minutes from June 9th meeting were approved as written, unanimously.  Mary Pope then noted that sadly, with the closure of the Sedona Village Learning Center in August of 2022, they have resigned their membership in the BPRCC.  On a happier note, Mary welcomed Suzy Lambert as the new Representative for the Sundance HOA and thanked Patrick Murphy for his years of service.

Treasurer’s Report  Patty Reski noted that expenses were normal, and the Treasurer’s Reports for June and July were provided to Representatives in advance of the meeting.  Finances are in good shape, with reserves up from 2021. Economy measures taken by the Executive Board include a reduction in the size of the PO Box (Savings $65 annually) and an extensive review of our insurance policies, which are 35% of the BPRCC total budget.  Vice President Duane Thompson has undertaken this review and it looks as though savings can be achieved without a reduction in coverage.  Patty then called for volunteers to work on the 2023 Budget Committee and Nancy Maple, Bob Marriott and Dave Norton stepped up.

Unfinished Business  Don Groves reported on behalf of the Strategic Plan & Leadership Development Committee noting that their first deliverable was to complete guidelines for the Nominating Committee.  The proposed policy was provided to Representatives prior to the meeting.  It was noted that a version of these guidelines was used by the 2022 Nominating Committee and their recommendations included in the final version.  The document was approved as written with technical formatting issues to be resolved for the final copy.  

New Business

Nominating Committee With praise for the Strategic Plan & Leadership Development’s efforts, Camille opened the floor for Nominating Committee appointments by the Council.  Paul Sullivan, who has served twice, explained the general committee process of meetings and phone calls between now and October, when the proposed slate of 2023 officers is presented to the Council for election in November. Carolyn Fisher, Dave Norton and Ty Dejong volunteered to serve and were unanimously appointed by the Council.

Corporate Identity  Mary Pope reported on the Executive Board’s proposal of a way to improve public recognition of the Council, noting that the background and professional experience of current board members with strengthening corporate identities, provides a unique opportunity to make improvements on this long-term issue. Currently the typewritten format of our corporate name is not visually memorable.  She then focused on the organization’s identity within the context of local history and topography featuring Bell Rock as an anchoring visual for the Big Park/VOC community itself.  An original illustration of Bell Rock created by Duane Thompson will serve as the basis for a new logo.  Mary then addressed the name of the organization, noting that there are many variables of the corporate name in use.  The EB recommends that BIG PARK COUNCIL be used, reserving the corporate name, Big Park Regional Coordinating Council, Inc., for official documents.  She then presented visuals of a proposed logo with the name BIG PARK COUNCIL embracing the illustration of Bell Rock produced in colors affirming our locale.  She noted that the pen and ink illustration and type-fonts used result in an overall effect that is a bit old fashioned and reminiscent of area’s cowboy and homesteader heritage.  A question was raised on use of the logo for name tags and Mary agreed to provide examples of how this would work.  Other questions involved including the date the Council was established and the general shape of the Bell Rock illustration with respect to an actual photograph.   Mary then presented NOTICE of a bylaw revision to permit the name BIG PARK COUNCIL to be officially used and this was approved unanimously for a vote to be taken next month.

Committee Reports

Community Plan: Dr Marianne Langridge, Growing Water Smart Update

As a member of the Big Park/VOC community plan committee, Marianne was invited to join the Yavapai County team that was selected for the Growing Smart program sponsored by the Sonoran Institute. She shared insights from the team’s work, highlighting the difficulties faced by counties who are limited in their ability to manage water resources.  Areas that will be further explored by the team and brought forward to local communities and County agencies include incorporation of water management policy recommendations in the County’s Comprehensive Plan update and following the state legislature’s activity to create an RMA (Regional/Responsible Management Area) which would give the County jurisdiction to govern private water use. 

APS Powerline: Duane Thompson reported that highlights of the United States Forest Service (USFS) Final Environmental Assessment (EA) on the APS proposed powerline will be discussed at a meeting hosted by USFS with interested parties including BPRCC on 8/30.  After the final EA is released, parties that submitted comments will have 45 days to file an appeal with the regional forester in Albuquerque. 

EPPiC (Emergency Preparedness Plan): Gwen Hanna reported that the committee has met with the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, Sedona Fire District, Yavapai County Office of Emergency Management, United States Forest Service, APS and most recently, the American Red Cross.  She noted that articles on these meetings in the Villager have been well received and encouraged Representatives to read the additional details contained in the EPPiC Minutes.  Gwen reiterated how impressive the communication, consistency and cooperation between the various frontline responders is.  She reminded the Council that all residents need to BE READY and STAY INFORMED, noting that CODE RED provides evacuation GO information, not wildfire updates.  She then noted that the committee will forward a recommendation on emergency preparedness to the Community Plan Committee on a proposed short term rental ordinance, so that EPPiC’s point of view will be included in their recommendations to the County on SB 1168.  There will be no EPPiC meeting in September.

Dark-Sky:  Curt Schneider reported that the committee had a request from the Cornville Community Assoc. to present Lighting Best Practices at their meeting on 10/11. He also noted that he attended the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) ZOOM meeting on the preparation of a Dark-Sky Community annual report.  The committee will be part of a Dark-Sky event 8/25 at the Beaver Creek school, and he’s pleased to report that the community at large is becoming more aware of the importance of Dark-Sky compliance.

Art in the Roundabouts:  Rolf Funk reported that Harvey Bershader and Lenore Hemingway have joined the committee, and new Aesthetics & Selection subcommittee members are Linda Goldenstein (gallery owner), Lisa Snowden (interior designer) and Mary Kershaw (Executive Director and CEO of the Museum of AZ).  The launch event has been rescheduled for Oct 4th at VOCA and all reps and alternates will be receiving an invitation by email.  If you’d like to get involved, you are asked to submit a letter of interest. Download letter here: tinyurl.com/AiRComApply. If you have questions, send email to info@bigparkcouncil.org


Broadband Update:  Tom Binnings reported that the Javelina Room of the Sedona Public Library in the Village is now available for rental.  The normal rate is $50/hour, less for non-profits.  It is a high-tech room with the fastest broadband in the Village.  Currently 150Mbps, soon to be 500Mbps up/download.  The goal is to expand this capability to other locations in the village.  Tom has met with the AZ Commerce Authority and others to bring more competitive broadband into our area.  They’ll try for funding via the Federal $830 million dollar infrastructure plan, and noted that additional private sector funding will also be needed.  Tom is the chair-elect of the Verde Valley Regional Economic Organization (VVREO).  Questions and comments may be sent directly to him at tbinnings@live.com or by calling him direct at Cell: 719-650-5898

Reminders:  See the Big Park Council website calendar for a full calendar listing. 

Next EB Meeting: Tuesday, August 30th, 3:00pm location TBD

Next Regular Meeting: Thursday, September 8th, 9:00am ZOOM

Supervisor Michaels Tackles NAH Quality of Service Issues and Survey Results

The Big Park Council recently collaborated with County Supervisor Donna Michaels to survey the Big Park-VOC community to learn more about our experience with Northern Arizona Healthcare.  The results of the survey revealed that many residents are struggling to get timely access to the care they need.

Supervisor Michaels is working with Northern AZ Healthcare to address these and other concerns to insure that quality healthcare services are secured for our community.  Although she could not attend the September 8th Council meeting, she sent the following message to be publicly shared.


The Supervisor will continue to update us as progress is made.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

How do you feel about the quality of healthcare services in the Verde Valley?

County Supervisor Donna Michaels is highly concerned that our residents have access to the quality of healthcare services we need.  To that end, she asked us to survey the Big Park-VOC community to learn more about our experience with Northern Arizona Healthcare.

You are receiving this survey as a subscriber to the Big Park/VOC Community Plan.  Our Community Vision Statement that was vetted by you earlier this year includes a commitment to good health - your answers will not only help Supervisor Michaels to advocate on our behalf, but also help shape our community plan.

The short survey includes six questions - estimated time to complete is less than 6 minutes.  All responses are strictly confidential.

Thank you for your time, and please pass this request along through your network of friends.
Big Park - Village of Oak Creek Vision Statement

Our community honors and protects its quiet, small-town feel and southwestern heritage.

We value and support low-density, low-rise, walkable development designed to preserve our Red Rock views, open spaces, and cherished International Dark-Sky designation.

Priorities include the health, welfare, and safety of residents, reliable broadband and infrastructure, and access to abundant recreational and cultural opportunities.

As part of our economy, we support sustainable tourism practices that enrich the quality of life for residents and future generations.


Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Sept. 8th Meeting Agenda



9:00 A.M. Thursday, September 8th 2022

If you would like to join the meeting, send an email to bigparkcouncil.inquiry@gmail.com with your name and email address. You will be added to the guest list.  We welcome you!

ZOOM Meeting:  The ZOOM Waiting Room opens at 8:30am.  Each guest will need to check in prior to the 9:00am start time.  Please arrive early so you can be checked in by the host.  See meeting protocols for rules pertaining to this meeting.  


Call to Order

1. Roll Call 

2. President’s Report – Camille Cox

3. Secretary’s Report – Duane Thompson, pro tem

    a. Approve August minutes

    b. Changes to Membership and/or Representatives 

4. Treasurer’s Report – Patty Reski, Treasurer

    a. Current financial standing

    b. Budget committee

5. Unfinished Business

    a.  The Collective Sedona Special Use Permit – Camille Cox
    b. VOTE: Bylaw revision Article I, Section 3 to allow use of name "BIG PARK COUNCIL" and                     Proposed logo – Camille Cox
    c. Discussion - Resumption of in-person meetings – Patty Reski

6. New Business

    a. Healthcare Services Survey

7. Committee Reports 

    a. P&Z – Dave Norton, Brief on AT&T 5G installation
    b. APS Subcommittee – Duane Thompson
    c. Art in the Roundabouts (AiR) – Rolf Funk
    d. Dark-Sky – Curt Schneider
    e. Community Plan – Camille Cox, Brief on STR Legislation
    f. Nominating – Committee member

8. Announcements 



Next P&Z Meeting: none scheduled

Next EB Meeting: Monday, October 3rd, 3pm

Next Regular Meeting: Thursday, October 13th, 9am

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Yavapai County Seeks Input from the Big Park/VOC Community

Yavapai County just published a new survey to gather residents' opinions on land use policy.  Of the 13 different topical surveys they've published as part of this process - the matter of altering existing zoning (Land Use) will have Very High Impact for communities like ours.  If we want to protect the small town character of our community, we need to let the County know where we feel high density and commercial projects are desirable - and where where they are not!

Please take the time to complete this survey - it should take approximately 5 minutes.  Each member of your household may complete the survey, and you are encouraged to share the survey with your friends and neighbors.  Your personal information will not be used or shared by the County.

Take LAND USE Survey Now

There are surveys on many other topics to inform the Comprehensive Plan, which you can access here: https://planningyavapai2032.org/surveys.


In-Person Opportunity to Discuss the Plan with County Staff

Tuesday, August 9th 2-4pm (yes, THIS week)

Sedona Library in the Village (located at the Big Park Community School, 25 West Saddlehorn Rd.)

Big Park/VOC residents will have an in-person opportunity to ask questions and provide input to Development Services staff about the County Comprehensive Plan Update. This is a drop-in session, come by any time between 2pm and 4pm.  (if you haven't been to the new library yet, you'll be wow'ed!)

You can review the DRAFT plan elements at: https://planningyavapai2032.org/.  On that page you'll find the draft documents for nine of the Elements and the Draft Vision Statement.  The Comprehensive Plan is a critical document will help guide land use decisions in the unincorporated areas of the county for the next 10 years.

Below, for your convenience, you can review the County's Draft Vision Statement. Its purpose is to provide high level guidance for County decision-makers in the future - with the various Elements delving into specifics.  All of these pieces are still in Draft form, to be finalized in coming months.  Now is the time to provide your input to the County!

If you have questions, contact County Development Services staff at Planning@yavapaiaz.gov.  For questions about how this fits into our local Community Plan, send a message to info@villageplan22.org.

In coming weeks, your Big Park-VOC community plan will be sending key dates for completion of our work, and ways that you can participate in the community review. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Meeting Agenda - August 11th 2022


9:00 A.M. Thursday, August 11th, 2022

Guests must RSVP to receive the ZOOM link and to be on the attendees list.  If you would like to join the meeting, send an email to bigparkcouncil.inquiry@gmail.com with your name and email address. You will be added to the guest list.  We welcome you!

Public Agency Speaker: Donna Michaels, Yavapai County Supervisor
Public Agency Speaker:
Marianne Langridge, Sustainability Synthesis – Growing Water Smart update.

  1. Roll Call 
  2. President’s Report – Camille Cox
  3. Secretary’s Report – Mary Pope
    1. Approve June minutes
    2. Changes to Membership and/or Representatives 
  4. Treasurer’s Report – Patty Reski, Treasurer
    1. Current financial standing
    2. Call for volunteers to serve on the 2023 Budget Committee
  5. Unfinished Business
    1.  Strategic Planning & Leadership Development – Proposed nominating committee procedure – Don Groves
  6. New Business
    1.  Council appointment of Nominating Committee
  7. Committee Reports 
    1. P&Z - Mary Morris
    2. APS Subcommittee – Duane Thompson
    3. Emergency Preparedness (EPPiC) – Gwen Hanna
    4. Art in the Roundabouts (AiR) – Rolf Funk
  8. Announcements 
    1. Novel Night – Carolyn Fisher
Next P&Z Meeting: Friday August 19th 10am, Zoom
Next EB Meeting: Tuesday August 30th, 3pm, location TBD
Next Regular Meeting: Thursday September 8th, 9am, Zoom

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Big Park Council June Meeting Highlights

 Public Agency Speaker:  Donna Michaels, Yavapai County District Supervisor  Supervisor Michaels explained her position with respect to a number of issues facing the Village.  She began with the proposed APS Oak Creek to McGuireville 69KV Power Line Project, noting that while we need to have power available, it is important that local utilities embrace stewardship of the environment and public safety by preserving our iconic scenic views, and mitigating the potential fire dangers that a substation and overhead wires present.   She then reviewed the water crisis facing rural Arizona and the steps taken by the Board of Supervisors in their Proclamation in Support of Water Certainty, encouraging residents to join in the process and to testify before the state legislature on the critical need for the creation of a rural groundwater management area.  Click HERE to download a copy of the Board of Supervisors Proclamation in Support of Water Certainty.   She feels that Yavapai County has made a commitment to the community with respect to recycling and is working to find a way to reinstate the recycling centers that were closed.  The damaging behavior of OHV’s is an issue that is being addressed by the creation of a powerful four-minute video that OHV users are now required to watch, and sign that they understand the terms of vehicle use. Supervisor Michaels would like to see on Verifiable Violations that a fine be imposed similar to the way they charge you if you roll over an OHV.  The funds collected from these fines would be used to restore the damage to the land.  Click HERE to view the video.  Finally Supervisor Michaels acknowledged the importance of broadband internet to the area and noted a later BPRCC agenda item updating the progress.

Public Agency Speaker:  Isaac Dudley, Flows Project Manager, Friends of the Verde River  Isaac explained what we can do as a citizen with respect to river friendly living noting that conservation does not end at the riverbanks.  We are all connected.  Friends of the Verde River’s mission is to work collaboratively for a healthy flowing Verde River system, noting that river flow has been declining since the 1990’s. He showed the first Verde River watershed report card and the report was not good.  One of the ways to improve is with their certification programs that recognizes river friendly homes, farms, businesses and new developments.  The goal is to inspire a culture of river friendly conservation.  A home self-assessment form is online at https://verderiver.org/river-friendly-living/

Presidents Report  Camille Cox explained that the comment period to ADOT for their plans to rebuild the bridge at I-17 and SR179 was extremely short, and a comment letter was drafted by the Executive Board on behalf of the Council stressing safety concerns and suggesting specific areas of improvement that could be done during reconstruction. Visibility of southbound traffic exiting onto SR 179 to traffic exiting I-17 northbound needs improvement, as do the acceleration and deceleration lanes of I-17 exiting northbound and entering southbound.  A copy of the letter was provided to Representatives.

Unfinished Business

Recycling Survey: Mary Pope noted the survey deadline had been extended one week, as requested, and that while the response analysis remained essentially the same, the number of respondents increased substantially.  693 responded, 86% being full time residents. 88.7% indicating that recycling is very important.  The full report has been shared with the Council representatives, Yavapai County Supervisors and Sedona Recycles.  There has also been an article published in the Villager.  Click HERE to download a copy of the final report.  We will continue to monitor the County’s progress and report back to the Council.

In-Person Meeting Survey:  Mary Pope noted that since the first survey in October of 2021, the number of Reps/Alts agreeing to in-person meetings has increased from 63% to 86% and there was a strong preference to continue meeting via ZOOM in the Summer months as people are out of town.  We will look into in-person and/or hybrid meetings in the Fall.  She noted that although no one has volunteered to manage the technology of hybrid meetings, the library may soon have the facilities and staff to do so.  A suggestion was made to change the summer meeting time from 9am to 3pm and the Council asked for more time to consider this proposed time change.

Art in the Roundabouts:  Camille Cox reminded the Council that at the May 12th meeting, they’d approved a proposed agreement between the Sedona Village Partnership (SVP) and BPRCC to jointly manage the Art in the Roundabouts project.  In presenting the document to the SVP Board, it was approved with several clarifications recommended.  Camille explained the clarifications as being: It is now called a letter of intent, not a contractual agreement, payment protocols are detailed, and an expiration date added.  With no revisions or objections to these changes, a voice vote was taken and Camille was authorized unanimously to sign the revised document on behalf of the BPRCC.

Committee Reports: 

P&Z:  Mary Morris noted that the use permit application for the Collective has been submitted to the County, but that the County has not yet listed it as having been received.  In light of the expected County action, this use permit will likely be discussed and a formal recommendation made at the P&Z meeting Friday, June 17th.  Mary noted that the use permit submitted by the Collective appears to have taken community comments from their pre-application citizen participation meeting into consideration.

APS Powerline:  Duane Thompson reminded the Council that BPRCC filed comments to USFS in January on the proposed 13.7-mile transmission line proposed to head down the Cornville Road to Beaverhead Flat to the Kel Fox trail into the Village.  A final recommendation from the USFS is expected August/September.  He noted that Senator Sinema’s staff was separately briefed as she was unable to attend the joint meeting May 11th with BPRCC, KSB, APS, Sierra Club, USFS and representatives of Senators Kelly, Rep. O’Halleran, and Yavapai County District 3 Supervisor Donna Michaels. The USFS is aware that interest in this project remains high and that  the feasibility of a community microgrid is being examined.  

EPPiC:  Mary Pope reported that the committee met with four representatives of the USFS regarding their role in fire prevention and suppression. She emphasized the extensive experience and qualifications of District Ranger Amy Tinderholt’s staff, and their level of respect and cooperation with other frontline emergency responders.  She then summarized Fire Management Officer Brian Steinhardt’s presentation. He explained that the Sedona Fire District (SFD) overlaps the boundaries with the Forest Service (FS) and that they work together in the event of a fire, with the nearest equipment responding first. Fire-fighting equipment is always on hand at the Ranger Station. He noted, however, that the SFD has sole responsibility to enter a structure and that the FS takes protective action to keep the fire away from the structure.  Fire patterns have changed with the severe drought conditions as pines and junipers are weakened and grasses have begun to grow closer to the trees.  He reminded us that the VOC is a unique environment with its proximity to the forest; but that fire danger will most likely come from neighbors and could spread into the forest. He encouraged all to subscribe to Code Red and to always be READY, suggesting that we evacuate when told SET, without waiting to be told GO.  He also encouraged all to be Firewise around their property and to be aware of ignition sources on our homes, such as pine needles on the roof or gutters which could be ignited by a burning ember. When asked what advice he would give our community he responded “Don’t believe it can’t happen here". 

Dark-Sky: Curt Schneider reported that the Star Party held May 22nd at the Hilton was attended by over 150 people and was a great success. He explained that Yavapai County is working on the Comprehensive Plan and that action on updating the lighting ordinance is on hold until the plan is finished.  A Star Party will be hosted at the Yavapai College Cottonwood campus at 8pm June 28th and all are welcome to attend.  

Strategic Plan & Leadership Development:  Lenore Hemingway reported that with the help of several Representatives, the committee has completed their SWOT analysis, and at their meeting on June 27th would be finalizing a guidance document for the Nominating Committee.  This document will be sent out to the Council to review prior to voting on it at the July 14th meeting.  Lenore emphasized that the document is for guidance only, and not bylaws type obligatory rule structure.  She noted that they are also working on a two-year roadmap for leadership development within the Council.

Art in the Roundabouts:  Rolf Funk reported that the articles on the project ran this month in two local papers. He apologized that the launch party had to be postponed to a date later this summer.  Those interested in serving on the committee can download the letter of interest application by clicking HERE or email info@bigparkcouncil.org to request a copy. 

USFS: Paul Sullivan explained that the USFS is actively tracking forest conditions and although the weather has been extreme, they are not currently planning to close the national forests as they have improved resources available to handle a fire emergency and all weather indications are that we will have a normal monsoon this season.  A two week notice period precedes any closure of the national forest.  Paul also noted that we’ll soon hear about plans to mitigate damage to the forest caused by OHV’s.

VVTPO:  Camille noted that Steve Fiedler’s report was sent out to representatives in advance of the meeting.

Reminders:  See the BPRCC website for a full calendar listing. 

Next P&Z Meeting, Friday, June 17th via ZOOM

Next EB Meeting: Tuesday, July 5th, 3:00pm location TBD

Next Regular Meeting: Thursday, July 14th, 9:00am ZOOM