Saturday, January 29, 2022


Here is a fantastic opportunity to get factual information from the leading government and community leaders of the greater Sedona region.  YOu'll hear presentations from the City of Sedona, Big Park Regional Coordinating Council, Sedona Airport, Yavapai College, League of Women Voters and the US Forest Service.

Hosted by the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau
Wednesday, February 9 from 9:30 – 11 a.m.
Sedona Performing Arts Center 

RSVP to Attend

The Big Park Council will be reporting on its 2021 accomplishments and the ambitious agenda for 2022, including:
  • Launch of an online public portal hosting emergency preparedness resources for residents, businesses and visitors, along with a public outreach campaign;
  • Completion of the Big Park-Village of Oak Creek community plan as part of Yavapai County’s Comprehensive Plan Update;
  • Production of Dark-Sky community information resources and night sky events;
  • Ongoing research, education and community engagement on proposed projects that impact the community, particularly those impacting environmental resources and quality of life.
The bi-annual Pulse events have become a unique opportunity for residents and business owners to learn how the organizations working on quality of life issues are collaborating on common shared challenges. The September event was well attended by Village residents who gave enthusiastic reviews about the quality of information.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

2022 Annual Meeting of the Big Park Council

The Big Park Regional Coordinating Council held its Annual Meeting on January 13th via Zoom.

Community Report Garin Marschall, board member of the Sedona Village Learning Center (SVLC), provided an update of recent activities and the challenges facing the pre-school. The school currently has two teachers, one aide and 20 students. SVLC’s current combination LLC and 501(c)3 nonprofit structures are being consolidated into a single 501(c)3 organization. Garin explained that the looming May expiration of SVLC’s lease at Big Park Community School is an urgent challenge.

He said SVLC would like to remain at the same location and to grow over time by adding more grades. However, he added that the preschool needs to find a location “they can count on” to grow. He noted the importance of local schools as learning centers and also as social institutions for community interaction. According to Garin, the optimal size for the facility is ~1800 sf with 900+sf for outside play area and parking with safe drop-off area. He invited anyone with knowledge of a potential location or other suggestions to contact SVLC at

A Q&A session followed, with Garin responding to questions in the affirmative that SVLC would like to expand to early school grades, such as K-2. Other commenters noted the inconvenience and long bus ride to West Sedona, and that the community has lost families due to the Big Park Community School closure. To a question about the status of discussions with the school district to stay at the current location, Randy Hawley, president of the Sedona-Oak Creek United School District (SOCSD), commented that one of the lease conditions is operation of a pre-school only.

Appointment of Committee Chairs for 2022 The president reviewed the list of Council chair appointments for 2022, noting that there were few changes.  The Planning & Zoning committee was expanded with the addition of Robert Czajkowski, Paul Cooley and Dave Norton as committee members, and Robin Stevens as Advisor on wireless technology and towers.  Duane Thompson had volunteered to chair the Audit Committee, and representatives Carolyn Fisher and Ty DeJong agree to serve on the committee.  The slate of chairs and members was approved.

New Council Members Welcomed  The Council welcomed five new representatives and alternates: Cathedral Rock Ranch representative Ty deJong and alternate Robert Nora; Bell Rock Plaza Association representative Elizabeth McFarland; Pine Valley POA representative Dennis Bauman; and PiƱon Woods 1 representative Susan Barber.

Meetings to Continue via Zoom  Camille reviewed excerpts from a September 2021 survey regarding Council member preferences for live vs. virtual meeting format.  She asked the Council what action they wished to take with consensus being to continue meeting via Zoom and revisit the topic in June.

Planning & Zoning Committee  Duane Thompson reported that the APS subcommittee filed a detailed comment letter on January 4th with the U.S. Forest Service objecting to APS’s proposed new above-ground powerline into the Village. He noted that the letter was consistent with the Council’s position and that Donna Michaels, Yavapai County District 3 supervisor, and Keep Sedona Beautiful submitted similar letters.

Road Work Projects in the VOC  Projects scheduled for early 2022 include Broken Lance Circle and a rubberized chip seal on Verde Valley School Road.  The chip seal will include covering the full width of pavement with a rubberized chip seal and restoring the pavement striping and markings. Construction will likely begin sometime around April 1st.  Public Works will also be relocating the sidewalk in front of Clarks Market in January.  Residents are encouraged to report road issues to the Council ( for the attention of VVTPO.

Free Services Available at the Village Library  Some special free services are available for residents.  On Tuesdays, free technology assistance and on Wednesdays, free notary services – both by appointment.  Call 928.282.7714 ext. 8100 or email  In mid-February, volunteers from AARP will be available to help residents with tax preparation advice.  They also offer fax, scanning, printing and b/w copying capability.

Next P&Z Meeting: Friday January 21st at 10am, Zoom
Next Executive Board Meeting: Tuesday February 1st, 3pm, location TBD
Next Regular Meeting: Thursday, February 10th, 9am, Zoom
Next EPPiC Meeting: Friday, February 4th at 2:00pm, location TBD

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Big Park Council Submits Comments in Opposition To APS Above-Ground Powerline

Big Park Council Submits Comments in Opposition
To APS Above-Ground Powerline
– alerts residents to January 14, 2022 comment deadline –

VILLAGE OF OAK CREEK, AZ (January 5, 2022) – Big Park Regional Coordinating Council today submitted a detailed comment letter (click to view/download) to the U.S. Forest Service in opposition to[D1] a proposed, above-ground Arizona Public Service (APS) 69kV Powerline Project from the Village of Oak Creek (VOC) to McGuireville.  Most of the route would run across Coconino National Forest and require a special use permit from the Forest Service.  On December 15th the Forest Service released a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA), initiating a 30-day public comment period.

Big Park Council supports a second alternative under consideration by the Forest Service, according to Council President Camille Cox.  The second option under study by the Forest Service would require burial of the proposed 13.7-mile powerline along nearly the entire route – except the last mile into the Oak Creek substation.  That final mile runs along a section of Highway 179 that is designated as the Red Rock Scenic Byway by the US Department of Transportation, considered to be a destination unto itself.  Cox said the Council would also like to see this highly visible section buried to preserve the inspiring visual impact that greets motorists entering Sedona’s Red Rock country.

Photo: View looking north from the Kel Fox Trail.  Top photo shows existing condition and bottom image shows view with simulated above-ground 69kV powerline, one of two alternatives studied by the USFS.  The project depicted in the simulation reflects preliminary siting information.  Typical pole height is shown at 65 feet, but may range from 54.5 to 72.5 feet.  Final pole placement and height may vary based on final engineering and design. (NOTE: USFS images, for illustrative purposes only.)

Big Park Council’s comment letter objects to the above-ground option for a number of reasons, including conflicts with Coconino National Forest’s management plan for the area, which includes preservation of scenic vistas and iconic red rock formations that attract millions of visitors to the area every year.  The letter cites numerous other concerns including increased wildfire risks posed by a new powerline, potential negative impact to property values, and ignoring a federal directive to consider climate change when modifying the Forest Service’s local management plan.  According to APS, the 69kV powerline is needed for backup in the event of power outages.

“We appreciate the Forest Service’s efforts in seeking extensive public feedback on this proposal, which has the potential of significantly blocking scenic view corridors in and around the Village of Oak Creek,” Cox said.  “However, our surveys and forums have reflected strong community opposition to a new above-ground powerline, which would require installation of approximately 250 “self-weathering” 65-foot steel poles, spaced roughly 88-yards apart.”

Additionally, the Draft EA (Environmental Assessment) confirmed Big Park Council’s own consultant’s estimates that the long-term maintenance cost of the overhead powerline is far greater than a buried powerline – an expense that would be passed along to rate-payers, Cox said.

Consistent with a position statement approved by the Big Park Council last year, BPRCC also supports a feasibility study of a solar-powered community microgrid as another option, which would increase energy resilience, result in significant cost-savings for local residents’ electric bills over the long-term, and alleviate the need for any new powerline construction.

The Draft EA, which details project alternatives and discloses potential effects of the alternatives, is available for review and public comment at Based on the EA analysis, the Coconino National Forest Supervisor will decide whether to allow implementation of one of the two alternatives studied, a blend of the two, or deny a permit.

How to Comment   Individuals who wish to comment may email the Coconino National Forest’s Flagstaff office at or send a letter to its office at 1824 S. Thompson St., Flagstaff, AZ  86001. Deadline is Jan 14th, 2022.

More Information on this project can be found here:  APS Powerline Project