President’s Message / February Villager

Our APS Transmission Line Sub-committee has developed a background summary and survey to gather community input on the proposed high-voltage transmission line into the Village of Oak Creek.

The past few months, they have been in discussion with the US Forest Service and APS. This is a major project that will cast a long shadow on our community, and this is the time to learn about the options and weigh in.

The preferred route that APS (Arizona Public Service) proposes begins 15 miles south in McGuireville, continues NW along Cornville Road, NE along Beaverhead Flat Road, then follows the historic Kel Fox Trail cross country into the Village.

If you are not familiar with the historic Kel Fox Trail, it offers stunning panoramic views of the Village, and is popular with hikers and equestrians. Within Big Park, the new transmission line would run along an existing line to the East, cross SR-179, then turn north terminating at the existing APS substation at the SW corner of SR-179 and Jacks Canyon Road. The powerline would be strung on 65-foot high single steel poles (monopoles) – this is 50% higher than the lines that run through the area now.

If you are a subscriber to BPRCC email communication, you would have received this survey and information on 1/26/21. The survey also available on our website (bigparkcouncil.org).

Other Village organizations are also distributing to their members. The survey will only be open until 2/10/21, so please take action quickly.

Community Plan Revs Up
The response to last month’s Call for Volunteers to participate in the Big Park Community Plan committee was tremendous in quality and quantity. Thank you to everyone who stepped up.

The opportunity is still open and we have tasks in various areas of interest – Culture and Community Spaces, Land Use, Transportation, Environment, Water Resources, Open Space, Energy, Cost of Development, Growth Areas. If there is an aspect to our community that isn’t listed that matters to YOU, let us know. To learn more about how you can participate, simply send an email to info@bigparkcouncil.org.

Highlights from January meeting

State of the Council Report:
The president summarized 2020 as a year of remarkable progress, if not perfection. She noted that dialog with Yavapai County is open and cooperative, and that the BPRCC has gained a better sense of itself.

Participation and support from both Council Members and the community at large has continued to increase. An additional Educational Institution (Sedona Village Learning Center) voice was added to the Council membership.

Email reach is now over 500 citizens and communication has expanded, including timely meeting highlights, surveys and information on issues impacting the community. Regular articles on Council activities are featured in the local press, as well as online newsletters and social media. Accomplishments noted:

• Two new committees (Dark Skies and Community Plan) and a subcommittee (APS Transmission Line) were formed, staffed and activated;

• A new website was created by a volunteer and three individuals trained to maintain it;

• Multiple bylaws amendments were reviewed and approved, in addition to great strides on the comprehensive bylaws update (scheduled for completion in June);

• New electronic meetings and voting processes were implemented, which will serve the Council for years in the future.

BPRCC Joins Sedona Village Partnership Don Groves, president of the Sedona Village Partnership (SVP), summarized his organization’s legacy of building bridges of communication and cooperation in the community. The SVP currently has 42 partners – 31 individuals and 11 organizations and businesses.

Beginning as a project of the Council, the SVP has come full circle looking to work together on communication, identification of community needs, advice and counsel. A motion was made and passed that the Council become a partner of the SVP.

Bylaws Review Focused on Representation Co- Chair Nancy Maple led discussion covering attendance requirements, representation/voting, and training. Representation and “One person-One vote” was discussed at length, noting the complexity of the issue and a perceived lack of fairness observed in the past.

The importance of discussion, and being present to listen and express a point of view was highlighted as critical to informed voting. The Council asked the committee to provide additional clarification on the questions for continued discussion next month.

P&Z Committee Members Confirmed Chairman Mary Morris welcomed the 2021 P&Z Committee members Phil Feiner, David Gill, Nancy Maple, Michael McGaughey, Camille Cox (ex officio) and APS Sub Committee Chair Duane Thompson. The P&Z Advisors for 2021 are Paul Cooley, Martha Mertz, Darcy Hitchcock and Dave Norton (Dark Skies). The committee was approved by the Council.

Dark-Skies Committee Move Forward Dave Norton reported that the committee was refining its Purpose and Goals to emphasize collaboration with Yavapai County, the International Dark-Skies Alliance, and affiliated Dark-Skies communities in our region. He noted that a much-needed update to the County lighting ordinance is in-process. The committee is working on recommendations to address a need for County support to improve Dark-Skies lighting ordinance compliance and a new concept of County-designated lighting zones to accommodate diverse environments (rural to urban). The committee looks forward to working with the County on these issues.

Community Plan Committee Members Confirmed Chairman Camille Cox welcomed the 2021 Community Plan Committee Members: David Gill, Jan Groves, David Hanke, Omar Kenney, Mark Moorehead, Mary Morris, Judy Poe and Joe Skidmore. The committee was unanimously confirmed by the Council. The committee received a bountiful response for volunteers from the recent Villager article, with more groups stepping up to participate in this process. The County is still at the concept stage of their approach to the 2022 Comprehensive Plan and early target dates have been rolled back.

The next meeting of the Council will be February 11th, 9 a.M. via Zoom. 

For committee meetings, check website calendar (bigparkcouncil.org).