Big Park Community Plan Review process now enters research phase

Steve DeVol, President of Keep Sedona Beautiful, speaks in favor of the National Scenic Area (NSA) Designation while USFS Red Rock Ranger Heather Provencio also, on the panel, waits to give the Forest Service perspective on the Designation.

Steve DeVol, President of Keep Sedona Beautiful, speaks in favor of the National Scenic Area (NSA) Designation while USFS Red Rock Ranger Heather Provencio also, on the panel, waits to give the Forest Service perspective on the Designation.

Greetings Neighbors! Thanks to all of you who are working on the various aspects of the Community Plan Review process now in the research phase of subcommittee work.

And work it is, not glamorous, but definitely measurable and being accomplished by residents and business people who are incredibly dedicated and impressive in their commitment to excellence. I am so moved every time I attend a subcommittee meeting and hear the reports and see the amounts of research being conducted by you, our volunteer team! This community is a jewel and each glorious facet is one of you. Thank you.

In June, your Council Officers wanted to provide a panel for the community on the National Scenic Area designation. Congresswoman Kirkpatrick has asked for our feedback on this and other issues, so it was timely to hear the facts from all viewpoints including the USFS Red Rock District Ranger Heather Provencio.

There was a 90-minute discussion attended by 75 members of the public. The discussion resulted in a resolution by the Council approving support of the National Scenic Area designation 21-1. This community has supported the Designation in the past, but it had been years since the issue was considered and our community has seen many demographic and other changes since the last resolution of support from Big Park Regional Coordinating Council. A letter has gone to Representative Kirkpatrick's office informing them of our support.

Coming up for July's Council meeting, we will meet our State Senator Steve Pierce and hear a Legislative update when Senator Pierce visits the Council for the first time. This is a great opportunity to make our voices heard by an elected official representing us at the State Legislature. Please mark your calendars for July 9th at 10 a.m., in the Sedona Fire Station #3.

Have you been enjoying the Magical Journeys and other exciting opportunities in our community? There are movies, fun dinners, wine tasting, arts and music. Many of our restaurants are offering great specials and other businesses are providing interesting demonstrations, programs and speakers on various topics of interest. The Sedona Village Community Calendar, a service generously provided to our community by the Villager publisher Verde Valley Newspapers, is full of fun and different activities that range from free to a small fee to join or participate. Take a look and see what interests you!

The Sedona Village Business Association is planning all sorts of wonderful activities and events in the near future. Look for coupons in the Villager and come out to support the All-American Specials being offered in honor of our very own All-American Road. Don't miss the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony planned for July 4th at 10am at Tequa Festival Marketplace.

Before I finish my message this month, I must comment on two issues that will resound for a time yet and are very important in our community.

(1) There has been some press and media attention about the use of toxic chemicals on the SR 179 plantings as part of the enhancements maintenance for the All-American Road.

This is a serious issue and sadly, not one that the Council has any control over. Comments about the use of toxic chemicals should go to the Yavapai County Coordinator of Special Districts, Bev Staddon at 928-583-1148.

If you have comments or questions about the plantings, size of plantings or any comments regarding the work currently being done on SR179, please direct your comments to ADOT Project Manager Carl Burkhalter at 928-284-2503. This contact information was given to me by ADOT Senior Engineer John Harper to facilitate community comments.

(2) The second issue is the current signage along SR 179, our All-American Road. You may remember that in the last few months the Council asked for comments and suggestions about signage and other issues pertaining to SR 179 once construction was complete and the Community had lived with the roadway for 6 months (or more now).

The Council spent months collecting your input and the Transportation Committee compiled it and put it in a very succinct, well done letter that we sent through Yavapai County to ADOT.

We received an answer from ADOT that the project was over and no changes or additional signs could be added because funding wasn't available for anything else at this time. We were reminded that we got what we asked for in the Charettes, DAP's (Design Assessment Planning) and the NBIP (Needs Based Implementation Process). The Transportation Committee of the Council is researching this right now and the Council will be keeping you informed of progress and ways you can help. If you have comments about this or want to help please email transportation@bigparkcouncil.org.

It was also brought to the Council's attention this month that no signs or striping alerts drivers to the right turn only out of some driveways along the SR 179. Unfortunately, two cars from out of town were observed turning left out of a driveway at night and proceeding in the wrong direction to the nearest roundabout. Fortunately, the driver in the roundabout saw them and gave them room to get in and around safely.

I was told by Senior Engineer John Harper that ADOT Safety Engineers were in our community looking at this safety issue and he expected some measures to be taken quickly. By the time you are reading this, there should be some directional or one way signs at these driveways. It is another example of how important a loud clear, reasoned voice is from our community.

Thank you again for your interest in our community. It's a pleasure and privilege to serve you as Big Park Council President. Please do not hesitate to send me an email at president@bigparkcouncil.org. And come down to a Council meeting, always the second Thursday of the month at 9 a.m. in the Sedona Fire Station #3 on Slide Rock Rd. next to the Post Office. Your opinions and input are integral to our success as your Big Park Council and we hope to see you there!

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