Mon, Sept. 16

Refresher course on VOCA's origins

The Village of Oak Creek, sometimes called by its older area name, Big Park, is a community with a slow but continuous turnover.

It is easy for many not to know, or to forget, how the Village got started or who or what VOCA is. Since VOCA is about half of the VOC, perhaps a little refresher is in order.

The Village of Oakcreek Association (VOCA) is…what? It is a community of people. It’s over 2340 lots for homes, mostly all built upon; it’s a community center, it’s a park, it’s two tennis courts, a golf course, but what else? Well, a lot else.

In 1967, Big Park was empty. Only a few homesteads would have been here.

Sedona itself was very small and not well known as it is today, except by Hollywood. Oak Creek Canyon was well known for its beauty. Big Park offered a ripe area for development, and it was “discovered”.

The developer of the area announced the development of a large part of Big Park and named it the Village of Oakcreek (Oakcreek being one word) in 1967.

The developer started a homeowners association in 1971 and named it after his development, the Village of Oakcreek Association (VOCA). The state signs call it the Village of Oak Creek -- Oak Creek being two words.

In 1974 the homeowners, for good reasons, wrestled control of VOCA from the developer, and starting with $721.28, have controlled it ever since.

In July of 1975, VOCA bought the golf course from the developer who was in need of cash. That is how VOCA got started. These homeowners were the real founders of VOCA and they put their stamp on it -- one of honesty, integrity, and a sincere desire to build a community for its people.

So, what is VOCA today? It hasn’t changed in its goals. It protects the property values of its homeowners by not letting properties get trashy.

The neighborhoods are quiet and very presentable. Some may think the architectural restrictions can be too restrictive, but they exist for a purpose -- protecting the property values of everyone.

VOCA offers recreational opportunities like golf, tennis, and a small park -- all of which are open to the general public.

VOCA also maintains the medians of Verde Valley School Road and Bell Rock Blvd. These are within the bounds of VOCA but are on county road property. The county built the requested medians only on the promise that local volunteers would maintain them, because the county cannot afford to and be fair to the rest of the county.

The Verde Valley School Road medians were well maintained for many, many years by individual volunteers.

VOCA, in the last couple of years or so, has taken that job over to relieve the volunteers. Keeping the area attractive is important to real estate values.

Some VOCA members living on the east side of SR179 have wondered why VOCA doesn’t do something like this on that side of the highway.

The answer is because no medians exist on that side of the highway. VOCA did not build any of the medians it is maintaining; it is only maintaining the landscaping within them.

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