TRUSTED NEWS LEADER FOR COTTONWOOD, CAMP VERDE & THE VERDE VALLEY
Sat, Sept. 21

Big Park Community Council moving forward with Dark-Sky Designation

Steve Nelson<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Big Park Council President

Steve Nelson<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Big Park Council President

July 10, 2014, the Big Park Regional Coordinating Council passed a motion supporting the pursuit of the Dark-Sky Designation from the International Dark-Sky Association for the Big Park/Village of Oak Creek community.

The City of Sedona had been working on this designation and was recently rewarded with this designation.

The Council feels the Big Park/Village of Oak Creek area is a unique and picturesque community. It is a place where the Milky Way is not only visible but is also a bright presence. The spectacular views of the heavens are enjoyed by both residents and visitors. It is important for this community that this increasingly rare resource be protected.

At our January meeting, exciting information about the progress for the attainment of the Dark-Sky Designation was relayed by Joanne Kendrick, Chairperson for the Big Park Dark-Sky Committee.

Joanne let us know that the committee has been working hard to achieve the designation and our community is in a good position to be able to attain it.

The first step was the committee having discussions with Yavapai County to incorporate several minor changes that will need to be incorporated into the County's Dark-Sky Ordinance.

This meeting went well and the County is in the process of reviewing these changes. A critical next step is the receipt of letters of support from businesses and residents. The Council will be reviewing the sample notification letters and letters of support at the February meeting with the intent that notices would be going out by the end of February.

We will be working with the Sedona Village Business Association and the Sedona Village Lodging Association who will disseminate the letters to the businesses while the HOA members of the Council will disseminate the information to the residents.

We also expect to have a sample of the letters in the March Villager. A question was raised at the meeting if the designation will require retrofitting by businesses and residents. Just like the current Dark-Sky ordinance grandfathers lighting installed before the ordinance, the Dark-Sky Designation would have a similar grandfathering provision.

If you want additional information on the designation, please visit the webpage of the International Dark-Sky Association at www.darksky.org. or send an inquiry via e-mail to the Committee at info@bigparkcouncil.org.

At the February meeting, we will also be welcoming Bruce Morrow, Transportation Manager for Cottonwood Area Transit and Verde Lynx who will be discussing the possibility of extending the Lynx service to our community.

As part of the Vision and Enhancement survey completed by the Council for our community, this expansion was graded with the highest importance.

In March, Chip Davis will be our guest discussing matters impacting the county and our community. All residents are welcome at the meetings which are on the second Thursday of the month at the VOC Fire Station at 125 Slide Rock Road commencing at 9 a.m..

We look forward to your attending the meeting as exciting opportunities for our community are discussed.

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