Verde Village Property Owners Association: Take CC&R complaints to county

Dr. Cheryl Kasdorf

Dr. Cheryl Kasdorf

Codes, Covenants and Restrictions or CC&R’s are designed primarily to upgrade and enhance property values in a community. For more than 40 of VVPOA’s 50 years, there was an Architectural Control Committee of volunteers who devoted time and efforts to enforce the established CC&R’s to help keep the Verde Villages a desirable place to live.

Due to lack of funds, volunteers and resources, the VVPOA no longer has the ability to enforce the covenants and they have not been renewed at the 25 year deadline. Therefore, it falls on Yavapai County to enforce restrictions.

The Verde Villages were not developed like most “planned communities.” The Queen Creek Cattle Company did not follow through with essentials, such as good roads, access to utilities and fire protection. The VVPOA was formed to address these issues and thanks to the original founders, the community has turned out to be a nice place to live.

So as taxpayers, residents of the Verde Villages should call on the county when they have issues in the community that they feel need to be addressed such as junk on lots, overgrown weeds, unsightly buildings. The VVPOA cannot address any violations of covenants, codes or restrictions.

So does the VVPOA still have a purpose? We believe that we do. Volunteers have currently proposed a new mission statement which reads as follows: The VVPOA Community connects us to our neighbors, to Nature, and to the lifestyle we all seek. We’d like to invite all members of our community to help keep this a great place to live. Call 928-646-6505, leave your number and tell us what you would like to do to help.

Introducing Unit #2 Director Dr. Cheryl Kasdorf in her own words:

I established my Naturopathic Medical practice in Cottonwood in 1998. I had lived in different parts of Yavapai County since 1976 and wanted a small-town environment and found it here. When it was time to buy a house in 2013, I found exactly what I needed in the Verde Villages. It is a quiet neighborhood, dog friendly, and a 7-minute commute to my office.

What impressed me when I arrived in central Arizona were the wide-open skies. Nighttime stars, the winter rising of Orion and the ever-present Big Dipper, the moon, and a breath-taking view of the Milky Way! I had never seen it before like I can see our galaxy here.

Daytime unobscured horizons allowed me to watch storms roll in, notice when I could see the moon depending on its phase, and see the seasonal shifts of sunrise, sunset, moonrise, and moonset. All of this connected me deeply to Nature as I attuned to her cycles. That connection is now evident in my Naturopathic Medical practice.

I celebrated Flagstaff becoming the first International Dark Sky City in 2001, and I then saw Cottonwood follow in 2019. I discovered that Yavapai County, where I live, has had a dark sky ordinance since 2002. I am passionate about maintaining the darkness of night not only for star gazing, but for us humans and all the other creatures whose circadian rhythms depend on darkness. At least half of all bugs as well as animals such as foxes, skunks and coyotes are nocturnal and many others are active at dusk and dawn. Porch and yard lights left on all night disrupt their activities, impacting their lives and the balance of Nature.

I think neighbors would be surprised at how many people around them are also bothered by excess night light, especially if a light shines directly into your window. I have politely asked neighbors to turn off or shield lights, and they were happy to do so, not realizing the situation.

Now, the YC ordinance does not require residents to change existing fixtures, but for people who value the balance of Nature and perhaps also balance with their neighbors, an easy step would be to turn off outside lights when not needed, and install downward-facing and motion-activated lights for safety.

Another passion of mine is water and the Verde River. I feel fortunate that the Verde Villages have a Nature Preserve, and I go there to connect with the river. I am looking into what more I can do such as catching rainwater to make my home River Friendly as promoted by the Friends of the Verde River. I have found practical solutions to make the city water that comes into my house as healthy as possible. I myself drink, and water my garden with revitalized water, and it makes a difference in my energy and the vitality the produce gives me.

In my early adult life, I lived in community and enjoyed its many benefits. As someone who enjoyed spending lots of time by myself, it was refreshing to have ready access to others for connection and creativity.

Today I have community in various aspects of my life, but discovered that I am missing going out my door and connecting with people. I have recently come to realize that one of the most important aspects to a healthy life is community participation. A mentor impressed this upon me when he talked about the most vital part of a meal is not where the food came from, but the people you are sharing it with. That showed me where I can grow in my life.

When I saw the potential of the Verde Village community through its Association, and the efforts of the current leaders to develop a vital, supportive, fun, inspirational community, I jumped in. I am currently the elected Director for Unit #2 and am volunteering to fill the office of Secretary as well as helping with the community vision, mission and message.

I am looking for neighbors who also value real-life connection to others, beyond technology. I see that the future depends on us coming together on a neighborhood level to share resources, grow food, and celebrate together. Nothing is ever going to be the same, and we now have the opportunity to create “the lifestyle that we all seek” as stated in our mission. Let’s come together to discover what that looks like.

For my part, I know it includes a focus on Nature and health, dog walks, dark skies, Verde River conservation, creative collaboration on community projects, and getting me and my neighbors out of our houses to share together.

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