How to Help? Meetings info

REVISED:  MEETING  AND LETTER WRITING SCHEDULES – 

Subject: The Dec 20th and the Jan 17th meetings
*****NEW The purpose of the Dec 20th Work Study Session is to introduce the case to the Commission, and to allow the Commissioners to ask any questions of the staff and the applicant.  The subsequent meeting on Jan 17th will allow for public comment, and public input is encouraged at that time – in addition to the letters that have already been received. Work Study sessions such as this one are intended to allow additional time for the Commissioners to digest both the applicant’s proposal and the extensive written public comment already received, prior to the formal decision-making meeting on Jan 17th.  A Work Study session (followed by a later public comment meeting) also allows time for the public to listen to the applicant’s formal presentation (as well as any comments from the staff and the commission) and then determine whether they would like to modify (or add) to their comments – without being required to present those comments to the Commission only minutes after the applicant’s proposal is presented.  I have spoken with the chairman and (given the number of people who will likely be speaking at the Jan 17th meeting) public comments will likely be limited to no more than two minutes per person.  I always strongly recommend that people address their comments to the Land Use concerns, with regards to the property.  Speaking to the character of the applicant, or emotional pleas, are not arguments that can be legally considered in a land use decision.  Land Use decisions are based on the appropriateness of proposed use.  People should prepare their 2-minute presentations ahead of time (and rehearse them with a timer) so they can stay within the allotted time frame. They should also plan to state their name and their address (for the record) at the beginning of their 2 minutes.  Too often we hear from people who feel the need to tell the Commission about their history in the area.  While history is always nice to hear, they are consuming their limited time, and they often fail to provide their factual objection, because they run out of time. Seating in the Board Chambers is limited, and we will need to reserve some of those seats for the Staff, who must be present for the case.  Additional seating will be available outside the Board Chambers (in the lobby) where we have a TV set up for viewing.  Chairs will be provided in the lobby.  This is is a formal meeting.  Distractions, such as waving of signs, or loud noises, or disturbances will not be tolerated during the meeting. If that occurs, it is very likely that those offenders will be asked to leave.  We understand that you will have people there videotaping the meeting.  We will meet with them the morning of the meeting, and show them where they can set up.  The videographer cannot become a distraction at the meeting.  I hope that these tips have helped.  I truly do appreciate the public involvement in these cases, and I look forward to meeting everyone at the meeting on Thursday.

Thank you, David Williams
Director, Development Services Yavapai County

Here are the Recommended Steps you can take to help prevent the rezoning of the Ranch: Following the December 20th Meeting, and hearing from the developer and hearing the P & Z questions, letters will again be accepted as public comment.

Step 1. Read the website to understand the issues to compose your emails and letters.Step 2: Send Emails or Letters saying that you are opposed to the rezoning, and give your reasons why. Note: Must be received before January 7th, 2018.  Every opposition email or letter countsEmails to: tammy.dewitt@yavapai.usInclude your NAME and ADDRESS (Very important). Letters to:    Attn: Planning Dept – Tammy DewittRe: El Rojo Grande Ranch,  Yavapai County Development Services 10 South 6th St. , Cottonwood, AZ 86326MEETINGS TIMES REVISED 12.16.2018

Step 3.  Learn and Attend the meetings & rezoning hearings:  Please wear RED when you attend.

The First hearing:  COTTONWOOD PLANNING & ZONING.                   Dec 20,  Thursday at 9:00 AM,  10 South 6th Street, Cottonwood

There are two items on the agenda prior to the ELS Presentation to the Planning & Zoning Commissioners. We have been told that the room is small.  The County cannot give an approximate time for this agenda item. 

This meeting is for the Developer (ELS) to present the project to Planning & Zoning. Public comment not accepted, Your mere presence at the hearing will show your concern.

Please wear RED when you attend.

Letters will be accepted again and due January 7, 2019. Please tell everyone to write AGAIN and be very specific about the details where you believe Yavapai County may be violating their citizens wishes by allowing a rezoning. Yavapai must be held accountable. What are YOUR Red Flags? Read below for subject material. 
The Second Hearing
Jan 17, 2019  Thursday at 9:00 AM
10 South 6th Street
Cottonwood
For Public Comment, your mere presence at the hearing will show your concern. If you wish to speak, you will be given 3 minutes.
No limit on how many people are allowed to speak. Please wear RED when you attend.  The Commissioners will then announce their recommendation to the Board of Supervisors at the end of this January 17th public hearing.
The Third Hearing
February 7, 2019  Thursday – Prescott Board of Supervisors – Work Session (via video conference in Cottonwood)
The Fourth Hearing 
February 20, 2019 Wednesday  Cottonwood Board of Supervisors
10 South 6th Street
Cottonwood
Step 4.  Send emails directly to the Supervisors

Randy Garrison District 3 Supervisor for this project emailed by filling out a form on the following website: http://www.yavapai.us/district3/email-supervisor-randy-garrison

Send mail to Randy Garrison, District 3 Supervisor
Yavapai County Cottonwood Annex
10 South 6th Street
Cottonwood, AZ 86326

Should the Yavapai County Commissioners and the P & Z  listen to their county citizens, in the consul and consult of their letters and to the citizens recommendations about the county they live in and pay taxes to –  we hope that the entire Board of Supervisors and the Commissioners of Planning & Zoning can be held responsive as representatives of the public i.e.: public servants for a change of zoning that obviously violates the laws the citizens and governments already have put in place.  Zoning changes should not benefit one developer alone nor should zoning changes be made that permit harm.  Zoning laws are in place to protect our environment, our few riparian corridors, our rights to protect our services, our rights to live in peaceful enjoyment, our rights to drive on protected scenic highways and the zoning laws are in place to work with all the neighborhood’s rights to choose the direction they want for their town. Sedona is in crisis right now, the timing of this development could not be worse.  JUST SAY NO TO ALLOWING A REZONING. What are your RED FLAGS ? 

If you know any of the other four Supervisors on the Yavapai County Board, reach out to them also, with a letter or an email, to say:  No Change of Zoning for El Rojo Grande Ranch! 

Rowle P. Simmons District 1 supervisor web.bos.district1@yavapai.us    From Prescott

Thomas Thurman District 2 Supervisor web.bos.district2@yavapai.us    Dewey, Cornville, Page Springs and Camp Verde

Craig l. Brown District 4 Supervisor web.bos.district4@yavapai.us    From Prescott

Jack R. Smith District 5 Supervisor web.bos.district5@yavapai.us  From Dewey

Step 5. Send Emails or Letters to State Permitting Agencies

Subject line:  Regarding El Rojo Grande Ranch
Include your NAME and ADDRESS (Very important)
Send Emails telling them about your concerns.
NEW Arizona Dept of Transportation (ADOT)
ELS is talking with ADOT about the Rt 260 changes, as well.
Send Emails to Mackenzie Kirby mkirby@azdot.gov
or
NReisner@azdot.gov (Nate Reisner), who is the development engineer.
1801 S. Milton Road, Flagstaff AZ, 86001
928-779-7545
“We have made some inquiries within the Department, and it appears the ADOT Northcentral District is working with the developer in mitigating their impacts to State Route 260, if the development does move forward. If you wish to contact the District office, the contact information is above.” ADOT 

Arizona Dept of Water Resources 
Send Emails to Thomas Buschatzke tbuschatzke@azwater.gov

Arizona Dept of Environmental Quality (ADEQ)
Wastewater Treatment plant permit
Send Emails to David Dunaway  dwd@azdeq.gov
Send Letters to:
David Dunaway
1110 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Quoted,  “ADEQ will post the public notice on its website and in a local newspaper to let people know when the comment period starts and ends.” As of now, “Neither ELS nor the developers have applied for a permit, and depending on what specifically they propose, they may not need a permit from ADEQ.  It’s only if they apply for a permit to operate their own wastewater treatment plant with ADEQ that public comment would be considered.  This program doesn’t usually get involved with the zoning process.”
Step 6. 
Here are the Recommended Steps you can take to help prevent the rezoning of the Ranch: Following the December 20th Meeting, and hearing from the developer and hearing the P & Z questions, letters will again be accepted as public comment.  We have “been advised” by the County that the content of the letters must be about the following subjects. The County officials works for us – please tell them in your letters what you want to happen. Ask your neighbors to write a letter, as well!

 Read the website and compose your emails and letters: Here is some suggested content for your letters.

Explain your reasons how Rojo Grande Development would :

1. Have an impact on surrounding properties.

2. Have an impact on traffic from your experiences in Sedona

3. Conform to development standards.

4. Maintain the character of the neighborhood.

5. How Rojo Grande would have on the preservation of Safety and Welfare

6. How Rojo Grande fits with the consistency of the Yavapai County Comprehensive Plan.

According to the County: What the Commission will not look at is: 1. Personality of the applicant. 2. Questions concerning tech issues. 3. Water Availability. 4. Financial Gain or Hardship 5. Economic Development. 6. Viability of the project. 7. Setting Precedence. 8.CC & R Requirements.

FYI, Remember:  Projects that expand the community do not always develop a community in beneficial ways. Expansion does not equal development. This is a subtle but crucial point.  Also there are lots of example of developers whose lack of financial viability significantly damaged the community.
Design expansion can be thought of correctly by mixing land-uses, clustering development, infilling not sprawling.   
Finally,  often, approval of one project creates the legal basis (precedent) on which other similar projects can force themselves on the community and the County allows. 
Neighbors: Sedona Pines is a TimeShare began in the 1990’s. The units are approx. 10′ x 25′ , and are stucco trailers with tile roofs. 144 tiny Casitas on a large single-family residential parcel of land. (Its zoning requires a minimum of 2 acres per home. Sedona Pines has a Special Use Permit for this Time Share Park.  All of the Casitas, and all of the land, belong to the Timeshare corporation. 
Sunset Hills consists of mobile homes,   74 quarter-acre single-family residential zoned parcels, each of which has a double-wide mobile home. Each homeowner owns the parcel on which their home sits. 
Sedona Shadows is a mobile home park, with many trailers for sale. It is a 55+ ELS managed property under a Special Use Permit granted by Yavapai County. There are 198 mobile homes on one single-family residential parcel of land, all owned by ELS. The current zoning of that parcel requires a minimum of 2 acres per home. However, Sedona Shadows has a Special Use Permit and is not zoned by Yavapai County for this density.
As you can see, the ranch lands are not surrounded by comparable properties. A map shows that it is surrounded by National Forest and Residential properties. Be ready to challenge anyone who says otherwise.

Here below are three more reasons from the Sedona City Council you can put in your letter – ” say  NO  to this change of zoning” . The sale is contingent on this change of zoning from Yavapai County.

Sedona City Council said NO to ELS’s Proposal and advised that the proposed use is too intensive for location with no services. All residents need  grocery stores, gas stations, drug stores, movie theaters, etc. and the closest services being in the City of Sedona.

Absence of green building sustainability – The proposal does not contemplate green practices, community amenities, or other aspects of the development that support or promote environmental sustainability. The practice of smart development includes inclusion of storm water recapture; low-flush toilet programs; storage & cycling of fresh water; shade trees; flood control with root systems; maintaining watersheds for flood control and drinking water; noise abatement and peaceful sanctuary and finally one more – Dark Sky provisions.  Simply the existence of neighboring developments of comparable density should not result in the automatic conclusion that use should be replicated or that this type of project is right for this area.

Remember:  Projects that expand the community do not always develop a community in beneficial ways. Expansion does not equal development. This is a subtle but crucial point that requires more explanation.  Also there are lots of example of developers whose lack of financial viability significantly damaged the community  (Base Village at Snowmass at Aspen was just one example.) Design expansion can be thought of correctly by mixing land-uses, clustering development, infilling not sprawling.   Finally,  often, approval of one project creates the legal basis (precedent) on which other similar projects can force themselves on the community.
Neighbors: Sedona Pines is a TimeShare began in the 1990’s. The units are approx. 10′ x 25′ , and are stucco trailers designed to fit in the landscape. Sunset Hill is mobile homes. Sedona Shadows is a mobile home park, under a Special Use Permit granted by Yavapai County. the ranch is not surrounded by comparable properties. A map shows that it is surrounded by National Forest and Residential properties. Be ready to challenge anyone who says otherwise.

How much time do we have to stop this developer from constructing a Rojo Grande Ranch manufactured home park?   . The Buyer/ELS will need to get El Rojo Grand Ranch re-zoned before they can start building.

Time is of the essence. Red Rock News plans to attend (and report on) the December 20th Planning and Zoning hearing.  If local residents do not hear about the proposed mobile home park until the last minute , they will lose their ability to voice their opinions,

WAYS HOW YOU CAN LEARN TO HELP STOP A  ZONING CHANGE

  1. Send a letter to Tammy deWitt prior to December 11th and WHEN YOU SEND AN EMAIL  include YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS. ( Email addresses often do not reflect the name of the sender.) Bring as many people as possible to watch the P & Z hearing on December 20th. Re-zoning opposition counts a great deal.
  2. Start contacting people right away. We only have a few weeks to send in our letters, and to prepare to attend and speak at the public hearing January 17th.
  3. Residents of Sedona Shadows are encouraged to contact elrojogranderanchinsedona@gmail.com with your private concerns.
  4. Quickly contact any prominent people that you know who might be willing to express their opposition. Prominent people can really carry weight.
  5. Despite what ELS has been saying, the ranch is not surrounded by comparable properties. A map shows that it is surrounded by National Forest and Residential properties. Be ready to challenge anyone who says otherwise. There are no subdivisions of manufactured homes, to date, in the neighborhood.
  6. When speaking before the Zoning Commission or the Board of Supervisors,  be prepared to point out to them how incompatible this zoning is with the adjoining properties. This will bolster your re-zoning opposition.
  7. Do your part to make people you know in the Sedona area aware of the plan to build 600 manufactured sites and a 50 unit RV Park just outside Sedona’s western gateway, alongside the Red Rock Scenic Road.
  8. Talk to neighborhood groups, interest groups, clubs, and others who might want to oppose this rezoning. Use your email, your networks of friends and colleagues, and your friends on social media. Consider passing out flyers, using word of mouth, going door to door, setting up a website, or hosting a meeting to spread the word.
  9. Feel free to include elected officials in your communications, and ask them to attend your meetings.
  10. Consider posting signs to make your opposition highly visible. (Check first, to be sure you will not be in violation of any local sign ordinance!).
  11. If you organize a group to attend a public meeting, be sure that everyone wears a shirt of the same color. This will add a visual impact – even if not everyone will be speaking.
  12. Whenever you have a chance to be heard, focus on the facts. A nostalgic story or an emotional request is not as effective when opposing a rezoning request.
  13. Do not present yourself as being opposed to all development. Emphasize the importance of zoning in keeping development compatible with the community needs and values.
  14. This is a 55 and older Community Development. It’s important to understand the story about how ELS has eliminated the affordability of housing in their home parks by steeply raising rents, and how those skyrocketing rents have left senior mobile home owners with very little equity in the homes that they bought with their life savings. See the Tab – Who is ELS ?
  15. However, stick to the facts. Don’t just “trash talk” the developer, the project, or your elected officials. This can cause decision makers to turn a deaf ear to your concerns.
  16. Point out the adverse impacts that this development  will have on the area.
  17. The ranch is largely riparian, with rolling hills, and a creek that often flows in torrents. Be the Environmentalist and protect the Riparian Corridor of Dry Creek.
  18. This development would house 1200 – 1400 people. That is a huge addition to the current Sedona population of 10,000, and it will put a heavy strain on the already strained resources.
  19. 1200 – 1400 people traveling into and out of Sedona every day will have an enormous impact on the already-serious traffic problem. What will be the impact of all that additional traffic? The current traffic plan already predicts large increases in the traffic in the coming years, and that doesn’t even include all this additional traffic. Pls see Voices/Letters Tab for Engineer Letter
  20. Talk about alternative ways to develop El Rojo Grande Ranch, without bulldozing the land, destroying the native vegetation and destroying or evicting the wildlife. There are already people with much more environmentally sensitive master plans, who are talking to the current owner of the Ranch. Talk about what you would like to have happen.
  21. Talk about the long-range development plans, and the adopted goals for the Sedona area, and how this development is not compatible with those plans. What kinds of development would be more compatible with those plans and goals?
  22. Talk about the spectacular landscape that has made Sedona known worldwide, and how this sea of roofs would be seen by the international community – who currently could see Sedona and surrounding county as a center for the preservation of the environment.
  23. Talk to people and organizations who have ideas and plans for developing the Ranch that are compatible with our long-range plans and goals. Consider the potential of being a partner with them, rather than just being in opposition to all development. Consider what you might be able to do to promote their success.
  24. Be willing to come up with solid alternatives that bring a winning outcome to all parties. Be willing to engage decision makers, and persevere until you we are sure that this issue is settled.
  25. Thank you all !

To add to this list, or ask any questions: www.elrojograndesedona.com