UPDATE; 2.24.2019 Next steps for the community. Now that the Ranch is safe – this website tab may be able to help the community become involved with other lands that are in risk of poor development. Go to the ERG Blog and follow the news!
FEBRUARY 5, 2019.
Dear Friends and Fans of El Rojo Grande Ranch !
It is great delight and admiration for the job well done that we can reach out to you all today with this good news! At approximately 11 am EST, we received a phone call from one of our colleagues announcing the news.
An email was sent to us by Tammy DeWitt from Yavapai County asking us to spread the news of the ELS withdrawal of their rezoning application. So today we celebrate, we toast to El Rojo Grande Ranch maybe some day becoming the home of fine horses once again. Enjoy the win, know that speaking up, standing up and showing up can lead to getting what is best for the communities you live in.
“Don’t give up on anything that matters!” – it’s been an honor and a privilege to be a part of something so important as saving a riparian corridor and the wildlife of birds, butterflies, flora and fauna.
Thank you all!! Karin Reid Offield, former owners and builders El Rojo Grande Ranch.
UPDATE: 1.23.2019 Next steps for the community: We have been advised by Yavapai County that they do not wish to receive any more letters from the SAME people. To accommodate their wishes, we suggest that we ask NEW PEOPLE to write letters. Friends, neighbors and colleagues who write in – your letters will make a difference!
NEWS of the January 17th, 2019 Meeting in Cottonwood
The Planning & Zoning Commissioners RECOMMENDED DENIAL of this change of zoning. — AN UNDIVIDED, LIKE-MINDED UNANIMOUS VOTE OF NO TO REZONING of El Rojo Grande Ranch by the Planning and Zoning Commissioners. Thank you to our P & Z Board of Commissioners, the ladies and gentlemen that bring their recommendations forward to the Board of Supervisors. Thank you all for listening to the citizens and visitors from around the world that love Sedona and Yavapai County. However, the recommendation of the P & Z Commissioners is not the FINAL say.
A P&Z vote to DENY the REZONING is sent on to the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors. Their vote is JUST a recommendation. But hugely important that P & Z said NO. We need to continue to send letters, from NEW people objecting to the threat of this development in Sedona.
Step 1. Letters and emails Understand the issues to compose your emails and letters. FACTS, Important Voices,
Emails to: firstname.lastname@example.org Include your NAME and ADDRESS (Very important).
Letter Writing info
These are SAMPLE LETTERS – FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE -click on the green link, the letters will download onto your computer – go to downloads and click on the letters 1-4 , you must personalize but remember to include your NAME and ADDRESS! Every Letter Counts!
Step 2. Attend Meetings
Advise from Yavapai County !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 meetings.
There are five Supervisors on the Yavapai County Board, reach out , with a letter or an email, to say: No Change of Zoning for El Rojo Grande Ranch and give the reasons why.
Randy Garrison represents the Sedona region DISTRICT 3. email@example.com
Rowle P. Simmons District 1 supervisor firstname.lastname@example.org Prescott
Thomas Thurman District 2 Supervisor email@example.com Dewey, Cornville, Page Springs and Camp Verde
Craig l. Brown District 4 Supervisor firstname.lastname@example.org Prescott
Jack R. Smith District 5 Supervisor email@example.com Dewey
Step 3. LETTERS TO THE ARIZONA STATE PERMITTING AGENCIES – ADOT, WATER(ADWR), SEWER(ADEQ)
Subject line: Regarding Sedona, Arizona’s El Rojo Grande Ranch. Include your NAME and ADDRESS (Very important)
A. Arizona Dept of Transportation (ADOT).
ELS is talking with ADOT about the Rt 260 changes, as well. Send Emails to Mackenzie Kirby firstname.lastname@example.org. or NReisner@azdot.gov (Nate Reisner), who is the development engineer. 1801 S. Milton Road, Flagstaff AZ, 86001. 928-779-7545.
B. Arizona Dept of Water Resources (ADWR)
Send Emails to Thomas Buschatzke email@example.com. This letter can be used as a template for your project: This letter is from Mr. Buschatzke : In response to your email regarding the El Rojo Grand Ranch, I am writing to provide information to you regarding potential actions that the Arizona Department of Water Resources might need to take under its responsibilities related to the Assured and Adequate Water Supply program.The Arizona Department of Water Resources has not received any applications related to the proposed Rojo Grande Sedona development. Assuming that this proposed development qualifies as a “subdivision” under the laws administered by the Arizona Department of Real Estate, the developer would be required by state statute to apply for and obtain from the Department a report on whether there is a 100-year adequate water supply for the development before the plat could be recorded and before the developer could begin offering lots for sale or lease. However, even if the water report determined that the developer failed to demonstrate that a 100-year adequate water supply exists, the developer could proceed with plat recordation and offering lots for sale or lease as long the developer disclosed the lack of a 100-year adequate water supply in writing to the initial buyers or lessees of the lots.
The Department has a rule that sets forth the criteria that an applicant for a water report must meet to demonstrate a 100-year adequate water supply. That rule requires an applicant to demonstrate that the proposed water supply will be physically, continuously and legally available to meet the estimated water demands of the development for 100 years, that the proposed water supply will be of adequate water quality and that the applicant has the financial capability to construct adequate delivery, storage and treatment works for the subdivision. The Department also has a rule that allows a developer to apply to the Department for an Analysis of Adequate Water Supply before applying for a water report. An Analysis of Adequate Water Supply is a determination by the Department that one or more of the criteria for demonstrating a 100-year adequate water supply has been met. If an applicant for an Analysis of Adequate Water Supply demonstrates that a criterion for demonstrating an adequate water supply has been met, the Department will presume that the criterion continues to be met when the developer applies for a water report, unless new evidence demonstrates that the criterion is not satisfied.
Links to the state statute and the Department’s rules described above are provided below. If the Department receives an application for a water report or Analysis of Adequate Water Supply for the proposed Rojo Grande Subdivision, it will follow the requirements set forth in the statute and rules.
A.R.S. § 45-108 (Evaluation of subdivision water supply; definition) can be viewed here: https://www.azleg.gov/viewdocument/?docName=https://www.azleg.gov/ars/45/00108.htm .
A.A.C. R12-15-713 (Water Report) and A.A.C. R12-15-712 (Analysis of Adequate Water Supply) can be viewed here: https://apps.azsos.gov/public_services/Title_12/12-15.pdf .
Sincerely, Director Buschatzke
C. Arizona Dept of Environmental Quality (ADEQ)
Here are some Guidelines
Read the website and compose your emails and letters: Here is some suggested content for your letters.
Explain your reasons how the 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 the development would have on the preservation of Safety and Welfare
6. How the development 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.
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.
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. Finally, often, approval of one project creates the legal basis (precedent) on which other similar projects can force themselves on the community.How much time do we have to stop this developer from constructing a manufactured home park? . The Buyer will need to get the property re-zoned before they can buy the land and start building.Time is of the essence.
WAYS HOW YOU CAN LEARN TO HELP STOP A ZONING CHANGE
- If you have not done so already, please send a letter to Tammy deWitt 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 the Board of Supervisors meeting in Cottonwood . Re-zoning opposition counts a great deal.
- Start contacting people right away. We only have a few weeks to prepare to attend and speak at the public hearing.
- Residents of Sedona Shadows are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your private concerns.
- Quickly contact any prominent people that you know who might be willing to express their opposition. Prominent people can really carry weight.
- Despite what the developer has been saying, the land 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Feel free to include elected officials in your communications, and ask them to attend your meetings.
- 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!).
- If you organize a group to attend a public meeting, be sure that everyone wears a shirt of the same color. RED This will add a visual impact – even if not everyone will be speaking.
- 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.
- 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.
- Be specific, for example: 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.
- 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.
- Point out the adverse impacts that this development will have on the area.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. This expert says, an additional 5000 cars. Pls see Voices/Letters Tab for Engineer Letter
- 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. See the Vision Plans tab.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Thank you all !
To add to this list, or ask any questions: www.elrojograndesedona.com