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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : local September 30, 2016

7/29/2014 4:05:00 PM
Camp Soaring Eagle sale is final

Jon Hutchinson
Staff Reporter

CORNVILLE -- Camp Soaring Eagle has announced that it has finally closed the sale of 26 acres in the heart of the Cornville North Aspaas residential community.

Board members and an attorney for the camp for seriously ill children spent most of the past year attempting to win neighbors' support to re-zone the property and fix the zoning.

The land formerly held a religious-exempt status, which allowed the Living Waters Foundation to operate a retreat on the land. That exemption would not apply to the new ownership.

The zone change to Planned Area Development would only apply to the southernmost 13 acres of the two properties.

The biggest 'beef' for neighbors was a proposal to use some of the 32 annual uses of the site for entertaining donors at fund-raisers.

Camp officials finally agreed that all of the uses would be directed to children's camps, weekend and family events.

In the end, the Yavapai County supervisors agreed to grant a conditional use permit in perpetuity rather than the zone change, with Supervisor Tom Thurman forming the motion.

The vote was approved on a 4 to 1 vote, with Chip Davis voting no.

In a Monday press release, the camp says it's celebrating its seventh anniversary and will host its first set of campers at the new site beginning in October.

Camp Soaring Eagle has in the past used the Jackpot Ranch in Camp Verde and the Briar Patch Inn in Sedona, but that has limited activities to only 25 campers at a time.

The permanent camp site will give the non-profit the room to host up to 80 campers.

Camp Soaring Eagle's mission is to provide the opportunity for the healing power of laughter and play for seriously ill children at a medically supervised camp.

-- Contact the reporter at

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, July 31, 2014
Article comment by: The Goatherder

Anyone who saw the jubilation and high-fiving by the CSE principals after the county meeting knows that they got EXACTLY what they were hoping for.
Sure they asked for the moon, in this case a zoning change. Their high dollar lawyers were smart enough to know you don't ASK for what you're willing to settle for. If you do you'll have to give away too much in negotiation.
Anyone feeling sorry for them because they didn't get their zoning change is naive, or a tool.

Posted: Thursday, July 31, 2014
Article comment by: Jan Allbright

To Tom Babbitt,

There is a fundamental difference between a wine tasting room in a commercial zoned, business area and a large meeting location in the middle of a residential area. Entrance and exit to CSE new facility are on a residential road and not a highway. Entrance and exit from the highway onto N. Aspass Rd will be on a tight 4-way with low visibility in both directions on the highway. CSE has offered nothing to mitigate the traffic nightmare that is going to occur at the intersection when these events occur. Additionally, my guess is that 50% of the visitors will take S. Asspass instead of North, so both ends of the street will enjoy the additional congestion.

Posted: Thursday, July 31, 2014
Article comment by: Tom Babbitt

@The Zoning...
"A major change in zoning should be good for ALL affected parties, not just to satisfy the demand of a PROSPECTIVE buyer."

We are still set up for a dive bar on Loy and Cornville they never opened their wine tasting room.

Posted: Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Article comment by: The Zoning is fixed as it should be... Residential!

CSE has its Conditional Use Permit to provide its services to the kids and their families and the zoning has reverted back to its original, residential/rural status. This is as it should be, this is a rural neighborhood with established families and private residences. Cornville Rd and Loy Road is almost ALL commercially zoned with markets and businesses. Mr Babbitt, you are talking apples and oranges. A major change in zoning should be good for ALL affected parties, not just to satisfy the demand of a PROSPECTIVE buyer. And who do you believe was being bullied? A multimillionaire that was determined to satisfy his dreams to purchase a property at foreclosure rates and rezone to exact further monetary gain down the line, or the established residents, wise enough to know that real estate and zoning changes could possibly spell disaster and devaluation for their own properties if the "deal" fell through as it did at The Verde Valley School. A fair compromise was made with at least some workable, definable restrictions on the uses for the property. And once again, the "fight" was about the zoning, not the kids.........Why else would someone need the services of a powerful ZONING law firm out of Scottsdale?

Posted: Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Article comment by: Tom Babbitt

When people wanted to place a wine tasting room on the corner of Cornville and Loy the county literally bent over backwards to accommodate them and changed the zoning. It seems that the zoning laws are just a bullying tool and have no social, economic, or practicality about them at all.

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