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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : latest news May 24, 2016

4/24/2014 12:56:00 PM
Camp Soaring Eagle gets positive nod from County P&Z
Overrules decision of Cornville board
The county received 43 letters of opposition, 85 letters of support and 44 more from people outside Cornville. VVN/Jon Hutchinson
The county received 43 letters of opposition, 85 letters of support and 44 more from people outside Cornville. VVN/Jon Hutchinson

Jon Hutchinson
Staff Reporter

COTTONWOOD -- Camp Soaring Eagle has cleared its first hurdle before the Yavapai County Planning Commission Wednesday. In a 5-2 decision, the board sent the zoning map change on to the Board of Supervisors with a positive recommendation.

Camp Soaring Eagle is asking for a zone change from Residential to Planned Area Development for a 13-acre property, one of two parcels the non-profit would acquire from the Living Waters Foundation.

Attorney Cameron Carter, who has represented the Soaring Eagle Foundation throughout the zone change process, said the proposal has grown over the past several months to respond to the interests of residents of the area and neighbors. Carter detailed the specifics of the 32 uses of the site by campers and that numbers would remain to 120 overnight stays on the 13-acre parcel.

Rob Olsen, a lead board member, approved two new additions to the restrictions. A new addition would eliminate the use of the land for third-party events, including fundraisers, community gatherings or private uses. The meeting also saw the nighttime lights-out provision reduced from 9 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Carter said that a traffic study showed that the volume would be less than in the past. Group events of 60 or more would be required to use buses rather than individual vehicles to visit the ranch.

The only addition to the existing uses that CSE has requested was for equestrian, archery facility and a future pool facility assuming fundraising success.

The county received 43 letters of opposition, 85 letters of support and 44 more from people outside Cornville.

Many citizens rose to speak in favor or the camp approval and many also spoke in opposition.

In response to some a question about fire adequacy, Planner Tammy DeWitt says buildings such as a proposed clinic and other buildings in which the use will be modified, must come up to code. Otherwise, a fire inspection gave the property approval. Americans with Disabilities Act will also be enforced.

With the planning and zoning recommendation, the proposal will now appear before the Board of supervisors May 19 at the Cottonwood Administrative Center.

-- Contact the reporter at

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, April 27, 2014
Article comment by: Oh what a tangled web we weave........

It was disappointing to stand before a civic, appointed body and feel that the process was viewed by some as a infomercial. Reference the "supporting" comment made by Mr. Miller " I'm just a bleeding heart". The fancy CSE stickers planted on various body parts of supporters. The inclusion of CSE's power point presentation, specifically requested as NOT allowed by the lead commissioner, but forced upon the audience without reprimand. I am very interested as to what will be presented to the Supervisors at the "final" meeting.......Will the language be as non-committal as the other LOI's? The FUNDRAISING of any kind will not occur on-site? All lights out at 8:00? Does that mean the bonfires are also extinguished and deemed safe by the witching hour? The equestrian area will stand vacant and not house the 5 horses, only provide shelter when in use and transported to the site for the campers enjoyment? The pool and pool house only depends on the success of the FUNDRAISING and approval of the environmental services? Of course the rural nature of the front end of the property will be forever destroyed as the old growth mesquites and natural landscape will be gone, replaced by structures and concrete and a big ole' driveway to accommodate the turning radius of their high occupancy vehicles and their "look at us" sign. .Will the NO TRESSPASSING signs plastered everywhere come down? Will their INFIRMARY containing pharmaceuticals and medical equipment have the proper oversight and accreditation from licensed and nearby medical facilities? And will Mr Max James be present at the final showdown, and stand up for his vision and "the children"....Or does he not have to????

Posted: Saturday, April 26, 2014
Article comment by: Going Commercial

What is happening to Cornville? , You are turning Living Waters commercial. Now, all these supporters of CSE are licking their lips to turn their land commercial. Is CSE selling Cornville OUT?

What happened to our Peaceful, Quiet community?

Please do not go commercial! Lets have homes with TAX payers and children and fill our (Cornville ) schools!

CSE does not want to pay taxes. They have many volunteers. CSE, your fundraisers of 120 donators can not pay for a 4.3 million dollar property plus more. Let alone maintain a 4.3 million dollar project or build archery, Equestrian and pool facilies. So why are you ruining our family life and way of going?

What happened to HONOR Thy Neighbor????????????

Enough is Enough. Go Away........... PLEASE

Going Commercial

Posted: Saturday, April 26, 2014
Article comment by: FairPlay InSearchOf

People of Yavapai County:

Where lies Truth and Fair Play, Commissioners of Yavapai Planning & Zoning. Must you jump in bed with Camp Soaring Eagle and Rose Law Firm. Must you ignore the wishes of the Majority of Nearby Residents of North Aspaas Road. Must you disregard the wishes of the Cornville Community Association.

A vote AGAINST a PAD by the majority of Nearby Residents. A vote AGAINST a PAD by the Cornville Community Assocation. Those endorsements AGAINST a PAD were immediately cast aside by you, Yavapai Planning and Zoning. Why? POLITICS-CONNECTIONS-MONEY-PRESSURE?

What is going on with you guys? Can we not trust you to do the right and honorable thing. .

I have a question for you Men of P & Z. What about the remaining twelve acres Camp Soaring Eagle will still own. The twelve acres that meander on down the creek beyond the end of North Aspaas Road, clear on down the road into the bowels of beautiful country, country adjoining Merritt Ranch Road to the north. What about that acreage? What does CSE plan to do with that acreage? What will you do with that acreage?

I am not sure what you will do, but I will tell you what CSE would do. They would contact Rose Law Firm. They would pay them whatever it takes to get the job done. They would not worry about Oak Creek Neighbors. They would not worry about North Aspaas Road Neighbors. They would just cozy up with the good ole boys of Planning and Zoning and Voila, a "Casino" is upon us. What a nice booty for you Boys of P & Z.

In Search of Truth and Fair Play

Posted: Saturday, April 26, 2014
Article comment by: Reference Similar Resident Opinion

@ tit for tat?

Go read:

Also read the Verde Independent article above more closely. The reporter heard the following: Elimination of "...the use of the land for third-party events, including fundraisers, community gatherings or private uses." So, according to the Verde Independent reporter's notes/opinion, NONE of the following will be allowed: third-party events, fundraisers, community gatherings or private uses.

Not everyone agrees on what was "agreed to" at the end of the meeting. This article clearly shows in writing how the Commissioners' process totally failed.

The Board of Supervisor's should void the 23 April recommendation for a PAD, and call for a fair "redo", especially in light of the fact that one Commissioner did not recuse himself from the process because he worked for CSE in the past.

Posted: Saturday, April 26, 2014
Article comment by: Tit for tat?

@ County Commissioner's Process a Fiasco

I agree the process and basis of recommendation left a lot to be desired. But maybe if the Cornville P & Z had been more patient, followed protocol exactly, and heard CSE out one more time in Cornville, opponents would have been able to get more of their arguments into the Yavapai County official minutes.

Frustrating as they can be, Robert's Rules of Order do have reasons. Bias on the part of boards and commissions is one of them. So now you'll have to scare up more letters to the Supervisors and go stomp and rant at the final hearing. That, my friend, is bureaucracy in action.

Posted: Saturday, April 26, 2014
Article comment by: County Commissioner's Process a Fiasco

As residents of Yavapai County, we should all be embarrassed and to have these Commissioners make major recommendations for us. The Commissioner's meeting PROCESS was a FIASCO, for the Camp Soaring Eagle PAD rezoning request ! The Commissioner Chairperson was not-interested in anyone's opinion, other than Camp Soaring Eagle's opinion. That was abundantly apparent, in many ways, throughout the 2 1/2 hour hearing, of which the opposition was allowed only 20 minutes of time to speak, and then the chairperson looked un-interested and told each opposition person to sit down with most of their opinions left unspoken. The Board of Supervisors and Yavapai residents should be embarrassed ! The PROCESS wasn't professional, and not at all fair for all sides of the issue. Yavapai residents should be EMBARRASSED by the unprofessional and unfair PROCESS.

Posted: Friday, April 25, 2014
Article comment by: Cornville Resident

Come on Yavapai County! Why even put it before the Cornville P & Z then? I would LOVE to know how much money Camp Soaring Eagle paid their attorneys to shove this zoning change down the throats of Cornville residents. Are they going to abandon this property down the road as well like they did in VOC, then all the neighboring properties are stuck with the zoning change permanently? I'm not even an adjacent property owner but I sure feel for them.

Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014
Article comment by: More of The Same

Now we know how the process works. All the P and Z commissioners were missing was a streetlamp to stand under.
The vote was 4 to 2. The deciding vote admitted to having had connections with CSE but chose not to recuse himself. I guess "conflict of interest" is an unfamiliar term to this body.
The map presented showed clearly that a majority of properties ACTUALLY AFFECTED by this change were opposed to it.
CSE and their lawyers throughout the process kept to the message it's "for the children". All their faithful supporters droned the same tune. This should have had nothing to do with the decision but the county hacks fell for it.
All you need to get what you want out of the county P and Z commission is a bunch of high powered lawyers. Bubba business as usual. These lawyers are backslapping and yucking it up as we speak over the bunch of rubes they just pulled a fast one on.

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