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home : opinions : letters May 28, 2016

4/12/2014 12:20:00 PM
Letters: Camp Soaring Eagle did not get fair shake from Cornville P&Z


I want to respond to the article published about the Cornville Community P&Z meeting on Wednesday, April 2, 2014.  I have lived in Cornville for 38 years.  I am the only neighbor on the north side of the creek that predates the Community of Living Waters (CLW) religious retreat and our property overlooks the CLW property that Camp Soaring Eagle is requesting to rezone.

We have attended all of the meetings held by the Camp Soaring Eagle Foundation (CSEF) as well as the 2 Cornville Committee Association (CCA) meetings and we had previously opposed the camp.  Since December we have seen the application change quite a bit which is called "progress."  

CSEF is meeting with neighbors and listening to public input and revising the application to accommodate our concerns. As was stated in the previous meetings, the Letter of Intent (LOI) which discusses the project at length is a "Living Document" and will go through revisions to mitigate neighbor's and community concerns.

In addition, the Traffic Study was just completed and it concludes that the camp's proposed use will reduce traffic in the area by 55 percent of what can occur there today with the existing use. Remember, CLW has not been operating since the property is up for sale.  Most importantly, CSEF is placing so many restrictions on this PAD zoning in order to protect the neighborhood.  These restrictions will run with the land.

If the project is approved and CSEF fails - the next owner will be restricted to the same uses as stated in the LOI and as shown on the Site Plan for CSEF.  But most importantly, if not CSEF....then who?  Some of the folks along Oak Creek want to see the property vacant with no user.  Sorry to burst your bubble but that will never happen!

 This property will be sold, if not to CSEF then to someone else.  If CSEF is heavily regulated rezoning and the request is denied, the next guy in line will probably buy the land and use it for what is currently allowed by zoning;  Single-family residential.  

A builder could construct up to 15 homes on the southern parcel. If they buy both parcels, up to 29 homes.  Talk about increased traffic - average home makes 9 trips per day. That's an additional 135-261 trips per day on North Aspaas Road. Or, a school could go in by right.  No restrictions.

On Wednesday, the Cornville Community Association did our neighborhood a disservice by not allowing CSEF the opportunity to present their revisions to the application as requested by the Cornville Community Association. This did not allow us, the neighbors to hear about the revisions and also to hear the facts regarding the mistruths that have been circulating throughout the community.   

As an immediate neighbor, I want to know this stuff!  After looking at all of the information and all of the facts it is clear as crystal to me that CSEF is the least impactful use for the property.  Shame on Cornville Community Association for not allowing CSEF a chance to present the facts and rushing into a motion for denial.  Their vote was obviously premeditated, which is a disgrace.  The Committee Chair publicly chastised CSE for continually making changes to the application....wake up, that's called a "Living Document.

I just hope the County P&Z and County Supervisors take all of the facts into consideration before rushing to decision.  I hope they listen to us who have been here for 38 years and have seen a lot of change .

CSEF is the least intense use from what I can tell and is heavily restricted compared to the use that exists today and potential uses by right.

Ed Vanlandingham


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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, April 18, 2014
Article comment by: The Fundraiser Should Stay At Jackpot Ranch

The fund raiser is so big, they moved it out of Sedona, because of the chaos and as I understand it, no room for parking. What part of this do you not understand? If Sedona cannot handle it, what makes you think that QUIET, PEACEFUL Cornville can? The fundraisers should stay at Jackpot Ranch. They have the accommodations and the Manpower, parking etc. Hopefully, they will supervise the alcohol.

We have not even begun with the traffic in Cornville. Nor the noise and chaos ............

Let's keep Cornville a Peaceful, Quiet and safe community for our neighbors and loved ones.

I do not know about the other side of the creek, but they obviously are going to be affected as they have said in their opposition. Can you all see this is affecting our community. Why? The board for CSE, does not even live in our community. Why do we need an Event Center in our neighborhood.


The Fundraiser's, Event Center, and camp should stay At Jackpot Ranch. After all, Jackpot Ranch has 72 acres. They can handle all your needs and traffic. Thank You for reading this... God Bless.............

Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014
Article comment by: The fundraising begins at Jackpot Ranch

Camp Soaring Eagle and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America are hosting a wine/food and craft beer extravaganza with the best of the Valley's entertainment at Jackpot Ranch on June 14th. Tickets are available online, so it is open for anyone and everyone. So, is that what can be expected at Living Waters? Will their STRICT requirements of no noise carpooling "encouraged" and respect for the natural wildlife and flora be demanded? Once again, this is how their fundraising goes.....In Black and White, advertised in the newspaper, buy your tickets online and come and support our cause............Sounds like a real respectful quiet time..............

Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014
Article comment by: Inna Fectual

Counter-arguments to E. V. would probably be more effective if published as letters to the editor.

Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014
Article comment by: sherry john

You can't roller-skate in a buffalo herd, well I guess we will have to see if the Cornville residents who live close to the proposed commercial PAD make their voices heard. A residential area composed of older horse properties, young families and retired folks are being lobbied hard and the result will be a full house on the 23rd at the County Complex in Cottonwood at 9:30 am.
My prediction, be careful what you wish for.

Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014
Article comment by: E. Fecting

I suspect Mr. E. V.'s letter (and the other pro-PAD commentary) got a lot more attention in print than opposing comments are getting online.

You're more likely to sway opinions of the undecided with letters to the editor.

Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014
Article comment by: Affected Neighbor

Ed ....I can't believe you wrote this. Who Did .... Connie or Cameron? You are not even affected by the road traffic or close proximity and you are willing to sign a comment on the fairness of Cornville Community P&Z.....Please! CSEF had a chance to submit an LOI, which they did, during the 1st, 2nd and 3rd meetings. The 4th meeting was for final decision on the multiple of changes in the 3rd meeting data. How long is a "Living document" suppost to continue living/change before we descide on the issue? If CSEF can't buy it outright, then they can't afford to live in this valley. A PAD doesn't fit in Cornville and CSEF's financial complications are not our problem.

Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Article comment by: Fair Shake

Dear Ed,

Are you kidding about home owners? What average home makes 9 trips a day? I am not sure, but I do not know that many neighbors that make 9 trips a day, unless you have Adult children living at home.

Please do not continue with your scare tactics. No one wants to drive on Aspass Rd. or Cornville Rd. Unless they have to.

By the way, I have been here for 43 years of my life. Cornville is a peaceful, quiet place. We are proud of our community.

I do not want to deal with the noise and traffic from CSE. No matter what you say,

There is also a conflict of interest in your circle. How close are you to the camp? 1000 feet? Think about your neighbors that border living Waters. Before you know it, walking, jogging, socializing with the neighbors will be interrupted by traffic and buses. The smell of diesel. And by the way, the Sheriff needs to patrol Cornville Rd. so it is safer!!!!!!!!!!

So Ed, Let's get real. Your figures are exaggerated. 29 homes? Who are you scaring? Very few people want to leave their home 4-5 times a day. The less you travel on Aspass Rd and Cornville Rd the safer you are. Especially, after one to eight to ten Fundraisers. ( Fund raisers - Alcohol ).

This will not effect you, your family or your home. You live a good distance away from Aspass Rd. and Cornville Rd.

Enough is enough.. Cornville is a quiet and Peaceful place.

Peace to You and your Family Enjoy your space.

Enough is Enough,

Fair Shake

Posted: Sunday, April 13, 2014
Article comment by: Ed, Your Neighbor at 450

Ed, I’d like to respectfully respond to some of your beliefs what would happen to the property if CSE is denied the rezoning to a PAD.
The majority of the property is in the Flood path and Floodway of Oak Creek. The parcels’ 13 acres, without the addition of the additional land to be annexed for the proposed horse facility, at most would support 13 one acre home sites with circulation. Being in the Floodway, the sites would need access to land outside the Floodway for their septic leach fields. To do this, a developer would have to create a PAD to cluster the homes such that all home sites have access to elevated land where they can discharge effluent. Working as a developer myself, 13 home sites would not be the best use of the property, the quality of the property would be better suited for no more than ten high quality home sites, all having to be built above the Floodway, but again even ten home sites would require a PAD.
With regards to subsequent users if CSE is not successful, the property is offered at $4.5 million. CSE supporters have tried to intimidate the opposition by claiming that “The Church of the Motorcycle Gang” might be the next buyer. Only a foundation could afford the price of a non-conforming property for cash. Yes, it may be another religious retreat, but Living Waters with all its faults was tolerable.
Ed, again with all respect, you’re more than 1,000 feet from the property.

Posted: Sunday, April 13, 2014
Article comment by: Careful what you wish for

A number of additional factors should be taken into account in evaluating this application.

Community residents should know that the Soaring Eagle people rely on fundraising to pay their expenses. There are no guarantees they will actually be able to do what they say they'll do, and no guarantees they'll be able to sustain that into the future. Such is the nature of entities like this.

Given that, even if their application is approved, there should be a reasonable time limit imposed on performance of the conditions for the PAD or CUP or whatever is granted (if anything). If they cannot perform by that time, the previous zoning reverts back.

Also, community residents should ensure that whatever is granted to the applications (if anything) that future adjustments can be made if and when there are problems, and the county has the teeth to do it.

A PAD may not be the best for this. Once PAD is granted, the application does not have to renew or respond to additional conditions.

With a CUP (conditional use permit), there is a time limit after which is must be renewed, and the public will have future opportunities to input on their performance.

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