Planning & Zoning Committee




July, 2009



June 2009 was a busy and controversial month for local politics.  The June 17 P&Z Commission meeting was packed with significant issues for the BC communities.  A Solar Energy Plant was proposed.


6. Policies and Procedures for the Adoption and Amendments to Community Plans; HA# H9047

Applicant: Planning and Zoning Commission / Board of Supervisors

Request: Consideration of Policies and Procedures for the Adoption and Amendments to Community Plans. Staff: Chad Daines.  Chad was given a minor rewrite by the Big Park Community Council; but used his presentation time to systematically shoot down each suggestion.  This heavy handed series of regulations was broadly, but diplomatically, opposed by five different speakers.  No one spoke in favor.  The Commissioners seemed to side with the opposition, and resolution was continued to the Prescott meeting July 8th.  Since 6/17 there have been 2 new drafts of this P&P document, the latest has been emailed to the Board.


7. Zoning Map Change; APN: 405-14-024H and G; HA# H9031

Applicant: Joseph Tardie

Agent: Bonnie Miller

Project: Rimrock Super Storage Expansion

LMPOA opposed this ZMC on rezoning from residential to commercial grounds and that there is no compelling communities benefit that would result from this change, and there are potential unwanted long range consequences of C-2 zoning.  I spoke on behalf of that, and was informed that the conditional Zoning Map Change (ZMC) which originally occurred in year 2000 stipulated the business was to be a mini storage and no other; and that this expansion was a conditional ZMC with the same stipulations.  The P&Z commission waited until 6/25 for our response:  "With the addition of new information about the exact details of this conditional Zoning Map Change, many of our minds have changed, as well.  We are pleased to lend our support".


8. Zoning Ordinance Amendment; HA# H9038

Applicant: Development Services Staff

Request: Consideration of an Amendment to Section 301 Definitions and Section 537 Guest Homes-Detached of the Yavapai County Zoning Ordinance.

Six different speakers opposed this ZOA, there was no support.  One of the commissioners mentioned moving an old single wide onto his property to generate some needed income.  The hearing was continued to the Prescott meeting July 8th.  There is some support at the BOS for this ZOA which would make R1 property into multi-unit.


9. Zoning Ordinance Amendment; HA# H9039

Applicant: Development Services Staff

Request: Consideration of an Amendment to Section 603.C.3.f. Exemptions and Section 603.C.3.c. Lighting Amount of the Yavapai County Zoning Ordinance.

This matter was continued indefinitely.  



10. Zoning Ordinance Amendment; HA# H9040

Applicant: Development Services Staff

Request: Consideration of an Amendment to Section 209 Citizen Participation and Section 504 Administrative Review with Comment Period of the Yavapai County Zoning Ordinance.

Although applauded by most on hand, Staff presented a map of different sized parcels, showing how adoption of the single 1000 foot diameter notification area might adversely affect County procedures.  Where parcels are small a large number of neighbors would have to be alerted (postal $$), possibly bringing many people and opposition to the P&Z meetings.  The matter was continued to the Prescott meeting July 8th, with a possible change regarding smaller parcel size.


Proposed Solar Energy Station                                                                        by Janet Aniol 6/23/09

A proposed solar energy project to be located in Rimrock east of I-17 and north of Beaver Creek Road (but not next to the road) was introduced at the June 11th  Friends of the Well meeting. After making it clear that FOTW was not taking a position on the project, President Fred Shute introduced Ellen Simon of Sedona, one of the property owners. She said that she's an environmentalist and likes the project. Another owner of the property, Matt Cavanaugh of Cavanaugh Construction in VOC, was not present.


Then Ron Epperson gave the project presentation. He is the technical advisor for Rim Rock Energy LLC, a newly formed company which has proposed the solar project to APS. He said that by the 3rd week in July APS would decide if it wished to consider this project further. (APS is under mandate to use small solar plants that are not in metro areas.) Rim Rock Energy expects to have the project completed by fall of 2010 if approved by APS. 

The solar plant would include 1,670 15-ft wide solar dishes on 25 of the 47 acres. It could produce 13,000 megawatts per year, enough electricity to power about 1,000 homes. The dishes are 22 ft tall, 1100 F hot at the tip and fold up when the sun goes down. They produce a 60 decibel hum. The property would not have to be clear cut since each dish is installed on a concrete piling. Power lines would run from the edge of the property to Bice Rd to connect with the main power line. RRE does not plan to put the lines underground. The construction period is expected to be 7 or 8 months, employing 40-50 workers to pour concrete, assemble dishes, and do some specialized electrical connections. Once in operation, the plant is expected to need about 4 security guards for 24/7 coverage. Infinia Corporation will remotely monitor the plant. Road access is planned using Camino Vista Drive. Road improvement has not been considered. 


RRE plans to use solar dishes purchased from the Infinia Corporation which uses free-piston Sterling engines which were reported to be more efficient than solar panels. The devices are sealed and do not use water.  However 2 or 3 times a year de-ionized water must be trucked in to clean the mirrors. A similar plant is expected to be online near Casa Grande this fall.  


If this project is approved, RRE will receive a check from the Department of Energy for 30 % of the total project cost. The notes on the solar company are expected to be paid off in about 8 years. Afterward Mr. Epperson expects the free cash flow to be more than a couple of million a year. He was asked by a member of the audience what RRE was going to do for the community. Mr. Epperson said that nothing was planned at this time beyond paying taxes and providing several jobs.  Mr. Epperson was then asked about what the zoning request would be since all 47 acres of parcel 405-23-108 is zoned residential.  He said that the property used to be commercial and that is probably the zoning that would be requested. YC Development Services was contacted for a response to this. YCDS responded that the property had never been commercial. And since it is surrounded by residential property, staff could process it as a permanent Use Permit. 


Prior to the presentation Mr. Epperson had been asked to respond to safety issues that might be created by the close proximity of the solar dishes to the flight landing path for Rimrock Airport. He said that he did not have any technical information to share, but that the owner of Infinia Corporation was a pilot. Owners of neighboring properties do not appear to have been contacted at this time. Ron Epperson may be reached at 203-0378 or 713-256-9257 for further information or comment.


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