Southern San Pedro Valley Area Plan Planning Effort
TO VIEW THE PLAN DOCUMENT
(as a Adobe PDF document), HERE
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October 24, 2001
Three years of work in passage of San Pedro Valley Area Plan
BY DAVID RUPKALVIS
BISBEE - It took more than three years, but the Southern San Pedro
Valley Area Plan and Land Use Map is now part of Cochise County's
The Board of Supervisors approved the program Tuesday.
Work on the plan began more than three years ago when area residents
wanted to address growth pressures within the plan area. Through three
years of public comment, the plan slowly changed and evolved as
residents explained what they wanted and didn't want in the area.
The plan is not a firm restriction on what can and cannot be built,
but instead establishes guidelines for new residents to look over as
they prepare to build.
The plan area covers 83 square miles within the boundaries of the
Palominas Fire District, with Hereford Road to the north, the
U.S.-Mexico border to the south, Huachuca Mountains to the west and the
intersection of Hereford Road and Highway 92 to the east.
"I was most impressed by the willingness of residents to come
together in planning the future of their community," District 1
Supervisor Pat Call said. "There were some hard issues, but
everyone worked through them and produced a great plan."
The plan came about because area residents voiced concerns and the
county made every effort to include the residents in every step of
making and fine-tuning the plan.
The process began when a group of residents spoke at a Planning and
Zoning Commission meeting and the commission began to develop the plan.
The commission then appointed a committee made up of area business
owners, ranchers, developers and homeowners to carry the process
The committee met monthly in public meetings and attempted to keep
area residents involved. The committee started by doing a survey of all
property owners in the plan area and the results were used as the basis
for the plan draft.
But the survey did not end the attempt to garner public input. County
officials went into the community, meeting with the Palominas
Neighborhood Alliance and the Three Canyon's Ranch Homeowner's
"What's really important is the process itself," said Judy
Anderson, the county's assistant planning director. "Residents have
the opportunity to speak and be part of what the government does."
The goal of the plan, as defined by county officials, is to
"ensure that new development within the Southern San Pedro Valley
Area Plan boundaries is designed to complement the rural
The plan will serve as a guideline for new developmental requests for
subdivisions, rezonings, plan amendments, special uses and master
development plans while respecting the community's desire to preserve
the area's rural character.
The public will continue to be involved in the process as part of the
land use notification policy, which was added as an alternative to a
Design Review Committee, to promote continued community participation
during the implementation of the plan.
"We want people to always have a say," Anderson said.
"Whether they come in early or late in the process, we will work
with them to address their concerns."
Southern San Pedro
Valley Area Plan wins approval
By Diane Saunders, Herald
BISBEE - The proposed Southern San Pedro Valley Area Plan, minus its
provision for a design review committee, gained a favorable
recommendation Wednesday from the county Planning and Zoning Commission.
The commission's 7-0 vote came after nearly two hours of comments
from Palominas residents, most of whom said they did not oppose the
plan, but did oppose the design review committee. Commissioners Barry
Lay and Nancy McAvoy did not attend the meeting.
Instead of the design review committee, the commission approved an
alternative provision that all interested organizations and individuals
be notified of pending development in Palominas.
The Board of Supervisors will make a final decision during a meeting
at 2 p.m. Oct. 16.
The vote also came after the resignation of the Southern San Pedro
Valley Area Plan Committee Chairman Joe Scelso. He expressed anger and
frustration with plan and design review committee opponents who claimed
they did not know about the proposal until a week ago.
He pointed out the Plan Committee has been working on the document
and map for more than three years. The committee's work included
community surveys, monthly public meetings, mailings and a public input
session displaying the proposed map and document.
Scelso said the 11th hour opposition to the plan and the design
review committee made him "want to throw up:' He also pointed out
that the provision for design review was only for an 18 month trial
The Planning and Zoning Commission tabled action on the plan in July
in order to give the Plan Committee a chance to fine tune the document
and build consensus in the community. Attendees of a public meeting in
August worked with committee members to outline the composition and
duties of the design review committee.
However, several Palominas residents contended Wednesday they had no
knowledge of the plan and were never contacted about the Plan
Committee's activities and meetings, including the August meeting.
Palominas resident Stuart Dutcher and a few others also asked that a
vote on the proposal be delayed a second time.
According to Scelso rumor and falsehoods about the plan inundated the
Palominas community during the last week. He said if people had attended
any of the numerous public meetings they would have understood the
process and the plan.
"What I have heard about this committee in the last few weeks is
astonishing," Scelso said. "People, wake up!"
He also said he had no intention of doing any future work on the
plan. "You have my official resignation from this committee,"
Another Plan Committee member, Walter Kolbe, said he found it
"ludicrous" that people claim they only heard about the plan
seven days ago.
MaryFrances Clinton, another Plan Committee member, said the outcry
at Wednesday's meeting was a "Rip Van Winkle" reaction.
Palominas resident Douglas Snyder said he and his wife moved to
Palominas about a year ago. "Within a month we knew about the
committee," he said, adding that he and his wife regularly attended
meetings and often were the only members of the public present.
Richard Mayne, a Palominas resident and businessman, said he opposes
the design review committee. He also said he is too busy to read his
mail and newspaper articles about the plan.
Wes Flowers, a Palominas rancher, said "I'm 100 percent for this
plan. They did a fantastic job, as far as I'm concerned. ... You can't
After the 'meeting, he emphasized that he was not totally opposed to
the design review committee, but had some misgivings.
|Southern San Pedro
Valley Plan now headed to county planning and zoning - (
SV Herald, August 26, 2001)
Palominas - The
proposed Design Review Committee for the Southern San Pedro Valley
will have a trial run of 18 months before a final decision on its
future is made.
That was the recommendation of the Southern San Pedro
Valley Area Plan Committee after listening to more than an hour of
public comment and suggestions Thursday.
The proposed plan, including the formation of the
Design Review Committee , will go to the county Planning and
Zoning Commission Sept. 12 for review and a vote on a
recommendation to the county Board of Supervisors.
The three elected supervisors will make the final
decision on the plan.
If approved, the plan will serve as a guideline for
future development in the 83-square mile area within the
boundaries of the Palominas Fire District. The Design Review
Committee, appointed by the county Planning and Zoning Commission,
would have nine members, two from the Ash Canyon area, two from
Three Canyons, two from Miracle Valley and three from the
remainder of Palominas.
In July, the Planning and Zoning Commission voted to
table the plan after several area residents objected to the Design
Review Committee. Members of the Three Canyons Homeowners
Association said than that the sub-division's conditions,
covenants and restrictions, or CC&R's, already address county
Three Canyons already had a design review process and
sought to be exempt from the Ssouthern San Pedro Valley Plan.
During the meeting Thursday, several Three Canyons
property owners and other Palominas residents asked questions
about the role of the proposed Design Review Committee and how
members would be chosen.
Palominas resident Richard Mayne said the committee
would serve as another layer of bureaucracy and is unneccessary.
He said instead of dealing with a committee Palominas residents
should just communicate with the Planning and Zoning Commission or
the Board of Supervisors.
He also said he was concerned that the Design Review
Committee could restrict uses of private property.
Joe Scelso, chairman of the Southern San Pedro Valley Committee,
said the plan's purpose is not to limit land use, but serve as a
guideline. "This plan doesn't change what you can do
with your land," Scelso said.
Southern San Pedro Committee member Walter Kolbe said
rather than another layer of bureaucracy, the Design Review
Committee would serve to open up dialogue and work out solutions
to development problems before rezoning or special use requests go
to the county Planning and Zoning Commission for a decision.
Brenda Pratt, president of the Palominas Community
Alliance, offered an optimistic viewpoint, "I think the
community as a whole agrees with the plan."
Judy Slyter, sevretary of the Three Canyons
Homeowners Association, said after the meeting that she was
pleased with the outcome. "We all live here.
We're all wanting the same thing, " she said.