Please feel free to e-mail me information describing any events or meetings, along with a short note of what the meeting will be about, when, where, etc., and I'll do my best
to get it on-line for all to see. And if you see something that needs to be corrected, let me know.
Ed Hudson wanted to get everyone together and go through what has happened to him since the County Planning & Development staff got involved in the additions to his house. Ed has been a Ranch Resident for 24 years, starting with a travel trailer. His story of how things started and where they have gone in the past year or so is important as it gives residents an idea of what they will all be facing in their dealings with the County.
All of the efforts toward planning for the future of Whispering Ranch are predicated on the concept that there will be a need for improvements in the basic services such as police and fire protection, health and safety services (Ambulance) and the availability of a power grid that is within a reasonable cost. We have all seen the dramatic spike in the taxes for properties in the area, and those who I have spoken with don't mind paying more if they see some improvements for these increased taxes. But we are not seeing these improvements. Despite contacts with the County to conduct traffic studies (which we know were done), we can't get the results, nor does it appear the County recognizes that there has been a significant increase in traffic that should lead to road maintenance activity. It seems that since the County is in a budget crunch it won't admit (or commit) to doing any work in Whispering Ranch. And there is not much chance of that changing. It appears that the Arizona Corporation Commission is leaning toward re-instating the "1000 Foot Free Zone" but this is a political hot potato as well. I don't realistically expect we will see anything happening with any of the basic service needs in Whispering Ranch until the economy gets better - and who knows how long that will take.
Maricopa County is now viewing Whispering Ranch as a source of revenue, not only through increased taxes, but through citations for zoning and/or building violations. And their attitude in a meeting I was in last week to get information on these issues was not one of cooperation. I left the meeting with the impression that I had wasted their time by asking if there was any way they could work with residents. I see that this may become an expensive and bitter battle in the future and went in with a white flag to see what can be done. I came out feeling that this may turn out to be like Sherman's March to the sea.
In light of the recent developments, it is critically important that you are aware of what is currently going on with the County in regards to Planning and Zoning and roadways and with the Corporation Commission and APS regarding power issues. The need to start planning now will have a major impact on how the future plays out for the area. If we don't start thinking about these issues now and making our position known as a matter of public policy, we may well find we are just going to be steamrolled at the wishes of others. If you don't think that can happen, just look back to the Mead to Phoenix Transmission lines that SRP put in and how that fiasco unfolded.
So plan to be there if you can . . .
At 1:30 this afternoon, I went to the Corporation Commission Office and was met there by Bob Greer, Brett Dorcey (two property owners who
were a part of the effort to get flyers, e-mails and letters out to as many of the other property owners and residents of Whispering Ranch as possible),
Al Smith (long time Whispering Ranch resident who was involved in the past when Salt River Project [SRP] ran the transmission lines through "The Ranch")
to provide information on the need for power in "The Ranch". Also attending the meeting was Jeff Guldner, VP of Rates & Regulation for APS,
Commissioner Kristin Mayes, and Matthew Derr, Advisor to Commissioner Mayes who had been the recipients of the responses generated by the flyers
we had distributed.
In the Commission's conference room, we introduced ourselves and proceeded to outline the need for power in Whispering Ranch. Each of us answered
questions about our property, our perception of what the needs would be, and the direction we should take in the efforts to bring power in. Commissioner
Mayes asked the APS representatives to outline the previous costs and requirements, how they have changed subsequent to the approved rate increase that
went into effect on July 1, 2007, and what the projected costs would be in the near future. Our focus was to explore alternatives to the current charge and
rate structure to provide this basic service into the future so the current limitations in the area don't continue to restrict growth. There were discussions of
finding specific areas where a group of owners could share the cost of bringing power in to that specific area. Also discussed was a cooperative effort on
the part of APS and SRP to provide service. It came to light rather quickly to all present that neither the Corporation Commission no APS had never
confronted a situation of this complexity and magnitude. And since so many of the residents still had such a bad taste from the dealings when Salt River
Project put the high voltage transmission lines through in 1995, there is a general distrust which will likely prevent residents and owners from arriving at
a consensus on the best way to proceed. With all of these cards on the table, everyone has a broader view of the issues, and we should be able to move
toward an acceptable solution to bringing in power.
With many options to investigate, it was decided to do more research into a few of the more reasonable possibilities (for all sides concerned), provide
more detailed information on the area under consideration and meet again in a few weeks. Commissioner Mayes did agree to accept our invitation to take
a tour of Whispering Ranch to get to know the area in greater detail and will let us know when she will have the time available.
Once she is more familiar with the area, what is happening in the area with roadways, other developments and future growth plans, we will hold another
meeting and see what options are still on the table toward the goal of solving this ongoing dilemma.
to discuss the Application for a Rate Increase by
Arizona Public Service Company
NEWS RELEASE SPRING 2007
This event, which was sponsored by Accipiter Communications, was much more formal than previous community meetings with a large tent canopy, seating, a formal
podium stage setting for the invited guest speakers with audio speakers to enable the large crowd to hear the guest speakers. Also coffee and donuts were provided for all.
The far northwest valley in Maricopa County was well represented for this meeting. The meeting was emceed by Brett Dorcey, a resident and developer in the area.
His guest speakers were Sue Lewin - A.D.O.T., Les Rainey- APS, John Croteau- APS, Joe Liberty- Coldwell Banker Realty, and Patrick Sherrill - Accipiter Communications.
The guest speakers were very informative and provided valuable information on the present and future plans for development as well as where to obtain additional information to
stay updated on upcoming news for the area.
A loud and lengthy round of applause was heard when Patrick Sherrill-President & CEO Accipiter Communications made the HISTORY MAKING announcement that they
will soon be providing communication services to THE RANCH. Accipiter will initially provide fiber-to-the-home service via a dish as a feeder to provide fiber optic cable
to the home for their network. Then expand network facilities and services with their second phase of development reaching out into areas that are currently without electric
facilities. THE RANCH is currently serviced by a minimal amount of electricity at the southeast section provided by APS. This has been a critical issue for THE RANCH as
residents have had no ability to have telephonic communications for general purpose use as well as any emergency use until now.
Accipiter Communications provided applications for new service to the attendees with many being filled out and returned prior to the conclusion of the meeting. Patrick also
announced that they have a WHISPERING RANCH ESTATES link dedicated on their website at http://www.accipitercom.com/whisperingranch.asp This will provide future
news releases and keep the public informed of developments of the infrastructure of their communication network.
The meeting was concluded with open forum questions from the attendees and an enthusiastic round of applause for this long awaited announcement and much needed development.
The agenda will be an introduction, a few Guest Speakers, an Area Development Update, followed by an Open Discussion Forum.
All input is strongly encouraged and is vital to the development and future of "Our Ranch".
Coffee and Donuts will be served
Sponsored by Accipiter Communications
Special Thanks to Enrico "The Italian Cowboy" for the use of his property for this event.
I would like to thank everyone who came to the initial meeting for the Whispering Ranch residents and affiliates who are interested in having the existing
utilities expanded to cover a more broad area of the ranch. As we are all aware there are many residents who have no power, telephone, or internet service
that are full time residents on the Ranch.
We would like to thank Sandi Greene and Mark Lackey (both of APS) for being a part of the meeting held at the corner of 299th and Patton Rd. on
Tuesday, January 31, 2006. They provided much needed information on the past development of electrical utilities to the ranch and what will be needed for future growth.
This meeting was a very preliminary meeting to find out the status of the plans for future expansion of utilities for Whispering Ranch and what we as landowners
can do to expedite the process. The interest by all attendees was overwhelming, and I am sure in future meetings there will be many more voices who are in agreement
with the development of utilities as soon as possible.
Sandi and Mark suggested we contact Mark @ APS Engineering to get additional information on the studies already completed for the ranch as well as more up to
date information on the near term plans for electrical expansion.
Initial contact has been made with Mark @ APS Engineering and as future meetings are scheduled or additional information becomes available we will post it on this
website provided by Joe Liberty.
Thank you once again to APS and for all who participated in this very important meeting and again, we apologize for the short notice and to those who were unable to
attend. Please be assured there will be more meetings to come.
SkyHawk Homes, LLC
A list of attendees at this meeting is available in Excel format. Send an e-mail request and I'll forward it to you. JL
Copyright 2004-2017, J. D. Liberty