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Communication #13

Dear Friends of F3,

As executive Director of F3, I plan to use these Communications to keep you informed of trending issues of importance to our membership. Sometimes decisions that affect us have been made years ago. My goal is to get us engaged in the important conversations before decisions are made, and in this way, ensure that F3 can have a proactive presence in the community.

Most F3 Communications will include updates and provide a heads-up about issues of importance; sometimes we’ll write a lengthier report on an issue. I’ll do my best to help us keep our collective fingers on the pulse of our community!

Snowbowl Update: The Indigenous Circle of Flagstaff recently convened several meetings to discuss their concerns with new parking lot construction that has taken place at Snowbowl in a meadow above Hart Prairie. I’ve included a photo of this area taken in August 2020 that shows both the parking lot (about 3 acres) as well as a large construction staging area. We all know that actions taken on the Peaks can have a significant effect on our mountain town. There are a number of issues we are watching:

  • Increased parking at the Snowbowl and potential increase in the number of vehicles traveling along Fort Valley Road/Hwy 180;
  • The effect of additional vehicles traveling to Snowbowl on Flagstaff’s ability to meet the goal set in our Climate Emergency Declaration to be carbon neutral by 2030;
  • The lack of a comprehensive environmental analysis of the overall effects of a series of piecemeal decisions made by the Coconino National Forest related to Snowbowl;
  • The lack of public notification and involvement in decisions related to the expansion and development of Snowbowl;
  • The possible lack of monitoring of Snowbowl’s use of reclaimed water as per its contract with the City of Flagstaff.
  • Reports of soil-damaging run-off from the new lot into Hart Prairie and concerns over wastewater drainage into upper Hart Prairie;

These concerns highlight the interconnection between development, traffic, reclaimed water use, and Flagstaff’s carbon neutrality goals.

For more information contact: 

The Indigenous Circle of Flagstaff: 928-380-1055

Sierra Club, Grand Canyon Chapter: 928-774-6514

Michele James
Executive Director, Friends of Flagstaff’s Future


City Council Update:

Affordable Housing Emergency Declared: In response to a citizens’ initiative, the Council declared an affordable housing emergency in Flagstaff. This will give City staff the ability to put additional time and resources into addressing affordable housing within the city. The resolution also includes ways the city can encourage more economically-priced housing construction by the private sector to address workforce needs.

Agassiz St. Renamed: Agassiz St. in downtown Flagstaff has been renamed WC Riles St. In 1940, Wilson C. Riles was one of the first Black students to graduate from Arizona State Teachers College, now Northern Arizona University. As principal of the Dunbar School, the school for Black children in Flagstaff, he worked closely with the superintendent of Flagstaff’s public schools to desegregate schools in Flagstaff two years prior to the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling.

Indigenous Commission Established: Council seated 10 members for the newly formed Indigenous Commission at the December 1st City Council meeting. The Commission will serve as an advisory board and make recommendations  to the City Council with respect to policies, needs, issues and methods in support of the City’s Strategic Plan.


Local Efforts: Good Information to Have and to Share

  • NACOG is seeking input on their Community Needs Assessment. By completing this survey, you will help NACOG learn about the needs of local residents in order to better serve them. The survey will take about 10 minutes to complete, and all your responses will be anonymous.
  • The City of Flagstaff’s Beautification in Action grant has been revamped! Updates include an increased amount of (up to) $4,500, expanded eligibility, and more. Rolling submissions will continue throughout 2020 and bi-annual deadlines (March 15 and September 15) will begin in 2021. Learn more about Artist Opportunities here.
  • The City of Flagstaff website for the Housing Section includes loads of information on emergency housing resources, affordable rentals, home buying, fair housing, and more. Check it out here.

Calendar of Events

Selection of Flagstaff’s next Police Chief: Meet and Greet
December 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Join here or by phone by dialing +1 520-415-3558, Conference ID: 594049423#. Provide feedback about the three candidates here. Candidate information here.

The Parched Documentary Premier
December 10 at 5:00 via Zoom. The documentary tells the story of the creation of the art exhibit – Parched: The Art of Water in the Southwest – which explores the complexities of water in the context of climate change and increasing demands on water. Free. Register here.

McMillan Mesa Natural Area Rezoning Community Virtual Meetings
December 14, 2020, 5-7:00 p.m. & January 13, 2021 For Zoom links to the Virtual Meetings and to comment if you cannot attend, visit the Flagstaff Community Forum

What Can Flagstaff Afford: A Discussion of the Flagstaff Community Affordable Housing Needs Assessment

December 15 7:30-9:00 a.m. Streamed live on Facebook @Coral4AZ. Featuring Devonna McLaughlin (Executive Director of Housing Solutions of Northern Arizona) and Sara Darr (Director, City of Flagstaff Housing Department)

General Contact Information:

• To attend City Council meetings virtually:
• To attend Coconino County meetings virtually: or call 928-679-7144.
• To access City Commissions including Open Space, Sustainability, Planning and Zoning:

New Member Drive
Have you been thinking about joining Friends of Flagstaff’s Future for the first time? Have you been meaning to rejoin F3 after a lapse of membership? Join now for as little as $40 for an individual/$60 for a family. It’s easy! Just click below.