Council proclaims Sierra Vista as Hummingbird Capital of the U.S.

Adam Curtis Public Affairs Press Releases

Calhoun, Wolfe honored at last meeting of 2020

The Sierra Vista City Council unanimously approved a resolution to make the community’s longtime informal moniker official by proclaiming Sierra Vista as the Hummingbird Capital of the United States at its regular meeting on Thursday night, which was its final meeting of 2020.

Sierra Vista is already well known for its extraordinary diversity of birds and especially for the 15 species of hummingbirds that migrate through the area each year. With just 17 species of hummingbirds found in the U.S., few other locations boast such a variety and birders from around the world have already come to know Sierra Vista as the Hummingbird Capital of the United States.

Thursday’s action makes the designation official at the local level and also puts forth a request to state representatives to pass a similar resolution in the upcoming legislature. The designation was initiated by outgoing City Council Member Gwen Calhoun who, along with Council Member Kristine Wolfe, were honored for their service as their terms expire at the end of the month. Calhoun served 10 years on the council and Wolfe served four.

In January, newly elected Council Members Gregory Johnson and Angelica Landry will take their seats and Mayor Pro-Tem Rachel Gray will begin a new four-year term after being reelected.

In other business:

  • The City Council unanimously approved the Program Year 2019 Consolidated Annual Performance Evaluation Report, which describes how the City used federal funds granted by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development under the Community Development Block Grant program.
  • The City Council unanimously approved a code amendment to change the maximum number of Planning and Zoning Commission members from seven to five, which aligns code with the Board and Commission Practice and Procedures Guidelines that were amended in June, 2020.
  • The City Council unanimously approved updated development fees corresponding to the Land Use Assumptions and Infrastructure Improvement Plan approved by the City Council on Sept. 10, 2020. The council also approved a reduction of the City’s excess construction sales tax to align with the City’s standard sales tax rate of 1.95 percent, which offsets much of the increase in development fees and improves efficiency in budgeting and reporting requirements. The changes take effect March 1, 2021.
  • The City Council unanimously approved a transfer of funds from the General Fund to the Park Development Fee Fund, making use of higher than projected revenue to help reduce a deficit in the Park Development Fee Fund.
  • The City Council unanimously approved a payment plan with Castle & Cooke Arizona for the Avenida del Sol sewer interceptor.
  • The City Council unanimously approved amendments to the Infill Incentive District Policy intended to facilitate the reuse and redevelopment of vacant, underutilized, and distressed property in the West Sierra Vista and Cloud 9 planning areas.
  • The City Council unanimously approved the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan.
  • The City Council unanimously approved an addendum to the City Manager’s contract, increase the annual base salary by 2 percent, which is the same increase that was received by all classified City employees this year.
  • The City Council voted 5-2 to approve a resolution in support of All Aboard Arizona’s efforts to expand Amtrak service in the region. Council Members Kristine Wolfe and William Benning voted against the resolution.
  • The City Council unanimously approved the appointments of Barbara Fleming, Neil Gago, and Ron York to the Sierra Vista Employee Benefit Trust.

Details on these council items are available in the supporting documents for the Thursday, Dec. 10, City Council meeting. They can be accessed via the “City Council” folder on the City’s document server at

City Council meetings can be streamed live and past meetings can be viewed on YouTube. The meetings are also aired on Cox Channel 12. Learn more at