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Probation is a conditional suspension of a sentence (jail or prison) imposed on a person convicted of a crime. The conditions may include jail time, fines, fees, restitution, drug testing, treatment and community service. The offender's compliance with these conditions is monitored by a probation officer. If probation is completed successfully, the sentence is not imposed. If the offender is not compliant, probation may be revoked and the offender incarcerated.
Probation is not parole, which is a conditional release from prison after the offender has served a portion of his/her sentence. Parolees are supervised by parole officers. Parole/community supervision may be revoked if an offender fails to abide by the conditions of community release.
Arizona is one of a handful of states in which probation oversight is the responsibility of the courts, through the Adult Services Division of the Arizona Supreme Court's Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). Arizona probation is further divided into 10 of the state's 15 counties, which operate separate adult and juvenile probation departments. Parole officers are employees of the Department of Corrections.
For more information regarding the powers and duties of probation officers, please consult Arizona Revised Statutes A.R.S. Section 12-253. Additional statutes governing adult probation are A.R.S. Sections 13-901, 13-914 and 13-916, which can be found on the Arizona State Legislature website.
Please call the main office in Bisbee, Arizona, at 520-432-8800. We will refer you to the correct probation officer.
Learn more about Interstate Compact Supervision
Fill out an application for Restoration and Civil Rights. Sign and return to:Cochise County Clerk's OfficeP.O. Box CKBisbee, AZ 85603
It will be forwarded to the probation department to complete. This courtesy process may take time to complete as it is considered a low priority.
To notify you of any change in the full cash value, limited value, or legal classification from last year.
The 2024 valuation will be the basis for the property tax assessment and property tax bill to be sent out in September 2024. The full cash value is an estimate of the property's market value, and the legal classification shows how the property is used, residential, vacant land, agricultural, commercial, etc.
Yes. Every property owner in the State of Arizona is required by law to be notified of their valuation annually. Notices are mailed to the current owner at the last known address on file at the Assessor's Office.
Full cash value is the estimated market value the Assessor is required to establish for property tax assessment. It includes an estimated value for the land and any structure on the land. Beginning Tax Year 2015, no tax levy is assessed against the full cash value (Proposition 117).
The limited property value is a value calculated through a statutory calculation that is based on the previous year's limited property value and the new full cash value. This value is not subject to discretionary adjustment by the assessor. Beginning Tax Year 2015 the limited property value is restricted to a 5% increase, and all property taxes will be levied against the limited property value (Proposition 117).
The legal classification of property defines the assessment ratio based on the property's use as defined by Arizona law. For example, a residence that is owner-occupied is "legal class 3". Legal class 3 property is assessed at 10% of its full cash value. If a property is used for commercial purposes, it would be identified as "legal class 1.12" and is assessed in 2024 at 16.5% (17% in 2023) of its full cash value. Vacant land is "legal class 2" and is assessed at 15% of its full cash value.
A new law changed in 2012 restricts legal class 3 owner-occupied residential classification to an owner's primary residence. (A home may qualify as class 3 if it is a primary residence of a qualified family member.) Second homes, vacation homes, etc. which were classified as legal class 3 in the past now must be classified as legal class 4. Both class 3 and class 4 properties have a 10% assessment rate. A legal class 3 property, however, receives a state aid to education reduction on the tax bill computation which is not received by a legal class 4 property. To change your property to a legal class 3 primary residence status, file an Application for Reclassification of Property - To Owner Occupied with the Assessor.
Arizona law was changed back in 1995 to define "valuation year" as the year prior to the "tax year". This law requires the assessment roll to be created in the year prior to the actual tax levy and collection. Due to this requirement, the assessor is required to set valuations for 2024 as of January 1, 2023, using 18 months of sales data. This dictates setting 2024 values using sales data from 2021 and 2022.
The full cash value can increase for several reasons. New construction or remodeling of existing structures that were not previously shown on the assessment records will increase values. A change in property use, such as going from agricultural to non-agricultural use can cause an increase. Under normal market conditions, an increase in the overall real estate market and selling prices of similar property in the area is the major cause for valuation increases. Current real estate market conditions are reflecting stable or declining values in many areas of the county. Often a physical inspection by assessor staff will result in prior improvements being added to the assessment roll for the first time, resulting in an increase.
Yes. When there exists, a large value spread between the full cash value and the limited property value, the limited property value will increase even though the current year's full cash value dropped. In no case can the limited property value exceed the full cash value in any given year. Beginning Tax Year 2015, the limited property value is limited to a 5% increase, provided no change in use or new construction has occurred since last year's assessment (Proposition 117).
The full cash value can increase in a declining market as long as it does not exceed the market value as of the valuation date. Note: The 2024 full cash value is based on a valuation date of January 1, 2023, and is based on a minimum of 18 months of sales data. In the case of the 2024 valuation, sales data from years 2021 and 2022 were the basis for the valuation. Real estate market changes or conditions existing after January 1, 2023, are not relevant to the 2024 assessment.
No. The constitutional responsibility of assessing and valuing property falls to the County Assessor. The Assessor is not a taxing authority and cannot levy taxes. The Assessor reports the net assessed valuation to each of the 75 plus taxing jurisdictions within the county. The individual taxing jurisdictions then, based on their individual budgetary decisions, will set tax rates which will then be used to calculate the property tax bill.
No. The county is broken up into 9 separate market areas. Each of these 9 market areas are then broken up into smaller sub-market areas and sales data from within these sub-market areas are then the basis for setting valuation levels. Areas transitioning in use, new construction, or other external factors affecting market values can impact the valuation set by the assessor in each area.
The full cash value is comprised of a value for the land and for the structure (improvement). The land value is set based on the selling prices for similar types and sizes of land and is updated periodically. The improvement value is re-calculated every year and is adjusted for depreciation, physical condition, modernization, etc. A market factor is applied based on a statistical sales ratio analysis for that type of property in that specific submarket area of the county. Standard appraisal methods are used by State certified appraisers within the Assessor's Office to achieve this goal.
This occurs generally due to the market factor adjustment which tracks the change in the real estate market through sales analysis. It may also occur when a systematic land reappraisal occurs on the 3 to 5-year cycle. A value can also increase when a new owner purchases a property for which the prior owner had qualified for a Senior Property Valuation Freeze.
Every property owner has the legal ability to file an appeal with the County Assessor if the property owner believes the assessment is incorrect. Arizona law requires the assessor to value property at market value levels, but the assessor cannot value property over the actual market value of the property. There is no restriction or limit as to an increase in the full cash value, so in the case of an appeal, the property owner is required to demonstrate documentation as to the incorrectness of the assessment or valuation. An appeal must be filed with the assessor within 60 days of the mailing of the Notice of Valuation. Forms are available from the assessor. Beginning Tax Year 2015, no tax levy is assessed against the full cash value (Proposition 117).
The taxing jurisdictions will not set the 2023 tax rates until August of 2023. Beginning Tax Year 2015, your tax bill is calculated solely on the limited property value (Proposition 117).
If you believe your property is incorrectly assessed or is in fact valued in excess of market value, contact the Assessor's Office and get more information on filing an appeal. This will not impact the 2023 tax bill but would address the problem for the 2024 tax bill.
Note: Individual Property Tax Exemption: an exemption is available to property owners qualifying as a widow, widower, or an individual who is 100% totally and permanently disabled. There is an income and property valuation limitation. The filing deadline is March 1 of each year.
Note: Senior Property Valuation Freeze Option: a property owner 65 years of age or older may qualify to have their property value frozen for a three-year period which can be renewed every three years, resulting in a permanent freeze. The filing deadline is September 1 of each year.
Once an appeal is filed with the assessor, a review of the appeal and documentation supplied with the appeal will be made. A review of the assessment record is made to determine any obvious problem or error. If the property assessment is in question, a Deputy Assessor will physically review the property as well as the market data used to set market values in that specific market area. Any changes in the assessment will be documented, and the appeal will be responded to and mailed back to the property owner.
If the property owner is still dissatisfied with the decision and believes a second review is warranted, he has the option of appealing the assessor's decision to the County Board of Equalization. The County Board of Equalization will then schedule a hearing time to hear from both the property owner and assessor as to the property assessment. A third level of appeal is available, and that is an appeal to Arizona State Tax Court. This is a formal appeal process through the Maricopa County Court system.
This program is available to property owners of parcels that are at least 4-acres in size with the following zoning designations:
You can check your property's zoning on the County's interactive web map ArcGIS Cochise County INFOMap. Search by address or parcel number/APN (Format: 123459876).
Yes, you will be required to obtain a septic system, or alternative waste treatment, permit. While these are issued and inspected by the County Health Department, you may still apply for a septic permit through our online permitting system: Register and apply for a permit online. Please contact the County Health Department if you have specific questions regarding a septic or alternative system to treat waste. Phone: 520-432-9441
You may be required to get a right-of-way permit if your property is accessed from a county road. You can determine whether your property is on a County-maintained road on the County’s interactive web map INFO Map: ArcGIS Cochise County INFOMap. While right-of-way permits are issued and inspected by the County Engineering and Natural Resource Department, you may still apply for a right-of-way permit through our online permitting system: Register and apply for a permit online. Please contact the County Engineering and Natural Resource Department if you have specific questions regarding a right-of-way permit. Phone: 520-432-9310
You may be required to get a floodplain use permit. Floodplain Use Permits are issued by the Flood Control District of Cochise County and are required for any type of development that is within a designated floodplain, before you build or alter the property. You can determine whether your property is within a designated floodplain on the County’s interactive web map INFO Map: ArcGIS Cochise County INFOMap. Please contact the County Engineering and Natural Resource Department if you have specific questions regarding a floodplain use permit. 520-432-9310
Yes. While no building plan inspections are required, other inspections are required by the County to verify compliance with statewide codes and zoning regulations. The number and timing of these inspections will vary.
Electric service is provided by Sulfur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc (SSVEC), Arizona Public Service (APS), or Columbus Electric Cooperative (CEC) depending on your location within the County. Learn more about which provider provides service to your home or business: Electric Service Provider Map
To find out more information about the process, your responsibilities, and/or to establish new electric service, please contact the responsible agency. Here are a few links to get you started:
Yes, but it will be in addition to a standard septic system. If an alternative system, such as composting toilets, is necessary due to limiting conditions, like high groundwater, the evaluator will recommend that you design a system to compensate for this limiting condition. An application for an alternative system may be reviewed by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality or the County Health Department depending on the system chosen. Please contact the County Health Department if you have specific questions regarding a septic or alternative system to treat waste. Phone: 520-432-9441
An owner-builder may participate in the program once every five years for residential dwellings on all properties within the unincorporated area of Cochise County owned by that individual. This limitation does not apply to (non-habitable) accessory structures or additions on the same property.
Yes, the County has adopted Appendix Q (Tiny Homes) of the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC). By local amendment, tiny homes must be at least 296 square feet in size. Learn more about minimum space requirements for tiny homes (PDF).
Accessory dwellings are allowed within certain zoning districts. They must be equal to or lesser in height than the existing principal dwelling and they are limited in size to a maximum of 50% of the livable square footage of the principal dwelling or 1,000 square feet, whichever is less. Also, accessory living structures must comply with all development standards as the principal structure. For more information, please see the Accessory Living Quarters Page.
Cochise County may issue a conditioned Certificate of Occupancy for participants that select the “full construction plan review with limited building code inspection” option only. Program participants that select the “no construction plan review with no building code inspection” are not eligible to receive a Certificate of Occupancy.
You may live in an RV while your house is being constructed with an approved temporary use permit.
You may not do either within the first year following the completion of construction. After the one year is over you may sell or rent your home.
Plans may be hand drawn but must be clearly legible. Please illustrate or include all the following information:
Regular office hours for both the Sierra Vista and Bisbee Clerk Offices are Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. Please be aware that the customer service window in Sierra Vista cannot accept any payments after 4:30 pm.
View Clerk of Superior Court Staff Directory
The Courtroom is a hallowed place. Rules govern every aspect of the Court, including proper etiquette. The Court may not issue any warning and therefore violators may be removed from the courtroom.
View Payment Options
All other finance-related questions should be directed to the Finance Clerk. You can call 520-432-8600 and select Option Number 3 to speak directly with the Finance Clerk.
Email the Finance Clerk
A marriage license can be obtained from either the Sierra Vista Clerk's Office or Bisbee Courthouse. Both parties must be present, with a picture ID. The cost is $83 (no personal checks). The Superior Court will not perform the ceremony; you must find your own officiant.
All jury information is found on our Jury Duty Information page. Alternatively, you can call 520-432-8577 or toll-free 888-212-7072 (Northern Cochise County).
View Jury Duty Instructions and Information
You can get a new passport from either the Sierra Vista Clerk's Office or the Bisbee Courthouse from 8 am to 4 pm All parties applying for a passport must be present with picture, picture ID and a check or money order is to be made out to the U.S. Department of State (total amounts can be combined on one check for families).
There are two separate fees:
View Passport Fees Schedule
You will need:
Renewal of expired passports under 5 years old (15 years from issue), must be done by you, the applicant. You can get the DS-82 application(s) from the same locations as previously mentioned.
Clerk of the Superior Court Staff Directory
To find how much fees are, refer to:
We accept cash, credit card (Point and Pay fees), business checks, or cashier's checks. No personal checks are accepted.
Copies of documents can be requested through our Research Office. Research Office hours are: 8 am - 5 pm weekdays, except government holidays. The research specialist's normal hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 8 am to 3 pm.
Please call ahead to ensure that the record you need is available. The Bisbee office has most records available onsite in either electronic, paper, or microfilm formats, but the selection at the Sierra Vista office is limited. Documents are usually, but not always, available the day the order is processed. You will be notified if your request requires additional time.
Requesting Copies of Court Documents Page
You can find forms through the following resources:
Signed copies of orders will be provided to the party that filed the proposed order. The filing party is responsible for distributing conformed copies of the signed order to all other parties in the case. If we have an email address on file, we will email the signed order to the filer. If you would like a conformed copy mailed to you, you must provide an additional copy of the proposed order and a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
The Clerk's Office distributes minute entries and other court-generated orders to all parties.
Clerk of Superior Court Staff Directory Page
For information about becoming a Private Process Serve visit Private Process Server Arizona Courts website.
The assigned prosecutor will determine if a case is appropriate to refer to the Giving Recovery A Chance (GRACe) Program. The GRACe Mental Health Coordinator will review all cases for appropriateness, and the County Attorney or Chief Criminal Deputy has final discretion to accept or deny a defendant into the program.
Giving Recovery A Chance (GRACe) is a program intended primarily for heavy users of the criminal justice system whose mental health problems potentially affect their ability to meaningfully assist in their own defense and otherwise complicate their daily lives.
There are no fees associated with the Giving Recovery A Chance (GRACe) program.
Restitution is payment for an economic loss incurred by a victim as a direct result of the crime committed against them.
According to ARS Section 13-806, a victim can apply for criminal restitution order after the sentencing of a defendant.
A prosecutor may also apply for a restitution lien in a criminal proceeding, in which there was an economic loss, after filing a misdemeanor complaint or felony information or indictment. A prosecutor provides the defendant notice of any restitution sought at the time of arraignment.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a term that includes a variety of methods used to resolve conflicts and disputes between people without going to trial. Arbitration and mediation are two such techniques that can be helpful, and Juvenile Victim-Offender Conferencing (JVOC) is another. In all cases, trained volunteers are assigned to help litigants settle their civil, small claims, or juvenile court issues without the need for a trial.
To file a small claims or civil lawsuit in Justice Court, fill out a Complaint, Summons, Answer Form and take it to the Justice Court in which the incident occurred or in which one or both of the parties reside. Then file the claim to receive a case number for the action. If your claim is for damages in excess of $10,000, the process is very similar, except that you would file the claim at the Superior Court, instead.
The court must first refer your lawsuit to the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program. Small Claims and Civil cases claiming monetary damages under $10,000 are referred to Alternative Dispute Resolution by the Justice of the Peace. Superior Court cases appropriate for arbitration are screened and sent to ADR from the Clerk of the Superior Court. ADR Program staff will then assign an Arbitrator to hear the case.
Most cases referred by the Justice Court begin as arbitrations. However, if the parties appear to be cooperative with each other, are willing to work together, and it appears that an agreement is very likely, the arbitrator can convert the arbitration session to mediation and help the litigants draft a mediated agreement that is mutually acceptable.
Justice Court arbitrations and mediations are typically scheduled to last an hour and a half. That amount of time is usually sufficient to allow each side to present their case or defense, identify and question witnesses, and offer closing statements. Each litigant should be prepared to complete the presentation of their case in 35 minutes or less. Cochise County Local Rules do, however, allow parties to request an extension of that time, upon written notice received by the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Office not less than ten days from the date of the Notice of Hearing. Refer to Rule 12.2(G)(4) for additional details.
Arbitration sessions are open to the public as are most court proceedings. Mediations, however, are private and confidential and are not open to the public. If an arbitration hearing is converted to mediation with the consent of the parties, only the litigants will be allowed to remain in the hearing room.
You may consult with a lawyer if you wish; however, it is not a requirement to hire an attorney or to have him or her be at your side to represent you during the hearing. Attorneys are not permitted to participate in small claims cases. If you have a Small Claims case, a case in which the total monetary damages are less than $2,500, and wish to hire an attorney to represent you, your attorney must file a Notice of Appearance and transfer the case to the Civil division of the Justice Court, instead.
You should be prepared to present your case in full as though you were appearing before the Judge. Please refer to the back of your Notification to Parties form (a yellow copy which you signed) for additional information. However, before the hearing you should have:
Bring your witnesses and all of your evidentiary materials to the arbitration hearing.
Yes, please check the back of your Notification to Parties form for additional information (it is usually a yellow piece of paper that you signed when you filed the complaint or answered the claim). Please note that your witnesses may be asked to wait outside the hearing until they are called to testify.
If the plaintiff fails to show up and has given no valid reason for his or her absence, oftentimes the arbitrator will recommend the case be dismissed. If the defendant filed a counterclaim against this plaintiff, the arbitrator will likely hear the counterclaim in the plaintiff's absence and make a decision on the counterclaim based on the case presented by the defendant.
If the defendant doesn't show up, and no valid reason is given for his/her absence, the arbitrator will hear the plaintiff's claim and make a decision based on the plaintiff's evidence in the defendant's absence. If there was a counterclaim by the defendant, but the defendant wasn't there to present that case, the counterclaim will likely be dismissed.
Not necessarily. All of our Justice Court arbitrators are volunteers that have been trained to the standards of Cochise County Superior Court's Alternative Dispute Resolution Program. They have been certified and appointed by the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court. Many of them have had years of experience with this Program and have heard all sorts of cases. Arbitrators in Superior Court cases must, by law, be attorneys with a minimum of four years of active membership in the State Bar of Arizona.
No. Because mediated agreements are essentially new contracts between you and the other party rather than a judgment issued by the court, they cannot be appealed.
A failure to comply with the terms set out in your mediated agreement would essentially be a breach of a separate contract and may be subject to further legal action.
Yes, if you believe the arbitrator has made an error on a point of law in a small claims or civil case, you may request the Justice Court review the case. Arbitration awards may be appealed.
A copy of the arbitrator's written Notice of Decision will be mailed to each party. If neither party appeals within twenty (20) days, the arbitrator's decision will become a judgment of the court. After you received your copy of the judgment, you must make a written demand of the other party to pay the judgment amount. If they do not pay, at your request the court can provide you with the forms you may file to try to collect.
If the other party does not make full payment, you may file a request to have a writ issued. If these writs are not effective in collecting the judgment, obtaining the services of an attorney may be helpful. Please note that it is not the responsibility of the court to enforce or collect the judgment. Court staff cannot offer you legal advice but can suggest several alternative methods of procedure you may wish to follow. You may also research the laws yourself or consult an attorney.
Once the judgment has been entered, it is up to you to pay the other party. You may send payment directly to the person or entity that prevailed in arbitration, but be sure to obtain or retain proof of payment. Do not make payment to the Court. The Court does not collect money owed, or distribute payments to any party. The prevailing party should send a written demand for payment indicating the judgment amount and how to make payment. It is then your responsibility to pay the debt. Failure to do so may result in garnishment or other negative consequences.
All children have a right to a home with loving people to care for them. But each year in the United States, more than three million children are reported abused or neglected millions of children are abused, neglected, or abandoned by their families. Nearly half a million of them are removed from their homes and placed in foster care or institutions. Eventually, they end up as "Wards of the Court" and a Judge must decide their future. A child's future can easily get lost in an overburdened system.
Tragic stories of abuse and neglect make the headlines and statistics of brutalized children are often quoted in the media. Concerned citizens shake their heads and ask, "Why doesn't someone do something?" That's where you step in and help by becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer speaking up in court for the best interest of the child.
This isn't an issue in a far-off location. It is happening in the State of Arizona, the County of Cochise and in the town where you live.
You don't have to be a lawyer or social worker to be a volunteer. We're simply looking for people with a desire to help abused children. As a CASA volunteer, you'll receive training from professionals in the legal and welfare fields, and you'll have the complete support of your CASA organization to help you through each case.
The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteer is appointed by the Presiding Juvenile Judge and acts as their "eyes and ears" to help them determine what is best for these "dependent" children. The Volunteer has the authority, by Court Order, to gather confidential information about the children and their family; determine if reasonable efforts have been made to reunify the family once the cause of the children's removal has been addressed; to help ensure that appropriate case planning is implemented, and to make sure that services are available for both the child and family.
The Volunteers make an independent assessment of the situation and then develop recommendations as to what the best permanent placement should be. That could include return to parent, placement with a relative, long-term foster care, or adoption. And they always let the child know they are there, with them all the way until that one goal is reached - a safe, permanent and nurturing home.
They prepare written reports for the Court to inform the Judge of his/her assessment of the case, opinions and concerns, and recommendations regarding placement, counseling, medical needs, educational needs, and such. The Volunteer is asked to attend all court hearings and other meetings involving his/her case.
Perhaps the most important role of the CASA is to develop a caring, positive relationship with the child and to be a stable presence for the child. Because these children often experience many different placements, caseworkers, and/or therapists, while they are in the child welfare system, there is a great need for one person to be there for them the entire time.
Currently in Cochise County, we have about 200 children in foster care. Only about 30% of those children have a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) who has taken action to give them a voice in court. The CASAs in Cochise County dedicate time and energy to ensure that the best interests of our children in care are being met. Never has the need for CASAs been greater than it is now! Will you take positive action for Cochise County's foster children? Make that call today!
Zoning defines what types of primary and accessory uses can be developed and what types of development standards will govern each use. Development standards generally include lot size, lot width, setbacks, heights of structures and buildings, lot coverage, and screening. You can check your property's zoning on the County's interactive web map INFOMap. Search by address or parcel number/APN (Format: 123459876).
ArcGIS Cochise County INFOMap
Per state law, building permits are required for all new structures or renovations of existing structures that meet or exceed $1,000 in value, although some home repairs and uses are exempt from this requirement. A list of specific improvements that do not require a building permit can be found on the Permit Exemptions Webpage. Be advised, regardless of whether your project requires a permit, it must still be constructed in conformance to the regulations of this jurisdiction and all applicable state laws.
Owner Builder Webpage
On December 1, 2022, the Douglas Groundwater Basin Active Management Area (“AMA") was officially established. AMAs are subject to certain statutory and administrative regulations regarding the withdrawal and use of groundwater by the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR). The boundaries of this 552 square mile AMA correspond to those of the Douglas Groundwater Basin. To learn more about AMAs, including information irrigation allowances and prohibitions, please visit the ADWR website. Douglas AMA Fact Sheet. Douglas AMA website.
Electric service is provided by Sulfur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc (SSVEC), Arizona Public Service (APS), or Columbus Electric Cooperative (CEC) depending on your location within the County. To determine which provider provides service to your home or business, reference the County’s interactive web map INFO Map: ArcGIS Cochise County INFOMap. (Utility - Electric Service Area layer)
Yes, the County has adopted Appendix Q (Tiny Homes) of the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC). Here is a link to those requirements: Appendix Q. By local amendment, tiny homes must be at least 296 square feet and adhere to all requirements contained in Appendix Q.
No. There must be a house, or some other established use, on the property in order to camp. This applies to all forms and durations of camping requests.
The County uses the following building codes:
Please note: The International Building Code and other related codes are subject to the amendments contained in the Local amendments pertinent to Cochise County (PDF)
Building Safety Page
Yes, but a standard septic system is still required. Contact the Cochise County Health Department, at 520-586-8206, for more information.
Septic Systems Page
If there is an existing principal use on the property, such as a house, you may be eligible to live in an RV on your property for up to 6 months in a calendar year with an approved temporary use permit. You may also live in an RV while a principal use is being constructed with an approved temporary use permit.
Temporary Use Permit (PDF)
You may build your own home but you will be required to obtain all required permits and sign an owner/builder affidavit. By signing this affidavit, you affirm that the property is intended for your sole occupancy and will not be offered for sale or rent within one year of completion (ARS 32- 1121.A.5). As an owner/builder, you act as your own contractor, and will be responsible for following all aspects of the permit process.
Cochise County also offers an additional program to qualifying rural properties called the “owner-builder amendment.” (See Owner-Builder Amendment webpage)
We have a lot of information, including historical permit documents, zoning designation, and flood hazard zones, on the County's interactive web map INFOMap. For additional information email the Planning and Zoning Department.
ArcGIS Cochise County INFOMap
Accessory dwelling structures are allowed within certain zoning districts. They must be equal to or lesser in height than the existing principal dwelling and they are limited in size to a maximum of 50% of the livable square footage of the principal dwelling or 1,000 square feet, whichever is less.
Also, accessory living structures must comply with all development standards as the principal structure. For more information, please see the Accessory Living Quarters Page.
The expiration of permits is stipulated by the County's adopted building code. Any work associated with a building permit must begin within 180 days after the permit is issued. The permit is considered "active" as long as work authorized by the permit is not suspended or abandoned for a period of 180 days. The Building Official may grant an extension. All requests for extensions must be in writing.
Most vacant property in Cochise County is not addressed. Addresses are assigned during the permit process for a residential dwelling or commercial building.
Rural Addressing Page
All permit fees are included in the Development Services Fee Schedule. We also have online, interactive permit fee calculators to help you estimate your specific project costs.
We make it easy for you! Register and apply for a permit online.
Cochise County regulates the 100- year floodplain. Property within the 100-year floodplain has a one (1%) percent chance of flooding annually. The County's Info Map includes a National Flood Hazard Layer, showing where floodplain throughout Cochise County is present. To access this information, please go to our Mapping Resource page.
Setbacks are limits that govern how closely you may build to a property line. In Cochise County, setbacks are measured from the closest point on the property line or the edge of road travelway to the structure/use, whichever is closer.
The County allows small-scale, non-residential activity in a home or workshop as a secondary use. There are associated restrictions and property owners must first submit an application and be approved to operate their business.View Home Occupations Information
Development Services does not maintain records of easements on individual lots that are not part of recorded subdivisions. Recorded subdivisions may have easement information listed as part of the recorded plat. However, even these may not be the most up-to-date. In most circumstances, we recommend contacting a surveyor, real estate attorney, or title company for a title report. Specifically, the Schedule B portion of a title report lists the encumbrances and exceptions, including easements, that affect a property, and will contain the most current and accurate information.
Easement disputes can be complex. Development Services is generally not involved in civil easement disputes. We recommend contacting a title company to conduct a full title search. You may also consider hiring a surveyor to physically locate and mark your property boundaries as reflected in your deed. In come cases, you may benefit from consulting an experienced real estate attorney to analyze your specific situation and help you better understand your rights.
Livestock, for private use, is allowed in all parcels in all zoning districts in unincorporated Cochise County that are at least 36,000 square feet (0.82 acres) in size. By definition, "livestock" in County County includes cattle, horses, sheep, llamas, alpacas, goats, mules, swine, asses, and ratites, such as ostriches and emus. It does not include chickens, turkeys or quail. All livestock must be confined to prevent roaming. All stables, barns, shade structures, corrals, manure piles, and/or areas where animals congregate must be at least 50 feet from all property lines. County planning does not regulate the number of livestock allowed on a property.
If you own property within a homeowner's association or commercial condominium association, you may be bound by more restrictive CC&Rs that do not permit livestock. County Planning does not enforce CC&R restrictions. It is your responsibility to understand any CC&Rs that may apply to your property.
In Cochise County, nearly 80% of voters choose to vote by mail or vote early in person at the Recorder's Office. Mail ballots must be signed and each signature is verified by staff that has forensic level signature verification training.
Voters can make sure their ballot was returned and counted by going to MyArizonaVote and entering their voter registration information. The system will show you the date the ballot was counted. Voters can also call the Recorder's Office at 520-432-8358. Voting by mail is safe, accurate, secure, verifiable, and efficient for voters.
Cochise County has two Congressional Districts (CD6 and CD7) and two Legislative Districts (LD19 and LD21)
View official maps from Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission
Every ten years, Redistricting occurs across the nation to ensure population thresholds in the Census are represented equally. Prior to 2022, all of Cochise County was in Legislative District 14 and Congressional District 2.
Call the Cochise County Voter Registration Department at 520-432-8358.
A voter must re-register if the voter moved from one residence to another, changed their name, or if the voter wishes to change political parties. Remember to fill in all questions as this is a re-registration.
Re-Register Online at Service Arizona
Voter registration forms are available at Libraries, Post Offices, and Motor Vehicle Departments throughout the State. They are also available at the County Recorder’s Office at 1415 Melody Lane, Building. B in Bisbee.
Yes - but you must select a party ballot. According to A.R.S. §16-467(A), at primary elections, there shall be provided a separate ballot for each party entitled to participate in the primary. Each recognized political party shall have a separate ballot for partisan primary elections.
In Arizona, the recognized parties are Democratic, Libertarian, and Republican. If you are registered as one of the recognized parties, you shall receive your party's ballot. Due to a ruling by the U.S. District Court, the Arizona Libertarian Party is not included in Arizona open primary. You may only vote on a Libertarian ballot if you are registered as a Libertarian. If you are registered as Independent, Non-Partisan, or as a member of an unrecognized political party, you may choose one and only one, of the available recognized party ballots to vote. Once you have chosen a party ballot you cannot exchange it for another party ballot.
Active Early Voter List (AEVL) and the Primary Election. 90 days prior to the Primary Election, letters will be sent to all voters on the AEVL with information regarding the Primary and General Elections. Voters who aren't registered with a recognized party will receive a form that will allow them to select the party ballot they wish to vote for. A ballot will not be mailed to unaffiliated voters until we receive a form indicating their ballot choice. You may also make your choice by contacting the Recorder's Office.
Email County Recorder
To vote in the Presidential Preference Election (PPE), an eligible voter must be registered with a political party recognized in Arizona that has a candidate on the ballot. Voters cannot select a ballot - they must be registered with the party of their choice prior to the last day to request a ballot for that election. This election is different than a primary election where independent voters can select a ballot style.
Yes, you do not have to vote in every election to keep your registration active. However, if a voter is on the inactive list through two Federal Elections (four consecutive years) the registration will be canceled. Contact the Recorder's Office for questions about your voter status.
A vote center is a centralized polling place where any eligible voter in the county may go to vote. The vote center model gives voters more flexibility and convenience on Election Day because voters are not assigned to a specific polling location determined by their address. Vote centers are an alternative to traditional, neighborhood-based precincts. Cochise County moved from precinct-based polling locations to Vote Centers in 2015.
Voters registered in Cochise County can vote at ANY Vote Center within the County. There are no assigned polling locations in our county.
List of locations and an interactive map visit ArcGIS InfoMap
To request a ballot by mail, call the Recorder's Office at 520-432-8358, email the County Recorder, or access it through our Early Ballot Request on the Recorder's website page no sooner than 93 days or no later than 11 days prior to an election. If you will be out of town through the early voting period, you may request that an early ballot be mailed to the address where you will be staying, call 520-432-8358. You may vote in person from 27 days prior to the election up to 5 pm on the Friday before the election at the County Recorder's Office at:1415 Melody LaneBuilding BBisbee, AZ 85603
You can sign up to be on the Active Early Voting List (AEVL) and automatically receive a ballot in the mail for every election you're eligible to vote by calling the Recorder's Office at 520-432-8358.
Yes. And yes! All early ballots are required to be placed into a signed Affidavit envelope. Each one of those envelopes is scanned and verified by a person at the Recorder's Office who has been specially trained in forensic signature verification. These verified ballots are then processed and counted. The results are released one hour after the polls close on election night. If the signature doesn't match, the Recorder's Office will attempt to contact the voter.
It is very safe to vote early by mail since the signature match is done for every ballot. Voters can drop their voted ballot in the mail, bring it to the Recorder's Office or use one of the secure and convenient ballot drop boxes located around the County. A list of those locations is posted on the county website.
If you make a mistake on your early ballot, call the Recorder's Office at 520-432-8358 for instructions:
All of the machines are touch screens and easy to use. They are fully American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant as well and you can use the headphones to listen to the ballot as well as view and select your choices on the screen. We’ve got a 2-minute video in English and Spanish that demonstrates how easy they are to operate located on our website homepage.
How-to-Use Voting Machines Video
Voters can have a ballot mailed to them, or choose to be placed on the Active Early Voting List (AEVL) so you never have to go to the vote center - you automatically receive a ballot for every election you're eligible to vote in. You do the research, vote the ballot, sign it, and send it back. We count it. If you go vote in person, please be prepared and know before you go.
Every voter not on AEVL receives a sample ballot in the mail 10 days prior to the statewide election. Do the research, mark that sample ballot, and bring it with you on election day. Then you just make your selections on the ExpressVote machine, print the ballot card, and insert it into the tabulating machine to be counted. If everyone does the research prior to going to vote, it makes the process go much faster.
On Election Day all Vote Centers open at 6 am and close at 7 pm Voters standing in line at 7 pm will be able to cast their vote.
At any participating Vote Center within Cochise County. You do not have to stand in line. Come into the Vote Center and drop your ballot, in the signed affidavit envelope, in the drop box.
You must be a citizen of the United States to register to vote. When you go to vote in person, please present one form of identification from List #1 or two different forms of identification from List #2 or 3. (A.R.S. § 16-579(A)).
Please note: Members of federally-recognized tribes are not required to have an address or photo on their identification in order to cast a provisional ballot.
Sufficient Photo ID including name and address (1 Required):
Sufficient ID without a photograph that bears the name and address (2 Required):
Mix and Match from Lists Number 1 and Number 2 (2 Required):
You will be asked to vote a Provisional Ballot at a Vote Center if your name is not on the register, and if:
You will be asked to vote a conditional provisional ballot at the vote center if you fail to show an acceptable ID. Your vote will be counted if you bring acceptable ID back to the voting center on Election Day or to the County Recorder's Office (or designated sites) by:
Yes, every verified Provisional ballot is counted. Voters should check the status of their ballot at MyArizonaVote or they may call the Recorder's Office at 520-432-8358 to find out the status of your Provisional ballot.
It may take up to 7 days to process this ballot. It will not show up in the system on the day of the election.
All vote centers have been chosen with special needs voters in mind. Each location will provide handicap parking and be able to accommodate individuals in wheelchairs, as well as, individuals with visual or hearing impairments. Often times a temporary modification will be made to the polling location providing easier accessibility for the voter.
All vote centers have accessible voting devices for use by all voters. These machines can be adjusted for vision difficulty and have headphones to have the ballot read to the voter. In addition to the accessible voting devices, each poling location will have magnifying instruments, large print versions of the publicity pamphlets, and trained poll workers who are ready to assist you.
If you have a permanent physical disability, you may request to be placed on the Active Early Voter List (AEVL). You will be mailed a ballot for each election that you are eligible for and can vote from the comfort and convenience of your own home. Register to be a permanent early voter at ServiceArizona or contact the Recorder’s Office at 520-432-8358.
Cochise County voters may request braille or large print ballots by calling the Elections Department at (520) 432-8970 at least ten days prior to an election.
Voters who need assistance due to a confining illness or disability may request a Special Election Board to help you to vote in your home. Call the Recorder’s Office at (520) 432-8358 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and include your Full Name, Residence Address, Contact Information and Date of Birth for verification purposes.
For persons who wish to vote at a voting center on election day but who are unable to leave their vehicles due to a disability, the County can provide curbside voting on a printed paper ballot. Arrangement must be made at least 15 days in advance of a scheduled election day and not sooner than 30 days before the election day. To request this accommodation, please contact the Elections Department at (520) 432-8970 or email email@example.com. We will need your Full Name, Residence Address, Contact Information and Date of Birth for verification purposes. You must identify one single voting center location where you will be voting on election day.
Emergency voting is available in person at the Recorder’s Office the Monday before an election.
Yes. All ballots are printed in both languages and the ExpressVote machines can be read or heard in English as well as Spanish, the voter chooses the language.
Every qualified elector registered within the boundaries of the jurisdiction having a Vote By Mail election will automatically be mailed a ballot. There are no Vote Centers on Election Day to vote in person. Only local elections can be conducted by all mail. Statewide elections cannot be conducted by all mail. Your voted ballot must be received by the Recorder's Office in Bisbee or the Replacement Center no later than 7 pm on Election Day.
Replacement ballots are available at the Recorder's Office. Replacement ballots are also available at the designated Replacement Center on Election Day. The last day to request a replacement ballot to be mailed is 11 days prior to any election; vote in-person replacement ballots are available until 7 pm on Election Day. Call the County Recorder's Office at 520-432-8358 if you have not received your ballot or you need a replacement ballot.
Arizona is a no-excuse early voting state, and voters have many options on how they can cast a ballot. In Cochise County, almost 70% of the voters vote early or by mail. Once those ballots are received, they are processed and counting begins 14 days prior to the election. They keep being counted as they come in. On election night, after 8 pm, those are the first results you see released. Then, as the vote centers across the county return results, those are also added.
Many voters choose to drop off their early ballot instead of returning it ahead of election day. Those must be processed by hand and the signature verified before they can be counted. That happens the day after the election. Many voters cast a provisional vote, and those also cannot be counted until such time as they are verified. In the 2018 General election, we had approximately 4000 ballots that couldn't be counted on election day because they required special handling. They were processed and counted once verified which can take several days.
Ballots that have write-in candidates must also be counted by hand. Only official write-in candidates are tabulated and when people write-in candidates that are not official candidates, that also slows the process down considerably. All of these processes take a little bit of time and are done to ensure that voters can trust the outcome of their elections.
Another reason it takes time to tabulate the ballots is to ensure the security of our elections. It comes as no surprise that the security of our elections is at the top of everybody's mind right now. Arizona has made it a top priority to make sure that our critical election infrastructure is secure. Some of these new security measures do slow down the ballot tabulation process. The duty of election officials is to timely and accurately tabulate results. Voters must trust the process and the results. While we want to release results quickly, it's more important to verify accuracy, security, and transparency to our voters.
First, find out who your filing office is and where it is located. Not all candidates file at the County Elections office. It depends on which elected position you're interested in: Federal and State Offices file with the Arizona Secretary of State:
Pull a candidate packet from the website if you are seeking a Countywide, Special, or School District Office. The packet contains all the forms and information you need to run for office. Countywide Offices are Partisan Elections. Currently, the only Parties recognized in Cochise County are the Republican and Democrat Parties. Independents may run for Countywide Offices. Special and School District Board Offices are Non-Partisan elections and any qualified elector in that district may run for Office.
Circulate your petitions and gather signatures. You must file a Candidate Statement of Interest with the Elections Department prior to collecting signatures. Candidates for Precinct Committeemen do not file this form. Register your committee (if applicable) by filing a Statement of Organization. You can form a committee at any time A.R.S. §16-905. You do not have to file a committee until such time as you spend or collect, in aggregate, more than $1,300. You must then file a Statement of Organization. You are then required to file quarterly and pre-election Campaign Finance Reports through the election, and once more when the committee terminates.
Refer to the Candidate Handbook for important campaign information. Election staff cannot give advice or assist in filling out paperwork for candidates seeking office. Check back on the website for updates and petition signature requirements after January 15 of an election year. File your paperwork with the appropriate filing office when required. Terminate your committee (if applicable) after the election.
Cochise County Elections Page
Any office for which a candidate is nominated or elected as representing a recognized Party. All County offices are Partisan.
A Non-Partisan Office has no political affiliation; the candidate is eligible based on her/his own merits rather than as a member of a political party. All School and Special Districts are Non-Partisan,
Signatures must be obtained from qualified electors who are eligible to vote for the candidate whose nomination petition they are signing. A qualified elector may only sign one petition for each open seat in the race up for election. For example, there is only one Office for Sheriff, so a voter may only sign one petition, even though multiple candidates may be running for the seat. This applies:
No. If you don't win the Primary, or if you don't get enough signatures to qualify for the General, you cannot run as a write-in or as an Independent candidate in the General Election for that Office.
For more information please refer to:
For more information, pull a Write-In Candidate packet from the website for all the forms and details. Write-in candidates are not required to gather signatures to qualify for the ballot. However, Write-in candidates are still required to form a Committee (if applicable), file a nomination paper and a Financial Disclosure Statement (if applicable).
Only candidates who file before the deadline will be considered official write-in candidates. Only official write-in candidates will have their names posted in the Vote Centers and on the website. Only official write-in candidates that have any votes cast for them counted. A list of write-in candidates is not sent with the early or vote by mail ballots and it is up to the candidates to advertise their candidacy.
To challenge a candidate, you must file a challenge petition in Cochise County Superior Court no later than 5 pm on the 10th business day after the candidate Nomination Petition submission deadline.
The challenge petition must specifically list the reasons for the challenge. If signatures on a candidate's Nomination Petitions are being challenged, the challenge must specifically identify the Nomination Petition page and line number for each signature being challenged, and the reasons why the signatures are being challenged. Any candidate in any election can be challenged by any qualified voter for any reason.
For more information refer to:
Nomination Petitions are available for public inspection and purchase from the Elections Department. To check the signatures on candidate petitions against the Voter Registration records, you must:
If you want to look at another candidate's petitions and do not want copies, you can do so under the direct supervision of the Elections Department staff, but you cannot use this option if you want to check the signatures against the Voter Registration records. You must still submit a public recorder request and schedule an appointment. Due to limited staff, we are not able to assist walk-in requests for any public records requests in the Elections Department.
Cochise County does not provide a candidate biography or information pamphlet. The county website will have a list of official candidates with contact information if the information is provided by the candidate. You can also review the following:
If you're interested in becoming a Precinct Committeeman or need information on duties? Contact your Cochise County Party Chairman:
Brandon MartinEmail Brandon MartinPhone: 520-449-3117
Elisabeth TyndallEmail Elisabeth TyndallPhone: 520-477-9540
Contact your State Party Chairman
The short answer is no. It's the job of Emergency Management to support first responders while they do their job during an emergency.
This is actually a two-part question: 1) What does Emergency Management do before an emergency; and 2) What does Emergency Management do during an emergency?
What Does Emergency Management Do Before an Emergency?
First, the biggest part of what Emergency Management does happens before an emergency. We work with not only first responder organizations, like law enforcement and fire agencies, we also work with area hospitals, schools, and other local, state and federal agencies to meet our mission of providing community-wide planning for disasters. We assist in organizing training and exercise events throughout the County to prepare the first responder community for a major disaster or emergency. Additionally, we work with community groups, churches, homeowner associations, businesses and just about anyone else to help promote disaster preparedness. Finally, we coordinate with disaster relief agencies like the American Red Cross and Salvation Army to help ensure a coordinated response to large-scale emergencies.
What Does Emergency Management Do During an Emergency?
During a large-scale emergency, Emergency Management takes a support and coordination role in the overall response to the emergency. Our job during an emergency is to manage the County's emergency operations center (EOC) in order to support the first responders and coordinate outside help from State, Federal, and private disaster agencies. Emergency Management can coordinate emergency shelters, public warning and information, disaster declarations, acquiring non-traditional resources, and many other services as required by the incident. As the emergency enters the recovery phase, Emergency Management will coordinate disaster aid that may become available to residents, businesses and local government agencies.
Clearly, an important aspect of Emergency Management is emergency planning and preparedness; however, it is not only the responsibility of Emergency Management and the first response community to prepare for disasters. Every county resident has a responsibility to make plans for how they will care for their family, pets, livestock, and property, during the first 72 hours of a disaster. By definition, a disaster will exceed the normal resources and capabilities of the local first response system. It can take sometimes 72 hours for sufficient outside emergency resources to be put into place. According to Ready.gov, all persons should 1) be informed, 2) make a plan, 3) build a kit, and 4) get involved. Go to Ready.gov for great preparedness information.
Simply call the Office of Emergency Management at 520-432-9400. We'd be happy to discuss your needs and schedule an appropriate presentation.
There are several things you can do to stay informed about local threats.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) prepares studies providing local agencies with the necessary information to administer their floodplains. The County can provide photocopies of portions of the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) upon written request.
However, only a professional flood zone determination company can determine that a property is not in the floodplain. The County does not provide this service. If the FIRM shows a Floodplain on your property, it is very probable that your lending institution will require you to purchase flood insurance.
It is common in Cochise County for portions of washes to be dry for long periods and to have no distinct banks. These same "dry" washes can carry significant flows at high velocities. Visible signs of a watercourse on property could be a vegetation line near the watercourse when a defined flow path is not visible.
Watercourse means any lake, river, creek, stream, wash, arroyo, improved or unimproved channel, or other body of water through which waters flow at least periodically where the peak flow is fifty cubic feet per second (50 cfs) or greater during the base flood discharge.
Additionally, some properties are subject to complete flooding, or sheet flow, which may have been determined to constitute a Floodplain, although there is no designated or visible signs of a watercourse.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has done studies to determine the areas of potential flooding problems. They are the final authority on where the Floodplain boundaries are.
There are several possibilities:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the sole authority for determining the flood zone boundaries. For a property owner to get a delineated parcel out of the FEMA 100-year floodplain, the owner must submit an Engineering Study to FEMA. The study must demonstrate that such a classification (Flood Zone A) is not warranted. Requirements for studies can be obtained from the County, but the authority for revisions is FEMA's.
The lowest floor of conventional homes or the lowest structural frame of manufactured homes must be a minimum of one foot above the expected 100-year flood if there is a known water surface elevation. The actual elevation requirement will be determined upon receipt of the building permit application or floodplain use permit and could be higher if the 100-year flood water surface elevation is not known.
All structures must be setback from the primary bank of any watercourse to protect from erosion. The distance varies from 50 to 300 feet, depending upon the peak flow rate of the watercourse. Due to the volume of requests, the County will only determine elevation and erosion setbacks upon receipt of a building permit application.
If the property owner desires a smaller setback distance, they may hire a professional engineer to provide the County with justification. Or the professional engineer may provide a bank stabilization design that may justify a smaller setback.
Primary channel banks are the outer banks of the watercourse. In general, the base flood will fill the watercourse at least to the primary banks. Annual flows and small floods will sometimes incise a low-flow channel and create secondary banks. Building setbacks are measured from the primary banks.
For a fee, a photocopy of a portion of the appropriate FIRM can be mailed upon request. Such maps identify the type of flood zone for every area in the County. The flood insurance rates are then based on those flood zones. An 8 1/2 by 11 copy of the pertinent portion of the FIRM will be sent to you free of charge, upon written request.
However, we do not have extra FIRM maps at our office. For further information contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at 800-358-9616 or visit the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map for Cochise County online.
The policy is to email the request to the Flood Zone Department by using the Flood Zone Inquiry Form. The inquiry form will guide you through the steps to submit a request for your flood zone information. You can search for a record of previously released flood zone information, but if yours is not on the list you will have to complete the form and submit your request for staff to research. Due to the number of inquiries and staff size, the responses are typically given within 5 working days. For the fastest response time please be sure to include a current email address. Maps can be reviewed by interested parties at this office, the local libraries and some real estate offices. It is wise to call ahead and make an appointment if you intend to come in.
Floodplain Regulations can be purchased upon request at a cost of $10. Because of the high volume of requests we receive, all requests/complaints must be submitted in writing or by email. The 2015 Floodplain Regulations (PDF) can also be downloaded.
An Elevation Certificate is a document that certifies the elevation of a structure. It may be required by insurance companies to prove that the structure is in compliance with local regulations. It is the property owner's responsibility to obtain an Elevation Certificate within 30 days of completion of construction and supply the original of the certificate to the Floodplain Administrator. The owner must hire an Arizona Registered Surveyor (or Engineer) to complete the Elevation Certificate.
If there is an Elevation Certificate in our files, the County can send a copy upon written request, free of charge. Please include the tax parcel ID number (assessor's parcel number (APN)) and any other necessary location information with your written inquiry.
The County does not actively investigate drainage complaints until they are submitted in writing. The letter must identify the location of the watercourse diversion and should include the identity of who diverted the watercourse. The complainants should also include their own name and phone number for follow-up. Because of the high volume of requests we receive, all requests/complaints must be submitted in writing or by email.
Upon receipt of the written information, the County will investigate. If it is determined that there has been a violation of the floodplain regulations, the County will send a letter telling the property owner to restore the watercourse. If the property owner does not comply, the County can take legal action. The County will not remove the diversion using County resources unless it is determined to be a safety hazard.
However, this process is slow and demands a large burden of proof on the part of the County. Many property owners have found the civil courts to be more expeditious in resolving matters between property owners. The law is on your side if the other property owner has diverted a watercourse.
There is a lot of unregulated development within Cochise County on non-county maintained roads and in subdivisions. Roads are bladed in, lots are split and built upon, and there is no attempt to deal with the effects of stormwater and how the natural flow will change with the new development. Therefore, water that used to flow across open land becomes channelized and forced into a new path. Current legislation does not allow the County to control this.
County-maintained roads and flood control structures in Cochise County are designed to handle the most frequent storm events. On occasion, a larger storm event will occur that is greater than what the road was designed to handle. If one of these storm events occurs, water can overtop, and you may experience an increased amount of water on your property. This is to be expected.
For some areas, more intense studies regarding flood zones were done. Based on these updated flood studies, The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has revised the flood maps. Due to ongoing development in Cochise County, updating maps is a constant process and will continue in the future.
If you want to prove that you are not in the floodplain, you may hire a professional flood zone determination company, which are typically used by lending companies.
You may also apply for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA), which is a letter from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) stating that an existing structure that was not elevated by fill material would not be inundated by the base flood. Or, you may apply for a Letter of Map Revision based on fill (LOMR-F), which is a letter from FEMA stating that an existing structure or parcel of land that has been elevated by fill would not be inundated by the base flood.
If you live on an improved (chip sealed) road that is within the County maintenance system you can request a speed limit sign. Before a regulatory sign can be installed an engineer must perform a speed/traffic study. The process does require some time for research, and new speed limit signs must be approved by the Cochise County Board of Supervisors. Signs are only posted where needed, and speed limit signs are not installed on dirt roads.
One of the most common complaints from residents concerns excessive vehicle speeds, however, the Highway and Floodplain Department is not an enforcement agency. Contact the Cochise County Sheriff's Office at 520-432-9500 to report traffic offenses. It is the motorist's responsibility to know and obey the traffic laws. Arizona law provides that motorists are required to drive at safe and prudent speeds in areas that are not signed.
Whenever you see that a sign has been knocked down, blown down, damaged or missing, call the Highway and Floodplain Department during regular business hours (8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday) at 520-432-9300. (Call the Sheriff at 520-432-9500 after business hours.) If the sign is within the city limits of your municipality, call your city government office; or if the sign is known to be within an Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) right-of-way, call ADOT at 928-428-5470. To report missing or damaged County road signs or if you aren't sure who to notify, call us at the Administration Office in Bisbee, or notify the Cochise County Sheriff's Department at 520-432-9500.
Vandalism of highway signs is a criminal offense!
Signage is limited to roads in the County Maintenance System. We are restricted to placing signage only on roads within our maintenance system due to provisions of State law, which prohibit the expenditure of highway funds on roads other than those within our jurisdiction. If the road is not on the Maintained Roads List, we cannot install signs.
Citizens can contact the Planning and Zoning Department and pay a fee to change the name of a street. After this is done, a request will be sent to the Highways and Floodplain Department Sign Shop to have a new sign put up. The process may take several months due to the limited resources available, and street signs cannot take precedence over other traffic signage needs. Once notification of a new road or name change is received, we schedule the installation of a street sign at the earliest opportunity.
Yes. Repairing or replacing missing and vandalized signs and posts are so important that we will divert personnel to handle signage emergencies.
Typically, citizens ask about signs such as No Outlet or Dead End, and some other types of non-regulatory signs that can be placed off the public right-of-way or on private property. Our jurisdiction ends at the right-of-way (ROW) boundary, and citizens can post their own signs on their property as long as they do not misdirect, misinform, distract motorists or obstruct the line of sight of passing traffic. We do not encourage the placement of unnecessary signs near roadways, and we caution citizens to be aware of the liability assumptions that come with the placement of signs, structures or any objects near the travel way that could affect traffic. See Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) Section 28-648: Display of unauthorized signs, signals or markings.
Visit the Signs and Field Technical Services page for more information.
CARP is a collaboration of community health, law enforcement, and government agencies who have the common goal of tackling the opioids and drug crisis in Cochise County. Listen to this podcast to hear directly from the founders of this program.
CARP is taking a new approach to tackling the drug crisis by treating it as a health concern, rather than a criminal issue. At the center of this focus is the Angel Program, which aims to get people the help they need to lead a healthier lifestyle, free of addiction.
Anyone can walk into the Douglas or Bisbee police stations, or approach a Douglas/Bisbee police officer, or Sheriff's deputy, and request help with their addiction. You will be immediately transported to a medical facility with the resources to help you get healthy.
No, you will not be charged with possession of drugs or related equipment, and you will be treated with compassion and understanding. However, if you have an outstanding arrest warrant, that issue will have to be dealt with. The goal, though, is to get you into treatment as quickly as possible.
You will be transported by a law enforcement officer or one of our community volunteers.
We are working with law enforcement leaders in other communities to expand the program.
Yes, you can call:
The number of doses needed depends on which vaccine you receive and whether you are immunocompromised. To get the most protection for the general public:
Two Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses should be given 3 weeks (21 days) apart.
Two Moderna vaccine doses should be given 1 month (28 days) apart.
If you receive a vaccine that requires two doses, you should get your second shot as close to the recommended interval as possible. However, your second dose may be given up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose, if necessary. You should not get the second dose earlier than the recommended interval.
No. People with COVID-19 who have symptoms should wait to be vaccinated until they have recovered from their illness and have met the criteria for discontinuing isolation; those without symptoms should also wait until they meet the criteria before getting vaccinated. This guidance also applies to people who get COVID-19 before getting their second dose of vaccine.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each fall when the vaccine is available.
Every year in the United States, on average:
Some people are at high risk for serious complications, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions.
Influenza is a respiratory illness. Symptoms of flu include:
Children can have additional gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, but these symptoms are uncommon in adults. Although the term stomach flu is sometimes used to describe vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea, these illnesses are caused by certain other viruses, bacteria, or possibly parasites, and are rarely related to influenza.
In the United States, the peak of flu season can occur anywhere from late December through March. The overall health impact (e.g., infections, hospitalizations, and deaths) of a flu season varies from year to year. CDC monitors circulating flu viruses and their related disease activity and provides influenza reports each week from October through May.
The main way that influenza viruses are spread is from person to person in respiratory droplets of coughs and sneezes. (This is called droplet spread). This can happen when droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person are propelled (generally up to 3 feet) through the air and deposited on the mouth or nose of people nearby.
Though much less frequent, the viruses also can be spread when a person touches respiratory droplets on another person or an object and then touches their own mouth or nose (or someone else's mouth or nose) before washing their hands.
Yes. Some of the complications caused by flu include bacterial pneumonia, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. Children may get sinus problems and ear infections as complications from the flu. Those aged 65 years and older and persons of any age with chronic medical conditions are at the highest risk for serious complications of flu.
It is very difficult to distinguish the flu from other viral or bacterial causes of respiratory illnesses on the basis of symptoms alone. A test can confirm that an illness is influenza if the patient is tested within the first two to three days after symptoms begin. In addition, a doctor's examination may be needed to determine whether a person has another infection that is a complication of influenza.
The time from when a person is exposed to flu virus to when symptoms begin is about one to four days, with an average of about two days
The period when an infected person is contagious depends on the age of the person. Adults may be contagious from one day prior to becoming sick and for three to seven days after they first develop symptoms. Some children may be contagious for longer than a week.
Each flu season is unique, but it is estimated that, on average, approximately 5% to 20% of U.S. residents get the flu, and more than 200,000 persons are hospitalized for flu-related complications each year. About 36,000 Americans die on average per year from the complications of flu.
Trained Health Educators guide families through their pregnancy and the first two years of a child’s life using the evidence-based home visitation model Partners for a Healthy Baby. Your Family Support partner works with parents in supporting their child’s development by providing insight, information, and resources, as well as developmental screenings.
Health Educators help women to have a healthy pregnancy and healthy birth and focus on parent-child interactions, developmental-centered parenting, and family well-being.
Services are provided to the client in their home for client convenience and to stimulate a positive parent-child relationship in their own environment.
Pregnant women are connected to prenatal care providers and receive ongoing education about fetal development and healthy behaviors that can impact birth outcomes. Clients are referred to various community resources as needed and provided with assistance to access those services.
Trained Health Educators guide women through their pregnancy and the first two years of a child's life using a proven home visitation model, bringing program services to the client as needed, including:
Call 520-432-8577 or toll-free 888-212-7072 (Northern Cochise county), after 5:30 pm the evening before your report date. A recording will indicate final instructions as to whether you should appear or if your presence is not required due to a postponement or cancellation. If you report after jury service has been canceled, you will not be paid. It is your responsibility to call the evening before your reporting day.
Check your summons for report location.
Bisbee: Please enter through the front steps of the Courthouse. Court Security will direct you to the sign-in location. Physical Address:100 Quality HillBisbee, AZ 85603
Sierra Vista: Please follow the sign for juror sign-in. Physical Address:100 Colonia De SaludSierra Vista, AZ 85623
Clerk of the Superior Court Staff Directory Page
Business casual is preferred. NO shorts, tank tops, halter-tops, or flip-flops are allowed. Currently, a face mask or covering is required to enter the Courthouse.
In Bisbee, parking signs will be posted next to St. Patrick's Church. Handicapped-accessible parking and its entrance are located in the back of the Courthouse; please press the button at the back door for assistance.
In Sierra Vista, parking is available in the parking lots near the Courthouse.
You can bring a water bottle, lunch, or snacks. Electronic devices may be used while you wait but must be silenced and put away while in the courtroom.
You will have at least one hour for lunch, which is not provided. There are eating establishments within walking distance. You may bring a lunch; breaks are announced throughout the day.
Weapons, pocket knives, mace, etc.
You will be paid 44.5 cents per mile for your round-trip travel. If you are selected as a juror, you will be paid $12 per day plus round-trip mileage.
Requests must be submitted in writing and can be emailed to the Clerk of the Court or faxed to 520-432-8589.
Please call 520-432-8585 if you have any questions.
Detention centers provide short-term lock-up for delinquent youth awaiting adjudication, placement, or serving a sentence as ordered by a Juvenile Court Judge. Delinquent youth can only be held in detention if they meet Rule 23 or are ordered into Detention by a Juvenile Court Judge. A juvenile may be seen first by a probation officer for an intake.
Youth who are detained in Cochise County are transported to Santa Cruz or Pinal County Juvenile Detention Facilities; the probation officer managing the case will advise you where your child will be going. In January of 2021 the Cochise County Juvenile Detention Center transition to the Detention Screening and Transport Facility. This is a partnership with Santa Cruz and Pinal Counties where youth will reside during their time of detainment. Our youth who require detainment remain our youth. Our community partners remain in place. Probation will continue to work with the youth and family through the court process. Youth are present for their court hearings via Zoom from Santa Cruz or Pinal. Once ordered released the Cochise Detention Screening and Transport team will bring the youth back to Cochise County for out-processing.
The Detention Center will provide emergency care only. Parents are financially responsible for ongoing medical and dental care received by the youth.
Youth can be in Detention for as little as a few hours or as long as several months depending on the Juvenile Court, the nature of the offense, and the individual circumstances with that youth.
The Juvenile Court holds a detention hearing within 48 hours after admission. The Judge decides if a youth should continue to stay in Detention or be allowed to go home until the next hearing. The Judge decides if the youth will be held or released. A youth is held if they are a danger to themself or the community or is at risk to not appear in court when summoned.
Generally, a youth is released to their parents. The court, however, can determine if there is another responsible adult, family member, or program to which the youth can be released. The youth must agree to appear at the next scheduled hearing. If no parent, guardian, custodian or other responsible person can be located, the court shall release the juvenile to the Department of Child Services.
Visitation and phone contacts can be coordinated with the Santa Cruz Juvenile Detention Center by calling 520-375-58195 or the Pinal County Juvenile Detention Center by calling 520-866-4000.
Special visits shall be authorized when ordered by the court or may be authorized if the parent is participating in a scheduled Individual Education Plan (IEP). All visits are dependent upon facility safety and security variables.
Probation is a conditional suspension of an imposed disposition. Probationers are supervised by a probation officer and the probationer must follow the terms and conditions of probation. Probation is a substitute for a prison term, which is dependent upon good behavior. Probation can include detention, treatment, restitution and/or other special terms and conditions.
Parole is supervision upon the release from the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections after serving a certain amount of time. The youth will be under the supervision of a parole officer. Parole can be revoked if the youth fails to observe the conditions of his parole order. Parole is a state agency. Their telephone number for Southeast Arizona is 520-850-1843.
Please call the main office in Bisbee, Arizona, at 520-432-0393. We will refer you to the correct probation officer.
Referrals received in Cochise County are reviewed by the Probation Department in accordance with an Interagency Agreement (IGA) with the County Attorney. Referrals that meet the IGA requirements are immediately eligible for Diversion. Diversion is an opportunity to avoid going to court, starting a court record, receiving court fees while still obtaining Interventions (consequences) for the actions that resulted in the referral. Those referrals that do not meet the IGA are sent to the county attorney for review. The county attorney can return the referral for diversion, not file on the referral (dismissal), file a juvenile petition of which the youth will go before a judge, or send the referral to be processed in the adult system.
Review the statute that applies to Destruction of Juvenile Records and/or Setting Aside an Adjudication:
Submit an application as outlined in the statute. Please pay careful attention to the requirements listed as they apply to the statute.
Request for information must be in adherence with Arizona Code of Judicial Administration (ACJA) 3-402 - Superior Court Records Retention and Disposition Schedule. Please contact 520-432-7524 for any questions.
A fine or fee (monetary assessment) can be paid in several ways for your convenience:
The property owner or authorized agent must fill out and submit a Home Occupation Application. Once reviewed, written authorization is sent to the applicant informing them that their proposed activity is either approved or not acceptable as a home occupation. If approved, then no other permits are necessary.
All home occupations are subject to inspection and revocation of approval if there is reason to believe that the occupation has expanded or gone beyond what was approved.
Learn more about Home Occupation Permits
Examples of home occupations that have been approved are:
No. Approval for a Home Occupation from the County provides the property owner permission to conduct a proposed activity on a specific property. It's intended to prevent a business from adding significant traffic, noise, or other zoning concerns such as dust or odors that would interfere with the surrounding homeowners' use and enjoyment of their property.
This is not the same as a business license and it does not confirm or acknowledge that someone is conducting a business from a taxing standpoint.
A Master Development Plan is required when one or more of the following is proposed:
The approval of a Master Development Plan requires public hearings before the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of Supervisors. The same process as amending the Comprehensive Plan with a change in growth category or designation.
The time needed to process an MDP varies, depending on the complexity and scale of the proposal. Most other Comprehensive Plan amendment requests can be processed in about 10 weeks. However, MDPs require more review and analysis. Generally, an MDP may be processed in about 3 months or less, from the time of submittal. Please note that a considerable amount of time may be required of an applicant prior to submittal for the preparation of an MDP, a pre-application meeting with planning staff, and public participation.
Applicants must submit a master development plan map, drawn at a scale of either 50, 100, or 200 feet to one inch, or at a scale approved by the Zoning Inspector, and including information such as:
In addition, applicants must submit supporting documentation regarding traffic, screening, open space provisions, water supply, population projections, phasing of the project, as well as a public participation report. For a complete list of requirements, please refer to Article 2.09 of the Zoning Regulations.
A minor land division permit is required for any divisions of land into five or fewer parcels if any of the resulting parcels are 10 acres or less in size. Please note, Cochise County Planning and Zoning does not review Minor Land Divisions within municipalities. If applying for a division within an incorporated Town or City, please check with the Town or City to see what that jurisdiction requires for approval.
A split requires a recorded deed, court judgment, or an approved final subdivision plat. In addition, a minor land division permit and a signed Request to Split Form (PDF) may be required. A recorded survey will create a split if the individual surveyed lots are each uniquely identified by a lot or parcel number on the plat. On the other hand, a recorded survey, which does not identify each lot/parcel with a unique identifier, will not create a parcel split in and of itself, since no unique legal description has been established for each lot/parcel by the recorded survey. Finally, if the recorded survey contains a statement indicating that the intent of the survey is not to split the parcel, a parcel split will not occur (Assessor policy).
No -to split property, an applicant must record a deed conveying the property and describe the part of the property being conveyed in the deed’s legal description. The Recorder's Office forwards all documents transferring the property to the Assessor. The Assessor splits the property according to the description on the recorded document. A minor land division permit is a "planning check" inserted into the process prior to the ultimate land division taking place to ensure zoning compliance. The Minor land division permit grants permission from the Cochise County Development Services to split the land. The MLD, when required, is recorded, along with recorded deeds which create the splits.
A minor land division is not required to adjust a property line, where land taken from one lot is added to an adjacent lot, provided the proposed adjustment does not create a substandard lot and the lots are not within an approved subdivision. A minor plat amendment is required for any lot reconfigurations within approved subdivisions. A Request to Combine Form (PDF) or a Request to Split Form may need to be submitted along with a valid legal description and possibly a recorded survey, depending on the complexity of the reconfiguration.
Obtaining a property survey is a crucial step in the process of responsible land development. Surveys protect landowners by providing them important information about the parcel itself as well as physical vehicular ingress and ingress to the site. It may also specify the adequacy of access for a particular purpose, such as emergency vehicles, and whether it can be traversed by a two-wheel-drive vehicle.
Surveys are commonly used to determine all boundaries and features on a site, to determine easements and encroachments, as well as to satisfy local building codes and regulations. The location of underground features may limit or preclude where you place future structures or even vegetation on the site. At some point in the development process, you will likely need a survey. It seems most equitable for us to require the applicant proposing the split to provide this information. Moreover, surveys are legal documents that will hold up in court proceedings.
Property legal descriptions can be found on a property's officially recorded documents. A document search online or at the Recorder’s Office may be necessary. Due to space limitations, the county is sometimes unable to use complete legal descriptions on the website, Assessor notices, and tax bills from the Treasurer. Assessor property descriptions may be condensed and/or abbreviated. This non-legal property description should not be used for legal transference of property.
Complete and return the signed Request to Combine form to the Cochise County Assessor's Office. The combine will be processed for the next assessment year. Be advised of the following requirements:
Request to Combine Form (PDF)
When a property is rezoned, all uses permitted within the new district are allowed. For example, even if the applicant is planning to start a restaurant in a General Business zoning district, at a later date the property could be used for other commercial uses like a convenience store or gas station, regardless of the ownership. A list of allowable zoning districts for each Plan Designation can be found in Article 4 of the Zoning Regulations.
A change in a zoning district requires a public hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission and final approval by the Board of Supervisors, another public hearing.
Under ordinary circumstances, the process takes about 10 weeks. If extensive research such as an in-depth environmental or traffic analysis must be completed, the time needed to review the application could be longer.
All rezoning requests are evaluated by the County based on how the proposed zoning district complies with certain criteria - such as the size of the parcel being able to comply with site development standards, adequate services, and infrastructure, compatibility with existing development, and public input. A list of the criteria is provided with each application. No rezoning proposal can be processed unless it is in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan Designation and Growth Area. If not, then it will be necessary to concurrently request a change in the Comprehensive Plan.
Comprehensive Plan Amendment Page
State law prohibits the rezoning of any property without the property owner’s written consent.
Conditions reasonably related to the impacts of the rezoning can be required, such as the submittal of a Traffic Impact Analysis, to determine off-site road impacts and are therefore the responsibility of the applicant. If a proposed rezoning will increase the residential density or intensity of uses significantly in a particular area or is comprised of a number of different uses or zoning districts, then a Master Development Plan may be required with the request.
A Master Development Plan (MDP) is a way for the applicant to communicate to the County how the proposed area will be developed with regards to roads, sewage treatment, drainage, location of uses, and other issues of public health and safety. An MDP must be approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of Supervisors. Details regarding MDPs can be found in Article 4 of the Zoning Regulations.
The property owner or authorized agent must fill out and submit a Special Event Application. Once reviewed, written authorization is sent to the applicant informing them that their proposed activity is either approved or denied. If approved, then no other permits are necessary.
Special Event Application
While no permit is required for temporary on-site or off-site signs advertising the special event, all signage is limited to the following:
A temporary sign announcing special events (e.g. rodeos, fairs, grand openings, etc.) to take place on the premises on which the sign is located. Such signs, except grand opening signs and Window Graphics occupying not more than 25-% of the window area, must be included in calculating the maximum aggregate sign area for the site. Each such sign shall be maintained for no more than 30-calendar days. On-site signs are allowed in the following zoning districts: RU, GB, LI, and HI. Maximum Area: 15-square feet. Maximum Height: 8-feet. No illumination. Maximum Number: There is no limit on the number of temporary special event signs, provided the maximum aggregate sign area for the site is not exceeded.
A temporary sign announcing special events (e.g. rodeos, fairs, grand openings, etc.), to occur on a site other than that on which the sign is located. Such signs, except Window Graphics occupying not more than 25-% of the window area, shall be included in calculating the maximum aggregate sign area for the site. Each such sign shall be maintained for no more than 30-calendar days. Off-site signs are allowed in the following zoning districts: RU, GB, LI, and HI. Maximum Area: Within 100-feet of an existing structure or free-standing sign: 15-square feet, 100-feet or more from any structure or free-standing sign: 32-square feet. Maximum Height: 8-feet. No illumination. Maximum Number: 2-per Calendar Year
Under ordinary circumstances, the process takes about 6 weeks. If extensive research such as an in-depth environmental or traffic analysis must be completed, the time needed to review the application could be extended. Special uses are reviewed by the County Health and Engineering and Natural Resources Departments as well as applicable state and local agencies such as fire departments and nearby cities.
The Special Use Permit can be operated by the new owners so long as it is not changed or expanded. A different use or major expansion requires a new permit.
Special Use Permit
If the permit is not appealed, you can operate your business when:
Planning and Zoning Commission Page
The County subdivision process applies when a property owner splits a parcel into six or more parcels that are each less than thirty-six (36) acres. Purpose of the Subdivision Process:
It is helpful to schedule a preliminary meeting with County planning staff to answer questions before formal subdivision submittal.
Planning Staff Directory Page
The tentative plat is the working map of the new subdivision. It shows the layout of roads and lots, topography, and the location of utility easements and common areas.
The tentative plat is reviewed by a number of agencies, including the County Assessor's Office, and the County Health and Highway and Floodplain Departments, State, and other agencies such as the Fire Department or School District when appropriate, to ensure that it conforms to the Subdivision Regulations and to determine the level of on and off-site improvements needed.
The tentative plat is reviewed and approved administratively by the County's Subdivision Committee, which includes, but is not limited to the following individuals:
The Final Plat is a formal map that is recorded in the Recorder's Office. Once recorded, it defines the legal boundaries of each lot and records public roads and utility easements. The final plat must be substantial conformance to the approved tentative plat.
A homeowner's association is required whenever the subdivision has private common areas that are not maintained by the County. Common areas can include private roads or commonly owned open space.
A variance is appropriate to bring the applicant to parity with other owners in the zoning district, It is not intended to give applicants an advantage over their neighbors or over those in the same zoning districts.
For example, a lot may be so shallow, relative to other lots in the neighborhood, that there is insufficient space to build a house and provide the required front and rear yard setbacks required by zoning. In this case, the board of adjustment may grant a variance, which would allow the property owner to build a structure, but with a rear yard having a lesser depth than what is required by the zoning regulations.
Under ordinary circumstances, the process takes about six weeks. The Board of Adjustment meets once a month. Please contact the Planning Division for specific dates and meeting locations.
Planning and Zoning Division Staff Directory Page
Yes it will take longer, because a permit cannot be issued until the variance process is completed.
Yes. The Board of Adjustment always takes into account the effect on the greater community, and specifically neighbors, before granting a variance. For this reason, property owners within a 300-foot radius of your property will be notified, by mail, of your variance request by a case planner. Also, a legal notice is placed in the local newspaper, on the Cochise County website, and a sign is posted on the property. The Board of Adjustment will hold a public hearing to provide the public with the opportunity to comment on the request. The applicant must appear at the public hearing, either in person or virtually, to justify their request.
It is highly recommended that you visit or write your neighboring property owners and explain what you want to do prior to submitting an application. Sometimes a simple explanation can help reduce misunderstandings. The Planning Division can provide addresses to adjacent properties upon request.
Although the average service for a Poll worker is 14 to 15 hours on Election Day, the rewards to you and the community are immeasurable. The polls are open from 6 am to 7 pm. You would be required to arrive between 5 am and 5:30 am to prepare voting materials. Closing the polls and related duties take about an hour and your service would conclude around 8 pm.
You will be assigned to a polling place based on where there are critical shortages of workers. Poll workers are either assigned to a polling location:
Election Poll workers, as well as all voters, are encouraged to participate in the accurate convenience of Voting by Mail or Voting Early.
Yes. Students aged 16+ can be clerk Poll workers on election day with permission of parents and school. There are no other age requirements except you must be an eligible (registered voter at the time of the election). For information on voter registration, please see our website.
Poll workers should dress in business casual clothing. Ripped or dirty clothing is not acceptable. No sweatpants, sweatshirts, flip-flops, or blue jeans. Polling places can vary in temperature, so we recommend layers. Poll workers may not wear any clothing that supports or opposes a political party, candidate, or ballot question.
Yes. Timing will depend upon the flow of voters. You are not able to leave the polling location so we recommend bringing food, drinks, and snacks. Many vote centers participate in potlucks.
You may use your cell phone during your breaks and lunchtime only. Cell phones should be turned off or on mute the rest of the time. We do require you to step outside the polling location to use a phone.
You will receive a check in the mail approximately a month after the election.
The State requires party balance at all polling sites. We attempt to staff an equal number of Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, and Independent Poll workers at each site.
A new application is required for each election cycle (approximately every two years). The application form can be filled out and submitted online. You don't have to print and mail it.
Cochise County uses 17 Vote Center located strategically around the county where people live and work. Voters are not assigned a Precinct location and can vote anywhere they choose to on Election Day.
Voters check-in and show identification to a Poll worker who logs them into an e-pollbook. We no longer use paper rosters. The voter is printed a blank ballot card and directed to a touch screen voting machine. The card is inserted, the voter makes their selections (and corrections if necessary) and the card is printed out for the voter to insert into the onsite tabulation equipment. Pre-printed ballots are not available at the Vote Center. All votes must be cast on the machines.
A public defender is a lawyer appointed to represent people who are legally entitled to an attorney and who the court has determined are not financially able to employ their own counsel. These cases include:
Public defenders are licensed to practice law in the State of Arizona and are only appointed after referral by the court to the Indigent Defense Coordinator. The Indigent Defense Coordinator's office can be reached at 520-432-8458.
At your first court appearance or hearing, the court may ask if you are requesting an attorney be appointed to represent you.
If the court does not bring it up, ask the court if you are entitled to an appointed attorney in your case.
If you are out of custody, you have to complete a financial declaration and sign it under penalty of perjury before the court makes any determination about whether you qualify for the services of an appointed attorney.
If you are in custody the court will usually refer your case to the Indigent Defense Coordinator for appointment of counsel without requiring that you fill out the financial declaration.
No. While you are represented by another attorney, a public defender will not speak with you about your case.
No. The public defender is only allowed to represent defendants that are assigned to our office by the court.
Clients who are appointed a public defender are required to pay for legal services to the extent they are financially able. The court will determine a defendant's financial responsibility based on the financial resources of the defendant and the nature of the burden any payment will impose on the defendant.
A felony is a criminal offense for which a sentence to a term of imprisonment in the custody of the Arizona State Department of Corrections is authorized under Arizona law.
A misdemeanor is any criminal offense for which a sentence to anything other than a term of imprisonment in the custody of the Arizona State Department of Corrections is authorized under Arizona law.
ERC is Early Resolution Court. It is a special docket where defendants are offered a quick resolution of a case in the form of a plea agreement before the case is brought to preliminary hearing or the grand jury. If you are not entitled to an appointed attorney and your case is assigned to the ERC, you should retain an attorney to explain your options and any plea offers you receive in ERC.
The County Attorney's Office alone makes the determination whether a case will be brought into ERC. You cannot control whether your case is placed into ERC.
The Legal Defender's Office is similar to the Public Defender's Office. However, legal defenders represent defendants that the public defenders are not able to represent because of conflicts of interest or other legal reasons.
Generally, the Indigent Defense Coordinator refers cases first to the public defender for acceptance. The public defender conducts an internal check on these cases and accepts all cases except those where a conflict of interest or other legal reason prevents representation.
Cases that are not accepted by the public defender are then referred by the Indigent Defense Coordinator to the legal defender. The legal defender conducts the same internal checks and determines if that office can accept the case.
Cases that are not accepted by either the public defender or the legal defender are then referred to private contract attorneys. Private contract attorneys are private attorneys who have entered into a contract with Cochise County which pays them to represent indigent clients that neither the public defender nor the legal defender can accept.
Attorneys in the public defender's office are all licensed to practice law in the State of Arizona. Once hired, only lawyers who have training, experience and demonstrated legal skills are assigned to the trial team.
Public defenders maintain a regular training schedule as prescribed by the office and the Arizona State Bar.
Public defenders also have above average familiarity with the local court system and local procedures. Your public defender is very qualified to handle your case.
Funds used to maintain and construct County roads are not derived from property taxes but from State of Arizona allocations of Highway User Revenue Funds (HURF). These funds are collected by the State of Arizona from the gasoline and diesel fuel tax and the vehicle license tax. The State Legislature then distributes these funds to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), Arizona cities and counties using a complicated formula. The order of priorities set by the State for distributing HURF is: ADOT, Arizona cities, the two metropolitan counties (Maricopa and Pima) and finally, the thirteen rural counties. The Board of Supervisors, therefore, does not determine the amount of HURF coming into the County each year. However, the Board does control how these funds are spent within the County.
Cochise County is governed by State Statutes as to how public funds are spent on roadways.
If the road in question is not currently in the Cochise County Road Maintenance System and has not been accepted by the Board of Supervisors for maintenance, then the use of HURF funds is governed by Arizona Revised Statute Section 28-6705 which states: "The Board of Supervisors may expend public funds for maintenance of public roads and streets other than legally designated state and county highways located outside the limits of an incorporated city or town. Before expending public funds thereon, such roads or streets shall be laid out, opened and constructed without cost to the county and fully completed in accordance with a plat approved pursuant to Section 11-802 and Section 11-806.1, and in accordance with Standard Engineering Road Specifications adopted by the County Board of Supervisors to insure uniform compliance. Public funds may be expended by the Board of Supervisors for maintenance of public roads and streets laid out, constructed and opened prior to June 13, 1975 even if such roads and streets were not constructed in accordance with subsection "A" of this section.
Public / Private Partnership
Since the County does not have adequate funds to upgrade all County roads, the Board of Supervisors approved Resolution 15-25 (PDF) (Procedures for a Public and Private Partnership for the Improvement of Roads) whereby the users of eligible public roads may enter into a Public/Private Partnership with the County to participate financially in the upgrade of their road from a dirt surface to a chip sealed surface. View the entire packet (PDF). If you are unable to download the resolution or application packet or have questions please our staff at: 520-432-9310 or by email the Highway Division. Our staff will be available to help with questions.
Road Improvement District
Another method provided by State Statute for improving a roadway that does not qualify for public funds is to form a Road Improvement District. The basic requirement for formation of such a district is that a consensus to incur the necessary expenses must be reached by either a majority of the persons owning property or the owners of 51% of the property within the limits of the proposed district. Each parcel will then be assessed an equitable share of the costs on each parcel's tax bill.
We would advise checking with the Cochise County Public Works Department prior to purchasing property in the unincorporated areas of the County to find out the maintenance status of a road. In the meantime, for this information, contact: 520-432-9310 or email the Public Works Department. Unpaved roads are not always smooth and are often slippery when wet. The public will experience an increase in vehicle maintenance costs when regularly traveling on rural County roads.
The current grading schedule is as follows:
Please note: The above schedules are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances such as heavy rain storms, equipment breakdowns, etc.
"Primitive Road" is a special designation of public roads established by State Statute Section 28-6706. These roads are substandard dirt roads that have been maintained by the County prior to June 13, 1975. On this date, Arizona counties were granted the authority to establish road construction standards and require that roads opened after this date meet those standards before receiving publicly funded maintenance. Primitive roads are signed as such as a warning to the public of the substandard conditions. This allows the County to perform minimal maintenance with minimal exposure to liability.
One of the most important recurring functions of the Highway Division is to grade dirt roads that are within the maintenance system. Due to the County's extremely dry climate, the roads are often dusty and corrugated. The "wash board" effect cannot be eliminated by "ripping them out" because without the proper moisture content and the appropriate compacting equipment, this would create a larger problem than that which already exists. Also, more frequent dry blading only makes these conditions worse.
This department is committed to maintaining the hundreds of miles of dirt roads within the County to the best of our ability with the funding, equipment and manpower available.
The County does not repair roads specifically for emergency vehicle access. Unfortunately, the State of Arizona allows land to be developed and access roads to be constructed but does not regulate, inspect or monitor the construction of such roads. This is called "unregulated growth" and most County roads were constructed without review by engineers or flood technicians. Therefore, there are no standards established by the State of Arizona for road development, which would better assure access for emergency vehicles.
Emergency response times for the Sheriff's Department, fire departments, medical care, etc. cannot be guaranteed. Under some extreme conditions, residents may find that emergency response is extremely slow and expensive.
The purchase, installation and maintenance of driveway culverts are the responsibility of the property owner. The Public Works Department does not install, maintain nor clean out driveway culverts.
Please note: The County will only install a driveway culvert during the time of a major reconstruction project on a county maintained road.
Roadside ditches are necessary to convey runoff flows, thereby enabling roadways to remain more passable from adjacent properties. The means of access across roadside ditches must be configured to preserve adequate drainage. Therefore, if a resident desires access to private property via a driveway culvert across roadway ditches within County public, maintained rights-of-way, a County Right-of-Way permit must be completed and submitted to the Cochise County Engineering and Natural Resources Department, along with the appropriate fee, for review.
If the permit is approved and installation is determined to be compatible with existing conditions by the County, including drainage, flow line elevations and maintenance requirements, the resident can then purchase and install a driveway culvert according to the specifications as outlined within the permit.
Culverts Under Roadways
Large culverts under the roadways are the responsibility of this department and are on the maintenance schedule.
A Permit Application for Construction in County Right-of-Way (ROW) must be obtained and approved before work can be done in the right-of-way. This would include public utilities, contractors, and individuals. There is a filing and inspection fee charged to each applicant to assure that the use of the County property is in compliance with permit conditions. There is no permit requirement to work on non-County maintained roadways or easements. Also see ROW Ordinance 035-06 (PDF).
Unpaved roads generate dust. There is nothing the County can do about dust. We sometimes use water when doing major work on our dirt roads, but we just do not have the resources to use water trucks every time a road is graded.
Arizona experiences extreme temperatures with the summer season being the longest of the year. The dry climate encourages rapid evaporation of moisture. The County does not own enough water trucks and does not have funds available to purchase additional water trucks nor the enormous amount of precious water to wet down dirt roads - when evaporation would occur in a very short time. Dust is a fact of life for most rural residents.
During and immediately after thunderstorms, County resources only allow this department to set up barricades, "flood" and "road closed" signs, and to assess damage to County maintained roads. Due to the limited amount of manpower and equipment, this department does not have the ability to repair roadways during a rainstorm nor do we use County equipment to pull stranded motorists from washes. If a motorist chooses to cross a wash that has been signed "Do Not Enter When Flooded", it is the motorist's responsibility to have the vehicle towed. The Public Works Department works in conjunction with officers and dispatchers from the Sheriff's Department to make sure that weather-related signage is installed and properly placed during extreme weather conditions.
Once the weather conditions have improved and the dirt surfaces have begun to dry, this department will begin to repair damaged roadways in a timely and effective manner.
When It Rains
During rainstorms and the subsequent slippery conditions of the roads, we highly recommend the following to the traveling public:
Natural disasters, especially flash floods, can destroy roads. Cochise County will repair and maintain only those roads within the maintenance system. A dry creek bed can become a raging torrent and wash out roads, bridges and culverts. Drivers are cautioned to drive at prudent speeds and exercise due caution on dirt roads.
The Board of Supervisors of Cochise County is solely authorized to grant the abandonment of public rights-of-way within the unincorporated areas of Cochise County. The process to have an abandonment request reviewed and submitted to the Board of Supervisors is explained in the Roadway Abandonment Policy and Procedures (PDF). This document also contains an Application Form that must be submitted with any applicable fees. To contact the Right-of-Way Section to discuss the right-of-way you are proposing for abandonment. Email the Highways Division, or call 520-432-9300. You can also write to:Cochise County Public Works Department1415 Melody LaneBuilding FBisbee, AZ 85603
All checks shall be made out to the Cochise County Public Works Department.
County Maintained Road Atlases are computer generated using GIS software. Please contact the Highway and Floodplain Department for the most current Maintained Road System data. Contact our Administration Office for details.
Presently Cochise County maintains 1,441 miles of roads, of which 680 miles are paved and 761 miles are dirt. The paved roads consist of 103 miles of major collectors, 158 miles of minor collectors and 345 miles of local roads and streets. Most of the traffic is carried on the collectors, however, only 77 miles of the collectors are properly surfaced with asphalt concrete. The remaining 154 miles of collectors are dirt roads surfaced with a light coat of petroleum and rock chips commonly called a "chip seal." The un-surfaced dirt roads consist of 619 miles of low volume collectors and local roads and 255 miles of "Primitive Roads", as they are defined in Question 3. There are 2,470 additional miles of sub-standard dirt roads used by the public in the County that are not maintained by the County. Some of these roads are in public rights-of-way and others in private easements.
A quirk of the Arizona State Land Development law allows the construction of roads that do not meet County roadway standards to provide access to land. These sub-standard roads are being created on a continual basis. These roads are not eligible for publicly funded maintenance until they are constructed to County roadway standards, referenced in Question 2.
Citizens can assist us by reporting potentially hazardous road and drainage conditions on County maintained roads to this department. It is important to provide the exact location of the problem (road name and any crossroad, mile post marker, which side of the road, etc.). Also, if a resident has any question or concern, we welcome the opportunity to respond and to assist County citizens with any road and/or drainage related issues.
Main office location and mailing address:Public Works Department1415 Melody LaneBuilding FBisbee, AZ 85603Main Office Phone: 520-432-9310Toll Free Phone: 800-752-3745
Email Public Works Highway Division
To inquire about roadway conditions anywhere in the State of Arizona on State Routes, call the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) toll free at 888-411-7623. Follow the menu options and get additional information about the service. (Updates to information are made every five minutes.)
View our complete fee schedule or call the Recorder's Office at 520-432-8350.
Obtain a form at most office supply or stationary stores.
Your question may be answered by contacting a title company and/or by consulting an attorney.
It will take 15 to 20 business days to receive your documents.
Your question may be answered in Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 33-1101 and/or consulting an attorney.
You may either come in and do a title search on your own or contact a title company to perform one for you.
You need to come in to the Recorder's Office to search and determine if an affidavit of real property value has been recorded.
No, you would have to contact the Assessor's Office at 520-432-8650.
All records in our office are located by searching our grantor/grantee name index. A title company may also perform one for you.
You can request a copy from our office in person or by mail at:1415 Melody LaneBuilding BBisbee, AZ 85603
Copies are $1 per page. If faxing it is $2 per page.
Your questions may be answered in Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 44-1236 or ARS 29-101 through 29-366 and/or consulting an attorney.
All property sales transaction require a completed affidavit or an exemption number. For more information you may call the Arizona Department of Revenue at 602-716-6843.
You can request a copy from our office in person or by mail with the book and page of the map. Copies are $5.00 per page.
Recorder's Office1415 Melody LaneBuilding BBisbee, AZ 85603
Once the owner's name/street address is obtained, you can perform further research by coming in to our office at: 1415 Melody LaneBuilding BBisbee, AZ 85603
It is a class 6 felony to register if you do not meet the above qualifications.
Once your registration form is received and processed successfully, you will receive a voter id card in approximately 4 to 6 weeks. If you lose or misplace your voter ID card, you can call Voter Registration at 520-432-8358 for a replacement.
Re-registration is required when you change your name, residential address, or party affiliation.
To be eligible for an election you must be registered or have the changes submitted no later than twenty-nine days prior to the election.
Arizona Revised Statutes require that registrations shall be cancelled for the following reasons:
You may vote early by one of the following:
EARLY BALLOTS HAVE TO BE RECEIVED BY THE RECORDERS OFFICE OR DROPPED OFF AT ANY VOTE CENTER ON ELECTION DAY BY 7:00 p.m.
They may request an early ballot. If necessary a early board team will be sent to the home to assist in voting.
Yes. However, there are procedures set forth by the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) just for overseas and military voters. Learn more about Federal Voting Assistance Program
Yes, you may still vote in the General Election even if you did not vote in the Primary.
Elections Information can be found at the School Boards and Elections Information Page.
The County School Superintendent's office is located at 4001 E. Foothills Drive, in Sierra Vista, 85635. We are located in the same building as the County Assessor's Office, to the left of the County Health Department building as you enter the parking lot.
Within the scope of the Arizona Revised Statutes and in collaboration with state and local agencies, the Cochise County School Superintendent's office provides guidance, advocacy, programs, and services that support Cochise County Schools.
Our responsibilities include:
As an Education Service Agency, the County School Superintendent's office provides services and support for the schools and their professional educators and administrators. Activities include facilitating workshops and training sessions that offer instruction in financial matters, curriculum development, student data analysis and subject improvement strategies. The office also provides teacher certification registration, student and teacher recognition programs and interpretation of state and federal educational initiatives and requirements.
By Arizona State Statutes, the office of the Superintendent provides accounting services to school districts such as payroll and expense processing, budget preparation and analysis, check and cash balance reconciliation, tax rate calculation, and financial report preparation.
The County School Superintendent's office assists the county's 22 school districts, education professionals, parents and students by serving as the Education Service Agent, Fiscal Agent, Education Programs Administrator and School Elections Administrator.
Policies and procedures of the school districts are set by the governing school boards of each district. Board members are elected officials and the County School Superintendent does not intercede in the decisions made by the school boards. The recommended course of action to resolve problems would be to first discuss the issue with the child's teacher and/or principal. If further discussion is warranted, an appointment with the District School Superintendent may be requested. You may also consider a request to address the school board members at a regularly scheduled school board meeting.
Parents are required to register children that are homeschooled with the County School Superintendent's office within 30 days of withdrawal from public or private school, or relocation to Cochise County. An Affidavit of Intent to Home School (PDF) must be completed, signed and notarized, and returned to our office with a copy of the child s birth certificate. The affidavits and a resource information packet are also available at our office. There is also a small home school library available for parents who wish to take home textbooks.
Downloadable forms and instructions are available on the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) website.
Each District in Cochise County has different guidelines to register your child for school. Generally, you will need your picture ID, a copy of the child's birth certificate and proof of immunization. Other items that may be necessary are proof of residence, report cards, transcripts, withdrawals. Should you need a copy of your child's birth certificate, you may contact Cochise County Office of Vital Records (Cochise County Health Department) at 520-432-9400.
If your vehicle was towed for 28-872: The registered owner or lienholder is eligible to have a hearing, but you must request a hearing within 10 days from the date of the tow by calling 520-432-9513 or 520-432-9514. It is not necessary to have a hearing to retrieve your vehicle, but you may request a hearing to dispute the reason your vehicle was towed. You may get your vehicle out of the tow lot any time without a hearing.
Under the law, the owner, the owner's spouse, their agent (such as an attorney), or a lienholder are the only persons who can have the vehicle released. If you are the vehicle's owner and your license is still not valid at the end of the 30-day period, you can bring someone with you who has a valid license in order to get your vehicle back.
A Vehicle Release Form can only be obtained at the:Cochise County Sheriff's Office205 Judd DriveBisbee, AZ 85603
No other Cochise County Office facility can process the release.
Yes. Current vehicle registration or a valid salvage or dismantle certificate of title is required by law. Contact the motor vehicle division for more information.
The owner of the vehicle is responsible for paying all fees and charges in order to have the vehicle released. If someone else was driving, you may have to seek civil action against the driver for any expenses you incur as a result of the impound.
No, you must first completely meet all legal title and registration requirements before the vehicle can be returned to you. This can be done through the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department. If the vehicle is registered out of state you must either register the vehicle in Arizona or deal with the state in which it is currently registered. If you sell, transfer title or add a new person on the registration after your vehicle is impounded or towed, they are not authorized to have a hearing.
Under Arizona law, the towing company may file for an abandoned title and seek ownership of the vehicle if it is left at the tow yard unclaimed for more than ten days. If you have difficulty in paying for the towing and storage, you should at least contact the towing company if you wish to retain ownership of your vehicle.
Yes. The owner would have to prove that this had been corrected and their driving privileges reinstated, at which time we will release the vehicle upon payment of Administrative Towing Fees and towing and storage charges. You must bring:
Yes, provided you meet the following requirements and use an agent:
Your license will be accepted provided it is valid in your country of domicile and your privilege to drive in Arizona has not been suspended. Presentation of a fraudulent license is a crime.
Yes, the owner is still liable for the Administrative Towing Fees and all towing and storage fees up to the actual date of release.
No, the towing company is not allowed to release an impounded vehicle without the "Vehicle Release Form" from the Cochise County Sheriff's Office.
No. As long as the officer impounded your vehicle according to the law and our procedures, the outcome of the trial does not matter.
Hearings are not needed unless you believe your vehicle was unjustly towed. You may request a hearing in this case. There is no reason to contact the Sheriff's Office if your vehicle was towed for this reason. You may pick your vehicle up immediately by paying the tow and impound fees at the tow yard.
No, you do not. Most people who do not meet one of the exemptions will not request or need a hearing. In many cases, you must simply wait until after the 30th day of the tow or impound. But, in all cases, your vehicle registration must be valid in all aspects or you must present a salvage or dismantle certificate of title.
We must receive your request for a hearing not later than ten days from the date of the vehicle impoundment. If your request is received after the ten-day time period, we will not grant you a hearing on this matter.
The hearings for impounds are conducted by a Hearing Officer of the Cochise County Sheriff's Office. Post Storage Hearings are held in person at the Cochise County Sheriff's Office located at:205 N Judd DriveBisbee, AZ 85603
Post Storage Hearings can be requested by calling 520-432-9513 or 520-432-9514.
In order to have your vehicle released prior to the 30 days required by law, you must be able to prove that certain special circumstances exist. See the question regarding how a vehicle may be released early.
There is an Administrative Towing Fee of $150 that must be paid in cash at the time of the hearing. Other charges are for towing and storage fees. These fees are not paid to the Sheriff's Office. If you do not have the proper paperwork such as driver's license, proof of vehicle registration, or a valid salvage or dismantle certificate.
No, an attorney is not needed. The hearing process is informal and very brief.
You may be eligible for a Post Storage Hearing.
No. Only the person/s or lien holders on the registration at the time the vehicle was towed/impounded are eligible for a hearing for an early release.
The impound yard hours are:
Note: "After hours" gate fees apply on Saturdays. On some holidays they are not open and it would be considered "after hours" and additional fees would apply - call the tow company to confirm.
Yes, if you come "after hours" you may have to wait a considerable time for a tow truck driver to be dispatched to the impound yard to open it for you. It could be an hour or more. Please call the "After Hours" telephone number posted on the sign at the storage facility. Note: An additional "after-hours" fee will apply.
Tax notices for the current year are mailed in September and include coupons for the 1st and 2nd installments. This is the only notice a taxpayer will receive unless taxes are delinquent. Delinquent tax notices are mailed in June and December for Real and Personal Property. Taxes are due and payable regardless if the taxpayer receives a notice or not.
Property taxes are due October 1. Arizona law allows the option for property taxes to be paid in two installments on most property. The first installment is due October 1st and becomes delinquent November 1st at 5 pm. The second installment is due March 1st and becomes delinquent May 1st at 5 pm. If the taxes are $100 or less, they become due and payable in full October 1st and delinquent December 31st at 5 pm. If taxes are paid in full by December 31st, any interest accrued after November 1st is no longer applicable. If any of the delinquency dates fall on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the time of delinquency is 5 pm the next business day.
The County Treasurer provides tax information to various tax service companies and mortgage companies upon request. If you have an agreement for your mortgage company to pay your taxes they should do so. However, you should review your agreement with the mortgage company to verify the details. If your mortgage company requests billing information, you will not receive a tax notice. The property owner is responsible for the payment of taxes. Any agreements a property owner has with a mortgage company, attorney, trust, tax service, title company or any others does not involve the county. These are agreements with a third party.
Contact the Cochise County Treasurer if your notice is not received by October 10th. Provide tax parcel number and correct address and a copy of the notice or the returned notice will be mailed or emailed to the property owner.
Return the notice to the Cochise County Treasurer's Office:
P.O. Box 1778Bisbee, AZ 85603
Include a note that the property has been sold. Also list any known information such as the name of the new owner or the date of sale. It is also helpful to advise the Treasurer if the new owner lives at the same address. This helps get the tax notice to the new owner as fast as possible.
The Assessor's office is responsible for listing ownership as well as values. This office works on a two-year cycle and has many cut-off dates to process changes; therefore not all sales are reflected on the tax notice. Contact the Assessor to verify that a record of your sale has been received or to verify the Assessor's timeline for changes.
Property tax in Arizona is classified as Real Property and Personal Property. Personal Property consists primarily of business equipment and mobile homes. Unless your mobile home is permanently affixed to your land and you have applied for affixture from the Assessor's Office, you will receive one notice for your land and one notice for your mobile home. If an application for affixture is made after the Assessor's deadline, you will still receive two separate notices the first year.
Various options are available to transmit property taxes to the Cochise County Treasurer. Credit card, debit card, and E-Check payments are accepted over the Internet, over the phone, or in person at the Cochise County Treasurer's office. A processing fee will be charged by the service provider for the service. Access this internet payment option by visiting the Treasurer Parcel Inquiry website. A night drop box is located near the front entrance to the Treasurer's office. Payments by mail can be made by check, cashier's check or money order - U.S. Funds only. Include the parcel identification number or taxpayer-identification number on all checks. Do not mail cash payments. Cash payments should be made in person at the Cochise County Treasurer's office.
Mail payments to:P.O. Box 1778Bisbee, AZ 85603
For Federal Express, United Parcel Service or special delivery the address is:1415 Melody LaneBuilding EBisbee, AZ 85603
Catherine L. Traywick and/or Cochise County Treasurer
In Arizona, taxpayers receive a combined tax bill for all taxing agencies - city, county, schools, college and special districts. You make your check payable to the Elected County Treasurer as tax collector for all agencies, not payable to any one agency.
Prior to the property being placed in the annual tax lien sale, the Cochise County Treasurer will accept partial payments. The property owner must pay an annual fee of $4 each year for each parcel payable with the first payment. Any remaining unpaid balance at the time of the tax lien sale will be placed in the sale. Partial payments cannot be accepted on back tax parcels.
Cochise County Treasurer's office is located at 1415 Melody Lane, Building E Melody Lane is the last exit on the left to the south of Highway 92 departing Bisbee heading west toward Palominas. Continuing straight on Melody Lane will bring you to the new County complex.
The Cochise County Treasurer's office is open Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm. MST. The office is closed for all Federal Holidays. Be advised, if calling from out of state, Arizona does not observe daylight saving time.
The Assessor is responsible for identifying the property owner and listing the address. All address changes are processed through the Assessor's Office at:P.O. Box 168Bisbee, AZ 85603
The property owner should write to that office to change the address listed on the tax notice and/or valuation notice. If the Treasurer's office receives the written change of address, the information is forwarded to the Assessor's Office.
Contact the Assessor’s office.
Contact an attorney. The only way to change the ownership name on real property is to record some type of legal document with the Cochise County Recorder. The recorded information will be sent to the Cochise County Assessor who will change the ownership name on the tax roll. Taxes are due and payable regardless if the taxpayer receives a notice or not. The tax lien attaches to the property each January regardless of ownership.
Each piece of real property is assigned a parcel identification number by the Assessor's office. The number consists of 123-12-123-A1 or 123-12-12301. The first three numbers represent the book, the second two numbers represent the map, the third three numbers represent the parcel, the fourth character is to identify a split of the original parcel and is a computer check digit for accuracy. The number should be placed on all payments and letters to speed processing.
The property owner's tax liability covers the calendar year, from January through December. Regardless of ownership, the tax lien attaches to the property each January and is not extinguished until the tax is paid. The first installment on that liability is due by October 1st. The second installment is due by March 1st even though this date is in the next tax year and calendar year.
The property owner's taxes fund the various jurisdictions over their fiscal year which is from July 1st to June 30th.
Taxes are calculated based on a rate applied to the value of the property; this is ad valorem tax. The tax rate is a combination of the rates of all the jurisdictions that establish a property tax where a property is located (area code), such as Cochise County, city, school district or special districts such as a fire district tax rate. Arizona has a Primary Tax Rate and a Secondary Tax Rate. Primary taxes are levied to fund the operating expenses of a jurisdiction and the rate is applied to each $100 Assessed Limited Cash Value of a property. Secondary taxes are levied to fund special districts such as fire districts and other voter-approved items, for example, bonds and budget overrides. This rate is applied to each $100 of the Assessed Full Cash Value of a property.
State Aid to Education is a reduction for homeowners (owner-occupied property) of Primary Property Tax levied by school districts in their area. The taxpayer must live in the home to receive this reduction. This amount will be reimbursed to each school district from the State through the County Treasurer. The percentage paid by the State is determined by the Arizona Legislature and changes as they make changes to the State budget.
Contact the Assessor's Office. That office can help a property owner through the appeals process. An appeal is on the value of the property - not the tax. The appeal process begins when the property owner receives the notice of value - not when the property owner receives the tax notice. Taxes are based on assessed values and tax rates. The Assessor establishes the assessed value of the property and each taxing jurisdiction establishes its rate. These tax rates change annually as each jurisdiction establishes its budget and the property assessed values can change each year as well as the market changes.
According to state law, once the delinquency date has passed, simple interest starts to accrue at 16% per year prorated monthly. Whether paid on the last day of the month or the first day of the month, 1.333% will be due each month on the amount of tax delinquent. After the May 1 delinquent date, if taxes are not paid before the following January, an additional 5% (minimum $5) penalty is assessed. In February, all delinquent taxes will be offered for sale at the annual Tax Lien Sale. This is a sale of the County lien on delinquent parcels - not a sale of property. Once a property is in the tax lien sale it is considered a "back tax parcel". After 3 years from the date of the tax lien sale, the purchaser of the tax lien can foreclose on the lien and acquire the property.
Arizona law requires the tax lien sale to be held each February. The date for the Cochise County tax lien sale will be posted on the Cochise County Treasurer's page prior to the month of February.
Simple interest of 16% per year prorated by the month is charged the same as real property once taxes are delinquent. The Sheriff is responsible for the collection of personal property taxes and sells property if necessary. Since personal property is movable, consisting primarily of mobile homes and commercial business equipment, the collection process is expeditious.