Forest Lakes Governance and Political Structure

Forest Lakes Estates is an unincorporated subdivision within Coconino County, Arizona. There is no local town government, so we fall under the guidance and support of Coconino County. This includes planning and zoning, building codes, County ordinances, road maintenance, and a resident Sheriff's Deputy.

In addition to the property taxes that we pay to Coconino County, there are three additional special districts within Forest Lakes that levy taxes on the property owners. 

1. Forest Lakes Fire District is governed by a 5-member Board of Directors that is elected by the community's registered voters. FLFD provides 24/7/365 fire and emergency medical services to Forest Lakes and the surrounding area. The proposed new fire station will be funded from a combination of tax revenues, charges for emergency services, local community donations, and public/private grants.

2. Forest Lakes Domestic Water Improvement District is also governed by a 5-member Board of Directors that is elected by the public. Our award-winning water district operates several local wells and a community-wide water distribution system complete with fire hydrants and residential water meters.

3. Chevelon Butte School Transportation District operates school bus services for transporting local students to schools in Heber. This district also includes the Blue Ridge / Starlight Pines community north of Payson. The 5 elected board members include representatives from both communities.

Electrical power is provided by Arizona Public Service Company. Trash pickup is by Larson Waste. We have a local US Post Office substation, zip code 85931. There is no sanitary district, and no community sewer system. Each property is served by its own septic or waste treatment system. Requirements and inspections are established by the County.

Forest Lakes Estates Subdivision is all private land, but is situated within the Sitgreaves National Forest. The Black Mesa Ranger District, located in Overgaard, has jurisdiction over the National Forest in our area. Even though they do not have legal jurisdiction within the subdivision, our fire district usually follows their lead with regard to local fire restrictions.

The Forest Lakes Owners Association (FLOA) is a voluntary organization of community residents. It is a non-profit corporation for charitable, educational, scientific, and community welfare purposes. The mission of FLOA is (1) to inform and represent the membership in regards to community and county decisions that affect Forest Lakes; (2) to lend support to other Forest Lakes organizations, such as school district, fire district, water district, library; (3) to interact with county officials, the Forest Service, AZ Game & Fish, and others.; (4) to coordinate activities for the general benefit of the community.

The Green Waste Site located just north of the subdivision on Forest Road 99A is a good example of interagency cooperation in our area. The site is on Forest Service land, and is subject to their requirements. The permit to use the land as a green waste site is held by the Forest Lakes Owner's Association (FLOA). The day to day operation of the site is the responsibility of the fire district, under agreement with FLOA.

FLOA owns and manages the property at 1111 Merzville Rd. for use as a community center to serve all residents.

FLOA is not an "HOA" as commonly formed in other communities, as it has no required dues or levies, and has no enforcement authority regarding CC&Rs. The FLOA Board of Directors consists of 7 to 9 members who are elected by the FLOA membership.

To read the history of Forest Lakes, as well as much more information, go to