In 2011, Arizona SB 1598 set up a "Regulatory Bill Of Rights" for citizens in dealing with county planning departments.

Here's a description of SB 1598 from 2011:
and here's its text:
Most of the law applies to county government, and its most important part added an entire new chapter, ARS 11-1601 through 1610, to the laws dealing with counties in general.  These statutes are available via

The heart of the new statutes is ARS 11-1602.  Here's a condensation:  "To ensure fair and open regulation by counties, a person:
.  "1. Is eligible for reimbursement of fees and other expenses if the person prevails by adjudication on the merits against a county in a [lawsuit] regarding a county decision ....
.  "2. Is entitled to receive information and notice regarding inspections ....
.  "3. Is entitled to have a county not base a licensing decision in whole or in part on ... conditions or requirements ... not specifically authorized as provided in section 11-1604.
.  "4. May have a county approve or deny the person's license application within a predetermined period of time ....
.  "5. Is entitled to receive written or electronic notice from a county on denial of a license application:
.  "6. Is entitled to receive information regarding the license application process ....
.  "7. May inspect all [laws and policies] of a county, including a directory of documents, at the office of the county or [its] website ....
.  "8.... may expect counties to avoid duplication of other laws that do not enhance regulatory clarity and to avoid dual permitting ....
.  "9. May file a complaint with the board of supervisors ...."

The text of 11-1602 is at

Those rights are implemented by ARS 11-1603 through -1610. Those statutes should be read by everyone living in the rural parts of Cochise County.  For convenience, here are condensations:

ARS 11-1603(A) says "A county inspector who enters any premises ... for the purpose of conducting an inspection shall:
.  "1. Present photo identification ....
.  "2. ...state the purpose of the inspection and the legal authority for conducting [it].
.  "3. Disclose any applicable inspection fees.
.  "4. Except for a food and swimming pool inspection, afford an opportunity to have an authorized on-site representative of the regulated person accompany the ... inspector or regulator on the premises, except during confidential interviews.
.  "[5, 6, and 7 require notice of various rights.]"

1603(B) requires an inspector to give notice of various rights and information.  Then comes
.  "C. A county inspector shall obtain the signature of the regulated person or on-site representative ... indicating that the [person or representative] has read the writing prescribed in subsection B ... and is notified of [his] inspection and due process rights....  Unless the [person] at the time of the inspection is informed how the report can be located electronically, the county shall leave a copy with [him].  If [he] is not at the site or refuses to sign the writing ... the county inspector or regulator shall note that fact on the writing ....
.  "D. A county ... shall give a copy of, or provide electronic access to, the inspection report to the [person or representative] either:
.      "1. At the time of the inspection.
.      "2. Notwithstanding any other state law, within thirty working days after the inspection.
.      "3. As otherwise required by federal law.
.  "E. The ... report shall contain deficiencies identified during an inspection.  Unless otherwise provided by law, the county may provide the [person] an opportunity to correct the deficiencies unless the county determines that [the deficiencies] are:
.      "1. Committed intentionally.
.      "2. Not correctable within a reasonable period of time as determined by the county.
.      "3. Evidence of a pattern of noncompliance.
.      "4. A risk to any person, the public health, safety or welfare or the environment.
.  "F. If the county allows the [person] an opportunity to correct the deficiencies [he] shall notify the county when [they] have been corrected.  Within thirty working days of receipt ... the county shall determine ... and notify [him] whether or not [he] is in substantial compliance, unless the determination is not possible due to ... normal operations at the premises.  If [he] fails to correct the deficiencies or the county determines [they] have not been corrected within a reasonable period of time, the county may take any enforcement action authorized by law ....
.  "G. A county decision pursuant to subsection E or F ... is not an appealable county action.
.  "H. At least once every month ... a county shall provide the [person] with an update ... on the status of any county action resulting from an inspection ....  A county is not required to provide an update after the [person] is notified that no county action will result ... or after the completion of county action resulting from the ... inspection....
.  "J. This section... does not apply:
.      "1. To criminal [or] undercover investigations ....
.      "2. If the county inspector or regulator has reasonable suspicion to believe that the [person] may be or has been engaged in criminal activity.
.      "3. Inspections by a county board of health or a local health department pursuant to [ARS] 36-603.
.  "K. If a county inspector ... gathers evidence in violation of this section, the violation shall not be a basis to exclude the evidence in a civil or administrative proceeding, if the penalty sought is the denial, suspension or revocation of the [person's] license or a civil penalty of more than one thousand dollars.
.  "L. Failure of a county employee to comply with this section:
.      "1. Constitutes cause for disciplinary action or dismissal ....
.      "2. Shall be considered by the judge and administrative law judge as grounds for reduction of any fine or civil penalty....
.  "N. This section:
.      "1. Shall not be used to exclude evidence in a criminal proceeding.
.      "2. Does not apply to a county inspection that is requested by the [person]."
Read the text of 11-1603 at

ARS 11-1604(A) says "A county shall not base a licensing decision in whole or in part on a licensing requirement or condition that is not specifically authorized by statute, rule, ordinance or delegation agreement."  This will matter when, for instance, a county is willing to grant a permit only if a person gives up part of property or an easement that he owns.

11-1605 governs time limits for a county to handle applications.

11-1606 includes another "bill of rights" for citizens:  "A county ... provide the following information to an applicant at the time the applicant obtains an application for a license:
.  "1. A list of all of the steps the applicant is required to take in order to obtain the license.
.  "2. The applicable licensing time frames.
.  "3. The name and telephone number of a county contact person who can answer questions or provide assistance throughout the application process.
.  "4. The website address and any other information, if applicable, to allow the regulated person to use electronic communication with the county.
.  "5. Notice that an applicant may receive a clarification from the county of its interpretation ... as provided in section 11-1609."

11-1607 requires the county to "publish, or prominently place on the county website, at least annually a directory summarizing the subject matter of all currently applicable ordinances, regulations and substantive policy statements....  The [items] and any materials incorporated by reference in [them] shall be open to public inspection at the office of the county or the county website."  Our County Attorney Office's (CAO) website has, for a long time, had a link -- at
-- which supposedly leads to county ordinances, but in fact leads to this statement:  "Please return here soon for more information about ordinances in Cochise County, Arizona."  The CAO should follow the law.

11-1608 says "The board of supervisors shall receive complaints concerning ordinances, regulations, substantive policy statements or county practices alleged to violate this article. The [BOS] may review any [such item] and may hold hearings regarding the allegations.  The [BOS] may recommend actions to alleviate the aspects of the [items] alleged to violate this article."  See

11-1609 is the process for a citizen to implement the "bill of rights" in 11-1606.  11-1609 says
.  "A. An applicant for a license ... may request a county to clarify its interpretation or application of a [law or policy] affecting the procurement of that license by [making] a written request that states:
.     "1. The name and address of the applicant ....
.     "2. The [law or policy] that requires clarification.
.     "3. Any facts relevant to the requested ruling.
.     "4. The applicant's proposed interpretation ....
.     "5. Whether, to the best knowledge of the applicant, the issues or related issues are being considered by the county in connection with an existing license or license application.
.  "B. On receipt of a request ... the county may meet with the applicant ... and shall respond within thirty days ... with a written explanation of its interpretation or application .... The county shall provide the applicant with an opportunity to meet and discuss the county's written explanation.
.  "C. The county may modify [the] written explanation ... if required by a change in the law that was applicable at the time the clarification of interpretation was issued ...."
Citizens definitely should study the text at

11-1610, lists exceptions to coverage, but they don't cover most cases involving a citizen.  See