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Eddie Maddock: Eye on Schnebly Community Focus Area

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie Maddock examines city of Sedona 2014 voter preferences impact three years later.

Sedona AZ (February 20, 2017) – Moving right along to formulate plans for the Schnebly Community Focus Area, the second of two special draft council meetings occurred on February 15, 2017, to review and expand plans set forth at the initial meeting held January 25.

Community Development Director Audree Juhlin briefly reviewed the nature and reason for the Community Focus Areas, as set forth by voter ratification of the revised Community Plan on March 11, 2014.

Addressing a question from Councilman John Currivan about the urgency of moving these CFA’s along so quickly, Schnebly being scheduled after already approving Western Gateway and Soldier Pass CFA’s, Ms. Juhlin again emphasized the connection to the updated Community Plan, further explaining that a total of 13 such areas have been identified as Citizen Focus Areas.

Unlike the others, Schnebly CFA, is primarily residential and the intent is to preserve the creek side area as a prominent and yet protected feature of the community. Based on what has been proposed, it will require a zone change for mixed use, as was defined at the first meeting on January 25th.

Those proposed permitted mixed-uses are:
·         Lodging (limited to no more than half the acreage)
·         Campground/RV Parks
·         Agricultural (gardens, nurseries, vineyards)
·         Parks & Recreation (discretionary creek access)
·         Commercial (restaurants, markets, galleries)
·         Single family residential
·         Multi-family residential
·         Accessory uses.

Councilman Currivan suggested having the current transportation study incorporated into this project to project future traffic impacts. However, that request essentially was denied to expand any further than the presently suggested analysis.

Cynthia Lovely, Senior Planner, Department of Community Development, expanded the proposals with a detailed slide presentation of key issues.

Protection of Oak Creek and its riparian habitat by maintaining floodway in natural state with only minor improvements such as trails, parks, and temporary structures were among the recommendations.

Permanent protection of the Oak Creek corridor is strongly recommended with consideration of property owners to establish conservation easements and/or donate or allow land to be acquired by public or non-profit organizations.
Drainage flowing into Oak Creek should be retained, unaltered.

Preserving and protecting open space along Schnebly Hill Road in addition to limiting visible development on hillsides are to be considered in addition to flexibility of on-site design standards to enable preservation of floodway, open space, and hillside setbacks.

Building style, use of native plants, screening, style of streets, and parking will be compatible to blending in with residential neighborhoods.

Historic preservation will remain high priority. An effort will be extended to reduce dependency on single occupancy vehicles and encourage trails to enable complete walking and bicycle connectivity.

Create access to Oak Creek is back on the drawing board with consideration of a creek walk as part of the pedestrian network, as well as potential for a footbridge over Oak Creek.

Sedona Creative Life Center is within the Schnebly Hill focus area.

Implementation of a zone change will also be a requirement for establishment of an “Oak Creek Heritage District.”

Again, this updated planning is a result of a ballot measure to ratify the updated Community Plan, presented to Sedona registered voters on March 11, 2014. Of the 2,422 responding ballots (representing a turnout of 37.3%) 1,423 voted “yes” and 923 voted “no.” So, 62% of a voter turnout of a mere 37.3% made this monumental decision.

Likewise, later that same year on August 27, 2014, Sedona voters approved Proposition 429, Home Rule (Alternative Expenditure Limitation). That resulted in total votes of 3,976 of which 2,665 approved Home Rule and –1,311 opposed. Conclusion: 66% of those voting supported unrestricted expenditure limitation, but still only 3,976 voters out of incorporated Sedona’’s population of approximately 10,000 voted.

If you are among those who did not vote, do not complain that decisions presently being implemented are the result of less than half the residents living here.

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  1. Wsr says:


    Whatever moron….

  2. What the ???? says:

    I voted for the new guys because in my opinion they were above reproach then and I must say that they must be now. Just because we think that we know something is underhanded doesn’t mean that it is. Like it or nor, they voted for what they thought was right and I’ll stick with them for doing that.

  3. Good One says:

    “Call up the AG’s Executive Office. They tell you to hire your own attorney.” quote from F.Y.I. 3/21/17 @ 12:30 pm.

    Well guess what. Take your grievance(s) about city/chamber contract to Sedona officials and they tell you to call Jennifer Wesselhoff or Steve Segner. WAKE UP is correct. That’s they way things work now days in Sedona.

  4. Easy Fix says:

    So the City Attorney (Robert Pickels) advises that if SB1430 is approved the city stand’s to lose $400,000 in stand-by fees from owners of vacant properties with sewer access but not connected. Of course the solution proposed is to sock it to those actually using the sewer – just raise the monthly fees to make up the difference.

    This should really be a no-brainer. If the city simply withdrew funding the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center (cost estimated @ $300,000 annually) and then cancel the contract paying Red Earth Theatre equaling around $50,000/yr. – then reduce the cockeyed percentage of return to the Chamber on the bed tax – VOILA ! An easy reclamation of the $400,000 and a much more equitable solution. BTW – the Chamber Visitors Center functioned very nicely prior to Sedona’s incorporation when there was NO city funding available. Now just how did that work? Because it did.

    Go for it State of Arizona. Pull in the reins on these high-and mighty rogue cities that continue to operate as if they are exempt from obeying laws. If they clamp down it could be viewed as one of the biggest advances to uphold the Community Plan’s vision statement, in part, to maintain that small town feeling. Holding these fools to the fire might be gift to save this place from more hell and damnation.

  5. Uptown Sedona says:

    I like and appreciate our three new councilors.

    Nobody gets to be Monday morning quarterbacks without reasoning why these three decided to go a different route. Must be they know something we don’t? How about some transparency and clarification as to why the councilors voted the way they did? How about 7 different viewpoints in the next city article?

  6. Let Us Not Forget says:

    When Sedona incorporated a percentage of city tax was committed to pay for the “wastewater treatment plant” aka and more appropriate = sewer system. And so what has happened? Little by little that tax money is being weaned away from that promised use and “wasted” (excuse the pun) on needless projects and unnecessary wishlist items such as funding the Red Earth Theatre to use the former Teen Center, now renamed The Hub, but still city-owned property. Rightfully that facility should be rented out as a source of revenue to the city and NOT an additional expense.

    Sure, they can increase monthly sewer fees to those presently receiving the service, but for the purpose of making up for the loss to those with vacant properties and not even connected to the system? How did they get away with that in the first place. Same as attempting to force us to one garbage hauler? But thank goodness they didn’t get away with that rip-off.

    As previously suggested in another comment it’s time to cut to the chase and give up the great give-away to the regional chamber of commerce. Drop the idea of allowing them to invest in property on behalf of the city of Sedona. That money alone would be better used to operate the sewer system.

    If the state finds doling out money to a non-profit that so far hasn’t displayed an ACCURATE accounting of return on investment (including city financed expansion of chamber facilities including new employees paid by city taxes) an acceptable use of public funds while at the same time gouging legitimate citizens every chance they get, then the State of Arizona must be as corrupt as the City of Sedona. Time will tell.

  7. WSR says:

    @let us not forget
    @uptown Sedona
    @easy fix
    @good one

    All the same crazy crazy person…..
    Can you say……too filled with hate and too much time in your hands… Whew

  8. The Thought Proctologist says:

    @ Wsr, WSr, wSr, West Sedona Resident, West sedona resident, West sedona Resident, WSR, WSR times 2, Anonymous and All Readers at The Eye:

    Has it ever occurred to any of you readers that, just maybe, all these West Sedona Resident & WSR variants are actually the publisher of The Eye, namely Cathi Hill? Why does she permit this WSR crap to go on ad infinitum from a purported commentor who has never commented on a single article published at this site. Why, Madam Publisher, do you never tire of a commentor who never contributes anything of value but, rather, only flings hate at everyone who has a constructive comment?

  9. wsR says:

    I smell something

    Did you say Thought Fart…. aka (deleted by editor)

  10. Eddie Maddock says:

    As “TheThought Proctologist” suggests for the editor/publisher of Sedona Eye to withhold comments from individual(s) who obviously take advantage of the freedom-of-speech policy offered by C. Bentley-Hill, would that not only offer the opportunity for more criticism to the publication, readers, and contributors? Can you imagine the whining and accusations of SE being unfair, biased, selective – maybe even denial of free speech? Doesn’t Sedona already have at least one local print and another on-line publication that actually does edit or refuse to make public points of view differing with that of the publication(s)? Who would benefit if Sedona Eye adopted the same standards that have already been pretty severely criticized in the past?

    While the extremely obnoxious and really very boring tripe from the obvious person (or persons) that take such joy in cluttering up space with deleterious and inane nothingness, glancing at the names under siege causes me to reread those comments, some of which I missed because of the volumes that fly through cyberspace on this site – thereby lending the opportunity to catch up on some extremely relevant points which otherwise I would have missed. Thus, frequently the references prove to be beneficial which is doubtful that was the intent due to the acrid disposition of the author(s) aka WSR etal.

    So from another point of view, except for taking up space, the culprit(s) do in a peculiar way offer a service. Check out the comments from those meticulously named by the mysterious “WSR.” Real deal facts in many cases and apparently that miserable frustrated soul has no other recourse except to call attention to and revive the words so taken to task and which, in most cases, speak volumes. Don’t believe it? Check out postings from:

    @let us not forget
    @uptown Sedona
    @easy fix
    @good one

    Thanks WSR for calling my attention to the vital information offered from the above references.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Eddie S. Maddock

  11. The Thought Proctologist says:

    @the most charming Eddie Maddock,

    Ms. Maddock, the First Amendment applies to intelligible speech. It is not possible to deny WSR, and all variants of same, freedom of speech since this illiterate (meaning WSR et al) only speaks galimatias confused (unintelligible) speech.

    Moreover, the Federal Courts definition of Freedom of Speech as meant in the First Amendment, and guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, is the right to express beliefs and ideas without unwarranted government restriction. Ms. Hill is not the government and WSR doesn’t have enough intelligence or class to express intelligible beliefs and ideas. All other sites like TheEye establish rules of commentary to which violation can result in Constitutionally LEGAL disbarment from the site. Yes, they all do it without risk of litigation.

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