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Eddie Maddock: Feasible and Sustainable Sedona Matters

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie S. Maddock looks at Sedona’s year ahead in the light of its problematic past.

Sedona AZWelcome to Sedona Arizona 2019.

Has our Golden Goose been cooked?

Is there anyone visiting Sedona or living here for that matter, let’s say since Thanksgiving 2018, who isn’’t convinced there is a huge traffic problem? As the situation grows worse on a daily basis ongoing studies have been procured from professional consultants – most of whom are costly and ineffective – if for no other reason than they have yet to result in actually addressing the problem.

The root of the matter is never appropriately acknowledged by the culprits behind the continual onslaught to chop Sedona, the aforementioned Golden Goose, into teeny tiny pieces. Translated: Sedona was discovered a long time ago and is no longer in need of being promoted. Even efforts for alleged “destination tourists” haven’t been proven to be effective. Quite possibly the introduction of short term rentals via private property owners and Airbnb are contributing factors to this problematic situation which should have been addressed with serious intent to at least some degree a long time ago.

Instead Sedona planners forge ahead with one idea after another clearly without looking at or anticipating suggested plans might be seriously flawed. While the term “sustainability” has become a common catchword, the word “feasibility” all too often is overlooked prior to initiating “perceived” solutions.

View of Sedona – exclusive SedonaEye.com photo

For example; inflated foot traffic in the narrow ADOT corridor of SR179 in front of Tlaquepaque was ignored at the time approval was given to Tlaquepaque North across that very busy section of a State Highway. After the fact, the result has been a disaster. So what to do?

Number one suggestion on the drawing board seems to be a concept for some sort of a pedestrian overpass. Voila! Problem solved. Wait, –not so fast. Has any consideration been given to the fact that said overpass must span SR 179, a state route? Just how high must a cute little footbridge be in order to clear traffic such as semi-trucks and 18-wheelers for which state routes are designed? Maybe an indication might be more clearly imagined if one were to think about overpasses on I-17.

Another potential solution to mitigate traffic congestion, created essentially due to lack of foresight, is the extension of Forest Road uptown to connect with West 89A someplace next to the Post Office location. This concept appears to be a wonderful idea on the surface, but has the depth of this proposal been extensively considered?

Now that becomes extremely interesting when viewing the terrain in actuality, as well as on maps.

View of Sedona – exclusive SedonaEye.com photo

The two photos offered here were taken December 30, 2018, on SR89A across from the vacant land just west of the Post Office, a portion of which has posted a “For Sale” sign. Clearly it is rugged and anticipating any portion being used as a connector from Forest Road uptown to SR89A becomes somewhat unclear. It appropriately should be noted the open space beyond the Hyatt and custom-built homes at the end of Forest Road is comparable terrain – –hilly, rocky, and steep.

From the Post Office hill to Mariposa Restaurant is rocky, but relatively level with or below SR89A. Not to be overlooked is a portion of that land belongs to the U.S. Forest Service. It isn’t difficult to observe – with a quick glance to the left when driving east on 89A towards uptown – prior to the Brewer and “Y” roundabouts.

As previously mentioned, there are several upscale homes at the end of Forest Road, clearly sustaining their value because they are constructed on “view” lots. The city has gone on record admitting that to extend this proposed road would necessitate condemning some of those houses. However, what they haven’t addressed is the steep, rocky terrain. Even a non-engineer might question the complex construction required for a connector road in this location which should realistically be seriously addressed prior to pursuing this alleged “short cut” from Point A (Forest Road) to Point B (West 89A).

Where will all the remaining red rocks go? To parking lots and highways and tourists now going and many long time gone.

There are a multitude of unanswered questions pertaining to acquisition of land and related expenses, over and above feasibility for extending Forest Road to connect down and across extremely rocky, unlevel open terrain. Shouldn’t we insist on accurate and transparent accountability prior to, during, and at completion of this endeavor should it come to pass? And, more specifically, what will be the source of funding?

Likewise, shouldn’t more extensive consideration apply to accommodating additional traffic which surely will become further problematic at the Schnebly Hill roundabout if aggressive approval for multi-housing and additional shops comes to fruition as proposed in order to justify the designation of another Community Focus Area?

Another suggestion for constructing an additional bridge from Schnebly Hill Road to the northern portion of uptown to connect to 89A onward to Oak Creek Canyon will, in all probability, require trespassing on USFS property. Has any consideration been given to that by city planners if plans are pursued to extend Schnebly Hill Road as an alternate route to I-17… also USFS land.

A final question: Which should come first –feasibility or sustainability?

The answer will emerge from the inner sanctum of City Hall.

Word for the day:

FEASIBLE
[fee-zuh-buh l]
Adjective
1. Capable of being done, effected, or accomplished: a feasible plan
2. probable; likely: a feasible theory
3. suitable: a road feasible for travel

 

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221 Comments

  1. @Richard A @Get this(same people) says:

    yawn

  2. Wise Willie says:

    Don’t be fooled. Segner’s command is that of a dictator which is what Sedona will have if voters continue to elect city council members who will allow it to happen.

    And now the plan for “affordable” housing is surfacing while Segner rents his investment homes short-term.

    Wise up. The choice is yours. You believe their asinine propaganda (as it appears many of you did at the last election) you will be bound by a dictator. Do as the dictator says from his/her throne in the ivory tower. You will reap what you sow. It’s already happening. They will do as they please. Big shOts. Dick-taters. Socialism is unfolding before your eyes. Reap what you sow.

    VOC and others spoke up and stopped the 700 plus residential development at El Rojo. Numbers matter. After the fact will be too late. Speak now or be silenced forever. The same goes for all that VOC development. Our quality life is doomed if you allow it.

  3. steve Segner says:

    Richard Andrew says: Question is, if it’s good enough for Segner then why not for those who also legally provide their homes as vacation rentals? Then, as has been {discovered} he continues to build his own financial empire by upgrading and adding to his own inventory of AirBnb vacation rentals?

    Good question Richard,
    I bought 3 motel units from the Sedona Motel, and remolded them into two units. “Connie place” as we call it will be for overflow from my near by hotel.
    We did not take over a private home our as some have done apartment buildings, our new units were motel rooms for over 10 years and we made sure they are zoned commercial not residential. Hotels are my business and I home to expand in the future, over 10,000 people make their living in Sedona from visitors and growth is good it just need to be controlled and have the proper zoning not residential, hope that
    answers your question.

  4. Joe Lee says:

    @Steve Segner – Why should the city be responsible for providing workforce housing for your employees and those of other lodging places? Why not do the right thing and make those motel rooms you just acquired for workers instead of more money grabbing on your part? Do you accommodate white people at your establishment? Didn’t the Sedona Rouge comply with their development agreement and provide several accommodations for that purpose? Why not grow up and take responsibility and not expect the government to take care of YOUR problems?

  5. @steve Segner says:

    I rented one of those units as a long term rental. So full of it.

    What happened to ALL the LONG term RENTALS the city demanded from the hotels? You DELETED them got greedy and made them short term rentals.

    We can make a list of YOUs greedy hotels that DELETED the long term rentals required by city. BS dictator

  6. Employee housing is EMPLOYERS problem says:

    Employee housing is EMPLOYERS problem

    No one FORCED you to go into the hotel business Segner. You are getting rich off the backs of the residents. Pay your own business expenses! Provide you own employee living quarters.

    Places like Telluride Ski Resort has 146 double-occupancy studio apartments set aside for our employees. Big Billie’s Apartments are located in the town of Mountain Village at the base of Sunshine Express (Lift 10) and Chondola (Lift 1), providing ski-in/ski-out access to the mountain as well as free transportation to Telluride from 7am to midnight daily.

    Learn more about Employee Housing

    https://www.tellurideskiresort.com/employment/

  7. @Joe lee says:

    You know what Joe……Air B and B has escalated the long term rental market everywhere…. if Something doesn’t change Sedona will become more and more of a tourist town .. Air B and B’s are destroying the residential rental market in Sedona……not Steve S…..So if the city comes up with a plan for more low cost affordable housing then so be it… It’s needed and it won’t just be for resort workers.

    There are many good hardworking family people who are getting forced out..

  8. Joe Lee says:

    My point was that Steve Segner who is complaining the most has an opportunity to offer rentals for workers but instead plans for more tourist accommodations.

    Sedona is already saturated with hotel rooms and more to come with proposed resort at the Biddle property.

    Further developers have also been a problem such as those who built the original Fairfield. They failed to live up to their commitment for lower priced rentals because they wanted to make more money.

    Simple. Greed is the culprit.

    Even if this city rezones for higher density what guarantee is there the end product won’t be the same as in the past? It’s all about money. No different than what Segner has done and is doing including his past ability to convince the city council the multi-million dollar contract with the chamber of commerce is a good thing.

    But because I’m a white guy guess my opinion doesn’t count. Wonder if my money would be any good if I had breakfast at El Portal? Not to worry – it’ll never happen and never will I recommend it. Yelp.

  9. @Jpe Lee says:

    You sound obsessed with Steve Seger…

    You rather complain about that man then address the air B n B issue. As I said if the long term rental market keeps escalating rates due to Air B n B and chasing hardworking family types……then Sedona will become that tourist town and you ain’t seen nothing yet. This won’t be SS fault so direct your attention to the real problem not the C of C.

  10. Joe Lee says:

    And just who is upset here @Jpe Lee? (you couldn’t even get my name right)

    Let the Airbnb’s prevail. The best part will be the C of C won’t be sounding off to take credit for THAT! However it will blow their grand idea of “destination marketing” to hell which is where it belongs.

    And no, I’ll NOT be one to crab about tourists. In fact it might even be cause to greet them and shake hands for not being so stupid as to pay those high room rates and bed taxes finagled by the C of C and Lodging Council. Either that or stay in the VOC where better deals are available.

    Yes indeed. Karma payback works mysteriously. Ha, Ha, Ha you boobs!!!

  11. @joe Lee says:

    So basically your really only concerned about YOURSELF. Very selfish Joe..

  12. Joe Lee says:

    @@Joe Lee you are wrong again! My concern is for tourists. That they get the best possible accommodations in Sedona and for the fairest rates. So my guess is your attacks and accusations are directed to yourself or you wouldn’t be so persistent in attempting to take me down. Ain’t gonna happen Sucker. I’m outta here with you.

  13. Pam says:

    Practicality. Purpose. Performance.

    No new development is the easiest track. Get it on a referendum. No Growth.

  14. Confession, Good for the Soul says:

    Yep – must confess – a front page article in the local rag caught my attention. It was about Sedona aiming at sustainability. The extent of my cheat reading was confined to the first sentence having to do with Sedona setting an example before expecting others to be followers.

    Now if that isn’t something! IMO the only valid example of sustainability Sedona can possibly extend to other communities would be in what NOT to do. That being, of course, filtering millions of dollars through a non-professional allegedly nonprofit (chamber of commerce) for advertising which resulted in nothing more than miles of backed up traffic representing daytrippers on their way to Oak Creek Canyon.

    Yes indeed, Sedona has set an excellent example proving how to sustain gridlock but essentially remains clueless about a viable solution.

  15. Viable Solution says:

    Cease and desist all funding to the chamber of commerce, including financing THEIR visitor’s center. Stop promoting Sedona. Word-of-mouth already does that job. Concentrate on infrastructure improvements. Take care of roads in subdivisions. Serve the residents first, and tourist trade will soar and be sustained as it did prior to Sedona incorporation. Yes Sedona CAN set an example through the people who live here, not day trippers and NOT the chamber of commerce!!

  16. Al says:

    City is out of control.

    Creating this latest Sedona FAD OF MISINFORMATION to example sustainability offered the chance to add a Sustainability Coordinator to city staff. And I wonder how many assistants that position will require? We don’t need another paid employee to do what should be systemic in each job description. It’s in the community plan. It’s in the mission statement. IT’S WHAT WE SAY WE DO AT CITY HALL AND COUNCIL EVERY SINGLE DAY.

    WTF??!!! Attn AZ Attorney General. This Sedona sustainability bs is one example of how news articles and city staff employment propped up with articles by the news outlet that gets city dollars is ONE EXAMPLE of Sedona bad practices by its news, government, and fake created necessary business groups comingling taxpayer money to SUSTAIN each others budgets. ARE YOU ABLE TO CONNECT DOTS IN YOUR AG OFFICE?

    Guess that big dollar Manager needs ALL those people since he spends his time directing and advocating illegal and dangerous parking on Soldier Pass Road and who knows where else???? Back-O-Beyond is also frequently a dangerous mess!!! He’s 30 something inexperienced. FREAKIN INEXPERIENCE IS COSTING US OUR SERENE AND WONDER LIFESTYLE. City needs to reduce employees and SusTAIN a sensible management policy IMO. WTF!!??? They don’t live here or pay taxes. Send the carpetbaggers packing. Lot of better managers and planners in the city will work for less. These city staff and management outsiders are selling and raping our turf.

  17. @Viable Solution says:

    Thank you. Your message, 4-1/2 lines, speaks volumes. It’s sad tho. Instead of three monkeys – see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil – we are stuck with a group of seven, the majority of whom are incapable of ascertaining the meaning of “evil” as it pertains to what is occurring in Sedona.

    Just another opinion in spite of the nasty comments from those vehemently on the attack of SedonaEye. Love it. They must be running scared.

  18. AR says:

    LOVE SEDONA hoooorahhhhh

  19. Public Service Announcement says:

    This was posted on nextdoor.
    ——————————————————————————————-
    “Jessica Williamson Jessica Williamson, South Dry Creek Road
    Bike Fix Stations
    A new initiative that encourages biking in the community. It’s a Chamber of Commerce program that is part of sustainable tourism.

    I thought you would be excited to learn about a recently completed project funded through Sedona Reinvestment programs – the Sedona Bike Fix-It Stations!

    Bike Fix-It stations help to improve the quality of life for residents and enhances the visitor experience by providing a repair station with an air pump and tools in key high-use areas. We are proud to share that the six Bike Fix-It stations have been installed the following locations:
    City Bike Park
    Fay Canyon Trailhead
    Adobe Jack Trailhead
    Chuckwagon Trailhead
    Bell Rock Trailhead
    Yavapai Vista Trailhead
    The repair stations also align with the City of Sedona Community Plan to enhance environmental stewardship and improved traffic flow. Bike repair stations will allow more bikers to ride rather than drive throughout Sedona, knowing they can fix their bikes in many locations. More bicycles will mean less cars on the road, improving the flow of traffic.

    This program is a perfect example of leveraging bed tax dollars, businesses and chamber relationships for improving Sedona. There are six local business sponsors:
    Over The Edge Sedona
    Rick Wesselhoff – Associate Broker – Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    Red Agave Resort
    Biermann Construction
    Enchantment Resort
    Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition

    Each paid $2,500 to sponsor a station, or donated in-kind services to install the stations. The SCC&TB contributed $5,000 and managed all the coordination with the USFS and partners, sponsor solicitation, invoicing, ordering, installation coordination and design of the stations. We ordered the stations from a local vender, Over the Edge Sedona, who gave us their wholesale pricing.

    The Verde Valley Cyclist Coalition agreed to “adopt” the stations and their Bike Patrol will periodically inspect the station and arrange for any additional repairs. They received $1,000 in seed money to cover the cost of repairs, for what we anticipate will be for many years.

    We’re going to add this to our maps and on our mobile websites and we’re encouraging the bike shops to share the information.”
    —————————————————————————————————-

    What wrong with this? Do any of you see what I see?

  20. @Public Service Announcement says:

    One word response = B A R F (maybe times two a least!)

    PS – and we’re supposed to be give a standing ovation to all this BS nonsense? adding insult to injury??

  21. Jim, Uptown says:

    PSA wrote to public ———- We ordered the stations from a local vender, Over the Edge Sedona, who gave us their wholesale pricing. What was the wholesale price? I should’ve been able to get an opportunity to bid too. Why weren’t we all included?

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