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All We Want Are The Sedona Airport Facts

SedonaEye.com columnist, Eddie S. Maddock, asks for Sedona Airport facts

Sedona AZ (September 11, 2012) – Contrary to popular belief, Jack Webb in the role of Police Detective Sgt. Joe Friday on the TV series “Dragnet” (1967-1970) never said, “Just the facts, ma’am” in any episode of Dragnet. The actual line was, “All we want (or need) are the facts, ma’am.”

Taking a page out of the book from that popular TV series, in an effort to support the importance of seeking factual information, the following is an e-mail written to Yavapai County Supervisor Chip Davis with a copy to Mike Raber, Senior Planner, Sedona Department of Community Development, on Saturday, September 8, 2012:

It’s been made pretty clear that the Sedona Oak Creek Airport Authority leases the land they use for the airport (Table Top Mountain and/or Airport Mesa) from Yavapai County.

However, it remains very muddled as to why, then, wasn’t the Public Notice regarding the upcoming meeting on September 18th with the Sedona P & Z Commission mailed to at least the residents of the Greater Sedona Area? (School & Fire Districts)

For this request to re-designate the use of 4.6 acres to become a decision made at the discretion of Sedona city officials and in accordance with the Sedona Community Plan based on the status of the land involved still remaining in Yavapai County jurisdiction hardly seems equitable.

Is it accurate that the reason is because the property is a “finger” of land . . . or an “island” of property within what is now Sedona City Limits which validates for the city to control zoning and collect taxes even though Yavapai County remains the Lessor of the land?

Thank you,

Eddie S. Maddock

On Monday, September 10, 2012, the following message was received from Yavapai County Supervisor Mr. Chip Davis, Eddie, I hope this information helps you.”

With the following message from Dave Hunt, Assistant County Administrator/Board Counsel with copies to Phil Bourdon, Yavapai County Engineer and Jack Fields, Civil Deputy County Attorney at Yavapai County:

Chip –

Per your request, I have reviewed the message from Eddie Maddock and offer the following:

Subject to certain exceptions, property owned or otherwise controlled by a public entity that is located within the boundaries of another public entity is subject to the jurisdiction of the entity within which the property is located. Stated another way as applied to this situation, the airport property owned by the County and leased to the SAA is not considered to be part of the unincorporated area of the County by virtue of its ownership, but rather a part of the incorporated City of Sedona. Consequently, most City statutes, ordinances, rules and regulations would apply to activities at the airport.

One exception to the general rule set forth above applies to property utilized for traditional governmental purposes. In such instances, property used by a public entity for the delivery of traditional governmental services that is located within the boundaries of another government entity has been held to be exempt from land use regulations imposed by the entity within which the property is located. For purposes of this analysis, a distinction is typically drawn between traditional government services and those deemed “proprietary” in nature. Proprietary activities are those which are more akin to business enterprises. A County Service Center consisting of offices providing County administrative services to the public would fall within the above-referenced exception. On the other hand, the Sedona Airport constitutes a proprietary endeavor and, as such, would be subject to Sedona’s land use regulations including those governing designation or re-designation of allowable uses of property located on the Airport.

If I can provide additional information, please let me know.

Dave Hunt

Yep, “All we need are the facts, ma’am.” In this case it is the “sirs” who filled the order and deserve appreciation for clarifying the issue. Thank you.

Moral of story: Ask and you shall receive.

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  1. Ron says:

    Guess this clears it up maybe now Kristen Monday and crowd time for you to shut up and move? ((A County Service Center consisting of offices providing County administrative services to the public would fall within the above-referenced exception. On the other hand, the Sedona Airport constitutes a proprietary endeavor and, as such, would be subject to Sedona’s land use regulations including those governing designation or re-designation of allowable uses of property located on the Airport. If I can provide additional information, please let me know. Dave Hunt))

  2. Mike Raber says:

    Hi Eddie:

    The City has regulatory authority over uses at the airport that are proprietary in nature and not governmental. Since the Sedona airport is within the City limits, the City has zoning jurisdiction over Sky Ranch Lodge (a privately-owned business), but not the airport or airport-related uses (a governmental activity).

    Mike R

    Michael Raber, Senior Planner
    City of Sedona
    102 Roadrunner Drive
    Sedona, AZ 86336

  3. Thanks, Mike. I had a fine response from Chip Davis via Dave Hunt, Asst. County Administrator/Board Counsel in the interest of promoting factual information for obvious reasons. Hope it helps.

  4. Liked this article on Facebook

  5. Liked reading this on Facebook.

  6. The airport is home to a source of serious pollution and invites arrogant killers who fly private jets and dump jet fuel over the homes of innocent home owners including children, resulting in two deaths in my neighborhood this year. One cannot sustain their life with blood full of jet fuel for years.

    If you want to criticize me, go look at my blood work on the front page of my website: http://www.closetheairport.com .

    If you think this is ok, then you are sick in the head. The FBI doesn’t think it is ok. They were at my home for 2.5 hours 36 hours before Mac “resigned.”

    I am not going to shut up and let the airport murder people for the next twenty years so a few people can look at red rocks. Jets need to land in Flagstaff at a real airport with a long runway. Sedona’s runway is too short to accommodate these jets safely.

    Jet fuel dumping at low altitude over people’s homes is murder, plain and simple!

  7. Brent Maupin says:

    Good job Eddie!! Great information to have!

  8. Susan says:

    So if you are a “reporter” of “truth” Eddie why weren’t you at the meeting today when the facts were discussed between all parties? You disgrace the fictional character of Jack Webb who was really looking for the facts!

  9. Because, Susan, I was involved with Northern Arizona Healthcare (Flagstaff) tending to matters in preparation for pending surgery. There’s another fact for you to chew on and I hope it answers your question.

    Eddie S. Maddock

  10. ALC says:

    why the attack about information we should all apprecaite

  11. Mike & Sari says:

    straighten us out^^^how DOES a body disgrace FICTIONAL characters^^^yo suz must’ve been beamed up by scottie in TVland 2 many x’s^^^keepn it reel real in the world^^^LOAO in CV

  12. Greg says:

    Liked this story on Facebook.

  13. Susan says:

    Eddie, we all have our health problems which we don’t wish on anyone else however, if you couldn’t be there to report the constructive work session why write a hit piece? It just distracts people from getting the full and accurate story.

  14. OK, Susan, apparently you overlooked another “fact” which is, and kindly review the e-mail exchange, the information I was seeking from Yavapai County Supervisor, Chip Davis, was a simple explanation of why zone changing at the airport is determined at the discretion of City government in accordance with the Sedona Community Plan when the SAA lease agreement is with the County of Yavapai.

    In no way did I take a position for or against the outcome of the present property under consideration for re-designation. My only reference to it was asking why Public Notices were mailed only to residents within the Sedona City Limits, which was appropriately addressed in the response from Dave Hunt.

    Invalid accusations which cannot be backed up with factual documentation might just lead you down a road you hadn’t intended to travel, specifically your reference to my having written “a hit piece” as a statement of fact without having qualified it as your “opinion”

    May I suggest you look up the word “libel” in the dictionary.

    Eddie S. Maddock

  15. Sedona Sam says:

    Ms. Maddock:

    You ask the question as to why the entire City wasn’t notified of the project but, I received a mailing a few weeks ago as did all of my neighbors and we live in the Broken Arrow part of town. Comments????

  16. Sedona Sam, I, too, live in the Broken Arrow part ot town and thus received the Public Notice in my mail. Therefore I suppose we must be neighbors which in itself becomes somewhat scary.

    My question to Yavapai County was brought about because I had several comments from acquaintances in the Village of Oak Creek about why it was they hadn’t received the Public Notices. The inquiry was based on the confusion as to the leased land by the SAA from Yavapai County and the ultimate control of land useage by the City of Sedona.

    Please take time to reread the fourth paragraph in my above article.

    In my second paragraph addressing Susan’s second comment, I quote in part “. . . . why Public Notices were mailed ONLY TO RESIDENTS WITHIN SEDONA CITY LIMITS.”

    Do either of you know the difference between incorporated Sedona and the area designations of our School and Fire Districts for which we are ALL assessed property taxes? Have either of you ever observed the City Limit signs posted entering Sedona on SR179, 89A from Cottonwood, and 89A from Flagstaff?

    You and Susan have done me a great service by acknowleding the need for my having written to Chip Davis in the first place. I thank you both for supporting my cause.

    Eddie S. Maddock

  17. Jean says:

    Folks, facts are missing. The deed the County of Yavapai signed with the Federal government on October 31, 1956 conveyed the property on the mesa “as a public airport in perpetuity.”

    Lodging structures violate the federal deed. The FAA has the sole authority to release the proposed 7.5-acre Sky Ranch expansion for non-aviation purposes. Who knows if this will happen.

    Even today the existing Sky Ranch Lodge, built on 7.3 acres in 1982 before Sedona was incorporated, is zoned Public/Semi-public, not Lodging.

    BTW, there are already adequate lodgings, and areas for lodging uses, in Sedona.

    According to an e-mail I received from Mike Raber, there are 2,331 hotel, B&B and timeshare units vs. 6,396 housing units in Sedona–or “about 2.7 residential units for every lodging unit.”

    Compare this with July 2001 when there were 3.2 residential units for every lodging unit. Why won’t the proposed Sky Ranch expansion create a further imbalance and lead to the additional disproportionality and over-commercialization of Sedona? It is hogwash for the City to claim the expansion will be a public benefit.

    Please note that Warren previously pointed out the following biased statement promulgated by the Public Notice: “The proposal may be modified, in part, at the Public Hearing” [next Tuesday], with no mention of the possibility of denying the request in its entirety. I ask, shouldn’t the Public Notice be corrected and reissued?

  18. Jean says:

    The proposed Sky Ranch Lodge expansion will require 4.6 acres of airport property. PLEASE disregard my reference in Paragraph 2 to 7.5 acres. It is incorrect. Thank you.

  19. Tim says:

    ok, what do you think is going to get done with this info? council’s not receptive to citizens if decisions and minds are already made up & impossible to find the old rob adams & the council is all over the place (lost good people that gave up & left). feels foreign to be in my own city now & consider leaving more times than staying & seeing that good win out. disheartening at best.

  20. Keith says:

    Game score Sedona zip —chamber 100–give chamber the city- — peace bliss !!!!! harmonize !!!!!

  21. Claudia says:

    Its been suggested on more than 1 occassion that the chamber (pot) just set up shop at city hall and let the council sell pencils on main street. maybe they can do a better job there. that director jennifer gets more time at city hall than almost the mayor but who knows what goes on behind closed doors.

  22. Sedona Sam says:

    Am I wrong or does the Chamber do more in one year to bring in tax paying tourists than any other group or business in the entire city. I see it as an investment for us to infuse money into the Chamber. Let’s not forget that these tourists PAY 1/3 OF OUR PROPERTY TAX. Perhaps you people would rather see the Chamber go away and the City initiate a property tax that will come out of YOUR pockets.

    If anyone wishes to see where the Chamber spends their money, why don’t you give Jennifer a call I’m sure she’d be happy to educate anyone who calls. BTW, I have nothing to do with the Chamber or own a business in our City. I’m just getting tired of seeing a few people stir the pot with half-truths or out and out miss-information.

  23. Warren says:

    @ Sedona Sam:

    You are wrong as usual.

    A false cause and effect relationship has been made between the COC’s advertising (which the City subsidizes) and sales tax revenue. Our local tax rate is 3%. If the City gives away $100,000 to the COC to market Sedona businesses, tourists would have to spend an additional $3,333,000 beyond what they would have spent if there had been no advertising – just to break even. Unfortunately, the City gives away a great deal more than $100K to the COC.

    Additionally, by the COC’s own admission, the COC’s City-subsidized Visitors Center serves only 10% of visitors. More money down the drain.

    Also, the COC represents only 1/3 of Sedona’s businesses. Giving them City money is unfair to the other 2/3s and is not “equal protection under law” (14th Amendment, U.S. Constitution).

    The tourists you mention who supposedly pay 1/3 of our tax are also likely using 1/3 or more of City services such as sewer and police. For every 2.7 residential units in Sedona there is 1 lodging unit.

    The notion that we would need a property tax if the COC stopped tourist ads is fear mongering propaganda.

  24. Claudia says:

    thank you, warren, for setting the record straight. sedona should be known for its beauty and not the chamber (pot) which is spending most of the money from the city on fancy offices and high salaries. what a shameful waste. a negative example of ask and you shall receive?

  25. Sedona Sam says:

    You make a very interesting point! I don’t know if your figures are correct but, it’s worth looking into.

  26. Paul says:

    Speaking of facts here, has anyone considered the number of businesses outside Sedona (Verde Valley, Flagstaff, even Phoenix, Scottsdale and other towns down in the valley) who are members of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce who stand to reap alleged advertising benefits from the city’s bloated investment?

    To my knowledge there are no restrictions to membership. Again what a rip-off to Sedona, both businesses and residents. Wouldn’t it be great to have a business in Sedona and then have a competing business in Flagstaff overrule what should be an advantage of being in Sedona? Hah . . . Sweetheart Deal but not for local business C of C members. Wake up City Council. But it’s your choice to ignore reality. Shameful indeed.

  27. Warren says:

    @ Sedona Sam

    My figures are correct. I don’t BS or make stuff up.

    The numbers in my first paragraph above are simple arithmetic.

    The 10% of visitors to the City subsidized COC visitor center I got straight from Jennifer Wesselhof herself.

    The number of businesses in Sedona I got from the AZ state government. The number of businesses that are members of the COC is (or was anyway) available at the COC website.

    Lastly, the 2.7 residential units for every 1 lodging unit came just the other day from City of Sedona bureaucrat Mike Raber.

    I didn’t just make an “interesting point”. I told the truth.

  28. For taking time to post your varied opinions relating to Sedona issues, far over and above the nature of my original article, I thank you very much.

    Healthy, spirited, and diverse dialog, in my opinion, generates and stimulates optional thinking, to which we are all entitled.

    So far we still live in a country that allows us the right to speak up. Whether or not it does any good is another matter; however, doesn’t the opportunity to simply vent serve as a huge relief . . . mentally and spiritually? Hope so.

    With gratitude and good cheer to all,
    This sincerely,
    Eddie S. Maddock

  29. can somebody break down those CoC chamber facts and city taxes paid to the Chamber for people like us – how much more would we pay on city property if we didn’t pay the chamber’s subsidy? enquiring minds want to know at bridge and tennis tables!

  30. Allen says:

    I second Sunset comment.

  31. Jean says:

    A wastewater treatment system is required on the public property Sky Ranch leases from the Sedona Airport [to replace the septic system] if City Hall rubber-stamps the Major Plan Amendment. ADEQ must sign off on it.

    The Public Notice Sedonans received discloses 40 new lodging units, a 6000 sq.ft. conference center and a pool.

    Why no disclosure of the sewage treatment plant?

  32. Paul says:

    No disclosure of the sewage treatment plant? Why? Good question, Jean. This looks like a slippery slope (not literally yet) that somehow doesn’t pass the “smell test” even at these initial stages.

  33. Larry says:

    Jean’s question rephrased: What’s the poop scoop?

  34. E.S. Maddock says:

    No, Susan, I’m not attending the meeting this evening (9/18) for the same reason I wasn’t at the work shop on September 13th. But you can rest assured I would love to be a fly on the wall. Wonder why P & Z Meetings, at least of this magnitude, aren’t televised?

    E.S. Maddock

  35. Claudia says:

    too much fuss for nothing. p & z didn’t quite slam dunk approval which is not to say council won’t be unanimous. don’t they need a 2/3 vote to approve CP amendment? no problem. really is community plan any more than a useless meaningless waste of time?

  36. Just like the redistricting of Cornville to the other side of the mountain, The County Supervisors of 4 to 1 will be taking over the Airport!!!!!!!!, just a matter of a few meetings. Whoa, that should round up some votes for bigger and better things down the road.
    Stay tuned.
    Sedona is up for grabs !!!!

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