Home » City Government, Community, General » Eddie Maddock: Cultural Park Sacred Land, the Unsettled Controversy

Eddie Maddock: Cultural Park Sacred Land, the Unsettled Controversy


SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie S. Maddock reminds Sedona AZ politicians and voters that the USFS continues to protect sacred lands surrounding its city limits. The renamed “Cultural Park” was once part of reservation land, traded and then redesignated by Sedona politicians for “public use.” Developers and city politicians now want to bulldoze and build government subsidized housing on this sacred land citing a “perceived” need for it, just as the Cultural Park was once itself a failed “perceived” city use plan.

Sedona AZIs it possible this small and beautiful dot on the universal map – Sedona, Arizona – has had any issues which have not been disputed at least to some extent?

The story of the Cultural Park has been adequately documented for years now, and yet the scenic land upon which the failed venue thrived – for a short period of time – continues to be the source for an ongoing tug of war.

The birth of the Cultural Park was largely generated by a “perceived” need to hold outdoor annual functions such as “Jazz on the Rocks,” a jazz series whose performances were successfully received and well-attended at the Sedona Posse Grounds Park: Today, Posse Grounds Park remains as the scenic area designated for most Sedona small town events such as July Fourth, however, and in time, the Cultural Park became less attractive for larger and more significant venues with its stiff competition by high-profile performances offered at the popular Cliff Castle Casino.

At one time the Cultural Park was part of the Hopi Footprints Migration Area and considered “sacred land” to the Apache, being part of an Indian reservation. The USFS continues to protect the area from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)) requests, and doesn’t divulge where specific sites are, what was on the property and or what has been removed. Originally designated as “Open Space Preservation/Conservation” on the Sedona Community Plan Use Map, it was soon amended to “Public/Semi-public” allegedly “in order to accommodate the community cultural facilities and amenities.”

Lack of affordable housing has become increasingly a national problem. It has become a high-profile subject not only in Sedona, but the entire Verde Valley as well. Sedona united with Cottonwood apparently, jointly agreeing to hire a “housing manager” to represent both communities towards a successful approach to what was acknowledged as a “regional problem.” On November 26, 2021, Sedona hired a “housing manager.” Does Cottonwood stand “united” with Sedona and share the cost of the service performance of that employee?

Reflecting on decisions of the past, the Nepenthe housing project in the Sedona city limits was approved as “workforce/affordable” and, yet, for some reason that specific purpose must have been left out of the development agreement. Wonder why?

Hmmm . . . that’s just one example of questionable decisions contributing to the present housing “shortage.”  

In addition, over the years relinquishing proposed requirements for Sedona resorts to include a certain number of on-site living areas for employees was jerked around and “alternative” promises allowed for providing off-site affordable accommodations were all too often approved – and then never enforced.

How many of “those” promised alternative affordable facilities actually exist to this day, if any? And now, fast forward to the Cultural Park presently being considered as an “investment” by the city of Sedona for – guess what – to be “rezoned to accommodate affordable housing.”

Since the issue has definitely been deemed as a “Regional” problem, will that same “Region” be required to help foot the bill for the alleged purchase of the Cultural Park by the city of Sedona?

Will the entire “Region” have the opportunity to benefit from more affordable housing considering that people do have jobs in Cottonwood, Clarkdale, Jerome, Camp Verde, and elsewhere in the “regional” Verde Valley?

Will Sedona continue to be the “cash cow” to provide affordable housing for the entire “region” because now it has a “Housing Manager” at City Hall?

Prior to 1993, the Sedona Community Plan only supported USFS land trades for public/semi-public uses, open spaces or parks; Amendments to the Community Plan have served to enable land trades to be facilitated and completed.

It’s been reported that the city-owned land across from the Sedona Wastewater Treatment Plant off West State Route 89A, locally referred to as “The Dells,” will soon be the subject of a study for potential housing on nearly 200 acres. The city of Sedona has budgeted $75,000 for the study – some of which may be done in-house. If that is in fact the case, will the cost of this endeavor be shared with “The Region?”

Because the wastewater treatment location is obviously a more centrally located area has serious consideration been given to working with the “Region” towards seeking a valid direction for solutions, including funding, for solving the “perceived” housing issue? Instead of proposing the purchase of the Sedona Cultural Park?

Why shouldn’t Sedona benefit from contributing necessary acreage as consideration for its participation in a joint venture and encourage other jurisdictions to foot the bill for development of more affordable housing on existing available land? So – it would require approval from Yavapai County. Why should that be an issue when this is also a “county” problem and doesn’t just exist within Sedona City Limits?

 If Sedona can afford to purchase the Cultural Park property, why wouldn’t they consider returning it to the United States Forest Service to be maintained as “Open Space?”  

Or better yet wouldn’t a National Scenic Area designation be more appropriate and also even more in compliance with the Community Plan to preserve open space?

Or maybe the situation might best be summed up with the following words as written by Toby McLeod, April 4, 2020:

“Hopi Prophecy – A Timeless Warning”

“. . . . . .having worried about an impending apocalypse, one seems to be upon us now, as a wounded Mother Earth humbles her human children. Thomas Banyacya usually warned of natural disasters like storm and earthquakes, fires and floods, lightening and hurricanes – clear signs that nature was responding to abusive, careless humans. As I reviewed the two Las Vegas talks I found that, sure enough, he warned of ‘more sickness that can’t be cured for a long time’ during an era when ‘the seasons are going to change.’ “

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) – does that ring a bell?


  1. Truth This says:

    People shutting off tvs +radios protesting against noncitizen visa or H1 muslims being allowed to protest against America while being supported by America.

  2. Walt R. says:

    Just wait until the news spreads about the Cultural Park land – that it will be converted to a parking lot for those folks who live in their cars. Wow such a deal.

    How will the city council & staff deal with keeping track of those who live there for free? Will they hire more city employees to do more studies on the issue – after the fact? Priceless real estate that is also indigenous sacred and it takes a bunch of morons to devalue it with asphalt and paint stripes. Somebody save us from these circle jerks!

    Shades of the idiotic crosswalk at Tlaquepaque?

    What a shame the city didn’t enforce the original building codes, like the one that required resorts, timeshares, etc to provide a certain number of on-site units for workers in order to get a permit. Actually they could still do it by ignoring requests for city tax money to spend on their requested FAVORS. . Like parking lots on cultural sites. .

    And the deadbeats go on!

  3. Ramsey says:

    Sedona’s fading like when the first natives lived and left here —— rocks and views and creek still same! People changed.

  4. Seth Cooper says:

    Gimme a break Sedona council and staff doesn’t care, they want NOW, not future money returns.

  5. Gwen says:

    Fabulous Sedona Excrpt Traffic

  6. ParkSnow says:

    O’H why

  7. Tenley says:

    Ronald Reagan said, “If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” I’m very concerned with the decline of faith in America, and I’m wondering if you feel the same. A more secular America has not amounted to a better America and Democrats who vilified Trump and Republicans have led this nation down war rabbit holes like abandoning Afghanistan and leaving the terrorists an entire billion dollar military industrial complex.

    Look around. Drugs and chaos fill our streets and people don’t seem to fear or respect consequences from dishonorable behaviors. Foreign nations have infiltrated our borders at the expense and behest of this administration and President who is more dishonorable than almost all in decades of history. Enough said and it’s time to vote for United States and that’s not the present administration.

  8. Sedona Pathways says:

    Replay Apple Road Beatles album cover and imagine chamber of commerce crossing that walkway and a huge apple rolling down the street . . . applesauce . . .

  9. Sedona Keith says:

    don’t know from apple road maybe Jordan road

  10. Lou says:

    Yes we’re concerned because without faith and hope are the tenants of our Constitution that every man and woman and child are equal (unheard of in Gaza and Iran and Middle East countries and many others like Russia and China and North Korea). Whose side are you on in your American homes? Are you people insane to support Gaza and the Biden administration? Yes in our homes we think you are and every single one of us is a registered voting Democrat that’s voting Republican until this country gets back on its feet. First bad thing happens in Sedona and nobody will come.

  11. Hmmmmmm says:

    Isn’t it interesting that James comer doesn’t want Hunter Biden to testify publicly in front of Congress… Hmmmmm.. I think you haters Iare gonna have to come up with a new fictitious negativity is! But I don’t need to tell you that.

  12. Cleaver says:

    @SK. Oh my…so so clever comments…NOT

  13. Mills Said says:

    @hmmmmmm isn’t it interesting how you spin and you lie? Obviously you’ve missed the Fox and NBC news shows interviewing Comer and others that demand Hunter Biden testify publicly AND face depositions – you see that depositions are binding – while Public testimony isn’t. LMAO you fools protecting a corrupt President Biden and family. Why? Answer that because Trump isn’t your boogeyman, it’s you and your kind.

  14. Valerie says:

    Lou Lou’s a Lou Lou

  15. PC says:

    @hmmmmm aka Hamas terrorist supporter and anti Israel

  16. @Millis says:

    I spin and lie?! Now that’s a hoot coming from you … by the way I’m not a fan of trump or Biden. FYI. Just tired of the political nonsense. Which you seem to drink so freely?Sheepie

  17. Roger Diger says:

    Why would he show up for a subpoena to appear before Congress. I seem to remember quite a few Republicans defying congressional subpoenas as well..All they want is a sound bite to entice thier Sheepies to send money.. Please get your checkbook ready Mills.

  18. Lydia, Sedona says:

    concept appreciated

  19. @rogerdiger says:

    face your lies @rogerdiger bc u rank lower the.

  20. Brad Tikul says:

    Soros and his gang of radical liberals are pouring MILLIONS into AZ districts which means Democrat party votes mean nada to be sure you realize his minions bought your vote? Koi fish is what Democrats have become for the past decade.

  21. Greg says:

    AZ Governor Hobbs refuses to send help to border patrol with every request since elected even after Arizonans killed, Governor failing to support us here in Sedona and our Arizona counties, Chamber supported her anti business policies and agenda and every business needs to shut Arizona Chambers down by withdrawing membership money, no business needs Chamber social club and don’t shop local.

  22. Harold says:


  23. David & Joyce Williams says:

    Editor, Sedona Eye:

    FYI we haven’t received comments since Nov. 27 and your side panel indicates others have been made. Apparently those addressed to this particular article have vanished. Is there a reason for that?

  24. @Brad says:

    Ok Sheepie… your a hoot. Just keep using the same sound bites fed to you over and over and over and over and over… Hey make my day … post some more of those same old same old, tiresome , negative COMPLAINTS about Sedona next..Please remember however to (deleted by editor). OK. Love ya

  25. Chrissy Class says:

    Snowbirds poop money

  26. David & Joyce Williams says:

    Thank you, Sedona Eye Editor, for allowing our concern to be made public.

  27. Francis M. Foxwood says:

    Democrats party of big corporations funding elections to tune of billions don’t care or support the working people, but political democrats are owned by big media saying democrats love ya peoples and democrats party people stupid enough to disbelieve gas and grocery prices and interest rates they pay that screw the poor and middle class. At least republicans are for the poor and middle class because all corporations are Democrats including big oil. Sedona will build parking lots and blast away priceless views for nothing and no return because of poor city management. Learn to love bad air and traffic is its mantra instead of cutting off the cars (the jerks think green cars will make it all better like it will make any difference at all which is the truth lol). Pray for rain.

  28. John says:

    Ditto Foxwood

  29. FUGUPPY says:

    Koi fish good comparison, throw us crumbs and keep us swimming round and round in a pool nowhere to go with nothing to see or do cept swim and eat crumbs tossed our way to fight over

  30. @fuguppy says:

    Kinda like your same old tiresome complaints here on SE. round and round going nowhere. But it makes you feel good cause you think your so so “woke”

  31. @Francis says:

    How can you say with a straight face Republicans are for the poor and middle class? The Republican party is anti-union, unions made the American middle class! Its the Red ststes that are anti-worker with Right to work laws! Man your out in left field! So who loves to complain about welfare? Who hates unemployment insurance? Who dosent fund Medicaid? REPUBLICANS hate everyone but the 1%. You thing those tax breaks that 86% were the wealthiest people and Corperation.

    Dont try and pass your BS as truth when anyone old enough saw all those jobs go across the sea, in the name of Corporate Outsourcing!….

  32. Ivan says:

    @chrissyclassy Sedona city council Bumper sticker & or theyre updated true campaign slogan

  33. Elf Shelf says:

    Catch up @francis. . . its full steam ahead on getting to the bottom of Joe Biden and family potential high crimes and misdemeanors, Chamber could be next ..

  34. @Elf says:

    Oh we are watching…Been watching for 40 years of “gotcha moments” that just never happen! Like Bills BJ? Benghazi? or Hillary emails? Hunters laptop? Or those truck payments? Still waiting, and we have seen the crimes of the GOP.

    So we will just keep waiting for all your imaginary friends and boogieman!

  35. @ELF says:

    I won’t hold my breath. But you better get your checkbook ready…LOL

  36. Cliff Climber says:

    My opinion and thoughts expressed and subject to being human.

    What about NBC news last night? House Republicans just released bombshell evidentiary bank records alleging DIRECT PAYMENTS from Hunter Biden’s China-linked shell company to Joe Biden’s personal bank account. DIRECT not indirect.

    Give this some thought. White House handlers must be in panic mode to send President Biden to left wing Massachusetts for fundraiser money because the coffers hiccuped after the DeSantis Newsome debate blew Newsom out of running by showcasing his ineffectiveness and lacking as Cali governor turned would be presidential candidate. Journalists saying Newsom’s depth stopped with his aging pretty boy looks and that his grasp of national and local politics are a disappointment, and Newsom wife was right to walk out and cut any further debate short by saying they were done. What a prophetic comment. Damn it Democrats can’t get a wet dream right these days.

    Seems that ‘wall’ Joe Biden insisted stood between him and his son’s business dealings didn’t exist, but we all knew that, didn’t we? Hunter’s lawyers say he’s unreliable as a drug addict for his actions meaning what? Does it signal Hunter will get less prison time than the others if his testimony against family comes out? Does that mean that the impeachment filing against President Biden will move faster or slower than Trump’s? Have to ask to know.

    A common DC saying is ‘you don’t work in government for your paycheck, you work in government for your retirement benefits’. At least be ashamed for your part in this Biden Harris charade.

    All done. Thanks for reading. Sedona Eye holds a special place around here and lucky to see it keeps going.

  37. Jim, west Sedona says:

    (((((@Elf says: December 5, 2023 at 5:19 am Oh we are watching…Been watching for 40 years of “gotcha moments” that just never happen! Like Bills BJ? Benghazi? or Hillary emails? Hunters laptop? Or those truck payments? Still waiting, and we have seen the crimes of the GOP.)))))

    @@elf. Actually Bill’s Blow Jobs plurals did happen and Hillary’s Men Died While She Lied did happen and Hunter’s Cokes n Dopes deals did happen but hey they have the same crime family protection unit LMAO

  38. @Jim says:

    Ok Jim…another snooze

  39. LV says:

    Wow @jimWS fine work bc you said it & rang his bell (deleted by editor)

  40. oh jim says:

    Jim old a feeble? Should we go through this? really?….It was a goose chase after Clinton about a real estate deal that made Clinton’s millions, no? Thats right it was called “White Water” and they lost money on it. And the infamous BJ was from a whistle blower, but no crime, 2 consenting adults!

    Now talk silly about Benghazi? Yes you are correct 4 men passed away, but you forgot the state dept was turned down for more security for that! You forgot that
    also? Did you say anything after GW Bush had more people killed? No hacks like you dont do that, do you?
    HEY Im waiting on Hunter Bidens laptop still? How long has it been now? So another nothing burger hey Jimmy boy? Dont worry that drunk Ruddy will get to the bottom of it, probably at the 4 Seasons landscaper!

    Do you honestly think the GOQP has anything on the Bidens? I sure know if they did they would be all over it, wouldnt they? How about that Comer guy, how many times will he make a jackass out of himself? I know of 4 time so far.

    face it your an idiot you follow every crazy conspiracy theory, and they never pan out do they Jimmy boy? Thats why your full of hate and anger, because it never happens. So keep watching FoxNews, OANN, and Newmax for all your hard hitting lies. And I will continue you shove it up your old ignorant rear end! Its easy and fun with fools! Enjoy losing, cause its sure fun to watch Jimmy boy! LOL

  41. Sedona Keith says:

    @ohjim you’re a Democrat party deadbeat spinning nothing but Democrat liars and lies, go put your pantsuit on and drive uptown

  42. @lv says:

    ditto worthless Democracks

  43. Liza Mac. Cave creek says:

    @oh Jim….Right on!!
    @Sedona Keith…..great intelligent come back..NOT!!!! Lol meathead

  44. @esm says:

    “Hopi Prophecy – A Timeless Warning”
    “. . . . . .having worried about an impending apocalypse, one seems to be upon us now, as a wounded Mother Earth humbles her human children. Thomas Banyacya usually warned of natural disasters like storm and earthquakes, fires and floods, lightening and hurricanes – clear signs that nature was responding to abusive, careless humans. As I reviewed the two Las Vegas talks I found that, sure enough, he warned of ‘more sickness that can’t be cured for a long time’ during an era when ‘the seasons are going to change.’ “
    Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) – does that ring a bell?

  45. Sedona Roxanna says:

    Pearl Harbor Day not mentioned a single time on news or in kids school or during their classes but Mexican flags can be identified DISGUSTING EDUCATORS & DISGUSTING EDUCATION HERE.

    Will be looking for better schools and changing after holidays even if driving myself sucks here like CALI

  46. Bill, Uptown says:

    Noticed the same like no homage to veterans. Shame on Sedona. Flags should have been flying from businesses and homes and lining streets.

  47. @cliff says:

    Bombshell you say??!! Don’t you mean DUD!!! LOL ok sheepie. Get out your checkbook.. can’t stop laughing…thnks for that moron you made my night…Once again LOL

  48. David & Joyce Williams says:

    No big surprise, but the subject of “affordable housing” was on the city council agenda again this week. Same old, same old rhetoric being hashed out by yet another group of well intentioned people intending to come up with a solution.

    Now this isn’t to say that more affordable housing isn’t needed in the “general” area, but it does question the ongoing and repetitive waste of time and getting nowhere.

    If the “city” had been serious then years ago they would NEVER have approved promised development agreements by making concessions for ignoring the need and thus demand a certain number of “workforce” accommodations were, indeed, part of the development. Instead, they “waffled” and said it would be OK
    to provide such “housing” off site – which in most cases never happened.

    Round and round we go when clearly the ultimate service provided has always been to accommodate greedy developers that were never held accountable for providing the needed housing which most assuredly would have eased the ongoing and never solved issue.

    If “the city” (Sedona) finds it a problem to house their never ending need to create new “departments” and thus more employees then, in fact, aren’t they a constant source of adding to the “problem” instead of the foolish and failed attempts to correct the problem.?

    It should have been solved with the development of Nepenthe. If final approval for that project had been for “affordable housing” quite possibly the needed example would have been established to hold developers to the original intent of easing this situation over the years.

  49. Polly says:

    we have arsenic in our Sedona water & getting smog in our low desert & fix that now

  50. Jeanie says:

    Nepenthe is affordable, businesses need to offer to pay part of rents or down payments on houses not city, let the chamber offer to subsidize since they get millions of our tax dollars to create these problems.

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