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. Sedona Dan says:

    In our Sedona lifetimes there weren’t homeless or open air drug users the police or community didn’t deal with. Now let the police do the jobs we pay them for and send drug users to treatment programs in lockdowns and get the politicians out of the way. Learn from Portland Oregon debacle and crisis because free rides wind up in hell. Give them work programs that benefits the community and keeps them busy while recovering. No free rides and put them to work. They don’t want to get better or be a positive in Sedona then they have the freedom to move on because we don’t want destruction we are goodness and light.

    “Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”

  2. CA says:

    To you morons driving around with Biden stickers, are you as senile as he is? Be embarrassed that you’re support of the absolute worst candidate in almost ever if not the likely absolute worst candidate in our last hundred years. Happy Easter or as Biden said “Happy Transgender Day”. That man is a full on disgrace and his family a corrupt national disgrace. The people associated with him are disgraceful.

    I’m a Democrat voting for Kennedy and if I decide at the last minute to do it, I’m actually voting for Trump. He did a damn good job the last time and it only took Biden two years to do what former Pres. Obama said Biden always did . . . Joe can Eff up a wet dream. Pathetic.

    Time to replace that airhead press secretary and dump her binder of talking points in the garbage.

  3. EB Roberts says:

    When it came to President Joe Biden’s handling of the border, 68% disapproved while 31% approved. Of course, those who approved of Biden’s border performance were mostly Democrats, and with a 56% approval rating. Republican approval was only at 9% and independent approval was at 20%. Democrats poll like Sedona City Council bozos.

  4. Inverness and Wildwood says:

    Hola Democrats -My ass is better than your ass!

    I’m voting Trump this time for stronger economy, no inflation, drive my economic gas car as much and as far as I want, and fly as much as I want whenever and wherever I want. Screw you Democrats for being dumb asses because my ass carries a big whip and knows how to make America best!

  5. David & Joyce Williams says:

    Ha, Ha! Finally the arrogance of power displayed by the Sedona City Council is being challenged as evidenced by the 1000 signatures on the petition to make the issue a ballot decision. Maybe our weeping Indian will have a reason to smile?

  6. Trail of Tears 2024 says:

    David & Joyce Williams says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    April 10, 2024 at 8:06 am
    Ha, Ha! Finally the arrogance of power displayed by the Sedona City Council is being challenged as evidenced by the 1000 signatures on the petition to make the issue a ballot decision. Maybe our weeping Indian will have a reason to smile?

  7. Phil says:

    Sedona city council is arrogant bc like all Democrats they need to seize power over the morons who elected them. . Aka Once a moron always a moron.

  8. Sedona Parents says:

    Son home from school and said his school is anti Jewish & anti Christian & anti free speech & we’re proud of him for recognizing American traitors surrounding him like his Russian & Czech grandparents found surrounding them. Leaving after this semester for different school in different state that doesn’t make us terrified they’ll kill him bc of his background & beliefs. FU Arizona schools that two years ago made us proud that now make us scared. We urge parents & families to leave for better states if this next election doesn’t change our 2022 representatives. They came for us & they’re coming for your family & friends in 2025. Look what Schumer AOC Newsom Hobbs Sanders Hillary did & it always begins with traitors from inside, right?

  9. @phil says:

    Now that’s the pot calling the kettle black.. kiss kiss to you Phil

  10. @inverness says:

    You make republics looks like morons with your ass comments… I’m sure it old beat up and wrinkled

  11. David & Joyce Williams says:

    David & Joyce Williams says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    April 10, 2024 at 8:06 am
    Ha, Ha! Finally the arrogance of power displayed by the Sedona City Council is being challenged as evidenced by the 1000 signatures on the petition to make the issue a ballot decision. Maybe our weeping Indian will have a reason to smile?

  12. @sedona parents says:

    Bye bye now… good luck in your new state …hope you find one that fits (deleted by editor) .. Bye-bye

  13. Don says:

    Dear Sedona Parents, your decision to move on was predicated by lots of “@sedonaparents” Hamas sympathizers here. Our family questioned how was it that a Jewish woman was beaten while in a public place here in October! Hamas in Gaza murdered and burned and butchered even babies innocents and hold hostages to this day who’ve been raped and tortured with the world’s blind eye. If you’re pro Gaza you support Hamas.

  14. @don says:

    Dude, My guess is you wrote the wrong thing…Pro Gaza? LOL! Werent you trying to say it a little more bigoted? Like If your pro Palestinian your pro a Hamas?

    I have to admits ive never seen so many vile posts from a wide array of lunatics…..I suggest you act like this in public, so people can put you in your place!

  15. Bill Martinez, Sedona says:

    @Don ignore the clowns and trolls supporting Hamas & take off the black and white headscarves signaling hate for America

  16. PCJ says:

    Seriously today’s Dems don’t represent us, CNN report poll 17% of far left Dems control party —— leaving 83% discontented. DNC lost its way to elitism and anti worker bias, if you’d told me ten years ago that Republican candidates were the party protecting diversity, equality, inclusion, women’s reproductive rights, and fighting to preserve democracy, would’ve gotten an unlikely id now reality.

    #NODEMOCRATS2024 resonates with young, poor, women, people of color because Democrats devolved into power hungry elitists who hate poor, women, young, and diversity successes.
    People see Joe Biden and his government administrative minions as wannabe Stalinists and his government administrative minions as brainwashed sympathizers.

    Senile and incompetent leadership has brought us to the tipping point of democracy.

    “Fear Democrats 2024” best hashtag.

  17. BizJen says:


  18. Myrrh, ASU says:

    show family love

  19. Fred says:

    thumbs up SedonaParents

  20. Sedona Keith says:

    Too many people are in power who never grew up in America understanding our inclusive and diverse culture because they were raised in hate filled anti freedom loving cultures and were taught to hate others or think poorly of others because they needed to kill or maim or destroy to survive in those cultures. It takes a desire to be an American, not an illegal foreigner gleefully pirating and raiding and pillaging this great open hearted nation.

    Americans don’t need to claw away at other Americans because we accept and try to improve our country. Europeans, socialists, Maoists, Islamists, atheists, anarchists, ultra leftists and ultra nationalists, do not have the ability to be successful Americans unless they first accept our Constitution, our Republic, our freedoms, our liberties and our rights are primary to our wants and inhumanity.

    Either be here with respect and honor, or go back home where you fit in and are part of your culture. Americans are a people to be celebrated.

  21. Randy says:

    Keith man bang on buddy and mighty be your voice

  22. S. Blake says:

    It’s my opinion the words above from Sedona Keith are brutally honest. The problem here – again my opinion – we currently are faced with a national administration “presumably” led by Pres. Biden who obviously is intent to ignore long established laws that made this a great country.

    We are now headed for SOCIALISM. But isn’t that what voters chose by electing Joe Biden? The same holds true for Sedona politics. Vote for those who cater to and allow the Sedona Chamber of Commerce (in name only since their members are regional) and we will continue down the path for outsiders to control incorporated Sedona – as is the case nationally with “open borders”.

  23. Liz says:

    America is the best in the world, bar none. I’ve traveled my entire life and there’s no place like this nation. Not an American born or naturalized citizen, no vote for you.

  24. Gold says:

    Iran declares war on Israel just now and you can watch Islam murder Jews live on tv!

  25. JTP says:

    Oh hell I can’t wait to see what our dumbass president does next

  26. Ingrid, Camp Verde AZ says:

    Pray for peace this Sunday morning. May God’s mercy shine on us. Please go to a church or place of worship and join in this weekend’s global prayer days.

  27. Stinger says:

    100% agreement

  28. Sean says:

    @jpt . he bent over to Ayatollah Khomeini .

  29. Normalize Sedona says:

    Yay Keith bold truth

  30. Celebrate says:

    Anti Jews blocking bridges and tunnels disrupting roads now like SF Golden Gate shut down and across nation pro Islam are celebrating with dancing in the streets that Iran is bombing Israel and shutting down American businesses and schools and emergency services etc. America did a good job spreading Jew hate to our children with special thanks to left leaning politicians and teachers and unions keeping Biden administration from letting Israel retaliate for Iranian bombing. Love President Biden anti Israel beliefs and President Biden claims victory over Israel aggression. Heard O’Hare airport has been shut down by anti Jew protestors!

  31. Bob, West Sedona says:

    NYC should be granted its own statehood and never should DC while the rest of NY remain as New York State. We don’t need NYC having power over state and they can be responsible for their own mistakes.

  32. Earth Mover says:

    In 3 words, COUNTING THE VOTES. More people in a district, the more votes they get in congress by population, and the more fed and state money your politicians can dip into for their favorite donors and constituents. Nothing to do with affordable housing and all to do with developers and landlords building it and reaping what free tax money sows.

  33. Tina says:

    welcome back

  34. Marge M. says:

    The written silence was defintely deafening (in its own way) during the time Sedona Eye web site was not acceessible. I rely on accurate accounts of city events without bias opinions (except in the fascinating and numerous commets.) Lots of action.

  35. Verna Marie says:

    In the last 6 months, Israel has been to hell & back.
    America must stand with our allies in their time of need.

  36. Marge M. says:

    Marge M. says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    April 20, 2024 at 9:31 am
    The written silence was defintely deafening (in its own way) during the time Sedona Eye web site was not acceessible. I rely on accurate accounts of city events without bias opinions (except in the fascinating and numerous commets.) Lots of action.

  37. Sedona Dennis says:

    In my opinion the words from Sedona Keith are brutally honest too. The problem is we have a President who obviously is intent to ignore long established laws that made this a great country, and why?

    The same is true for Sedona politics.

    Votes for those catering to and allowing the Sedona Chamber of Commerce to open membership outside its city limits is similar to Biden Administration catering to people breaking our laws by crossing into US and getting to collect government checks. And live with the consequences of too many in too fragile an environment and being told you’re xenophobic. Laughing at city.

  38. WAWjr8 says:

    Wise up! lackeys living here fear every eye on Sedona power, ignorances ignored are paid for in the end. Federal government handing out millions of your taxes to communities for tiny house projects, ask why? Mobile homes are economically better made, transportable with full modern kitchens and full bathrooms, washers and dryers and AC and Heat pump systems, full sewage and water hookups, hitches and trailers, delivered and set up by companies at minimal charges and require the same square footage for land use because tiny houses don’t have sewer hookups but use chemical toilets, no washer and dryers, small RV kitchen sinks and tiny fridges.

    Mobile homes house families with 2 or 3 bedrooms and are fully furnished. Tiny houses sleep one to two people and in the pioneer days and today are the size of a horse stall!
    Feds are spending millions on tiny houses while American manufacturers of mobile homes are being kept out of the market by this administration.
    Who do the tiny houses benefit and why prefer them in your community? If every Sedona property with 1/4 acre or more built a shed with AC and hooked it up to their property sewage and water system, no need for government intervention or community planning.
    Restrict tiny houses to maximum two people occupancy and landlords required to do credit, police background check, and signed rental agreements. Why can’t Sedona taxpayers be responsible to question the city when ideas are proposed? Eh? Mobile homes house families with children in schools and parents working locally.
    Tiny houses offer no benefit for Sedona except city coffers and largesse getting Fed tax money we don’t need. Let the people vote and be responsible.

  39. Dharmah says:

    poorly run & managed city

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