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Eddie Maddock: P&Z and City Council plan to exclude public participation on rezoning

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie S. Maddock sheds light on the city of Sedona plan to exclude public input on rezoning.

Sedona AZ – With Thanksgiving already on the horizon, the Christmas/Holiday Season will be here in the blink of an eye. Could it be possible our Sedona City Council, City Staff, and Planning and Zoning Commissioners might be playing Santa’s helpers and have in mind a special gift for residents and property owners within Sedona City Limits?

Hmmm – if so, what could it possibly be?

In past years endeavors for transparency have generally been an asset, and beneficial, to council members who frequently and publicly stressed the importance of including citizen input prior to making decisions. They honored the Community Plan and rarely if ever considered major amendments without extensive public notification allowing everyone a chance to voice opinions: Without public notice and opportunity for participation, a zone change was out of the question.

As evidenced just one year ago, November 2018, our City Council joined forces with other local entities to oppose the massive 700 unit development on the El Rojo Property just outside Sedona City Limits.

How would our City Council and those other local entities have felt if they were denied the opportunity to have a voice or say-so in any decision with potential impact on incorporated Sedona? Isn’t it safe to believe they would not have liked or appreciated being shunned?

And yet now, just one year later, IS EVERYONE AWARE City Planners intend to impose NEW RULES which will REMOVE OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC INPUT on issues relating to the REZONING OF PROPERTIES, thereby leaving the decision to City Staff, P & Z Commissioners, and City Council to determine the fate of ALL vacant lots in Sedona?

City of Sedona Council chamber 

It appears such a scheme has been in the works and it isn’t unusual towards the end of a year for controversial (or sneaky?) issues to pop up before the P & Z Commission and City Council when people become busy and begin to plan for merriment and holiday festivities which seem to commence earlier every year.

To be specific, following is the content of an e-mail being circulated, and with the permission of the sender, it is thus appearing on Sedona Eye:

* * * * * * *(begin email)

Greetings Everyone,

You are receiving this email because of the interest you showed last May in the Serenade Apartment Project on Andante Drive. Even though they pulled their application, it appears they are still active. They have recently had a new survey done, are securing a construction company, and who knows what else.

This is Not about the Serenade Apts., but something Much Larger that will not only effect that project, but Projects all across the City.

THE CITY WANTS TO MAKE CHANGES TO CRITERIA FOR MAJOR COMMUNITY PLAN AMENDMENTS.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

It means that City Wide, the Planning & Zoning want to be able to Change Zoning on any property under 5 acres, on their desk, Without Public Notice.

WHAT COULD HAPPEN?

It means that Zoning on projects such as Serenade Apts., (on only 2.53 acres, which would Double the population, traffic, resource use, etc. on Andante Dr. between 89A and Thunder Mountain) could then be changed in Planning & Zoning without notice or input from Residents.  THIS WOULD BE CITY WIDE.

WHAT IF YOU LIVE IN A GATED AREA &/or HAVE A STRICT HOA?
You will still feel the effects of a much higher population, more traffic, more resources being used, etc., without being notified or having any input.

TIME LINE:

MEETING – NOVEMBER 19th, AT 5:30, IN THE CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS
AT 102 ROADRUNNER DRIVE, SEDONA

PLANNING & ZONING COMMISSION MEETING WILL BE HELD TO PASS/OR NOT THE CHANGES TO THE NEW CRITERIA.
( http://www.sedonaaz.gov/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/10465/25 )

IF PASSED DURING THE PLANNING & ZONING COMMISSION MEETING, IT WILL THEN BE SCHEDULED FOR A CITY COUNCIL MEETING APPROVAL.

The 2013 campaign by the city of Sedona Community Plan to maximize citizen participation was not repeated by subsequent city councils in favor of increased high rise, low income and maximum density development and a tourist based economy.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?
*Attend the meeting, and bring at least one friend.
Don’t rely on others to attend for you.  It’s probably a coincidence, but these types of meetings are usually scheduled this time of year when part time residents are either leaving town, or coming back in town (unaware), and still others are focusing on the Holidays.

*Go to:
http://sedonaaz.gov/your-government/departments/community-development/projects-and-proposals/major-amendment-criteria

Submit your comment where it shows ‘Comment Form’.

*Pass this email on to your friends who live in Sedona.

This may be the first and last time they will hear about this.

*Email the Planning & Zoning Commission Members directly, regarding: PZ19-00003 (MINOR CPA) 

Commission members
Kathy Levin – Chair                klevin@sedonaaz.gov
Randy Barcus – Vice Chair    rbarcus@sedonaaz.gov
George Braam                        gbraam@sedonaaz.gov
Eric Brandt                              ebrandt@sedonaaz.gov
Charlotte Hosseini                  chosseini@sedonaaz.gov
Kathy Kinsella                         kkinsella@sedonaaz.gov
Larry Klein                               lklein@sedonaaz.gov

*Remember Our Cities Vision Statement.

To be a city that is constantly vigilant over the preservation of its natural beauty, scenic vistas, pristine environment and cultural heritage.
To be a city that retains its small- town character and creates its man made improvements in strict harmony with nature.
To be a city that is animated by the arts, and lives with a spirit of volunteerism to help achieve our common goals.
To be a city that offers equal opportunities for all and fosters a sense of community.
To be a city that welcomes and accommodates all of its visitors and future residents with a spirit of fellowship.
To be a city that retains and enhances a strong and vital economy which preserves existing lifestyles without exploiting the natural beauty.
And finally, To be a city that lives up to the challenge of proper stewardship of one of the earth’s great treasures.

Thank You,
Bettye

* * * * * * * *(end email)

How many vacant lots, both commercial and residential, approved for higher density development will it take to compete with the previously rejected El Rojo Property proposed development just one year ago?

Don’t forget to take time to think of a special gift for “Santa” when vacant lots in your subdivisions are rezoned for “whatever” and the SR 179 properties – presently zoned Cottage Industry – are rezoned for higher density housing or commercial development.

 

87 Comments

  1. @Sedona Sam says:

    What a bunch of knuckleheads the bunch of you are. If Segner speaks, he must be lying! If I speak, I must be “very good at that in the offices of city and chamber”. Forget about the fact that the truth is the truth and all of the distractions you post won’t change that. You can stomp your feet, you can shout from the tallest mesa about how things must not change but guess what, LIFE CHANGES and so will Sedona.

  2. What's missing says:

    Come on Segner Sedona would have HAD all the affordable workers housing if the Chamber didn’t take the money IMO.

    You wanted a subsidy to tourism. Your business YOUR PROBLEM! Not the city issue worker housing. YOU rode that horse, so pay for your own housing. Oh I forgot so far left you want everything free and controlled by YOU. IMO.

    Overflow rooms is BS garbage imo.

  3. Quality of life says:

    @steve Segner,

    There is something called quality of life. You would have us live in Mumbai (Bombay) with chocking traffic, very low income housing and s*** on the streets. There are limits to carrying capacity unless you want to put up 8 lane roads, like in Phoenix, which would require demolishing your little hotel and estate in the canyon. As you are a good socialist you won’t mind giving them up for the good of the people.

    There are things that don’t have limits, greed and human stupidity. You keep proving that point.

  4. steve Segner says:

    Segner, you may not be the dumbest person in Sedona, but you better hope he doesn’t die.

  5. Dream on says:

    Keep on dreaming and pointing fingers @steve @karen @special interests

    No NIMBY here only those padding their pockets for personal gain pointing fingers at the flatlanders while they run to bank.

    IMO

  6. Dan says:

    @segner Been sitting on sidelines reading comments for a few weeks but you keep playing the same fiddle that burned Rome. No @segner you don’t find it funny that people in Sedona want to stop work force housing. WTF is workforce housing????? It’s a government money pit for you at city hall. I know because a friend of mine on a town council said as much.

    Look at Low income housing $$ in Flagstaff – keep it there because they built future slums – that don’t equate to low income housing here. They’ve got thousands of reasons they have problems including a city government that’s screwed Flagstaff hundreds of ways with their academia directed feel good at expense of others propaganda programs. Privately at parties Flagstaffers lament all the homeless and privately I hope they find (deleted by editor) in their personal yards and doorsteps aka Frisco. It’ll be justice considering their peaks names they’ve destroyed against lawsuits the Dine and Hopi filed that lost and now allow dirty water on the sacred peaks.

    Only a Californian uses the word Nimby which went out of vogue in the late 90s because it was meant to undermine the communities and citizens rights. Look it up. If you can’t justify, then don’t falsify, @Segner.

  7. steve Segner says:

    Dan says: so Dan you think smaller home on smaller lots will destroy Sedona?
    This is not Flagstaff and we have a housing study starting so let see what it says, we need homes for teachers firemen and reg workers. The school system can not keep great teachers and business are closing because of no housing because of S 1350…… The city is working on housing because Sedona will grow and Verde Valley explode in the next 5 years.

  8. Ron says:

    No we don’t need housing for fireman, regular workers and teachers.

    Our schools are closing and most of those teachers already OWN housing. Come on over and ask us personally! I’ve got family there that can set you straight.

    Most of us in Sedona are dual incomes! Regular workers don’t BUY much housing here because 15 minutes away in Cottonwood or VOC or 20 minutes to Cornville it’s a hell of a lot cheaper and better!!! Even Barbara Litrell bought in Cornville before moving to Sedona. Schools there are better than in Sedona BTW and dozens more good kids for sports programs and friendships. Firemen??? Come on over and ask us. Some of us live by choice in Camp Verde, Cottonwood, Page Springs, VOC, etc BECAUSE WE PREFER IT. We’re all dual income homes too. You could give us a zero percent loan and WE WOULD STILL LIVE IN THOSE PLACES.

    911 Center is in Cottonwood. Get it? Segner & city council & staff WE DON’T LIKE LIVING IN A TOURIST TRAP. OUR KIDS NEED BETTER SCHOOLS THAN SEDONA OFFERS & SAFER STREETS BECAUSE YOU’VE LOADED US UP WITH TRANSIENTS. Get a brain Segner. Stop trying to get free money from us for your hotel and restaurant.

  9. Lisa, VOC says:

    @stevesegner S1350 wasn’t even around when Big Park closed. Ridiculous comment.

  10. Sharon says:

    I find you disturbing, Steve Segner. You go on about affordable housing all the time when it’s here in Andante, the same area that your friends are trying to demolish to build unaffordable housing. Where do you stand on those new housing plans that will destroy our affordable housing community here by your cronies?

  11. steve Segner says:

    Sharon says ? Andante, the project I supported is dead last I HEARD. But if homeowners want to sell there lots or homes to someone that will build apartments and it fits zoning and city and P &Z approve than yes I am for it.
    But it is not my call. Building apartments is not bad thing. Lets not be NIMBY’s

    Ron says: No we don’t need housing for fireman, regular workers and teachers
    Ron you says we don’t need, but then goes on to say “You could give us a zero percent loan and WE WOULD STILL LIVE IN THOSE PLACES. So just why are you even commenting about Sedona ?
    So building smaller houses is bad you did not answer my question you just rambled about hating Sedona ….. It would be bad id Sedona had 20 or 30 homes for teachers or police, the city has the money and the land…. The school dist lost teachers last years because they could not get housing,,,, if you do not believe me then talk to the superintendent… I did

  12. Eric says:

    @sharon

    You’re correct. Our neighborhood has nice lots, above par community of well kept affordable homes that can be privately owned. A lot are manufactured and they’re better and more affordable homes than the city can offer!

    That’s your answer Sharon.

    The people wanting to get our land and build on it are wanting to keep us from being owners of our affordable housing and become their renters. Nobody cares for us, the city wants our land.

    It’s their version of eminent domain.

  13. @ steve Segner says:

    What percentage of your hotel rooms are workplace housing?

    Don’t you feel you should provide low cost housing for all your employees?

    Why should residents pay for your employee housing?

    Don’t you have spare bedrooms in your “estate” in the canyon?

  14. John Daniels W Sedona says:

    Sharon:

    You must have been spending too much time baking pies that you don’t know what happened to that Andante project: The builders, who BTW have a history of building good things in your city, did a public outreach and said that all of those houses would remain long term rentals and never be AirBnB’s. Those neighbors said that the project was too large and would cause too much traffic. The builder said that in that case, they would build the legal, allotted 11 trailer units and that they would all be rented as AirBnB’s which those attending said that they would rather have that. Well, guess what, be careful of what you wish for, because you may just get it. Yup, that’s what they’re going to get along with ALL OF THE TRAFFIC that AirBnB’s bring. No community input, No zone change, all perfectly legal.

  15. Steve Segner says:

    John, Facts! you can’t use facts …..Work fore housing and smaller homes will cost the city tax payers nothing, the city has been collection money for years from builders. Sorry just some more facts , just like the one that sedona is supported by visitors. and Sedona now has more Air b&b’s then hotel rooms according to the latest numbers from the city….. yes 2000+ more rooms ….. thanks to our state government. and Yes John now the builder can put 10 or 12 manufactured home on the lot , all painted gray…….A little souther living to Sedona , it will be wonderfully for property values.

  16. @John Daniels W Sedona says:

    thanks karen. you always keep us up on the facts

  17. City View says:

    https://apps.urban.org/features/cost-of-affordable-housing/

    This will show you Steve that it does cost the city a hell of a lot of money for ADU. Staff doesn’t always provide all the data it should.

    Developers pay attention because you are being led down a city road of losing your investment. This is why developers reneged on past promises because they would have lost money on projects.

    History is your teacher.

  18. Jackie says:

    facts are the so call leaders and managers are driving the costs up.

    Sedona has never been affordable and it never will. Sperlings data show housing is more than double compared to arizona.

    If the employers need affordable housing then they should build, buy and manage it. No one forced them to over saturate sedona with too many tourists and no workers.

    City needs to do what they are incorporate for infrastructure.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Jackie says: yes jacky but before sb 1350 and ir b&b came to town we lost over 400 unites for monthly rentals used by teachers and employees…. so we are looking at how to find new work force housing, apartments, small homes or bring back some Air B&b

  20. John Daniels W Sedona says:

    @Anonymous

    Why not use your real name, you are spot on!!!! Use your real name and OWN YOUR COMMENTS!

  21. eEasy Peasey says:

    Stop the chamber give away advertising, tourists drop, hotel room prices drop, Air B&B becomes not cost effective. I tried leasing one of my units as a furnished vacation rental before the Great Chamber Giveaway, it was not occupied enough to make economic sense. When segner can charge $4-500 a night for one of his rooms, Air B&B makes sense.

    The problem is clear, too many tourists, which cause clogged roads and allow high hotel room prices.

    Easy Peasey

  22. Matt says:

    If we lost 400 units for teachers and others, how is that none are homeless?????? Just asking. Seems everyone I ask likes where they live.

  23. Steve segner says:

    Matt, we’re talking about workforce housing not homeless housing workforce housing is for teachers fireman policeman and workers in the local industries many businesses are Not expanding now because they can’t get employees some or even closing think Local pizza chain,the program were talking about is not a homeless program but a workforce housing smaller housing program

  24. Eric says:

    I’m with Matt. FAKE city council news by you thieves.

    City wants to be our landlords because this is all about getting our land.

    Turn off the advertising and our lives will return to normal. Pizza chain? Better find a better example. It isn’t lack of employees.

    We will always take owners of manufactured housing, which looks great these days, but never tolerate our land going to a few developers and local rich guys wanting to churn them for a continual money faucet.

    No thanks. This west side Sedona man loves manufactured homes because they are HOMES, not overpriced landlord rent sucking stacked boxes used for landlords tax write offs and not ours. Let them Airbnb their own homes and leave us be in our beautiful community. Mayor and council, we vote.

  25. Jeff, Sedona says:

    Council Chambers – standing room only with people objecting to this proposal of rezoning to higher density.

    K. Daines Osburn made the point it was staff recommendation to pursue this workforce housing because of the community plan – relating it supported diversified housing! Great and what about the part about maintaining small town character? Oh forgot it ain’t there anymore.

    And if new developments had been held to the specified commitment and provided a certain number of workforce housing accommodations as originally specified, how much of a problem would it be now? But oh no – deals were cut for deferring the obligations. And now they want residents to sacrifice?

    A bunch of BS – solve the problem yourselves lodging council. Your created it so make it right on your one nickel.

    Anyhow good job by all speakers and those attending. At least the commissioners backed off for the time being! Eat your heart(s) out city staff and council who are hellbent and determined to ruin our quality of life? One track mission – No thank you!

  26. Bridget says:

    Yes, Jeff Matt Eric! Standing room only and one loud and clear voice of Sedona unified against rezoning. Power concentrated in their hands would end our Sedona! Calling all artists and spirit filled lightworkers to fight against these power mad destroyers of dark skies and peaceful coexistence with nature.

  27. Sedona Keith says:

    @matt. You in favor of that big el Rojo project & huge manufactured ones applying for 89a outside Cottonwood????????

  28. @Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous not true. The city overstepped and gave a private industry favoritism.

    Now that industry are the ones b******* cause they don’t want any competition.

    But if you look, the hotel industry is buying up long term rentals and making them “overflow” rooms. In addition all the mandatory employee housing was converted to SELL ABLE hotel rooms.

    This is what happens when you gift away and step into private industry enrichment and benefits. Why not have a balance in Sedona? Cause that group that get favors and $$$$ don’t want it. They like it exactly that way. With 1350 a retired person can rent out a room to make some money. Balance is needed. Your favoritism and subsidies has ruined sedona IMO.

    Private industry should pay their own expenses.

  29. Alan J. says:

    @Sedona Keith: Seems to me it wasn’t that long ago when the Sedona City Council strongly objected to that El Rojo project: https://sedonaeye.com/eddie-maddock-massive-sedona-700-mobile-home-and-rv-site-rezoning-near-approval/

    If they go for increased density now, what’s changed except this amendment will directly affect properties within City Limits? Or will this represent a new twist on the most recent $2.5 million city revenue presently in the palms of the “regional” chamber of commerce? Don’t forget about that Jordan Road property “they” purchased with city revenue. $800,000???

    Ya just can’t make this stuff up!

  30. Vern says:

    Nobody in Sedona is in favor of massive manufactured housing projects and they shouldn’t be in favor in Cottonwood or CV or Flag. It requires massive infrastructure costs, minimal gain on revenue, our water issues would result in hundreds if not thousands of lawsuits by individual landowners or a huge civil lawsuit similar to those in other states. Towns and cities would face lawsuits and their elected officials can be held liable. El Rojo wasn’t worth building for hundreds of reasons. This is a desert, legally it retains desert status with the Supreme Courts that are better equipped to know property rights laws.

  31. steve Segner says:

    Vern says:
    Why do you think Cottonwood or CV or Flag. Should be immune from growth?
    Studies show the Verde valley will grow , the growth was only postponed by the recession of 2008. The county will allow projects to proceed if they are even close to the zoning they need. I am not saying I like it ,I am just stating growth is coming. NIMBY arguments will not hold up with the county. The county will weight the need for work force housing and the income it will receive from new developments against the no growth arguments.

  32. What's missing says:

    Here we do again. Cottonwood, Camp Verde and the surrounding unincorporated have grown. They have expanded into other industries. They have not limited themselves. They have been wise to see the Sedona dysfunction and open doors.

    The wine industry is a great example. They have also been smart enough to take advantage of the city, chamber and lodging screw ups. Back in the nineties Sedona got high prices for everyday hotel rooms. Especially during peak season. People paid it. The character of stores and restaurants drove everyone into town including LOCALS.

    Then the city started co-mingling, drove prices up. Starting approving more rooms. The more rooms the prices came down. The art galleries started to leave. Cheap items were put in place. The rents soared and the city made sure they got 3.5% sales tax on the rent.

    Restaurants, galleries and retail stores started moving to outside city limits where they could get FREE city promotion without paying. They could charge the same as in-city while marketing they save 3.5% of the cost.

    Since the city was asleep at the wheel Jerome, VOC, Cornville, Cottonwood grew. They maintained the character and got Sedona prices and had better business.

    Gone are the days were everyone clustered to Sedona. It a good drive through just like the traffic study confirmed.

    Stop with the garabely goop talk steve Segner.

    IMO

  33. Matt says:

    @SCHOBERT is an ass. Ignorant city paid employee or council?

    To the person who asked, You must be joking if you think I support massive developments anywhere. WE ARE A DESERT WITH DIMISHED WATER SUPPLIES AND A CREEK THAT IS CONSTANTLY POLLUTED BY UNCHECKED TOURISM. What’d I ever say to make you think that??????? Manufactured single family homes in west Sedona aren’t ugly, best value for the builders buck, and are SINGLE FAMILY HOMES. That’s what the city can’t stand. They hate manufactured homes because local builders don’t get an outrageous builders fee, etc. Got it? CITY wants OUR LAND FOR THEIR CRONIES. @Eric you got it man, you too Vern.

  34. R. Gajewski says:

    Based on the standing room only crowd at the P & Z meeting Tuesday Matt, Eric, & Vern are correct. I’m surprised speakers didn’t lose their cool and shake fists at the commissioners. A loud message was sent from the RESIDENTS! (and isn’t that who these appointed commissioners AND elected City Council is supposed to represent? Versus what THEY think is BEST for Us?)

    Crock of crap and it’s fortunate the proposed zoning/amendment to the community plan was tabled – at least for the time being. “TIME BEING” – operative words. “They” (city staff) will bring it back and try to push it through when people aren’t paying attention. Wait and see.

  35. Andrew & Sally says:

    @R. Gajewski: ““They” (city staff) will bring it back and try to push it through when people aren’t paying attention. Wait and see.”

    Amen & Hallelujah = SPOT ON!!

  36. Steve Segner says:

    Andrew & Sally says:They” (city staff) will bring it back and try to push it through when people aren’t paying attention. Wait and see.
    I hope they do and and it will not be PUSHED THROUGH it will voted on in public……It is a good plan.

  37. Andrew & Sally says:

    “It is a good plan” @Steve Segner. Do you speak with authority or is that YOUR OPINION? It seems you have much to say about EVERYTHING, but fail to qualify who apparently died and left you King – not only of Sedona but the entire Verde Valley. BTW have you ever considered taking a remedial course in writing skills, including sentence structure and spelling?

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