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Eddie Maddock: Words to Remember

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie S. Maddock offers words to remember about the city of Sedona yesterdays, tomorrows and its now.

Sedona AZ – Anyone familiar with the famous 1938 movie “Gone With the Wind” will recall the famous last words uttered by Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) to Scarlett O’Hara (Vivian Leigh) when replying to her tearful “Where shall I go? What shall I do?” questions with his, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

Scarlett, not being at a loss for words and to comfort herself concluded the famous classic movie with, “Tara. Home. I’ll go home, and I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all tomorrow is another day.”

Yes, tomorrow IS another day. If yesterday is history and tomorrow remains a mystery, then why not consider today a gift? Why else would we call it the present?

So every tick-tock of a clock means the moment has expired, and how quickly that process progresses. Every second ultimately plays a role in the outcome of what that “tomorrow” holds.

Let’s look at it another way.

How many yesterdays have become the today that will serve as the sum total of previous yesterdays?

Here are examples:

·  The property on Brewer Road, purchased by the City of Sedona for the express purpose of becoming a community park is now slated primarily as a parking lot. A far cry from the original intent – a promised neighborhood facility and social gathering place – has become just another of many broken promises and commitments giving false hope and misplaced trust in our elected officials.

·  Ongoing attempts to rezone single-family properties for higher density in order to accommodate “affordable” housing for a local population, in reality, acquired by approving far too many large resorts for which incorporated Sedona hasn’t the capacity or infrastructure to appropriately maintain.

·  A failed attempt, at least temporarily, to rezone other residential properties on Jordan Road for the purpose of accommodating multi-story housing, also supposedly to accommodate workforce and less costly housing.

Recent ADOT traffic studies found the majority of Sedona traffic backs up miles to merely drive through the Sedona city limits, as drivers continue their way through Oak Creek canyon without stopping. Red rock views are the Sedona attraction, while Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon are the traffic’s destination.

There are many other examples that have come and gone over the years, but as elected officials and City Hall staff members also come and go, many previous commitments never came to fruition.

However and much to the surprise of many locals, State of Arizona’s approval of residential/short term vacation rentals rendered them legal, and thus knocked the wind out of the sails of many of Sedona’s most influential sources – with questionable ability – to pull certain strings within the confines of City Hall.

Although transparency had been a key word of intent within local jurisdiction that policy suddenly seemed to have “gone with the wind” when the concept of Citizen Engagement groups was approved allowing selective segments to form and meet privately on behalf of their own agendas.

And what has become with listening to concerns of Sedona residents? After all, was it residents who, in fact, voted the now questionably wise decision for Sedona to become an incorporated city?

Where is consideration for the people living in the Brewer Road corridor already suffering from too much traffic created largely due to poor planning and foolish choices?

Why has it now been decided to allow an appropriately designated church to become a private school to accommodate a selective few?

Why is it the city of Sedona, in fact, has taken possession of the existing Brewer Road School building for their own use instead of prevailing and extending the use of that facility for what its been long before Sedona turned into what appears to be more and more, on a daily basis, as a dictatorship run by those who allegedly “know what’s best for us.” Says who? And people wonder why Sedona’s population is dropping when the rest of Arizona is expanding.

sedona arizona uptown arizona republic photo

Sedona AZ Uptown – photo courtesy of Arizona Republic

Word of mouth still prevails as the most effective type of advertising even in spite of the literally millions of dollars turned over to a regional Chamber of Commerce that, to date, proved to attract nothing more than increased daytrippers and longer lines of traffic.

Those who feel ready to throw up – including more than just their hands – really do have recourses, however, the recourses take unification, cooperation, and, an effort to effectively fight city hall.

Elect council members who will listen to and represent their constituents – over and above the existing business control. Don’t be misled that the Chamber of Commerce, by tacking on Bureau of Tourism to its name, miraculously (maybe, but not legally?) became the “controlling branch” of Sedona City Government. Not true! Keep in mind – it’s a member-driven organization, committed solely to represent ONLY its members, many if not most are located outside Sedona City Limits and DO NOT COLLECT CITY TAXES.  Oh sure – old news – but if something actually occurred to change that scenario it would miraculously become of no longer concern. Viola! It all becomes yesterday’s old news. Or is that simply wishful thinking?

The resistance to acknowledge blatant indiscretions remains a mystery. Is it simply a determination to ignore residential zoning against the will of the residents? Apparently the only way to battle the bulging arrogance recently displayed by the majority of the P & Z Commissioners is to hone in, hire an attorney, and challenge them in court with one or more class action lawsuits. How sad is that?

Still wondering why people are moving out of Sedona?

Yesterday is History. Tomorrow is Mystery. Today is a Gift. That’s why we call it the Present. And then, like a poof of smoke, it is GONE WITH THE WIND.

74 Comments

  1. mshobert says:

    Cowards, whiners and sheeple.

  2. @Sedona Peon says:

    OMG Sedona Peon:

    If you’re not the pot calling the kettle!

    You’re either uninformed, lying or closed-minded.

    What you think was the original school built in 1930 was demolished long ago. The administration building was never a place of learning.

    Why not just admit that you don’t want “life” to move forward.

    You keep saying that it’s the Brewer School location, WAKE UP this building never was a school.

    For some reason, you seem to think that RRS has a RIGHT to that building.

  3. Jenn Walsch Sedona says:

    So, you’re upset because hardly anyone came to rescue the running school?

    Why do you think that the Running School is the be-all and end-all of Sedona? I think that another poster was right when saying that the Sedona School District didn’t want the Running School because they are competing with our property tax-paid school district. The State Legislatures made it very difficult for public schools to compete with private schools by giving them special funding. Now you expect the Sedona School district to welcome any private STATE funded school with welcoming arms???? As a taxpayer in Sedona for over 30 years, I applauded our Sedona School district for kicking the Running School out. I think that you should take a long look at any of the vacant properties around the Verde Valley and ask them why they’re not interested in having the Running School on their property? Could it be the rumor is true that the Running School wasn’t a good tenant?

  4. Al says:

    The children and the zoning exception may now allow for Airbnb’s in that neighborhood. Zoning allowed one exception and that door is now open. Ask any real estate and commercial attorney.

  5. Dave & Angie says:

    Take a trip on Google and here’s what you will find in various forms.

    The Brewer Road School built in 1930 is part of the Sedona Oak Creek School District. It functioned as a school until the West Sedona School was established at which time it was then used as the Nancy Alexander Administration Building, the FORMER BREWER ROAD SCHOOL.

    Running River, a Waldorf-inspired private school established in 2013 had been leasing space for the past six years at its previous location the Dr. Nancy Alexander Administration Building, FORMER BREWER ROAD SCHOOL.

    “That school, 1600 feet north of the church, was built on Brewer Road in 1930 and used until West Sedona School was built.”

    “Running River, a private school, so far this year has been located at the Sedona Posse Grounds Hub recreational room – Sedona city-owned property at the Posse Grounds Park.”

    And it wasn’t the City of Sedona that displaced the “private school” when they turned that once “forever school” into a city court facility?

  6. Ted shovlin says:

    @Mshobert

    Right on Matt. Been reading posts on Sedona Eye for a while now and it appears most comments are from the same 3-4 Anonymous posters who use “made up” names. Which I believe to be true cause cause most are COMPLAINTS or other nonsense .

  7. Jason & Sylvia says:

    @Al ………….BINGO! “…. and that door is now open.”

  8. @tedshovlin says:

    Still shovlin same old same old @mshobert under different name? Stick to the issues. No one cares whether YOU think someone exists or not. This is a zoning issue.

  9. Joe Lee says:

    It’s hard to understand why “Ted Shovlin” and/or “M. Shobert” continue to read Sedona Eye when they apparently find it so despicable?
    If one dislikes the flavor of poison and/or its affects why drink it? The same with alcohol in the case of an alcoholic. Could it be Messrs. Shobert & Shovliln are simply addicted to SE and the truth about Sedona which it reveals?

  10. Ted Shovlin says:

    To the little minded cowards here complaining about the school……
    I think I’ll make a sizable donation to RRS to help them along in thier new location..

  11. Jess Wundrin says:

    Just wondering from Jess Wundrin how come Shobert etal complain about their perceived idea that all comments on SE are from 4-5 people. Rereading the article it becomes curious that Shobert mentions nothing about the overwhelming objection to the proposed rezoning on Jordan Rd.

    Does that mean the standing room only attendance opposing the proposal at that council meeting wasn’t a pretty clear indication of just how popular the idea of zone changes are?

    Please be aware. The Sedona Community Plan is under scrutiny for amendments at a pending update. What a wonderful opportunity for the movers/shakers/money grabbers to use that worthless document for the betterment of their own special interests..

    Stay tuned. It appears the mud slinging has just begun and the current target is the school zone issue.

    A mere drop in the bucket compared to rezoning for affordable-work-force housing which should have been provided by the lodging industry from the beginning of Sedona’s incorporation.

  12. Debra S. Smithson, Chico says:

    I’m a retired central California teacher and enjoy this local news thread that I browse occasionally, after first discovering it in 2018 during a two day Amara hotel visit meeting friends from Chandler.

    Mr. Shovlin, sir, bullying and name calling do not a donor welcome. The proper spelling of the word you used in the comment is their, not thier, a common mistake for elementary school children. An English language tutor would be helpful, if you prefer to improve ones schooling and less bullying. Good day to you.

  13. Marian, Uptown says:

    Follow the money. It’s always about the money at the city. The Waldorf school needs grounds for children to play and I suggest the rezoning be amended based on better information. There is nothing that can be done to make the church grounds safe for children. Personally it should have been disclosed what the Church was getting in rent, and the cost to violate the Eileens’ property rights.

  14. Herlihy says:

    Renovate commercial space with land RRS, Why move out of the hub a perfectly good locale? Rent part of Big Park School building why don’t ya?

  15. Joyce & Andrew says:

    Bottom line? This is all about enabling zone changes for now and IN THE FUTURE! BEWARE!!!!

  16. Well Joyce says:

    It sure makes me happier that the city has the power to change zoning compared to our royal goofy governor who turned individual neighborhoods into mini hotel districts that the city had no control over…..And you want me you be aware?….

    I have feelings both ways on the zoning turning a church into a school, but a church is zoned commercially in the first place!….But then Im not happy another not for profit can rake in more dough that dosent get taxed…..You see I have empathy and try to look at both sides of an issue….What a concept hea?

  17. Mike says:

    It wasn’t the Governor, stupids, it was the Democrats here in the city. There are AZ cities and towns that don’t allow what we have here. Funny thing that Sedona Democrats wanted it but we Republicans in the minority here in this city were thrown to the streets when we were against it. Get your politics straight. These Democrats told you Biden would be better and how’s that working out for you stupids??

  18. RJ, Flagstaff says:

    Think the comment above about church zoning failed to be helpful. This might be better.

    (Begin copy and paste article from Google search about church zoning by providentlawyers.com on the internet – search if you want to know more about church zoning)

    September 21, 2020 |
    Erik Stanley
    Church & Nonprofit
    Like other states, Arizona permits its municipal subdivisions to engage in zoning, including regulating the various types of structures and uses of land that residents within a given “zone” (generally residential, mixed residential-commercial, industrial, and so forth) are permitted to erect, maintain, and operate within.

    Religious organizations can sometimes be negatively affected by zoning regulations. However, there are special protections afforded to religious organizations under both federal and Arizona state law.

    On the federal level, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”) of 2000 established that the governmentis not permitted to implement any land use regulations “in a manner that imposes a substantial burden on the religious exercise of a person, including a religious assembly or institution, unless the government can demonstrate that imposition of the burden on that person, assembly or institution” is (a) “in furtherance of a compelling government interest;” and (b) “is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.” (42 U.S.C. section 2000cc(a)2.). RLUIPA also contains prohibitions against government treating religious organizations “on less than equal terms” with secular ones and discriminating against religious organizations in zoning.

    In Arizona, the Free Exercise of Religion Act (the “FERA”), enacted in 2001, gives the state a great deal of control over a municipality’s permissions to regulate the locations of religious institutions and assemblies and to control other land uses affecting religious organizations. Local governments are prohibited by Arizona Revised Statues section 41-1493.03 from imposing or implementing a land use regulation that would (with a few exceptions) have one of the following effects on a church:
    It creates an unreasonable burden on the exercise of religion of those who worship at a church.
    It treats a church as less than equal under law to assemblies or institutions of a nonreligious sort.
    It discriminates against the church on the basis of religion.
    It excludes the church outright from a jurisdiction or places some form of unreasonable limitation on churches or religious structures within a jurisdiction.
    When a church, ministry, or other nonprofit organization in Arizona finds its zoning rights in question, we can provide the advice or legal aid they need.Provident Law’s church and nonprofit attorneys recognize how essential these organizations are to society, and we provide broad transactional and general counsel services to keep them running smoothly. Contact us to learn more. (End article)

  19. @ ignorant Mike says:

    I just love partisans who are just clueless and stupid….Even lie to try and prove a point…..Sorry hommie it dont work that way!

    Arizona’s Governor Ducey signs SB 1350 into law, prohibiting the ban of short-term rentals

    Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona has signed SB 1350, a law which prohibits cities and municipalities from banning the listing and use of short-term rentals like Airbnb, HomeAway, and others.

    Signing the law isn’t solely about gaining political points, it’s also another step in the Arizona governor’s stated plan to develop public policy in the state that encourages a sharing economy.

    From the governor’s perspective, the law helps travelers who, instead of turning to hotel chains, can inject the profits of tourism directly into local economy by paying locals. It’s a win-win situation, essentially.

    https://techcrunch.com/2016/05/13/arizonas-governor-ducey-signs-sb-1350-into-law-prohibiting-the-ban-of-short-term-rentals/

  20. Jan & Jeff, Coconino County says:

    About vacation rentals. We maintain it was much better when City of Sedona had jurisdiction over the policy of allowing private homes to be used as motel accommodations. The governor’s obnoxious authority completely destroyed the integrity of subdivision CC&R’s. We no longer feel safe seeing a variety of strangers walking our neighborhood streets. It’s shameful to have a control freak who showed so little respect to Arizona voters – a majority of whom elected him to represent US – not a bevy of walkers and gawking strangers!

    The two short term rentals (not Air BnB) of which we are aware on our own street are both owned by people who don’t even live in Sedona! Snatch-grab deal for profits. Funny thing. We often wonder how many of these operations are under the radar and don’t even collect city taxes. Serves you right, Gov. Duncey.

    The upside of this situation might, however, reflect in the moaning and groaning from the local Lodging Council/Chamber of Control. With all the millions of $$$$ the city tossed at the chamber over the years the end result is losing clout of controlling the policy of vacation rentals. A bittersweet observation, but ill conceived plots rarely pass the smell test without repercussion.

    Goodbye Jen & Justin. Have happy lives outside the State of Arizona and, especially, the city of Sedona. We were happy to see both of you leave. Too bad it wasn’t until after you dumped your load of unwanted traffic and uncontrolled daytrippers into our once peaceful existence. Nice job? NOT!

  21. Sedona Accountant Says says:

    Short Term Rentals

    You rent out your place for up to 14 days a year. The money earned from the short term rental of your personal home does not need to be reported as income if the home is rented out for fewer than 15 days. (That’s a hard rule.) A home is considered personal if you live in it for more than 14 days or more than 10 percent of the total days it is rented out to others.

    One thing to watch out for if you use AirBnB

    Because the company sends tax forms documenting the income to the IRS, some hosts may get a letter from the federal agency later asking them to pay up on unreported income. But if the stays fall within the 14 day time period, hosts can explain in a letter that the income is not taxable and attach proof, says Jackie Perlman, principal tax research analyst at the H&R Block Tax Institute. “The better your records, the better your outcome,” she says. (from Washington Post article)

    You rent out your place for more than two weeks a year.

    If your personal home is rented out for more than 14 days a year, then the rent you collect must be included in your income. Because it’s a personal home, your options for taking deductions will be limited, says Jeffrey Porter, an accountant with Porter & Associates in Huntington, W. Va.

  22. Dick, Sedona says:

    https://www.epi.org/publication/the-economic-costs-and-benefits-of-airbnb-no-reason-for-local-policymakers-to-let-airbnb-bypass-tax-or-regulatory-obligations/

    You will find that the Airbnb’s raise the value of your property and that hotels/motels/and otherwise overnight accomodations LOWER your property values.

    That’s a big deal all you screamers here about having short term rentals in your neighborhoods. You talk about 10 room mansions being short term party houses, but let me tell you there’s not one damn owner of a home whose paying its mortgage that would allow trash to rent it. Figure it out before you screw up your cash cows, residents, and need to have more timeshares in your neighborhoods. Every city in Europe does public accomodations in this way, and every house is regulated. You have police and noise ordinances and laws against parties and tools to prevent them and manage them while happening. Isn’t it strange that the government thought for once YOU could handle it without having them and big corporate America doing it for you? Think about it. Maybe you should appreciate your Arizona statehouse before turning it over to Big Brother. HANDLE IT YOURSELF.

  23. @Mike says:

    Mike:

    Can you please share with us what city or town can regulate short-term rentals as you have said above: “There are AZ cities and towns that don’t allow what we have here.”

    This is such an important issue and yet you feel the importance to post out and out lies! This is a partician issue that BOTH parties supported without doing their research as many other States have done across the Country.

  24. Mike says:

    Don’t you stupids look for things on the internet. Stop blaming when somebody listened and made the changes you wanted. Blame city for not implementing what is allowed. Keep it up Democrats because the Republicans listen and you can’t even build back. What a Stupids NYC ad line because it means exactly nothing.

    https://bramnicklawaz.com/uncategorized/changes-to-arizona-laws-for-vacation-and-short-term-rentals-hb-2672/

    Changes to Arizona Laws for Vacation and Short-term Rentals (HB 2672)

    Changes to Arizona Laws for Vacation and Short-term Rentals

    During the most recent legislative session, Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill that directly impacts Arizona vacation and short-term rental property owners.

    With the passage of House Bill 2672, there are now specific limits on vacation home use as well as newly added requirements.

    Here are some of the changes to the Arizona laws for vacation and short-term rentals.

    Current Law?

    Until recently, Arizona homeowners using companies like VBRO, HomeAway, and Airbnb have been able to rent their properties to vacation and short-term guests with little local or state regulation.

    Currently, Arizona law prohibits a city or county from restricting the use of or regulating vacation or short-term rentals based on their classification, use or occupancy, EXCEPT FOR: the protection of public health and safety; adopting and enforcing residential use and zoning ordinances, including ordinances related to noise, protection of welfare, property maintenance and other nuisance issues; and limiting the properties use for specific operations and purposes.

    However, outside of these prohibitions, local governments could do relatively little to restrict or limit property owners uses even when short-term and vacation rentals created tension between community residents and those seeking to generate revenue from their properties.

    HB 2672

    IN RESPONSE, the Legislature passed House Bill 2672 (HB 2672), which will go into effect later this summer, and makes numerous changes for vacation and short-term rentals including:

    Prohibiting an online lodging operator, such as those using companies like Airbnb and VBRO, from renting out a property without a transaction privilege tax (TPT) license;
    Creating civil penalties for verified violations relating to vacation or short-term rental uses;
    Allowing local governments to require that vacation and short-term rental owners provide their contact information or that of their designee before offering the property for rent or renting it out;
    Prohibiting owners from renting their properties for nonresidential purposes INCLUDING for events which would ordinarily require a licensee or permit such as retail, restaurant, banquet space, or a similar use; and REQUIRING local governments to notify the Arizona Department of Revenue within 30 days if the owner has a verified violation of a local ordinance, law, or regulation, and whether a penalty was assessed and the amount.

    Attorney Laura B. Bramnick is an experienced Arizona real estate attorney who can help you manage your Arizona short-term and vacation rental issues. If you are seeking an exceptional, client-driven real estate lawyer in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Sedona and throughout the state of Arizona, contact Laura B. Bramnick to schedule your consultation.

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