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Eddie S. Maddock: What’s Next Sedona?

SedonaEye.com columnist Eddie Maddock asks where will all the red rocks go in Sedona’s new concrete-friendly Vision Statement?

Sedona AZ (September 18, 2018) – As the dust settles from yet another conclusion of a city of Sedona primary election, there are those who remain stunned at the results and those who will remain jubilant, for at least the next two years.

Of course the General election is in November when the incorporated Sedona’s hot button will be approval or denial of a Permanent Base Adjustment. A good deal of information has already surfaced relating to that measure – and assuredly more will be forthcoming. Therefore, there isn’t a need to discuss the subject at this particular time.

What immediately is before City decision makers is the ongoing and unsettled issue of addressing an overabundance of traffic. In addition, decisions will be made relating to development of at least two more resort hotels bearing names of national recognition, more discussion relating to land use, creating the professed need for “affordable” housing, and, at the same time, facing and admitting that Sedona is not too far away from being “built-out.” Far reaching anticipation might very well be lurking in the background at the possibility of acquiring more land via USFS land trades, but that might be a tough sell.

Or then again, maybe not…except that revising or amending the U.S. Forest Plan would be an arduous task.

With the core of our City Council remaining essentially the same, there isn’t any reason to anticipate great changes in direction and/or policy. As development continues to commence, it’s likely to become a greater challenge for existing subdivisions to secure the integrity of their CC&R’s in the event substantial requests for rezoning to higher density development on available vacant lots surface.

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It could very well become more important for individuals to monitor City Hall activities for knowledge and peace of mind to assure build-out in specific areas is in keeping with expectations of existing residents.

At the time the Sedona Community Plan was most recently updated, it became apparent certain specific changes had been made. For example, the “Vision Statement” no longer includes reference to a small town character. Rightfully so since Sedona, presently headed towards having at least one major resort at almost every intersection, has long since surpassed that vision.

For the record, following is the updated Vision Statement”:

VISION: Sedona is a community that nurtures connections between people, encourages healthy and active lifestyles, and supports a diverse and prosperous economy, with priority given to the protection of the environment.

A quick rundown of the six essential goals or major outcomes have been identified in the Community Plan as: Environmental Protection; Economic Diversity; Housing Diversity; Reduced Traffic; Community Gathering Places; and Access to Oak Creek.

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During city council meetings it is frequently apparent city council members and staff are vigilant in keeping the Community Plan in focus, as reflected by many references to “the Plan” during discussions. It is fascinating at times to study and attempt to analyze justification on some occasions – such as defending “product development” as a portion of what originally was a “Destination Marketing” contract with a regional, member driven local non-profit conveniently located within Sedona City Limits.

To-date has a clear, distinct, and decisive definition ever been offered pertaining to “product development” as city officials conveniently slipped it into the process?

And is an attempt to rationalize a realistic connection with any of the above to the goals and objectives to the Community Plan a bit far fetching?

With yet another traffic/transit study soon to be under way, Community Focus Areas remain to be planned and developed. Most of the aggressive planning for Sedona’s future will be costly and, so far, there appears to be nothing offered relating to the source of those funds.

When Sedona purchased the former Ranger Station, a 3.4 acre parcel on Brewer Road which includes an historic barn and house, ambitious plans were soon to follow for such things as community events, weddings, family reunions, community garden concerts, dances, plays, movies, historic talks and tours…to mention but a few! However, the latest scuttlebutt is that the Brewer Road property has been extended for use by Tlaquepaque for parking cars allegedly for special events.

The Pushmataha building on Brewer Road is within certified wildlife habitat grounds.

Is such use of that public property even legal and, if so, what are the terms and conditions?

Does Tlaquepaque pay the City of Sedona for use of that land?

Or is lending public property to private enterprises subject to the same or at least similar conditions as to perhaps reflect a temporary gift situation? And if such arrangements have in fact been made…how much damage is being done to the former Ranger Station property and what about future costs for mitigating such damages to return the acreage as suitable for the original designation? How much might that reflect in cost escalation when and if the historic property is, in fact, turned into the promised park? Or after so many years and so many changes in composition of the Sedona City Council will the property the city of Sedona purchased for over market value in 2014 as a park simply fall into the existing forever use as that of a parking lot?

As time goes by, if ever there has been anything consistently rising to the surface, it’’s the apparent change in demographics in Sedona since incorporation. Those who pushed for it did so primarily for the reason of controlling growth and, yes, maintaining that “small town character” which has since gone hither and yon. The new generation, so to speak, turned out to have the exact opposite goals and objectives and, like it or not, that is what you are witnessing.

In a nutshell, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In the case of Sedona, massive concrete developments in many instances are blocking Sedona’’s famous views — views versus red rocks appears to be the current trend. Massive concrete development can be re-created any time and any place. Sedona’’s red rocks cannot.

In general, the new/old City Council has their work cut out for them and based on Sedona’’s registered voters their decisions appear to be going well, keeping a majority of the “inmates” content.

The logical option is to join forces, roll with the punches and extend kind thoughts and good wishes for successful decisions. And the decisions must prove to be in the best interest for the city of Sedona in general which, first and foremost, is its Health, Safety, and Welfare…” with emphasis, please, on Health and Safety.

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107 Comments

  1. Larry in Mystic Hills says:

    @ Carolyn in Uptown.

    Thanks for that info and connecting the dots (deleted by editor)

  2. SEDONA SCHOOL CHAMBER says:

    Why on earth was the Chamber of Commerce staff placing the school budget override signs along 89A?
    They just closed a school and now need raises. The last time they laid off teachers, shortly followed by the pay raises.Is this the standard?

    Chamber has free time to work for the school?I thought for sure they would be busy setting up for the “picnic meeting” on oak creek canyon.

  3. @sedona school chamber says:

    So you saw the chamber putting out school budget override signs aye..
    Wow you must be the roving eye of Sedona. We’re they wearing Sedona C of C shirts while placing signs…

    (deleted by editor)

  4. Fully captured says:

    You have full regulatory capture.

    Kris Kazian, Fire chief works on a Sedona City Budget committee
    Heather Herman, On School Board, Does Chamber advertising
    Mayor Sandy, runs the Wine Fest
    Patrick Schweiss, Sedona Film Festival, receives a grant from the City of Sedona, Married into the Larson family that owns the Red Rock Fake news,

    It’s a big club, and you aint in it.

  5. @SEDONA SCHOOL CHAMBER says:

    That was the craziest post that I’ve seen in months. I guess when employees are off duty that they don’t have an opinion.

  6. Sedona School Chamber - Another opinion says:

    I see it as employees that you may recognize that are employed by the Chamber feel strongly about education and want to help when off duty. I would expect such things from people who live in small towns and see nothing wrong with it.

    It seems like you have a lot of negative energy for living in such a small town. Perhaps an alternative residence should be considered by you.

  7. Sedona School Opinions says:

    I might agree with the concerned citizen involvement comment but disagree totally with calls for any person to relocate with a different viewpoint as it’s a bigoted and bullying statement to smother free expression. My classroom follows the comments once a week and never does it fail to provide fodder for discussion. It’s important to teach how to think even when others tell you not to disagree or penalize you for differences.

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