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One business owner in Uptown is willing to spend a large chunk of change to make his property beautiful.

He plans to take on old building set far back from Jordan Road and replace it with a beautiful complex incorporating the natural environment and pedestrian features.

The only thing standing in the way of this project is the city of Sedona’s Planning and Zoning Commission.

The commission met in May to discuss the project and will meet again Tuesday, March 6, to hopefully make a decision.

The owner of the C-Market isn’t asking for a Sedona Community Plan amendment. He isn’t asking for a zone change. All he is asking for is the commission to approve his design.

Sedona building codes suggest specific design characteristics, which make our city beautiful. There is a reason Sedona disappears so easily into the landscape when viewed from a distance.

Uptown itself has its own set of standards aimed at creating a uniform and beautiful environment for visitors and residents to enjoy.

Not allowing someone to construct a five-story, neon green building in the heart of Uptown is OK.

Not allowing someone to build a small one-story plaza with a red-rock facade, masked parking in the rear and tables and benches for pedestrians is taking the authority of the code too far.

Minutes from the May meeting show even some commissioners felt they were putting the owner through the ringer after he had already conceded to many of the code’s requests. They asked him to again go back to the drawing board.

What he will present at the March meeting is in response to those requests.

City of Sedona staff is recommending approval, but the commission is free to make its own decision, which can be appealed to the Sedona City Council within 15 days.

Codes are useful in creating a beautiful city, and Sedona as a community owes some of its beauty to these standards.

However, private property rights are also important and deserve some weight in the argument.

Telling a land owner he can’t demolish an old building — that doesn’t fit the codes at all — and instead build a complex that meets the majority of the suggested criteria isn’t fair.

Trista Steers MacVittie

Managing Editor

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