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Before Sedona City Council can stand behind Fitch Industries’ development of the former Sedona Cultural Park, it needs some reassurance.
By Trista Steers
Larson Newspapers

Before Sedona City Council can stand behind Fitch Industries’ development of the former Sedona Cultural Park, it needs some reassurance.

“I want to believe in this,” Councilman Ramon Gomez said. “I want this to work.”

The concern now, according to Councilman John Bradshaw, is, “Are we going to see this happen?”

Fitch Industries talked to council Sept. 12, during a work session about its plans if council grants the company a second revision to the Community Plan Future Land Use Map for half of the Sedona Cultural Park property. The amendment allows for lodging to be built on the site.

Council will make its decision Tuesday, Sept. 25.

Monty Fitch, Fitch Industries executive administrator, told council that Fitch Industries as already had two offers, both of which included a considerable profit for the company, but Fitch Industries turned them down. Fitch Industries is devoted to the project.

Bradshaw said that if Fitch is serious, he’s excited the city has a developer willing to do what Fitch Industries plans to do.

Council approved a plan amendment for Fitch Industries in November 2006 allowing for commercial, live/work units, a convention center and operation of the amphitheater. Council removed lodging from the list of uses because it was added toward the end of the amendment process. Council didn’t feel the public had adequate

time to comment on that component.

Fitch Industries came back with a second amendment last spring, which includes lodging, because it said lodging is needed to make the project economically viable.

Fitch said the amphitheater, conference center and lodging facility will work fluidly.

City Director of Community Development John O’Brien said city staff had three concerns about the development. Concerns include uncertainty about the northern half of the property, city commitment to limiting commercial use next to U.S. Forest Service land and that the development doesn’t fit with the original mission for the property.

Bradshaw agreed that it’s hard to get over the development not fitting the community’s wish for the property to be used simply to promote the arts, but the city needs to.

“That vision, even though it was nice, is not ever going to happen,” Bradshaw said.

Council members asked Fitch specific questions about the development but city Senior Planner Mike Raber said right now, council’s main concern is the overall lodging concept. Details are hammered about during the rezoning process.

Mayor Pud Colquitt said she’s concerned about the development. Fitch Industries constantly changes its plan and it has been hard to get information.

Colquitt said she was led to believe last November that if council gave a little, Fitch Industries would be able to get started. Now, Fitch Industries

is still waiting to close

escrow.

Fitch said escrow is set to close Thursday, Sept. 27.

Proximity to USFS land, density and uncertainty of Fitch Industries’ intentions for the entire parcel also concern her, Colquitt said.

Council makes its decision at its regular meeting Tuesday, Sept. 25.



Trista Steers can be reached
at 282-7795, Ext. 129, or
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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