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Tlaquepaque Village

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If Hwy. 179 is moved farther to the north, as requested by Tlaquepaque arts and crafts village, the Center for the New Age will go out of business, Anita Dalton said.

By Trista Steers
Larson Newspapers
________________

If Hwy. 179 is moved farther to the north, as requested by Tlaquepaque arts and crafts village, the Center for the New Age will go out of business, Anita Dalton said.

Dalton, who owns the center, said it is already experiencing hardship, and additional impact to her property would lead to the shop’s demise.

“We’re all trying to survive this the best we can,” Dalton said on the stand in Coconino County Superior Court on Friday, June 29.

Arizona Department of Transportation called Dalton as a witness to implications of realigning the highway for the Hwy. 179 Improvement Project.

Tlaquepaque is asking ADOT to prove greatest

public good and least

private injury regarding land ADOT wants from Tlaquepaque.

Coconino County Superior Court Judge Charles Adams heard testimony from ADOT’s witnesses June 15 as well and continued the hearing to June 18. A second continuance sets closing arguments for Wednesday, July 11, at 10 a.m.

According to Dalton, ADOT’s current acquisition of property around the center greatly impacts an already dire parking situation.

“The Center for the New Age never had enough parking to begin with,” Dalton said.

Currently, the center has approximately 20 parking spaces. Up to 10 spaces could be affected without realignment, Dalton said.

Russell Rea, attorney with Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, also presented a plea to Adams on behalf of other property owners on the north side of the highway on how realignment would negatively affect them as well.

John Westnizer, civil engineer and president of

Shepard-Westnizer, designed three alternative routes,

which he said avoided Tlaquepaque property but

didn’t take other property owners into account.

Tlaquepaque General Manager Wendy Lippman hired Westnizer.

Lippman wrote in a letter to Sedona City Manager Eric Levitt prior to hearings, “The bottom line is that we believe ADOT should leave Tlaquepaque completely untouched ....”

Alterations needed for at least one of Westnizer’s options may not need any additional land to the north, Westnizer said. It’s

impossible to tell the impact on other properties until design is done.

According to Westnizer, he presented designs to ADOT during the design phase as a citizen, not a representative of Tlaquepaque.

“I have given several design options to ADOT,” Westnizer said. Some designs were similar to the three options presented in court, and others were different.

Tlaquepaque also called Sedona Mayor Pud Colquitt to the stand after Lippman asked for city support at a council meeting June 12.

Council unanimously approved drafting a letter to Adams stating council asks ADOT to consider all possible route options.

Colquitt said council is concerned about all areas affected, not just Tlaquepaque.

“We’re very worried about the project because of the impact,” Colquitt said.

Adams allotted one hour to hear closing arguments from ADOT and Tlaquepaque on July 11 before he makes his ruling.


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