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reserve05 5-4222.jpgCole Sedona Preserve may not own a small portion of land it recently traded to the city of Sedona in lieu of development impact fees. Sedona City Council voted 4-3 in May to accept 7.8 acres of creekfront property, forfeiting approximately $854,000 in parks and recreation development fees.

By Trista Steers
Larson Newspapers
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Cole Sedona Preserve may not own a small portion of land it recently traded to the city of Sedona in lieu of development impact fees.

Sedona City Council voted 4-3 in May to accept 7.8 acres of creekfront property, forfeiting approximately $854,000 in parks and recreation development fees.

Mayor Pud Colquitt and Councilmen Rob Adams and Harvey Stearn voted against accepting the property.

At council’s meeting Tuesday, July 10, City Attorney Mike Goimarac told council a third party submitted a claim of adverse possession against Cole Sedona Preserve for 4,577 square feet.

Council did not take any action Tuesday because Vice Mayor Jerry Frey and Councilwoman Nancy Scagnelli were absent.

A letter from Goodyear 93, the party claming a portion of the property, dated April 18, informed Cole Sedona Preserve of the claim.

Cole Sedona Preserve didn’t notify the city of the claim until the first week of June, a month after council accepted the property.

Scott Cole, owner of Cole Sedona Preserve, called Director of Community Development John O’Brien at the beginning of June. Goimarac said Cole’s phone call was the first the city heard of the claim.

A week later, the city received a letter from Goodyear 93.

Goimarac said Cole told him he didn’t give the claim much merit and therefore didn’t notify the city.

“I don’t think it was his decision to make,” Adams said.

Neither Cole, nor a representative from Cole Sedona Preserve, attended Tuesday’s meeting.

“I don’t accept their [Cole Sedona Preserve] lame excuses,” Colquitt said.

Councilman Ramon Gomez said Cole’s secrecy calls into question his intentions and there is no way to know how the claim would have affected council’s decision to accept the property.

City Manager Eric Levitt said he doesn’t think Cole had ill intentions.

“I do believe he did think this wasn’t a big deal,” Levitt said. “I don’t think he was trying to deceive us.”

In an e-mail to the city Monday, July 9, Cole said the property in question is a little more than 1 percent of the total. Cole attached an agreement he hopes the city accepts, allowing him to deal with the issue.

The agreement gives Cole the discretion to handle the claim while the city still agrees to accept the property. If Goodyear 93 prevails, Cole’s agreement says Cole will pay the city the appraised value of the property in question.

In light of the 4-3 vote approving acceptance, Stearn said he wanted to defer the item until Scagnelli and Frey return. Other council members agreed.

According to Goimarac, Cole doesn’t agree with the claim and it will probably have to be settled in court.

Council will revisit the issue at a future meeting where it will decide how to handle the issue.


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