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Tlaquepaque Village

Coconino County Superior Court Judge Charles Adams decides Monday, July 16, if Arizona Department of Transportation can take land from Tlaquepaque for the Hwy. 179 Improvement Project.
By Trista Steers
Larson Newspapers
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Coconino County Superior Court Judge Charles Adams decides Monday, July 16, if Arizona Department of Transportation can take land from Tlaquepaque for the Hwy. 179 Improvement Project.

On Wednesday, Adams heard closing arguments from ADOT and Tlaquepaque after two previous hearings.

Jay Duschoss, Tlaquepaque’s attorney, told Adams he didn’t have the authority to rule in the case because ADOT didn’t follow procedure. Before a court can rule in a condemnation case, a proper appraisal must be done, Duschoss said.

Tlaquepaque does not accept ADOT’s appraisal because all property wasn’t considered, according to Duschoss.

Adams noted a vast difference in appraisal values. Tlaquepaque’s appraisal valued the land at millions of dollars more than ADOT’s.

Adams questioned how Tlaquepaque’s appraiser came up with some of the conclusions.

William Jameson Jr., ADOT’s attorney, told Adams ADOT is willing to pay $400,000 for the property.

Duschoss also continued to argue the Center for New Age property across the highway isn’t well developed while also insisting it doesn’t necessarily want the road moved to the north. Tlaquepaque doesn’t want its business or aesthetics affected.

“Tlaquepaque is a big deal to Sedona,” Duschoss said.

Duschoss asked Adams to require ADOT to redesign Hwy. 179 and place stipulations on construction. Stipulations include not working on weekends, holidays or Friday afternoon.

Adams questioned whether he has the authority to dictate construction schedules.

Jameson contends ADOT already made changes for Tlaquepaque, all of which required more land from the north side of Hwy. 179.

“We missed the wall to Tlaquepaque. We went back and changed the median,” Jameson said. ADOT also put two left-turn lanes in the median for access to Tlaquepaque.

“The department went out of its way to minimize the impact,” Jameson said. “Any inconvenience, even to their customers, is minimal.”

Adams questioned Duschoss and Jameson during their closing statements trying to understand what exactly each of them asked for.

Wednesday’s hearing was the third. Adams cut Tlaquepaque’s witnesses’ testimony short at the second hearing, June 29, in order to move forward. Wendy Lippman, Tlaquepaque’s manager, never testified.

Adams said he will make his decision by Monday, July 16.


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