In Other News

Opponents of a proposed self-storage facility in the middle of the Village won the battle but will likely lose the war.

The Yavapai County Board of Adjustment denied a request last month for a variance by Big Idea LLC, which was seeking permission to construct the facility with smaller setbacks than required by the county’s building code — 10 feet instead of 20 feet.

Called Sedona Cool Storage, the facility, will be located at 75 East Cortez Drive, between the outlet mall and a hotel. If the Arizona Department of Transportation grants access to the property from State Route 179, the address could change, according to meeting notes from a preliminary code review in November.

The property’s zoning allows for a storage facility to be built there. The building would be two stories, plus a basement.

The lot is long and narrow, which is why Big Idea sought the variance, claiming a hardship.

“The unnecessary hardship relates to the enjoyment of the property rights,” the project’s engineer Tom Pender wrote to Yavapai County Senior Planner Tammy DeWitt. “Specifically, the local residences favor/require architectural enhancements. We are cognizant of this and stand willing to meet their desires. In addition to this, the [building code] limits the height of the exposed building to 30 feet, where other buildings within the same zone and architecture are allowed to extend to 50 feet above grade.

“This is adversely impacting the enjoyment of property rights afforded to the surrounding properties. At this point we are willing to meet these impositions. We are doing so with the hope of relief from the setback. We sincerely believe the issuance of the variance will provide this property with the fair and equitable treatment mitigating the loss of property rights that our neighbors are enjoying.”

DeWitt said she received 25 emails leading up to the hearing — 20 in opposition, two in support and three requesting more information.

The Big Park Regional Coordinating Council recommended that the Board of Adjustment deny the variance because no hardship existed.

The council can’t make those decisions on its own because the Village is not incorporated. Typically, however, county officials give weight to the recommendations.

Pender said that Big Idea is still planning to build the facility with a slight revision to the plans.

“We appreciate the folks in the Village. They want to be involved, want to have something that looks good to them,” he said. “We’re not trying to shove something down their throats.”


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