It’s now into the final stretch. This time last year, city consultants Clarion Associates started the daunting task of reducing the Sedona Land Development Code from more than 600 pages to something more reader-friendly.
With six months before it’s slated to be completed, consultants Matt Goble and Tareq Wafaie said they’re on track. The two spoke before the Sedona Planning and Zoning Commission on Thursday, Nov. 30, to give another update on their progress, while seeking additional input and direction from the city.
However, the commission was given the update the day prior to the meeting so there was little discussion. But they intend to discuss the matter at length during their Jan. 16 meeting. The three major areas of the update covered by Clarion during the meeting included the impact of development standards on affordability as well as landscaping and parking standards.
Staff pointed out that since there is a significant amount of detail in the development standards, they consider this part of the code as a work in progress with the potential for substantial refinement going into the consolidated draft stage of the update. The final stage of the update will cover administrative procedures.
Goble started by revisiting the goals that have been set forth by the city and what will be found in the update, which is expected to be completed in May of next year. “You don’t have a good, robust tool box in place now to get all of these principles, so one of our challenges is to develop a code that helps you implement that plan but also the Community Focus Areas plan when moving forward,” he said.
The purpose of the LDC is to help carry out the community’s vision for the future provided in the Sedona Community Plan. While the Community Plan is updated and approved every decade, it’s been 20 years since the LDC was updated. It’s Clarion’s plan to reduce the LDC greatly and when possible, replace long para- graphs with graphics or charts to simplify things as much as possible.
“The LDC update is a rewrite of several major sections of the LDC to provide clear and specific direction for develop- ment and redevelopment,” a city report states. “The city contracted with Clarion Associates to assist with this project. Updating the LDC is a major undertaking requiring substantial community input and collaboration among a wide range of Sedona stakeholders.”
Sedona Senior Planner Mike Raber has said the LDC update can also help Sedona meet the goals of the Sedona Community Plan through the following ways:
- Environmental protection: Ensure development standards protect sensitive areas and are tailored appropriately for Sedona’s natural environment.
- Housing diversity: Provide a greater mix of housing types permitted in appropriate areas throughout the city, and reduce code barriers to improve housing affordability.
- Community gathering places: Consider opportunities through subdivision and development to improve public common areas.
- Economic diversity: Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach to development, provide appro- priate tools to encourage a wider variety of businesses and oppor- tunities in Sedona.
- Reduce traffic: Address circulation for multiple transportation modes [cars, transit, bikes and pedestrians] and ensure that future development in Sedona promotes mobility for all ages and abilities.
- Access to Oak Creek: Protect this prominent feature of the community and ensure that surrounding land uses and corridors provide adequate access without compromising the health of the riparian area.
Visit the city’s LDC webpage at SedonaLDCupdate.com to learn about the code and the update process.