City News

The Sedona Land Development Code is more than 600 pages in length — not exactly light reading for staff or the public. But by this time next year, that will all have changed.

The public is invited to attend a Sedona Planning and Zoning Commission work session to be held Tuesday, July 18, at 3:30 p.m. to hear about the next step in the update of the city’s LDC. The session will be held in the council chambers at City Hall.

The consulting firm of Clarion Associates will present an overview of draft zoning districts and land uses proposed in the code update. The city and Clarion kicked off the process for the first major update of the 20-yearold code in November.

“The update of the Land Development Code is important,” Senior Planner Mike Raber said. “We are anticipating a more user-friendly document that is on par with best practices for how development should occur and to best implement our Sedona Community Plan. There is also an effort to use simpler language throughout.”

He said the Land Development Code helps carry out the community’s vision of the future provided in the plan, a document that envisions what the community should look like and be like.

“Since this is a comprehensive revision, there will be significant focus on several areas,” Raber said.

Some of the important areas include land uses and regulations for each zoning district as well as the development and design standards overall. Matt Goble and Tareq Wafaie, of Clarion, were on hand last November at a work session and explained what their company plans to do until the proposed completion date of May 2018.

“Is this [LDC] broken? No, it’s not completely broken — there are a lot of good pieces in there that make sense,” Wafaie said at that time. “The Sedona Community Plan is a really important document because it gives you a vision of how Sedona wants to be in the future over the next five, 10, 20 years. The question is, how do we improve efficiency?

“Sedona is very unique. We work with a lot of cities across the country. Rarely do we work with a community that regulates the aesthetic environment in the way Sedona does. And that’s really terrific.”

Raber 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 appropriate tools to encourage a wider variety of businesses and opportunities in Sedona.
  • Reduced 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 to learn about the code and the update process.


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