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The Sedona Community Plan is the document that guides the city in its planning and what its residents expect from the government. And since the plan is approved just once every 10 years, any changes to it are a major undertaking.

By state law, Major Community Plan Amendments are considered once a year. For 2017, the city of Sedona is considering four separate requests, three submitted by applicants and one city-initiated request.


The Sedona Planning and Zoning Commission discussed these requests with additional meetings planned over the next two months, at which time the public can weigh in.

The four proposed amendments are:
Sedona Hard Cider
Location: 145 Copper Cliffs Lane
Applicant: John R. Graham
Request: Major Community Plan Amendment to the Future Land Use Map from single-family low density to planned area.
Purpose: To allow for the production of hard cider within the existing buildings.

Multi-family High Density Plan Amendment
Applicant: City of Sedona
Request: Major Community Plan Amendment to the text of the Land Use, Housing and Growth chapter.
Purpose: To create a multi-family, high density designation allowing for more than 12 dwelling units per acre for development projects that provide strategies for achieving housing diversity, affordability and availability in order to address local housing needs.

Pinon/89A Multi-family Project
Location: 3285 W. State Route 89A
Applicant: Keith Holben, MK Company Inc.
Request: Major Community Plan Amendment to the Future Land Use Map from commercial to multi-family high density.
Purpose: To allow for the development of a 45-unit apartment complex.

Son Silver West Parking Lot
Location: 1535 State Route 179
Applicant: Francis J. Slavin, Esq. and Heather N. Dukes, Esq.
Request: Major Community Plan Amendment to the Future Land Use Map from single-family low density to planned area.
Purpose: To allow for the development of a parking lot to serve the adjacent conditionally-allowed commercial use.

The city’s request stems from the lack of affordable housing in Sedona, which according to city officials has become worse. To address this problem, city staff is recommending to increase the number of multi-family dwellings allowed per acre within Sedona.

“Housing affordability is a high priority issue for the council and the city, and one of the Community Plan’s goals is to encourage diverse and affordable housing options,” Senior Planner Mike Raber recently said regarding the issue. “The Community Plan’s density limit of 12 units per acre does not align very well with the higher densities needed to create these diverse and affordable options.”

As for the request to make hard cider, production would occur in an existing building on the property. No additional construction is required. A city document states that there will not be any retail sales on the property and it will not be open to the public. The cider will be produced primarily from the property’s 250 apple trees. The pressing of the apples, for juice, will be inside the building, as well as the fermentation process and bottling.

Planning and Zoning Commission will hold its second work session Thursday, Sept. 14 if deemed necessary, and a public hearing on these requests is set for Tuesday, Sept. 19. The Sedona City Council is tentatively scheduled to hold a work session on the matter on Wednesday, Oct. 11 and a public hearing, where a decision could be made, on Wednesday, Oct. 25.

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