After nearly three hours of discussion — an hour of which was from the public — the Sedona City Council voted to deny a request to build a parking lot adjacent to a local business on State Route 179.
Council voted 6-1 on Tuesday, Oct. 25, against a request from Son Silver West for a Major Community Plan Amendment.
Councilman John Currivan was the lone dissenting vote. Both the Sedona Planning and Zoning Commission and city staff have previously recommended denial of this project for a litany of reasons.
The Robson family, who have owned the business since 1980, sought an amendment to the Future Land Use Map from single-family low density to planned area for the construction of a 36-car parking lot on a half-acre adjacent to the business. With the denial, they can resubmit all the proper paperwork for another go at a Major Community Plan Amendment, which are voted upon just once a year.
Robson attorney Francis Slavin mentioned several times during his presentation a potential agreement with the city to deal with ongoing litigation. This could bring the business into compliance following a court ruling that states that Son Silver West, in essence, must decrease its retail space by two-thirds.
“I want to make sure we make the right decision, not the wrong decision,” Councilman Tom Lamkin said. “I don’t want to delay the issue. There’s been vitriol that’s been floating around and some personal attacks on both sides. It’s disturbing in Sedona that we have that problem. I get down to, what’s the truth here? It’s a little hard to parse out. I can look at the facts yet I need to look at what the people want and what the plan states.”
Nearly 20 people spoke during public comments with a majority of those speaking against the business.
Staff presented to the council many reasons to deny, which included the following:
The proposed Community Plan Future Land Use Designation of Planned Area is not consistent with the single-family low density future land use designations for the surrounding properties, including the property it proposes to support.
The proposed Community Plan Future Land Use Designation of Planned Area would allow for other non-residential uses on Tract 40 [proposed parking lot], while all surrounding properties are restricted to single-family low-density considerations, including the legal nonconforming property it proposes to support.
The proposal is being considered in isolation to tracts 41 and 42 [existing business] which are an integral component of the proposed parking lot.
The city had requested that the plan amendment be heard at the same time as the Robson’s zoning change request. They were given an early June deadline and then a two-week extension. The city didn’t receive the zone change application until Aug. 29.
For complete coverage of the four Major Community Plan Amendments discussed at the meeting, see the Wednesday, Nov. 1, edition of the Sedona Red Rock News.