Comments made during a recent Sedona City Council meeting may have left some wondering if there has been an agreement reached between the city and longtime business Son Silver West.
Several times during the Oct. 25, meeting, Son Silver West attorney Francis Slavin referenced a potential agreement with the city in terms of bringing his client’s business into compliance.
During that meeting, the Sedona City Council voted 6-1 to deny the Robson family a Major Community Plan Amendment to build a parking lot adjacent to the existing business.
“There is no settlement agreement regarding anything,” City Attorney Robert Pickels said Monday, Oct. 30. “We have been working with Son Silver West on compliance with their code violations since the original notices of violation were issued, as we would with any other property owner that is in violation.
“Because Son Silver West has chosen to litigate the basis for the violations, any compliance agreement could be viewed as a settlement agreement. However, in spite of ongoing discussions toward compliance, no such agreement has been discussed with the City Council in any manner whatsoever. Obviously, if Son Silver West does comply with the corrective actions described in the notices of violation, then there would be no reason to further litigate [Arizona Court of Appeals], and the dispute would be settled.”
In June 2016, the Sedona Board of Adjustments said the issuance of two notices of violations by Juhlin in late 2015 to the Robson family were justified. The Board’s decision was then appealed to the Coconino County Superior Court. Then, in September, Coconino County Superior Court Judge Dan Slayton gave his ruling regarding an appeal by the Robsons — finding in favor of the city of Sedona.
On Oct. 17, Slayton denied a request for a retrial in the case. The Robsons now have until Saturday, Nov. 18, to file a motion with the Arizona Court of Appeals.
Slayton’s ruling states:
n Plaintiffs shall immediately cease and desist all use of the property [adjacent vacant lot on State Route 179] for parking.
n Plaintiffs shall immediately cease and desist all use of the property [adjacent vacant lot on State Route 179] for commercial purposes including shipping/ receiving activities and storage and merchandise.
n Plaintiffs shall remove all outdoor retail display area in excess of the approved 5,000 square feet within 30 days. [Display area is now at 16,000 square feet.]
n Plaintiffs shall remove all enclosed retail area in excess of the approved 2,250 square feet within 30 days. [Enclosed retail area is now at 5,600 square feet.]
n Buildings A and B as included on the site plan for the recent applications need to be returned to storage sheds and not retail display or other commercial purposes.
n Plaintiffs shall restore 1,950 square feet of the primary dwelling unit back to single-family residential within 30 days.
The Robsons are allowed to keep the Father Kino Chapel, a converted shed that was approved by the city in 1993, for their own personal use without having to revert it back to a shed. However, Slayton ruled it can’t be for public use unless all the required building permits are issued.
Pickels clarified that Slayton’s order is not a direction to the two parties. Rather, it is more of an affirmation that the Sedona Board of Adjustment was within its authority when it agreed with Community Development Director Audree Juhlin’s original notices of violation.
Technically, Slayton is not ordering that anything be done. He is simply saying that Juhlin’s original action, as approved by the Board of Adjustment, was legal and proper.
“It is always up to the city to determine what is or isn’t in compliance when it comes to the city code,” he said.
In 1992 the Robsons were granted a conditional use permit for their property located on State Route 179. Because it was operating as a commercial business on a single-family residential property prior to the city’s incorporation in 1988, it is considered grandfathered as a legal nonconforming use. However, when a nonconforming use occupies a building, expanding the use into additional buildings or land areas is prohibited, a city document states.
The alleged violations on the property include warehousing, manufacturing, shipping/receiving and employee parking, which are not in compliance with the Sedona Land Development Code.