Think of it as the Sedona City Council’s wish list to Santa Claus. Well, sort of. During a special six-hour meeting on Dec. 14, in which several topics were discussed, council went over its current list of priorities for Fiscal Year 2017-18, which ends Saturday, June 30.
The list is voted upon and finalized around the time of the budget. These aren’t the only items the city is handling but it gives staff a good idea of what council would like to see addressed in the upcoming year. Those items are then categorized by council as being of high, medium and low priority.
The current list of council priorities, as modified during last week’s meeting, for FY 2017-2018 include:
- Complete various traffic improvements
- Land Development Code update n Revise city sign code
- Sustainable tourism
- Explore financial sustainability/long-term revenue options
- Update the building code
- Affordable housing
- Soldiers Pass Community Focus Area development
- Western Gateway Community Focus Area development
- Schnebly Hill Community Focus Area development
- Environmental sustainability
- Manage impacts from short-term rentals
- Parks land acquisition
- Construct beautification of State Route 89A
- Alternative expenditure limitation
- Complete Dells land use planning
The items that received the most discus- sion were in regard to environmental sustainability and affordable housing. “I’m very much in favor of really ratcheting up this priority [sustainability] and putting some dollars behind it,” Councilman Jon Thompson said, adding that the housing issue has increased in importance as of late but in the overall scheme of things, pales in comparison to environmental issues.
“As much as I agree with that [housing] and want to do something about it, honest to God it does not come close to what we’re doing to our planet. It’s a long-term game we have to look at in terms of environmental sustainability. I beg you all to believe the fact that this is going on and that there are a lot of people who care about this and want to do something about it.”
While his fellow members of council agreed that sustainability is important, they’re not sure what Sedona should address first. But areas such as water and recycling are high on the list.
In terms of affordable or diverse housing, Mayor Sandy Moriarty said the council’s recent decision to increase the housing density per acre is a start but much more is needed.
“We’re not even close to solving this problem,” she said. “Where are the developers who are going to put up all these houses? It’s certainly important that we did that [increase density] — I never thought I’d see the day. But that doesn’t mean we’re suddenly going to be flooded with applications from people who want to use low-income housing tax credits or Section 8 housing to Sedona because the land prices are too high. But it’s a good start — but it’s only a start.”
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