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Sathcupa plan cuts venue to 1,200 seats, adds art and convention space.
By Trista Steers
Larson Newspapers
________________


Sathcupa has gone into escrow with Fitch Industries for the land containing the Sedona Cultural Park, and has submitted an entirely new plan amendment proposal that it feels the community may find more favorable.

“It [the new proposal] strongly retains the original arts mission and much of the original plan,” Sathcupa Communications Consultant Susan Solomon said.

The submittal Thursday, Oct. 5, came 17 days after Sathcupa asked the Planning and Zoning Commission for a 10-day extension.

In the new proposal, Sathcupa states it will be working with Fitch Industries in a two-phase process to redevelop the land.

Fitch Industries, a family-owned and operated corporation, owns Prescott Lakes Senior Community in Prescott, among other senior communities.

Currently, Sathcupa and Fitch are working together because if Fitch’s offer is accepted, the sale won’t occur until the end of 2006 or the beginning of 2007.

The Planning and Zoning commission initially awarded Sathcupa 10 additional days for revision at its meeting Sept. 19.

The proposal Sathcupa had at that time asked that the Community Plan Future Land Use Map designation of the land be changed from “public/semi-public” to “single-family very low density residential.”

If the Planning and Zoning Commission had recommended this amendment for approval and it gained City Council’s approval, it would have eliminated the possibility of retaining any sort of arts venue.

Sathcupa turned in a new proposal Monday, Oct. 2 and then yet another revised version Thursday.

Senior Planner for Long Range Planning Mike Raber said the extra seven days was added to their extension because Planning and Zoning’s review of the proposal was changed from Nov. 2 to Nov. 6.

“It [the extension] allowed Sathcupa to give many more additional benefits to the city and the citizens,” Solomon said.

After Sathcupa resubmitted their proposal on Monday, they met with city staff to discuss the plan before submitting the third proposal.

“There were some things we didn’t quite understand,” Raber said.

The new plan calls for the property to be divided into two sections of approximately the same amount of acreage.

Phase I deals with the land the amphitheater sits on and the surrounding area, which is the property addressed by the proposal.

The remaining land would be included in Phase II. This section is not included in the proposal that the commission will see in November. Its designation will be addressed in 2007.

Each phase consists of approximately half of the 44 acres.

The proposal asks that the land in Phase I be designated “planned area” to include the existing amphitheater with the addition of an indoor performing arts center and Sedona Village.

This would allow denser lot coverage than the current designation.

In the plan, the amphitheater would be redeveloped to include only 1,200 seats and, according to Sathcupa’s revisions,

partnerships would be sought to manager the facilities.

The constructed performing arts center would have 250 seats. A partnership with Canyon Moon Theatre is currently being explored by the applicant.

The Sedona Village would consist of uses such as galleries, cafes, a museum, a hostel, art studios, administrative offices, a U.S. Forest Service interpretive center and a visitor center.

This component would be used to close the revenue gap left by arts venues, which the proposal says, “cannot be economically viable” on their own.

Commercial uses — coffee houses, ice cream parlors, and a wine bar, among others — would also be implemented to generate revenue at the Sedona Village.

Along with the three structures, Phase I would retain open space in the southwest and southeast corners of the land.

Phase II, to be addressed in 2007, would include senior living facilities, such as apartments, assisted living and condominiums, along with some affordable housing.

No specifics regarding the affordable housing component were included in the revised plan.

A 400-space parking structure is also planned to be built as part of Phase II.

When Fitch does take over, Solomon said, they want to include locals to make it a community project.

“They’re really interested in developing partnerships,” Solomon said.

According to Raber, the city will prepare public notices on Friday, Oct. 6, that will be sent to Sedona residents on Oct. 16.

The notices will include information regarding Sathcupa’s new proposal.

Sathcupa also plans to hold another community-wide meeting at the end of October to present their new plan to Sedona residents.

The proposal will go before the Planning and Zoning Commission on Nov. 6.

The commission will meet on Monday rather than Tuesday due to elections.


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