County use permit process ensures community & traffic standards

Tom Graham, President, Big Park Regional Coordination Council

Tom Graham, President, Big Park Regional Coordination Council

The Big Park Council received from Yavapai County an application for a “Master Sign Program Use Permit” on the Sedona Vista Village property at the northeast side of the SR 179 and Jacks Canyon Road intersection.

The council referred this process to its Planning & Zoning Committee for Council to review and recommend at our July 12 meeting.

Since February 2017, when the applicant (Marty Aronsen, owner of Sedona Vista Village) purchased the old Sedona Outlet Mall property, he submitted a usage plan to update and build a mixed-use development containing a new Element Hotel by Westin, new restaurants, new retail tenants and updated facades, landscaping and signage.

The council’s P&Z Committee met three times to review and discuss this application.

This original use permit application contained:

  1. landscaping in the excess County right-of-way on Jack’s Canyon Road; and

  2. the parking count and parking ratios within the Applicant’s property.

However, both those items have now been deleted from the application due to a recent email from Yavapai County Public Works indicating the county engineer “will have full authority over reviewing and approving any proposed modifications and/or improvements to the County right of way” and is requiring “the applicant submit a complete traffic impact analysis” and will evaluate existing access points and parking. (Excerpts from 5/31/18 email from Yavapai County Public Works to Yavapai County Development Services).

At last month’s council meeting, Aronsen made a presentation about the County’s Master Sign Program and answered many questions.

Yavapai County’s P&Z Ordinance states that UP’s are “provided for instances where a use or uses normally prohibited by a Use District should be allowed due to the unique characteristics of the property and of the surrounding area.”

The UP “is combined with the allowed uses in the applicable Zoning District” and “granted at the discretion of the Board of Supervisors when the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the BOS that any structure or use requested will not be detrimental to persons or property in the vicinity and that it is the best interests of the public health, safety and welfare. Applicant must demonstrate the ability to comply with any specific conditions imposed.” (The preceding are excerpted quotes from Section 582 of the County’s P&Z Ordinance).

The applicant has over the past year kept the community updated with the general concepts of the project and the Council’s P&Z Committee understands the Community anticipates positive benefits from the improvements. P&Z’s recommendation this month to the full Council will be limited to the Master Sign Program where the Council can accept, reject or amend its recommendation. A majority vote of the council representatives will decide for or against the final recommendation.

The council’s recommendation will then be forwarded to and used by the County P&Z Commission, which makes a recommendation to the County Board of Supervisors, which makes a final decision on whether or not to issue the use permit for the master sign program at Sedona Vista Village.

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