Help Stop Sedona’s $18 Million+ Uptown Parking Garage - It is Not Too Late!

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There are are hundreds of homes and thousands of residents who live in the Uptown Sedona. And we need your help! Unless you live in Uptown, you may not realize how a nearly 300 vehicle garage will negatively impact our lives. But, for the thousands of us who do live in this beautiful historic neighborhood district, our quality of life, safety and the character of our community will never be the same because every single one of us must use either Forest Road or Jordan Road to return to our homes. 

Will you sign our petition and ask the city to put residents first and reconsider the need, location and cost of an enormous garage in the city’s most congested access impaired location? The garage would be the single largest structure in Uptown Sedona. We think the plan to funnel hundreds of additional cars and thousands of pedestrians to one of the most congested and worst traffic bottleneck locations in the city will have irreversible unintended consequences. If you agree, there is still time to stop this project. Can you help?

Here are 10 reasons we are concerned about the project:

  1. Why does the city want to build the garage? The reason keeps changing. The 2019 Parking Study said the number one need was for more employee parking.  Additionally, employees surveyed said they would not park in the Forest Road location and then take a shuttle to work or walk. 
  2. The garage will not add capacity: The city says its goal is to create centralized parking not to build capacity. The city intends to end the leases on certain convenient Uptown surface lots and on street parking. 
  3. The $18 million price tag: The project was approved as an $11 million project. In less than a year, the projected costs has grown to $18 million and counting. That is over $66,000 per parking space. The city currently budgets just over $17,000 annually for hundreds of convenient leased surface parking spaces in Uptown. 
  4. Every single resident of Uptown will be impacted by the garage yet no residents were included in the planning process: The process to study parking needs and to evaluate neighborhood impacts did not include any of the Uptown residents. Decisions and recommendations were made by the Parking Advisory Committee and the hired consultant Walter P. Moore. The Parking Advisory Committee included Uptown business owners and their employees, city staff and chamber representatives. Surveys were sent to Uptown businesses and their employees, city and chamber representatives and ten business owners were interviewed. It was only after the Forest Road land was purchased and architect hired that the city asked for resident opinions. 
  5. Abutters filed a legal protest to the project prior to the project being approved. Resident concerns were not properly considered or addressed.
  6. No traffic studies were undertaken after the roadway changes in Uptown: While there are plans underway to improve the traffic and safety problems created by the city’s recent roadway changes in Uptown, congestion was made far worse heading north on 89a into the Uptown Residential Community area. Adding an enormous focal point garage at the primary pinch point of Forest Road will further degrade traffic, congestion and human safety.
  7. No integration with the transit plan: The transit plan was barely mentioned in the special city council meeting when the garage was initially approved. Years of conversation in Sedona suggests that in order to maintain quality of life and walkability, an integrated parking structure must be located in a periphery location. 
  8. Safety and emergency evacuation: The city ignored resident requests to complete evacuation time estimate reports on the impact of an almost 300 car garage at the beginning of an evacuation escape route in an access impaired area. 
  9. The Major Amendments to the Community plan were not fully vetted: The low density residential zones were changed to commercial and M3 Mixed use. To make such a change to the Community Plan, the city must demonstrate the change will not be a detriment to the community and is a benefit. Resident concerns were marginalized and dismissed. There is no documentation that the city ever followed these guidelines. 
  10. Environmental Concerns: Many questions remain about the proposed hillside blasting, soil composite tests, water runoff flowing toward Oak Creek, soil removal process and more. 

How can you help?

  1. Sign this petition.
  2. Attend the city open house on September 8th from 4pm - 8pm at The Hub at 525B Posse Ground Road, at the Posse Grounds and express any concerns you may have.
  3. Express your views! Write to the city council and ask any question that is important to you.  Attend the planning and zoning meeting where the final design will be approved. Attend the city council meeting where the final construction contract will be approved. These are our last opportunities to have our voices heard!
  4. Learn from other cities: For decades, transportation experts have demonstrated that garages located in congested city areas actually increase traffic and congestion. Garages successfully linked to transit belong in periphery locations. Why would Sedona be any different?

Sedona City Council Members:

Sandy Moriarty, Mayor smoriarty@sedonaaz.gov

Scott Jablow, Vice Mayor sjablow@sedonaaz.gov

Kathy Kinsella, Councilor kkinsella@sedonaaz.gov

Tom Lamkin, Councilor tlamkin@sedonaaz.gov

Holli Ploog, Councilor hploog@sedonaaz.gov

Jon Thompson, Councilor jthompson@sedonaaz.gov

Jessica Williamson, Councilor jwilliamson@sedonaaz.gov

 

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