By Ron Eland for Sedona Red Rock News
It was another unanimous vote by Yavapai County officials.
On Wednesday, November 20th, the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to approve a zone map change for a proposed 154-room Hilton Garden Inn at the intersection of Jacks Canyon Road and State Route 179 in the Village of Oak Creek.
The decision comes on the heels of the Yavapai County Planning and Zoning Commission’s 10-0 vote on June 20 in favor of recommending a zone change approval to the supervisors.
Prior to the vote, District 2 Supervisor Tom Thurman said even if Chandrika and Jack Patel’s request for a zone change was granted, there are still several steps ahead of them, including the building permit process and Arizona Department of Transportation approval. This means there will be additional opportunities for public input before the hotel is approved.
As part of the recommendation to approve, the planning and zoning commission added several stipulations, which were part of the supervisor’s vote. Some of these included that if a hotel is built, the maximum height shall be 34 feet measured from the natural grade, including the parapets. The maximum height for the elevator, stairwell and shade structures will be 44 feet. If something other than a hotel is built on the property, the maximum height will be 30 feet, even if the property is sold.
Moreover, a building permit application must be submitted within five years of approval of the supervisors or the requested zoning of C2-1 [commercial, general sales and services] will revert back to the current zoning of RCU-2A [residential, rural, two-acre minimum lots] — a common provision for zone change requests.
County officials received more than 1,500 letters, emails and signatures in opposition to the project — most of which came from the VOC. Those opposed to the project expressed many of the same concerns they had in June. Garrison read more than 50 names of those who were opposed and wished not to speak followed by more than 20 of those who took the podium to express their opposition.
Some of the concerns included the proposed hotel being too big, traffic congestion, too many hotels already in the area, wildfire evacuation concerns at the intersection, impact on the quality of life, decreased property values, increased emergency service response time, lack of housing for employees and impacted viewshed.
Another concern was that when the Patel’s purchased the land they agreed to the covenants, conditions and restrictions set forth by the Village of Oak Creek Association. The county cannot take CC&Rs into consideration, but it was pointed out that VOCA could take legal action against the Patel’s if the organization feels the CC&Rs have been violated.
Read more at Sedona Red Rock News.