Sedona is currently over 85% built out for commercial use and over 75% built out for residential use.
Sedona covers 19.14 miles of which 48% is National Forest lands. Of the total area of Sedona, 490 acres are zoned for commercial/lodging. Currently there are 2,527 lodging units built on 187 acres zoned for lodging.
There are still four separate land spaces totaling 56.07 acres that could be suitable for building lodging units within the Sedona city limits. Two of those areas are zoned for lodging, and two would require zoning changes. They include:
Sedona’s lodging unit average per acre is 13.5 (2,527/187). The Western Gateway CFA requires lodging uses for the former Cultural Park to be mixed use development that includes a significant residential and retail component. If the average of 13.5 units per acre were applied to half of the former Cultural Park (20.5 acres) for lodging, that plat could contain 277 rental units. There also would be the potential for 68 units on the former Biddle property. This totals 345 new lodging units. Both properties would require rezoning.
Adding the approved 19 Lomacasi units and the 40 Adobe Jack units, those four properties would add potentially 404 additional lodging units to the current 2.527 presently in Sedona. These numbers do not reflect the 80+ units proposed for the Marriott Residence Inn and a possible expansion of the 52-unit Hampton Inn in West Sedona.
As Sedona continues toward build-out, our community needs to make several decisions. First, whether future new lodging units should be approved in Sedona or should demand for new lodging expansions be shunted out to the Village of Oak Creek, Cottonwood and Camp Verde? A second question revolves around what type of lodging we should be approving, high-end lodging or inexpensive motels.
There may be little Sedona can do other than encourage developers to build high-end accommodations on those areas already zoned for lodging. Sedona is not required to change property zoning for the sole purpose of making private property more valuable. In granting rezoning for lodging units on both the former Cultural Park and Biddles property, the city needs to hold out for developments that would provide the most benefits for Sedona.
The reality is that developers will build lodging units, if not in Sedona, then in surrounding communities. Forcing lodging developments to locate outside the city limits may only reduce potential new tax revenue and aggravate our already high day trip visitor traffic.