The city of Sedona’s land use planning code includes just about everything from A to Z. But a recent glitch brought to light something that was not included in the document.
Recently, The United Methodist Church had authorized the use of its parking lot at the corner of State Route 179 and Indian Cliffs Drive. It was primarily used by those looking for parking for nearby trailheads, especially the CathedralRock Trail off Back O ‘Beyond. The church had placed a donation box on-site with funds donated to the Red Rock TrailFund, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit that maintains local trails.
However, after receiving complaints from residents near the Indian Cliffs and Back O ‘Beyond subdivisions, the church received a letter from the city stating that the use of the trailhead overflow parking on its land should cease.
This led the city to add an amendment to the LDC to address this issue, which was discussed and approved by Sedona City Council on Tuesday, June 8.
According to senior planner Mike Raber, city staff originally proposed that a church could use its parking lot as an “incidental use” for trailhead parking. That would mean any church could do it without further consideration. However, following the community’s retreat, the commission recommended that a conditional use permit be required instead, so if a church wanted to use their land for parking at the trailhead, they would have to apply. a CUP, which includes a staff review and a public hearing. with the Planning and Zoning Commission.
The new paragraph would allow consideration, through a conditional use permit, of providing parking facilities for non-residential uses. [such as churches] in residential areas to be used as overflow parking for trailheads as long as parking areas are not enlarged for this purpose.
Additional requirements could include:
■ Traffic plan and signage
■ Garbage collection management
■ Opening hours
■ Shuttle evaluation
■ Other conditions to mitigate impacts on the residential area
The question was asked whether or not churches could charge for parking or even have a donation box depending on their nonprofit status and whether a business license would be required to do so.
The next day, city attorney Kurt Christianson said if that were to happen it would be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and would depend on what is proposed. The city code requires a business license to operate a business. Business “means all activities or acts, personal or corporate, engaged by a person or entity – or an agent or employee of that person or entity – carried out for the apparent purpose of gain, profit or a benefit, direct or indirect. “
However, Christianson said the code allows exemptions for religious institutions engaged solely as a place of worship as well as nonprofit organizations that have achieved 501 (c) (3) status, or activities carried out entirely for the benefit of ‘charitable, municipal or public objectives. from which no profit is derived, either directly or indirectly.