Community activism truly can be effective in helping guide how development takes place.
The recent decision by Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) to withdraw their plan to develop the El Rojo Grande Ranch property is a great example of how a community can effectively take action.
Dozens of individuals and groups in the greater Sedona area worked together to inform citizens of the developers’ proposal and to mount opposition to that proposal. Over 3,000 letters of opposition were received by the county. Hundreds of activists showed up at Planning and Zoning (P&Z) meetings to voice their opposition. P&Z voted unanimously to oppose the plan, sending their recommendation to County Supervisors for final disposition.
Prior to the final hearings by County Supervisors, ELS withdrew their proposal.
KSB is proud that we played a contributing role in this effort, and we thank all of our members who wrote letters and emails and who showed up at meetings.
Inappropriate development is a constant threat, particularly in a tourist destination like Sedona. While development is certain to occur as long as there’s available land, we need to continue to require that development be in keeping with the nature of Red Rock Country.
And lest we forget – it’s possible that ELS will regroup, revise its plan, and submit a new proposal to develop El Rojo Grande.
Remember – the forces of inappropriate development need to succeed only once. We need to remain vigilant forever.