It appears court proceedings between the city of Sedona and a longtime business may continue.
Last week, Coconino County Superior Court Judge Dan Slayton gave his ruling regarding an appeal by the owners of Son Silver West, ruling in favor of the city.
During a five-hour hearing in June of last year, the Sedona Board of Adjustments said the issuance of two notices of violations by Community Development Director Audree Juhlin in late 2015 to the Robson family — owners of Son Silver West — were justified. The board’s decision was then appealed to the Coconino County Superior Court.
According to City Attorney Robert Pickels, last week’s judgment essentially means that the court upheld most of the decisions made by the Sedona Board of Adjustment. One exception had to do with the use of the shed that the Robsons converted into a chapel in 1993 for “private religious or contemplative purposes.”
The other was with respect to dark-sky compliant lighting on the property. Slayton ruled that the Board of Adjustment had not fully resolved the issues and it wasn’t ripe for appeal. Otherwise, Pickels said all of the Board of Adjustment’s decisions were upheld.
“The city continues to support the legal, non-conforming uses that have been previously authorized for the Son Silver West property,” he said. “Our hope is that this ruling will bring us one step closer to compliance with the conditions that were established for the commercial use of this residential property.”
Emails to Robson family attorneys Francis Slavin and Heather Dukes seeking comment were not returned by press time.
As of Tuesday, Oct. 3, Pickels had yet to hear if an appeal by the Robsons would be filed with the Arizona Court of Appeals. They have until Oct. 17 to do so. If they file, the city then has 20 days to file its own cross-appeal.
Pickels will be discussing this matter with the Sedona City Council in executive session on Wednesday, Oct. 11.
Slayton’s ruling include the following:
Plaintiffs shall immediately cease and desist all use of the property [adjacent vacant lot on State Route 179] for parking.
Plaintiffs shall immediately cease and desist all use of the property [the same adjacent vacant lot] for commercial purposes including shipping/receiving activities and storage and merchandise.
Plaintiffs shall remove all outdoor retail display area in excess of the approved 5,000 square feet within 30 days.
Retail space is now 16,000 square feet.
Plaintiffs shall remove all enclosed retail area in excess of the approved 2,250 square feet within 30 days.
Retail space is now 5,600 square feet.
Buildings A and B as included on the site plan for the recent applications need to be returned to storage sheds and not retail display or other commercial purposes.
Plaintiffs shall restore 1,950 square feet of the primary dwelling unit back to single-family residential within 30 days.
As noted, the Robsons are allowed to keep the “Father Kino Chapel” for their own personal use without having to revert it back to a shed. However, Slayton ruled it can’t be used for public use unless all the required building permits are issued.
In 1992 the Robsons were granted a conditional use permit for their property located on State Route 179. Because it was operating as a commercial business on a single-family residential property prior to the city’s incorporation in 1988, it is considered grandfathered as a legal nonconforming use. However, when a nonconforming use occupies a building, expanding the use into additional buildings or land areas is prohibited, a city document states.
The alleged violations on the property include warehousing, manufacturing, shipping/receiving and employee parking, which are not in compliance with the Sedona Land Development Code.