A Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) hearing on the AutoCamp request to rezone was scheduled to be held on Thursday December 3. At the last minute, a legal issue raised by residents of the area caused the County to refer the proposal to the County Board of Adjustments & Appeals (B of A).
B of A was scheduled consider whether or not AutoCamp should be granted an exemption that allows them to use trailers as housing for short-term rentals. The current Yavapai County zoning code appears to prohibit this type of use of trailers, including Airstreams.
Prior to that B of A meeting, AutoCamp withdrew their initial proposal. It’s unknown whether or not they will revise and resubmit a development proposal.
KSB strongly opposes allowing this development in this location. If AutoCamp submits a new proposal, we urge our members to make their feelings known about the AutoCamp proposal by contacting Yavapai County Development Services at email@example.com.
California-based AutoCamp, Inc. has submitted a Letter of Intent to Yavapai County requesting rezoning of 18.73 acres northwest of Sedona north of Boynton Pass Road from RCU-2A (Residential 2 acre minimum) to PAD (Planned Area Development).
They plan to create a 100-site commercial lodging establishment, consisting primarily of silver Airstream trailers, on land surrounded by National Forest and bordered by the Secret Mountain Wilderness on two sides, as shown on the following map.
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Due to COVID, the County is collecting comments from residents via an online form. Registering your comments via this form will be more effective than sending the County an email.
We strongly urge Yavapai County residents to visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/Autocamp and make your feelings known about this proposal.
In brief, AutoCamp proposed developing 85 Airstream sites, 10 “Park Model” trailer sites and 5 standalone tent sites. All 100 sites will have a fire pit. 20 of the Airstreams will also include a tent site. The proposal also includes:
- A 4,500 sq. ft. Clubhouse / check-in building
- 124 On-site parking spaces (including ADA, loading areas and EV Station) as required.
- Ancillary amenities, e.g. fire pits, shade areas, pool, patio decking, gardens, social points of interest, onsite trails, staging area
- On-site wastewater treatment and disposal system
- An outdoor multi-purpose pad that will serve to accommodate a variety of guest events such as weddings, corporate work space, etc.
click on map to expand
KSB has concluded that the proposal poses grave concerns, and has strongly urged Yavapai County Planning and Zoning to deny this request.
- The parcel is surrounded by National Forest and borders the Secret Mountain Wilderness on 2 sides.
- This proposal calls for a 100-unit commercial lodging establishment to be constructed on an island of land within the National Forest. The rooms are in separate Airstreams rather than in a hotel building, but it is still commercial lodging.
- Each of the 100 sites will have a fire pit. KSB believes that the risk of fire is critically alarming. Immediately north and east of the property, the cliffs rise steeply to Bear Mountain, and include a ‘chimney’ that would funnel fire quickly upward where it would spread.
- AutoCamp will rely on guests to self-comply with both AutoCamp and Forest Service rules to ensure the wilderness is not abused. Sedona’s experience with visitors suggest that many guests will fail to adhere to such rules.
- With thousands of guests passing through the facility each year, we conclude that there will be damage and abuse of the land, particularly creation of social trails and damage to nearby ancient petroglyphs.
- The development will directly and permanently harm the look and feel of the area. The visual impact of densely clustering 85 Airstreams in this mostly undeveloped area will be completely out of place, particularly on the edge of the Secret Mountain Wilderness. AutoCamp has stated to KSB that they are not open to reducing the number of sites.
- The development will add to the already troubling amount of traffic, noise and dust in the area.
- Installing a sewage treatment facility complete with on-property leach fields next to the Secret Mountain Wilderness and proximate to ephemeral washes is troubling at best. There should be higher standards on property adjacent to wilderness.