The Future Of Real Estate Development In Arizona’s Verde Valley. Democratic Perspective co-hosts Steve Williamson and Hava Derby engage in a lively discussion with guests, Al Comello and Steve Segner, over some of the area’s proposed developments.
Segner is owner of El Portal Hotel and President of the Sedona Lodging Council and Comello is a former candidate for Sedona’s City Council. Both are sympathetic to developers. “I’m supportive of almost all progressive issues. But there is a side of me that will make me sound like a staunch conservative,” says Comello. “I’m a supporter of development.” He adds, “The county is as big as a state. It’s going to grow.”
Segner describes the need for development in the area, saying, “We need medium priced and low-income housing. But we tend to fight every single development. We have got to stop being so negative.” On the other hand, he points to the lack of long-range planning, saying, “Yavapai County doesn’t have a master plan. So, when something comes up, everyone fights it. Development should be thought out ahead of time. Now it’s piecemeal.”
As Hava raises concerns with citizen input, fire danger, and limited water resources, Comello and Segner respond by stating that the County Board of Supervisors and City Councils are bound by state laws which don’t cover those issues. But it’s fair to say that, too often, developers and realtors have helped write those laws as a result of disproportionate representation in legislative bodies.