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How do you prohibit trail-goers from parking in front of one’s house while at the same time allowing homeowners and their guests to do just that?

This was a question city of Sedona staff faced in regard to parking in the Rim Shadows area, which is adjacent to a popular trailhead off Soldier Pass Road. The end result — residential parking permits.

The Sedona City Council voted unanimously to move forward with this approach during its Tuesday, Feb. 14, meeting.


A staff report states that due to recent increases in tourism, the number of parking-related issues has continued to increase at and/or near trailheads. Due to concern in the Rim Shadows area in relation to parking issues, staff presented options for solutions to council in November.

Council directed staff to proceed with expanding parking restrictions in the Rim Shadows neighborhood under the authority of a previously-established resolution for this same area. Although it already received authority to proceed with expanding parking restrictions, staff is requesting approval to create a residential permit parking area.

Details of the Rim Shadows neighborhood residential permit parking include:

  • Rim Shadows neighborhood parking will be limited to motor vehicles bearing a valid parking permit.
  • Each property within the residential permit parking area will be issued one parking permit per person for their principal vehicle.
  • Right-of-way permits may be issued for special events. The establishment and expansion of a “no parking” zone in this area was previously approved by council. This request establishes a residential permit parking area in the Rim Shadows neighborhood to clarify parking restrictions and address related concerns.

City Engineer Andy Dickey said the city has been, and will continue working with the homeowners associations in the area while coordinating plans with the Sedona Police Department and the court system.

The report states that in each residential parking permit area, the Public Works Department will erect signs in the area, indicating the times and conditions under which parking shall be by permit only. Those signs will go up within the next month with the parking restrictions in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  

Councilman Jon Thompson asked what type of enforcement will take place, to which he was told parking tickets but that further enforcement can be used, such as towing, as is the option on Back O’ Beyond.

On that street, which is home to the Cathedral Rock trailhead, no parking zones have been established and it states that towing can be an option of enforcement.

“It is a bit of an experiment,” City Manager Justin Clifton said. “We realize with what we’ve tried to do on Back O’ Beyond that it’s not always simple and straightforward. We have a number of tools in the toolbox and we’ll try and use those. But at the end of the day, what we’re not doing is saying that this will guarantee that we won’t have people parking on the roads in that area. It only establishes a law and the ability to enforce it.”

Councilman Joe Vernier asked whether this sets a precedent for other neighborhoods that have trailhead access, thus obligating the city to do the same as with Rim Shadows.

“It definitely does open that door, which is why it’s important that we establish a policy that gives good reasons behind why we pick certain areas to include in this program and why it wouldn’t include other areas,” Dickey said.

Speaking on behalf of the HOA, Craig Sigler said one of their concerns was the permitting process when residents host large gatherings. He said that in the last few months he’s hosted two events for non-profits, each drawing dozens of people who parked on the streets. The HOA is suggesting there be a large permit that could be hung from a rearview mirror and that each home be issued four of these. And, the HOA be issued a block of permits [as many as 20] to be used when larger events are held.

“We realize this is a template and we want to see it succeed,” Sigler said.

Clifton added that there will be room for flexibility to meet the concerns of the residents.

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