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Residents air frustrations with Sedona's plan for area where workers can sleep in cars

The Sedona City Council voted last week to provide a safe place to park for local workers and students living in their cars.

The council meeting was heated, with hours of local residents airing their concerns about the city’s Safe Place to Park program. 

Cottonwood City Councilman Steve DeWillis addressed Sedona’s council. 

"I get with what all the residents are saying. I’m not for where it gets placed. I’m for the park to be somewhere," he said.

The program will make room for up to 40 cars at Sedona’s Cultural Park. It’ll be managed by the Verde Valley Homeless Coalition using a state grant. Those who use the space must work full-time in Sedona and will need to meet with a social worker to develop a long-term plan for themselves. The city will provide showers, bathrooms and trash services. 

Janine Miller is a Sedona resident who worries there’s not enough safeguards in place. 

"The sole attendant to oversee the entire homeless parking lot, and one person not following the rules where cigarettes are involved and that parcel of beautiful land possibly goes up in flames, endangering everyone," she said.

The council voted 6-1 to approve the two-year plan. 

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Fronteras Desk senior editor Michel Marizco is an award-winning investigative reporter based in Flagstaff.