The City of Flagstaff is proceeding with negotiations for a lease for a sno-park on the Northeast slope of McMillan Mesa. This will be a major tourist attraction in an area that up until now people have enjoyed as peaceful open space. The developers plans include snowmaking with reclaimed water, a 400 car parking area on both sides of Cedar, 30 runs requiring tree removal, a lift system and nighttime sledding. We believe this project is not a park but a commercial tourist attraction and is a violation of the Flagstaff's Regional Plan’s view of McMillan Mesa as valuable open space.
Reject the Proposed Flagstaff Sno-Park on McMillan Mesa
We, the undersigned, support dispersed snowplay areas in Flagstaff. We cannot, however, support the proposed Flagstaff Sno-Park on McMillan Mesa for the following reasons:
1. A commercial snowplay facility of the type and scale proposed represents a far more intensive activity than the location can support and is inconsistent with the Flagstaff Area Regional Land Use and Transportation Plan’s support of open space on McMillan Mesa and its map designation of this area as a “Park”.
2. The negative noise impacts from the snowmaking and the increased traffic burden will heavily impact the quality of life for the surrounding neighborhoods;
3. Without sufficient information about the developers’ prior experience and financial capacity for a project of this nature, the public risks being left with the costs of repairing a scarred landscape if the project fails.
4. The voters rejected a bond issue for developed city sponsored snowplay project at this location in 2004.
For these reasons, we ask the Flagstaff Planning and Zoning Commission and the Flagstaff City Council to reject the proposed Flagstaff Sno-Park on McMillan Mesa and continue to work with Coconino County to find a more suitable location for this kind of intensive recreational use.