This Week’s Park at Club West Update 28 August 2020

This Week’s Park at Club West Update 28 August 2020

Here is what The Park at Club West team has been working on this week. We intend to update you each week and always welcome your input, ideas, and suggestions to improve and enhance our efforts. Anyone can subscribe to our newsletter by emailing newsletter@theparkatclubwest.com.

*Thank you to everyone who participated in this Tuesday’s first virtual Town Hall meeting. We appreciated the constructive comments and suggestions that were offered during the meeting. As we continue to evolve our plans, we will host additional Town Hall meetings to discuss updates and developments before you, The Club West residents, would ultimately vote on a plan.

*We are continuing to address questions and concerns at our Advisory Group meetings and will continue to adjust and evolve our process accordingly.

*If you have not already read the recent guest column from Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio in the Ahwatukee Foothills News, you can click here to view the full article. Look for additional guest columns in the upcoming issues.

*Updated versions of The Park at Club West’s initial conceptual layout and design are now available to the public for comment. Click here to view the new conceptual layout and vegetation catalog. Our work is far from done. This is just the beginning of a plan. The goal is to get rid of the blight and create an open space for all to enjoy. These draft concepts prepared by landscape architects will minimize weeds and dust and being the area to a more natural state.

 

*Take a look at our third advertisement in the recent issue of the Ahwatukee Foothills News. And look for our fourth advertisement in an upcoming issue of the Ahwatukee News.

*Going from Better to Best. The new owners of the old golf course at Club West are working hard to clean up the debris and weeds that have accumulated since the course closed in 2016. To view a quick slideshow of the improvements made to the area, click here.

*Summaries of Advisory Group meetings are available at www.theparkatclubwest.com

*We hope you feel it’s time for Club West neighbors to work together with the HOA and the new owners to do what’s best for Club West and their community. A vote among homeowners will make sure all residents and neighbors’ voices are heard on the future of the Club West community – we want everyone to come to the table.

*If you have not already visited our website, please follow the links below and check it out. And REMEMBER to encourage your friends and neighbors to follow and like us on social media.

Thank you to all those who are liking our Facebook page. It is and will be a great source of updates moving forward.

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding The Park at Club West or would like to learn more, please feel free to go to our website at www.theparkatclubwest.com. Ours is an ongoing, transparent process to collaboratively craft an open space plan that raises property values and improves our quality of life.

Thank you for listening and for your ongoing interest in our open space plans.

Advisory Group Meeting – 18 August 2020

Advisory Group to Community Land Solutions and the Edge

Summary of 18 August 2020 Meeting

The Advisory group met on Tuesday (8/18) to continue work on a solution for the Property. In attendance from CLS were Matt Shearer and Mike Hare. John Ealy, Joe Gadzik, Beth Gadzik, Andy Fischer, Paul Keck, John Gambadoro, Richard Lake, John Rucker, Greg & Sandy Peterson and Neftali Rivera each attended. Christie Ellis and John Perkins were unable to attend. Tim McGough, RLA, ASLA Founder and President McGough Group and Paul Moroz were in Guest Attendees.

Prior Approvals

The Group approved the Summary of the meeting held 4 August 2020.

The Group approved the revised Timeline.

Old Business

The Group discussed the shared Drop Box and alternate Funding Methods including those that might assist ongoing Maintenance.

First Initial Design and Concepts for The Park at Club West

Tim McGough, RLA, ASLA presented the First Initial Design. New amenities were added and some were removed. The design adhered to the Desert park concept. A lengthy discussion ensued in regards to the terrain, vegetation and maintenance.

Elevations showed what that terrain would look like. Concepts such as extending the surrounding desert into the property and assuring the result does not resemble a golf course that had become overgrown or converted to a park were generally agreed upon. The plan uses extensive contouring to break up distances and add flow to sight lines. The methods employed add appeal to the eye and the Group agreed that was an improvement.

For purposes of conserving funds and minimizing weed propagation, a planting method has been favored over hydro seeding. Mr. McGough reviewed and listed the native plants to be utilized and agreed to circulate a “pallette” which would also be posted to www.TheParkAtClubWest.com. The types of wildlife that each plant attracted were briefly discussed with hummingbirds, butterflies and owls among them. The Wooly Butterfly Bush was noted to attract butterflies. No plant is believed to be an attractant to any undesirable species. As most native plants propagate fairly rapidly, it was determined that the vegetation should be installed in a manner to allow natural growth and re-population. Irrigation where required would be minimal, temporary, biodegradable and decommissioned after 1-2 years.

Maintenance was discussed at length. A primary goal is to keep maintenance at a minimum. Weed control is of major importance. The impossibility of permanent weed control was discussed and both proactive and on-going control methods were outlined. Non-chemical pre-emergents were discussed as well as other control methods. Most, if not all, plants, trees and shrubs cataloged for the park naturally maintain themselves and do not require trimming or pruning. Mr. McGough explained that unnatural pruning and water sources are usually what causes trees to topple.

The discussion was very aware of the needs to keep maintenance to a minimum while building a beautiful, natural and beneficial setting. The Group addressed an overflow parking lot adjacent to the current HOA clubhouse and park. CLS agreed and will work on alternatives. Parking and general access were discussed and not resolved at this time. Amenity preferences, benefits and usage were again referred to as something best put to a survey of the Homeowners.

Sense of Arrival

Several concepts were discussed with the intent of creating a dramatic presentation of the community park. This will be on-going and may include seasonal differences such a large holiday decoration that might extend the concept of the Festival of Lights into the Club West neighborhood.

Budget

The Group inquired about the necessary budget and was provided a ballpark figure for conversion of that land that no one found objectionable. The land includes 2,400,000 square feet.

Adjournment

Meeting adjourned at 7:45 pm.

This Week’s Update on The Park at Club West – 21 August 2020

This Week’s Update on The Park at Club West – 21 August 2020

Here is what The Park at Club West team has been working on this week. We intend to update you each week and always welcome your input, ideas, and suggestions to improve and enhance our efforts. Anyone can subscribe to our newsletter by emailing newsletter@theparkatclubwest.com.

*Although we have not yet seen the Court’s decision, we understand that the current legal situation means that Wilson Gee is in contempt of a Court Order requiring him to operate a golf course at the Lakes. What does this mean?

We believe that all this means is that the blight that exists at the Lakes will continue for many more years. The simple fact is that Wilson Gee has indicated that it is not economically feasible to operate a golf course at the Lakes and he will not operate a business to lose money. Who would? Under these facts, what are the potential scenarios at the Lakes?

First, Wilson Gee could file bankruptcy. If he does that, we assume that if the property were to be sold out of bankruptcy any buyer would require that the Bankruptcy Court extinguish the CCR’s and the property be sold unencumbered. If that happened, we assume that a developer would attempt to maximize development on the property.

Second, Wilson could do nothing and let the taxes and fines accrue until someone forecloses on the property. Knowing that anyone who forecloses on the property will have to operate a golf course makes it highly unlikely someone would foreclose unless they could figure out how to do it and have the CCR’s removed. Third, Wilson could appeal to the United States Supreme Court which means nothing will happen on the property for some time.

Lastly, the parties could negotiate a settlement which involves some compromise that includes some development and open space. Obviously, this is what makes the most sense for the residents of the Lakes and the Community and this choice would avoid years of uncertainty and unnecessary litigation.

*Take a look at our third advertisement in the recent issue of the Ahwatukee Foothills News.

*We are continuing to address questions and concerns at our Advisory Group meetings and will continue to adjust and evolve our process accordingly.

*Summaries of Advisory Group meetings are available at www.theparkatclubwest.com

*In the next few weeks, updated versions of The Park at Club West’s initial conceptual layout and design will be made available to the community for public input. This is just the beginning of a plan. The goal is to create a sustainable park that looks natural. Through careful planning the landscape will look as if it evolved naturally rather than a dead golf course. Ultimately, Club West open space will be dedicated to the HOA, legally requiring it to remain that way forever.

*We have reviewed submitted constructive comments and suggestions for The Park at Club West to date and will being conducting virtual Town Hall meetings with the community to discuss particular concepts and ideas with the Homeowners directly. Your input will continue to evolve our plans and make them better before you, The Club West residents, ultimately vote on a detailed plan.

*It’s time for Club West neighbors to work together with the HOA and the new owners to do what’s best for Club West and their community. A vote among homeowners will make sure all residents and neighbors’ voices are heard on the future of the Club West community – we want everyone to come to the table.

*If you have not already visited our website, please follow the links below and check it out. And REMEMBER to encourage your friends and neighbors to follow and like us on social media.

Thank you to all those who are liking our Facebook page. It is and will be a great source of updates moving forward.

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding The Park at Club West or would like to learn more, please feel free to go to our website at www.theparkatclubwest.com.

Thank you for listening and for your ongoing interest in our open space plans.

Compromise, collaboration are paths for Club West

To read the editorial in its original publication, please click here for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. 

Fellow homeowners, especially those of us who live on the old golf course and may soon have homes or public access behind our lots . . . Let’s agree to disagree.

Then, let’s push the reset button and move to reach a consensus among the entire Club West ownership.

What is the problem we are trying to solve?

Before you draw typical social media, personal bias and other unfounded conclusions as to our alignment, here’s our bio:

  We live on the defunct golf course:

  We have lived on at least two holes of the golf course 20 plus years;

We are 50 something;

We have raised five children in Ahwatukee;

We almost bought the course twice – with and without partners;

We have researched the viability of golf and everything else on this land;

We golf and/or have been involved in the golf industry for over 20 years;

We realize some home development may be needed; and,

We really do not want to see the golf course completely eliminated.
Presently, we have less than 200 homeowners speaking in opposition for 2,600. These homeowners could have purchased the golf course, but they did not. They have also tried to form various “Interest” groups and failed. All they wanted is more time to study the proposal.

Now a group of these homeowners have sued our board of directors and declared that the new owners of the course must seek their approval. Who put them in charge of anything?

 Sadly, most of this vocal minority had no idea about the history of the Golf Course until the last 6 months.

Here’s the pertinent facts:

Golf is declining as a leisure sport and golf courses are closing in Arizona;

Less than 100 of the homeowners in this association would be affected by the initial plan proposing houses, if they are all built;

The median price of houses that are built will exceed 95 percent of the median home prices in Club West;

Development brings infrastructure and dollars to help with other public necessities such as schools, police, fire departments, parks, playgrounds, infrastructure, etc.; and,

Our land values are being negatively affected by continued association infighting as well as no plan for redevelopment.

So, let’s embrace the new ownership and let them present all of their plans. Follow the process for voting and let the 2,600 homeowners in Club West speak. This should have happened months ago, save COVID19.

If you don’t like the process or results, move. But please do not presume we want you to speak for us.

Advisory Group Meeting Summary 21 July 2020

The Advisory group met on Tuesday (7/21) to continue to work on a solution for the Property. In attendance from CLS were Matt Shearer and Mike Hare. John Ealy, Beth & Joe Gadzik, Andy Fischer, Paul Keck, John Gambadoro, Christie Ellis and Neftali Rivera each attended. Two homeowners (John Perkins and Richard Lake) were unable to attend.

Prior Approvals

The Group approved the Summary of the meeting held 14 July 2020 as well as a proposed Resolution of Championship Golf Restoration for publication to www.TheParkAtClubWest.com

Guest Participant Process

Processes for invitation requests and invitations were again discussed as were protocols when guests attend. CLS attendees will actively participate when asked by the Group. The Group also clarified methodology of their own selection to the Group.

Review of Call with Scottsdale City Manager Bill Murphy

Several members of the Group were able to listen and ask questions during a call with Bill Murphy who was instrumental in the conversion of a golf course to a park. Details were related to those unable to attend and key “takeaways” were discussed. Of note were the costs of the conversion, the continued use of water, security issues and solutions, funding methods and the fact that the adjacent community strongly supported the conversion.

Guest: Club West Conservancy (CWC) President Matt Tyler

Matt Tyler was the first guest of the Group by intention of including the most outspoken in the early stages of the advisory process. The representative from the CWC shared a presentation that included an organization chart of the CWC’s officers, interpretations of an online survey they conducted and their proposed “best solution” for the property: restoring the 18 Hole Championship Golf course. Group participants asked several questions about the feasibility of the proposal and the data presented. The Group was advised that specific people, plans and financing for any of the details within the CWC proposal were, as of yet, undefined. The basis for the CWC position on restoring 18 Hole Championship course was that it could potentially generate revenue provided the owners took advantage of “sweat equity” investments. Mr. Tyler stated the materials he shared with the Group to define the CWC position would be made public. After 35 minutes, the Group and Matt Tyler discussed additional meetings before he logged off.

Guest: Jay Johnson Phoenix Police and Security Consultant

Jay was introduced as an Ahwatukee resident and decorated Phoenix Police Officer. His experience includes head of Super Bowl security, DHS training, security consulting and insurance advisory work. The focus of the conversation pertained to current issues of the property and what solutions were available to secure it. Issues with adjacent homes were addressed a few times as well as problem areas are where people congregate, (like parking lots), inadequate lighting and lack of police presence. Cameras, patrols, lighting and generally eliminating areas where malfeasants might be “comfortable” were discussed. The Group was unclear on some specific details and sought clarification for the next meeting. A Group participant presented information about police methodology in regards to the Club West area and Jay expanded upon that information for the Group. Jay also confirmed he would participate as a resource for the Group. He was thanked for his service and participation and logged off after 20 minutes.

Overtime

The meeting continued beyond the allotted time and Neftali Rivera was thanked for facilitating the extended time. Methodology of Guest participation was again discussed and the Group agreed to allow Matt Shearer and Paul Keck to develop a program and seek approval of the Group off-line.

Various Group participants logged off as a discussion of the CWC’s presentation and recent contacts form Homeowners continued until 7:40