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.

Major clean-up effort underway at Club West course

From the Ahwatukee Foothills News – tap here to see article in original publication

While the new owners of the Club West golf course plan for the site’s future, they also are attacking months of accumulated debris.

The Edge and its related consulting firm, Community Land Solutions, launched a full clean-up earlier this month that is still ongoing.

“The entire golf course will be mowed for weeds in the following weeks,” said Edge partner Matt Shearer. “The area around the clubhouse, including the parking lot and hillsides, will be cleaned of weeds and trash. The cart paths will be cleared of all overhanging limbs and debris.

“Removal of dead trees and bushes will also begin shortly, the majority of which will be chipped and spread as mulch,” he added.

Shearer said weather, vandals and the way it had been “cleaned” before his group took over all contributed to the shabbiness of the site.

While having had no regular irrigation for two years has been the primary culprit, those other factors didn’t help.

“We had a lot of rain within the last year,” he said. “We haven’t had any in the last couple of months, but it was in rough shape – and it’s not just what you see. There are a lot of issues out there.”

Three or four landscape maintenance workers, accompanied by a 40-foot dumpster, have been working 1-6 p.m. Monday through Friday on the course, he said.

Moreover, the way “clean-up” had been conducted in recent months, it was more just a matter of shoving the debris around.

“We learned that you can’t just pile it all into the same thing range,” said Shearer. “A lot of times we had to clear. We had to start by cleaning up a lot of the cleanup that was essentially left around the corner over the years.”

This time around, the crew’s supervisor is working with a city inspector for guidance in how to properly clean up the land, he added.

“All six structures on the property have significant damage due to neglect, age, exposure to the elements and repeated vandalism,” Shearer said. 

“To date we have mitigated issues with collapsed roofs, collapsed ceilings, rusted and toppled pumps and generators, destroyed and water damaged interiors, abundant trash, graffiti, and drug paraphernalia – to name a few,” he said.

“Every window has been broken. The damage was shocking and well beyond our initial assessment last fall. The extent of the vandalism and persistence of trespassers has required that all doors to be welded shut.”

The clubhouse had been victimized numerous times by vandals – who also had started a series of fires on the course a few months ago. All the windows were broken and extensive damage had been done to the rooms themselves.

Shearer said the Club West community “deserves much better than the eye sore the land has become over the past four years.”

He called the cleanup not only an effort to “breathe new life into the dead property” but also “the first step in the restoring and revitalizing what was once a jewel of the community.”