Frequently Asked Questions
What is Preserve Vistoso?
Preserve Vistoso is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization formed in 2019 to let our Rancho Vistoso neighborhoods have a voice in the future of the closed Vistoso Golf Club. Over the last year, we worked with the community and interested parties to evaluate our options. Our more than 1,300 members provide a vital united force in representing the community with the Town of Oro Valley and the property's present owner. Our Board of Directors represents most communities surrounding the property. Our all-volunteer Board includes experts in finance, fund raising, communications, government affairs, and landscape architecture.
If you join Preserve Vistoso, you will receive email updates through a newsletter, the Pulse. You can sign up for the newsletter at Preserve Vistoso.
Who owns the Vistoso Golf Club?
The Vistoso Golf Course is owned by Romspen, a $3 billion Canadian non-bank mortgage lender that acquired the property in 2015.
What did Romspen propose for the former golf course?
Romspen submitted a proposal on April 30 to amend the Oro Valley General Plan and the Rancho Vistoso Planned Area Development (PAD) to change the zoning of the property from recreational to medium and high density residential. Because of Covid 19 concerns, the Town announced it would conduct ZOOM meetings and accept email comments from residents. Preserve Vistoso members sent hundreds of emails, letting the Town know our opposition to Romspen’s rezoning plans. One Town representative said that the emails were 100 percent in opposition.
What is the update on Romspen’s rezoning application?
On July 10th, Romspen requested the postponement of neighborhood meetings for the rezoning application while negotiations continue with The Conservation Fund. If negotiations are unsuccessful, it is expected that Romspen will request a continuance on its rezoning application and neighborhood meetings would resume in the spring of 2021.
What is The Conservation Fund?
The Conservation Fund (TCF) is a U.S. based environmental, non-profit organization founded in 1985. It is well known for efficiency in preserving over 8 million acres of land in all 50 states. They are accredited through the Land Trust Alliance which sets national standards for protecting natural places and working lands to ensure that conservation efforts are permanent. TCF focuses on the intersection of conservation and community and believes that environmental protection and economic vitality are inseparable. They are dedicated to addressing the uniqueness of each conservation effort and the means to achieve a good result for all parties. In the case of the Romspen property, a successful outcome would prevent development and preserve the natural environment. TCF has preserved eight million acres of land throughout the U.S., with almost a million acres in Arizona. The organization, for example, expanded the Petrified Forest National Park by 25 percent and added land to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
What is the role of TCF?
TCF is negotiating directly with the property owner, Romspen, to purchase the property. If negotiations are successful, TCF intends to use their internal 'Revolving Fund' which provides ready capital for land acquisition. In the interim, TCF is also working with the Town of Oro Valley to establish mutually acceptable terms for the property to be made part of the Town's public open space area. A conservation easement will also be put on the property by TCF in order to ensure that it is preserved as public open space and protected in perpetuity.
Preserve Vistoso is not a party to the negotiations but is raising funds to help replenish TCF's Revolving Fund which will be deployed to purchase the property.
How can I Direct a Pledge to Purchase the Property?
TCF is overseeing the critical fundraising component and is partnering with Preserve Vistoso on a campaign to acquire donations of any size which will only be used toward the property acquisition. Donations and gifts provided for this effort will be held in a separate dedicated fund controlled by TCF in adherence with IRS requirements. The ambitious goal of raising a significant amount of money is a critical step to a successful conclusion.
Support to protect this land as a nature preserve and trail has been very encouraging. Please join your fellow community members in supporting this worthy goal by pledging a financial gift to the Conservation Fund for this project. Gifts to The Conservation Fund are considered charitable contributions by the IRS. TCF’s tax exemption number is 52-1388917.
For more information on how you can support TCF’s efforts, please visit the TCF Partnership Page.
I don't live on or near the former Vistoso Golf Course, why should I get involved in what happens to it?
This is the last remaining part of the Sonoran Desert in Oro Valley. We want the entire community to enjoy it as a nature preserve and community trail. We want the entire community to support TCF and its efforts to purchase the property.
Since Romspen still owns the property, who do I contact about "property maintenance issues?"
Contact Jessica Hynd, Oro Valley Constituent Service, 520 229-4711, if you have issues or concerns.
How can I help Preserve Vistoso?
JOIN PRESERVE VISTOSO TODAY. Click the “JOIN” button and you will receive email updates. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to express your ideas and concerns. For information on how to support TCF’s acquisition of the property so that it can be maintained as open space, please visit the TCF Partnership Page. Preserve Vistoso and TCF are registered 501(c)(3) organizations, so your donation may be tax deductible. You can help us Preserve Vistoso as a nature preserve and community trail.