January 4, 2021
SUPPORT TOWN COUNCIL'S EFFORTS TO NEGOTIATE SALE OF VISTOSO PROPERTY
January 4, 2021 -- We hope everyone had a safe and healthy holiday season and that 2021 is a great year for you and your family. Also on our 2021 wish list is that the Town completes a successful negotiation with Romspen for the purchase of the Vistoso Property. You may remember that on November 18, 2020, Town Council unanimously approved a motion by Mayor Winfield to direct Town Management to begin discussions with Romspen to negotiate a sale of the Vistoso property. It is important that Preserve Vistoso members attend Town meetings that include an agenda item on the Vistoso Property, including a meeting on Wednesday (January 6).
Click here for the agenda for the Wednesday, January 6, Town Council Meeting (via ZOOM).
From the agenda, we know that there is a Town Council Executive Session:
“Regarding the property commonly known as the former Vistoso Golf Course, pursuant to A.R.S. section 38-431.03(A)(3), (4) and/or (7): 1) Discussion or consultation for legal advice with the Town attorney or attorneys, and/or; 2) Discussion or consultation with the Town attorney or attorneys in order to consider its position and instruct its attorneys regarding the public body's position regarding contracts that are the subject of negotiations, in contemplated litigation or in settlement discussions conducted in order to avoid or resolve litigation, and/or; 3) Discussions or consultations with designated representatives of the Town in order to consider its position and instruct its representatives regarding negotiations for the purchase, sale or lease of real property.”
We do not know what might be discussed (if anything) once Council returns from this executive session. If there is discussion, we urge members to offer support for the Council’s efforts. We urge you to thank members of the Council for supporting our efforts to preserve the Vistoso property. Every voice from our community is important. We can speak up in meetings, send emails to Council members or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can check the dates of the Council meetings and the agendas here. Most meetings are on the first and third Wednesday of the month at 6:00 PM.
Information on Maintenance Costs of Vistoso Property
If the Vistoso property is used as a natural desert park, maintenance costs should be relatively low. The property is especially suited for conversion into a nature preserve type of park. It is natural desert environment with six miles of paved trails. There are roadway underpasses so hikers and bikers on the trail don’t need to cross local streets. Three restrooms are located at different points along the trail. The views from the trail of the nearby mountain ranges are spectacular. This park will provide a healthy recreation experience for residents of all ages and abilities.
Since the property is envisioned to be primarily a natural, open space, the maintenance requirements of this nature park are expected to be low. The main areas that would need to be maintained are the path, the restrooms and the access areas. One of the large, local landscape companies estimates that the cost to maintain these features could be around $54,000 per year.
Preserving this land for Oro Valley recreation use not only serves to provide a place for residents to enjoy outdoor recreation, but it will also provide a sanctuary for the wildlife that live on the property and use it to travel between wildlife habitats. In addition to the abundant wildlife, the property has a history of native people living on this land. Petroglyphs exist on the property, evidence it was once home to early inhabitants in this area including Sleeping Snake Village.
Preserve Vistoso and its 1,350 members are encouraged that the vision we have for this property will soon become a reality. We thank the Oro Valley Mayor, Vice Mayor, Town Council members and Town Management for their continued efforts.