●  January 13, 2020 Edition:

CALL TO ACTION:

PARTICIPATE IN ORO VALLEY SURVEY ON PARKS

January 2020 -- Let our voices be heard.   The town of Oro Valley’s Parks and Rec department hired Principal Pros Consulting to prepare a master plan to determine the town’s Parks and Recreational needs. The Preserve Vistoso Board urges you to complete a brief survey to provide information to the consultants.  If you reside in Oro Valley – part time or full time --you can express your opinion.  You do not need to be registered to vote in Arizona to express your opinion.  You can access the survey at www.planyourparksov.com.   It asks for your name, email, the subject (park study) and has a box for your message.  If you’d like to send us the comments that you submitted to the survey, or just let us know that you replied, email us at preservevistoso@gmail.com

Here are a few facts to consider as you write your message.  

 

Rancho Vistoso residents are 25 percent of Oro Valley’s population.  Ranch Vistoso has 10 parks that are maintained by our Rancho Vistoso master homeowner association -- Vistoso Community Association (VCA).  We fund these parks through our $80 quarterly fee to the VCA.  When you purchase goods and services in Oro Valley (restaurants, mall stores, etc.),  you pay an 8.6 percent sales tax to fund town services, including the parks and golf courses in the other areas of Oro Valley.  

A recent survey by a leading conservation group puts Oro Valley near the bottom of the list of communities that provide easy access to a park or recreational area.   The survey by The Trust for Public Lands, a non-profit conservation organization, says that in Oro Valley, only 15 percent of residents are within a 10-minute walk to a park.  The national average for communities is 54 percent of residents are within that 10-minute walk.  

 

Oro Valley needs to help us preserve the former Vistoso Golf Course as a nature preserve and community trail.  It would be more accessible because of existing sidewalks, unlike some of our nearby mountain trails and paths through washes.  Most of the 208-acres are zoned as recreational space and it needs to remain that way.  

Please complete the survey in your own words to let the town of Oro Valley know we want to ensure the beautiful 208-acre former golf course property in our neighborhood remains a community asset.  

 

           Retain recreational space.

           Keep existing zoning.

           Uphold the Oro Valley General Plan.

  • January 18, 2020 Edition:

CALL TO ACTION:
ATTEND PUBLIC MEETING ON THE PARKS & REC STUDY ON JANUARY 23


The town of Oro Valley scheduled a public meeting at Town Hall on Thursday, January 23, at 6 p.m. to present information about the start of a study conducted by a nationally recognized consulting firm, Principal Pros Consulting.  We urge you to attend to hear about the study.   Board members of Preserve Vistoso will make comments, so we would like Preserve Vistoso members to attend to show support.  The meeting announcement said that “The Future of Oro Valley Parks and Recreation is in Your Hands.”   We support this study and will work to demonstrate the needs for more recreational areas in Rancho Vistoso.   For more information about the study, go to https://www.planyourparksov.com/

A great turnout of our members would emphasize our commitment to PRESERVE VISTOSO.  

The meeting is January 23, 6 p.m. at Town Council Chambers, 11000 N. La Canada Dr.   Preserve Vistoso volunteers will be outside Town Hall to hand out Preserve Vistoso buttons for you to wear to demonstrate support during this meeting.

Hope to see you at the meeting.

  • January 23, 2020 Edition:

Reminder: Please join us tonight at 6pm for the Town of Oro Valley community meeting on the Parks & Recreation assessment. Members of the Preserve Vistoso board will commenting and having a large turnout of our members will add weight to our words.

Volunteers will be handing out Preserve Vistoso buttons outside of Town Council Chambers so that our members are easy to identify. The Town Hall Complex is at 11000 N La Canada Drive near the Town of Oro Valley Library. Town Council Chambers are at the south end of the Town Hall Complex.

CALL TO ACTION:

ATTEND PUBLIC MEETING ON THE PARKS & REC STUDY ON JANUARY 23


The town of Oro Valley scheduled a public meeting at Town Hall on Thursday, January 23, at 6 p.m. to present information about the start of a study conducted by a nationally recognized consulting firm, Principal Pros Consulting.  We urge you to attend to hear about the study.   Board members of Preserve Vistoso will make comments, so we would like Preserve Vistoso members to attend to show support.  The meeting announcement said that “The Future of Oro Valley Parks and Recreation is in Your Hands.”   We support this study and will work to demonstrate the needs for more recreational areas in Rancho Vistoso.   For more information about the study, go to https://www.planyourparksov.com/

A great turnout of our members would emphasize our commitment to PRESERVE VISTOSO.  

The meeting is January 23, 6 p.m. at Town Council Chambers, 11000 N. La Canada Dr.   Preserve Vistoso volunteers will be outside Town Hall to hand out Preserve Vistoso buttons for you to wear to demonstrate support during this meeting.

Hope to see you at the meeting.

  • January 24, 2020 Edition:

LETTER AND STATEMENT FROM MICHAEL BILODEAU

Thank you to everyone who attended last night’s Parks Assessment Community Meeting on the future of Parks & Recreation in Oro Valley. The Town wasn’t planning to allow comments from the public but when a sea of Preserve Vistoso supporters filled (overflowed!) the Town Council Chambers, they made an exception. The Mayor, Vice-Mayor, and Director of Parks & Recreation were all present, providing a great opportunity for Preserve VIstoso to express your concerns. You can find the statements that Pat, Walt and I made below.

Michael Svetz, Principal at PROS Consulting, shared the chief areas of concern that community members have submitted to https://www.planyourparksov.com/participate/ and preserving the Vistoso Golf Course property as recreational space made the list! Please continue to submit your comments. If you attended last night’s meeting, make sure you send the Town your feedback on their approach and plans. If you didn’t attend last night’s meeting, let the Town know that you support the messages delivered at the meeting or add the points you feel we missed.

Note: They have changed the Participate page. To find the comment section you now need to scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Thank you again for supporting Preserve Vistoso.  

Michael Bilodeau
President, Preserve Vistoso

Statement By Michael Bilodeau:

I want to thank the Town for commissioning a Parks & Recreation assessment to explore opportunities to better meet the needs of Oro Valley residents and for giving us a chance to speak. My name is Michael Bilodeau and I am the president of Preserve Vistoso, a 501c3 non-profit formed to give our communities a voice in what happens to the closed Vistoso Golf Club property. We currently have over 1,000 members and we continue to grow each day.

Earlier Michael Svetz [PROs Consultant] mentioned that they are aware of community hot buttons but the published summaries I’ve seen have not mentioned anything about recreational facilities or property north of Tangerine. I want to thank our members for coming out to help us bring your attention to this important topic.

As the Town has heard from other groups, when it comes to recreational facilities, proximity matters. The Trust for Public Land rates towns and cities based on the percentage of residents who live within a 10-minute walk of a park. Nationally, 54% of residents live within a 10-minute walk. In Oro Valley, it is only 15%. That is… 1… 5. Meaning, 85% of Oro Valley residents need to get in a car if they want to enjoy Oro Valley recreational facilities. Rancho Vistoso is a large collection of neighborhoods representing around 25% of Oro Valley's residents. Yet only Honey Bee Canyon is within walking distance to any of our residents. This isn’t just a proximity issue though; Oro Valley is also well below average in acres of park per resident.

Our HOAs do have some small parks that are paid for by our HOA fees. Some of these parks are very small and consist of only a bench or picnic table. Some have a playground or a basketball court. But if the Town is planning to count these in the Oro Valley inventory, Preserve Vistoso members ask that you talk to the Vistoso Community Association to get a better understanding of the amenities these parks do and do NOT provide. Rancho Vistoso currently has many more trail signs than we have actual trails.

Oro Valley is seriously deficient in major parks. The Vistoso property would make a superb desert park. Here are just a few of the highlights for the property:

  • An existing 100-car parking area to provide access to all residents of Oro Valley.

  • An existing 6-mile concrete path.

  • Immediate access to Native American petroglyphs on the side of the trail in some areas.

  • Outstanding mountain views providing unparalleled redeeming value for town residents

  • An oasis of wildlife, existing birds and desert animals

  • No less than 3 existing restrooms evenly spaced throughout the trail

  • No less than 35 direct access points from 17 adjacent neighborhoods connecting upwards of 4,000 residents to open space within a 10 minute walk

  • Environmental education opportunities for the community and the Innovation Academy Elementary School which is across the street from the property

There is little land of significant size on the NW side of town that hasn't already been approved for development. The owners of the Vistoso Golf property are interested in divesting themselves of the land and it likely represents the last opportunity for Oro Valley to add parks to our side of town. It is vital that the Consultant's Study consider this and work with Preserve Vistoso and our communities to take advantage of this opportunity.

The Town proudly displays the things Oro Valley is recognized for on the front wall of this room. You can see them up there. We would love to see parks, nature, and recreation added to this list.

Statement By Pat Sturmon:

My name is Patricia Sturmon, I live in CenterPointe, Summit South in Rancho Vistoso. We chose to move to Oro Valley, because it is a great place to live. That Parks and Rec commissioned this study is an example of what is great about Oro Valley – so thank you.

I am a volunteer for Preserve Vistoso, a 501c3 non-profit with more than 1,000 members. We want to have a voice in what happens to the 208 acre former Vistoso Golf Course in Rancho Vistoso.

As a senior citizen, I also am part of 49 percent of Oro Valley’s population. I love to walk outdoors and we all know that walking is important for our health and well being. I cannot hike in Catalina State Park, Naranja Park or Honeybee – these trails are too steep in spots and the trails are uneven.

When I walk, I walk in my CenterPointe neighborhood. It is great that we have sidewalks everywhere and it is mainly safe, but I have to watch for cars backing out of drive ways and make way for buses to pick up children. Anyone who has walked along La Canada or Pebble Creek knows the sound of traffic is deafening.

Rancho Vistoso is 25 percent of the population of Oro Valley, but we lack recreational areas. We have 10 small HOA parks. These are not Oro Valley parks. Rancho Vistoso homeowners pay $80 a quarter to Vistoso Community Association to maintain these parks.

I hope this study will underscore that Rancho Vistoso needs a large recreational area where we can enjoy the outdoors without having to dodge traffic. The former Vistoso Golf course could become an asset for our outdoor loving community. It has beautiful mountain views.

The seven miles of concrete paths could support hikers and families with children in strollers. It would be accessible for our seniors and disabled citizens. There is no other large property available in Oro Valley that could become such a signature community resource. We should not miss this chance.

We hope you will provide the Preserve Vistoso Board – representing its 1,000 members -- and The Vistoso Community Association the opportunity to participate in this important study so you include the needs of Rancho Vistoso citizens (25 percent of town population) in the town plans.

    ●  February 3, 2020 Edition:

UPDATE ON OPPORTUNITIES TO PARTICIPATE IN ORO VALLEY SURVEY OF PARKS AND RECREATION


February 3, 2020 -- As many of you know, the Town of Oro Valley commissioned PROS consulting to do a comprehensive needs assessment and master plan for Oro Valley Parks and Recreation, and to recommend an overall plan for the future.  We packed the town hall on January 23 with Preserve Vistoso members enthusiastically supporting the need to preserve the former Vistoso Golf Course as a nature preserve and community trail.  A recent survey by a leading conservation group puts Oro Valley near the bottom of the list of communities that provide easy access to a park or recreational area.  We could change the town rankings by preserving the more than six miles of cart paths on the former Vistoso Golf Course as a nature preserve and community trail.

At the January 23 meeting, the PROS consultant reported receiving more than 500 comments through its website survey.  Preserving Vistoso Golf Course as Open Space ranked among the top three in the number of comments received. If you have not participated in this brief survey, you can access the website www.planyourparksov.com. It asks for your name, email, the subject (park study) and has a box for your message.  You can enter – Preserve the former Vistoso Golf Course as a nature preserve and community trail.  Every comment is important.

In February and March, the PROS consulting firm will conduct a random sampling of the Oro Valley community.  Random samplings are statistically valid surveys that sample by location and demographics.  If you receive this survey in the USPS mail, it would be extremely important to complete it.  You would become a voice for all of us.
   
In April, there will be another on-line survey from Oro Valley and its PROS consultant.  Once we know more, we will let you know how to participate.

In May, there will be critical meetings where we can demonstrate our support for preserving the former Vistoso Golf Course.  PROS consulting will provide key findings of the Community Engagement Process to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and to Town Council in May. Once we know the dates, we will let you know and hope you will be available to attend those meetings.

Community support is critical, so we need to continue to demonstrate the importance of preserving the former golf course as a top priority for Oro Valley.

●  February 18, 2020 Edition:

WELCOME NEW BOARD MEMEBERS

WILDLIFE SPOTTING ON THE FORMER GOLF COURSE

 

Welcome New Board Members

The Preserve Vistoso Board recently welcomed four new Board members -- Gerald Bren (Somerset Canyon), Rick London (Desert Crest II), Crist Stevenson (Desert Crest II), and Patricia Sturmon (Summit South). Rick London will serve as the Board’s Treasurer and Patricia Sturmon assumes communications leadership.

Wildlife Spotting on the Former Vistoso Golf Course

When Preserve Vistoso Board members contact conservation groups and other organizations to tell them about our efforts to preserve the former Vistoso Golf Course as a nature preserve, we often are asked about wildlife on the course. Gordon Parkhill (Desert Crest II) and his wife, Anita, compiled an extensive list of wildlife on the former golf course -- mammals, birds and reptiles-- while sitting on their patio in mornings. They also captured an amazing array of night wildlife with a camera looking out to the natural area beyond their fence.

 

The Parkhills spotted the following mammals -- Mule Deer, Bobcat, Coyote, Harris' Antelope Squirrel, Desert Cottontail Rabbit, Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Javelina and Gray Fox.

 

Birds are even more numerous -- Northern Cardinal, Pyrrhuloxia, Greater Roadrunner, Gambel's Quail, Gila Woodpecker, Ladder-Backed Woodpecker, Black-Chinned Hummingbird, Cactus Wren, Great Horned Owl, Western Screech-Owl, American Kestrel, Cooper's Hawk, Harris Hawk, Vermillion Flycatcher, Curved-Billed Thrasher, Northern Mockingbird, Morning Dove, White-winged Dove, Common Raven, Chipping Sparrow, House Finch, White-Crowned Sparrow, Western Tanager, Albert's Towhee, Lesser Goldfinch, Hooded Oriole and Verdin.

 

Reptiles include -- Western Rattlesnake, Arizona Ground snake, Regal Horned Lizard, Gila Monster and other lizards.

 

We need to protect the former Vistoso Golf Course as a nature preserve and community trail and protect our desert wildlife. So thank you Gordon and Anita. If you have spotted any other wildlife, we’d like to know. Send us a note at preservevistoso@gmail.com

Let’s Recruit More Members

Do you have friends who live in Oro Valley who don’t know about our efforts to keep the former Vistoso Golf Course as a nature preserve and community trail? If so, let them know about the need for more parks and recreational areas in Oro Valley and suggest they join Preserve Vistoso preservevistoso.org Community support is critical to our efforts.

  • February 21, 2020 Edition

ROMSPEN PLANS TO FILE FOR REZONING


February 21, 2020 -- Preserve Vistoso Board members have learned that Romspen, the owner of the former Vistoso Golf Course, plans to file for rezoning of the former Vistoso Golf Course prior to Oro Valley’s April deadline. We DO NOT KNOW any details of the rezoning request because Romspen has not officially filed plans.  The Town of Oro Valley also does not have any additional information at this time, so please DO NOT CALL the Town.   We will share information with you as soon as it becomes available.  

We anticipate that within the next few weeks, Romspen will file a notice with Oro Valley that the company intends to request zoning changes.  This filing will be a public document which we will share with Preserve Vistoso members.  Within weeks of the filing, Romspen needs to file a comprehensive report, detailing its rezoning request.  The Town of Oro Valley will schedule an initial hearing to present to residents details of the requested zoning changes.  Following that initial hearing, there will be separate neighborhood meetings with affected residents and community members.  Oro Valley will announce dates and locations of the meetings and we will inform Preserve Vistoso members.

The homes in our community were sold based on having a golf course or recreational area in our neighborhood.  When the owner of the Vistoso Golf Course defaulted on its loan, Romspen Investments assumed ownership of the property.  Romspen’s business plan obviously changed with the most recent failure of the golf course, but we should not have to accept zoning changes that do not benefit our community.

A recent survey by Trust for Public Land, a leading conservation group, puts Oro Valley near the bottom of the list of communities that provide residents with easy access to a recreational area.  Only 15 percent of Oro Valley residents are within a 10-minute walk to a park or recreational facility, while the national average is 54 percent. Oro Valley could change its ranking by preserving the closed golf course as a nature preserve and community trail.

The golf course was designed as a desert course and some 70 percent of the property remains desert habitat.  It has spectacular mountain scenery, more than six miles of paved trails, restrooms, parking areas, and a pond. Our goal would be to protect existing wildlife as well as the petroglyphs found on the course.

Residents of Rancho Vistoso constitute 40 percent of Oro Valley’s population, but we have limited access to recreational areas.  Honey Bee Park and Catalina State Park are great but not appropriate for people with mobility problems – seniors or even families pushing strollers.  Seniors represent 49 percent of Oro Valley’s population.

Oro Valley is nearly built out.  The former Vistoso Golf Course is the last opportunity for Oro Valley to add a sizable recreational area for all residents of Oro Valley to enjoy.  We formed Preserve Vistoso to have a voice in what happens to the open space of the former golf course that is part of our neighborhood.  We will make our voices heard.

  • February 26, 2020 Edition:

MEET THE CANDIDATES FOR VCA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Vistoso Community Association (VCA) announced a Meet and Greet for the 2020 candidates for the VCA Board of Directors following the monthly VCA meeting on Thursday, February 27, at 945 W. Vistoso Highlands. The regular Board meeting begins at 5:30 pm, followed by the Meet and Greet of the candidates at 7:30 pm.  Refreshments will be served.  We hope Preserve Vistoso members will attend.  

The VCA provides Preserve Vistoso with meeting space for our Meet and Greet, for meetings with potential supporters, and for Board and committee meetings.   We meet regularly with the VCA to keep them informed of our activities.  

There are four vacancies on the VCA Board, two single-family seats, one multi-family seat and one commercial seat.  The Bios of the candidates are on the VCA website http://ranchovistosohoa.com/.    The newly elected Board members will be announced at the VCA annual meeting on Thursday, March 26, at Painted Sky Elementary School, 12620 N Woodburne Avenue.  Registration is at 5:30 pm and the meeting starts at 6 pm.

Ballots for the VCA Board members will be mailed starting February 28.   Voting is important as a quorum is required to elect new Board members.  There also are non-candidate items, including voting to approve last year’s minutes and approval of IRS ruling 70—604 that allows HOAs to roll over income without it being taxed.  The VCA Board recommends voting to adopt the IRS ruling as it is an important money saver for homeowners.

Here are the candidates for the VCA Board of Directors:

  • Ellen Hong, Single Family

  • Tracy Phillips, Single Family

  • Dick Surowiec, Single Family

  • Joseph Affinati, Single Family

  • Sheryl Forte, Single Family

  • Gayle Lopez, Multi Family

  • Greg Thompson, Commercial Property

 

We hope to see Preserve Vistoso members at the Board Meeting and the Meet and Greet for Board candidates on February 27.

●  March 1, 2020 Edition:

UPDATE ON POSSIBLE ROMSPEN REZONING APPLICATION

March 1, 2020 -- Preserve Vistoso has confirmed that Charlie Bowles, Designated Broker of Bowles Realty and Investments, LLC, is representing a potential buyer for a portion of the former Vistoso Golf course owned by Romspen. Bowles is a resident of CenterPointe and Vice President of the CenterPointe HOA Board. He has invited sub-HOA Presidents from communities that intersect with the former golf course to a meeting the week of March 10 with Romspen representatives and a potential buyer. Preserve Vistoso representatives will attend the meeting and share the information we receive. We asked Bowles to schedule meetings with additional affected neighborhoods not represented by a sub-HOA.

Preserve Vistoso also was informed that Romspen has adjusted plans to file its pre-application rezoning paperwork with Oro Valley the week of March 25. We do not have any details about the filing, but once the rezoning plans are filed, we will share that information with you. The Town will schedule community and public meetings and we will let you know those dates. The deadline for any rezoning applications with Oro Valley is the end of April. To access information about the rezoning process go to:

https://orovalleyaz.gov/sites/default/files/media/docs/2017/rezoning-process-guide-revised-1172017.pdf .

We are committed to sharing with our members any verifiable and non-confidential information we have about the potential development of the former Vistoso Golf Course.

Preserve Vistoso continues to inform community and Town officials that we believe that the best use of the former golf course property is to turn it into a nature preserve and community trail. It is our chance to save the last remaining part of the Sonoran Desert in Oro Valley. The property is zoned as recreational area and should remain that way.

We also are actively participating in the Town’s Parks and Recreation survey to develop plans for the future. About 40 percent of Town’s population resides north of Tangerine, but we are lacking in Town parks and recreational areas. We hope you will continue to tell your neighbors about the need to convert the former golf course into a community recreational area. We also hope you will encourage friends throughout Oro Valley to join Preserve Vistoso preservevistoso.org.

Oro Valley Blog Posting and Guest View

On Monday, Let Oro Valley Excel, a community blog, will post a bylined guest view by Michael Bilodeau, President of Preserve Vistoso. You can access the blog http://letorovalleyexcel.blogspot.com/

 

Remember to Vote in VCA Election

 

Please remember to vote in the Vistoso Community Association (VCA) election. The VCA is the master association for Rancho Vistoso. You will receive email information from vistoso@ivotehoa.com. Since this is a new email address and not the donotreply@fsresidential.com used for weekly e-mails it is possible that the voting invitation could go to junk mail. Any questions email Colleen.holland@fsresidential.com. Or you can call the VCA at 520 354-2729.

  ●  March 8, 2020 Edition:

         

MEETING WITH ARIZONA OFFICIALS HILIGHTS AVAILABLE ACQUISITION GRANTS

March 7, 2020 - No updates to report on Romspen's intent to apply for rezoning in March. We are waiting for submission of plans from Romspen Investments and potential buyers for development of the former Vistoso Golf Course. When we know details, we will report to you.

State Grants May be Available for Land Acquisition. Preserve Vistoso members represent you by researching various ways to preserve the former Vistoso Golf Course property.  Representatives from the State of Arizona Parks & Tails met with Preserve Vistoso Board members and visited the property.  We learned that land acquisition grants are available to the Town of Oro Valley to help Preserve Vistoso purchase the property.  State of Arizona acquisition grants could provide funds for half of the purchase price of the property according to a Yellow Book appraisal.  In addition, the State provides funds annually for trail maintenance and upkeep.

Oro Valley Podcast about Preserve Vistoso. In a segment on Oro Valley Podcast to air March 11, Patricia Sturmon, Board member of Preserve Vistoso mentioned the poor condition of the former golf course retention pond near Rancho Vistoso Boulevard.  The Arizona Parks & Trails representatives said that grants also could be available to help restore the pond and make it a birding sanctuary.   In a similar situation in Pima County, a pond at Canoa Ranch was restored and became a community asset.   You can read about the Canoa Ranch pond by clicking here.

Please encourage friends and neighbors throughout Oro Valley to join PreserveVistoso.org.  About 40 percent of Oro Valley’s population lives north of Tangerine, but we do not have adequate recreational areas.  We have a voice with our Town Council as our 1,100 members will stand up for what is best for our community.   Oro Valley has said it will schedule community meetings once Romspen files its plan.

  ●  March 12 2020 Edition:

ROMSPEN REPRESENTATIVES PRESENT GOLF COURSE CONCEPTUAL PLANS

On Wednesday, March 11th, a potential buyer of part of the former Vistoso Golf Course and representatives of Romspen Investments, owner of the property, held a meeting to present a conceptual plan for rezoning of the property to HOA and neighborhood representatives. A number of Preserve Vistoso Board members were also invited to attend. A picture of the conceptual plan presented last night can be found at the end of this e-mail. We have asked for a high quality electronic copy that can be shared with our members. This is a concept plan and it could change significantly between now and the final submission to the Planning and Zoning Commission and Town Council at the end of 2020.

The potential buyer of the areas around the driving range is Jeff Farmer, owner of Spectra Properties.  Mr. Farmer is proposing development of the driving range and portions immediately east of the driving range.  His plan for 38 acres is to build an assisted living and memory care facility.  Currently the plan shows 2 buildings on the driving range but Mr. Farmer said he would like the option to add a third between Siena and the buildings shown in red on the diagram. Independent Living units would be built to the east of the driving range in the yellow area.

Mr. Farmer plans to operate these units as high-end senior residential units and a care center.  The portions in dark gray would be parking and roads. The light grey would be open space.  He indicated that due to drainage requirements he might have to raise the building pad area by 1 ft.  Mr. Farmer estimated that it will take 18 months for construction if the rezoning is approved.

Romspen representatives said the company does not have a buyer for the rest of the property at this time.  The Romspen concept plan as represented by the image at the bottom of this email uses color coding to define the housing density.  The yellow color proposes medium density residential while the light brown color indicates medium high density residential. The dark brown area near Vistoso Highlands Blvd would be high density residential where apartment buildings could be proposed.  Romspen representatives said that they could consider donating the rest of the property to a nonprofit organization if rezoning is approved at high enough densities to generate the revenue they desire.

Both the Oro Valley General Plan and the Planned Area Development (PAD) designates the driving range area and the golf course as recreational, expect for six acres around the former clubhouse.   The General Plan and the Planned Area Development (PAD) will need to be changed to allow these plans to go forward. There will be meetings arranged by the Town of Oro Valley for residents impacted by the development plans when the plans are officially submitted.

Romspen and Mr. Farmer plan to submit the pre-application to the Town of Oro Valley on March 25th. They are expecting the first community meeting to happen around April 14th. There are a series of steps and reviews that they will need to go through before being able to present their plans to the Planning and Zoning Commission and Town Council at the end of 2020.

One major concern raised is that many homeowners are seasonal residents and they won’t be able to participate in meetings scheduled during summer months.  Romspen’s representatives and Mr. Farmer indicated they will try to look for ways to add meetings before the end of April.

Make sure to mark your calendars for April 14th and share this information with all of your neighbors. Your input is vital to ensure our voices are heard.

Click here for a larger, downloadable version of the map below...

 
 
 
 
 
 
VistosoPlan-20200312.jpg
  • March 14, 2020 Edition:

CALL TO ACTION: 

Voice your Opinion to Parks and Rec officials THIS WEEK at Safeway on Sunday or Wednesday


Members of the Oro Valley Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) will be available outside the Safeway at Tangerine and Rancho Vistoso Blvd. on Sunday and Wednesday as part of the Town’s community assessment of the Town's recreation facilities.  This is a great opportunity for Preserve Vistoso members to voice our opinion about the need to make the former Vistoso Golf Course a nature preserve and community trail. 
 

PRAB members will be at Safeway
Sunday, March 15, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 18, 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.

 
We would like the Town to invest in recreational facilities in Rancho Vistoso and work with Preserve Vistoso to make the former Vistoso Golf Course a nature preserve and community trail.  

We know that the Town has made and plans large investments for Naranja Park, Riverfront Park, the community center and El Conquistador Golf Course.  We have small community parks, but our residents pay a quarterly fee to the Vistoso Community Association to maintain these parks.  Naranja Park, Catalina State Park and Honey Bee Canyon are all wonderful facilities but they don’t meet the needs of senior citizens and families with young children who have difficulty with uneven and often steep terrain. The cement walking trail of the former Vistoso Golf Course would be a wonderful addition to Oro Valley’s parks.

Recently, Romspen and a potential buyer of parts of the Vistoso Golf Course announced plans to rezone a large portion of the property for residential development and a senior living community.  We need to work with the Town to protect this last remaining land in Rancho Vistoso for community enjoyment and recreation.

The former Vistoso Golf Club property is uniquely positioned to provide recreational facilities for all of Oro Valley.  It is within easy walking distance to over a dozen neighborhoods and thousands of Oro Valley residents. The property has beautiful views of the Catalina and Tortolita mountains. Almost 70 percent of the property is covered by natural Sonoran Desert vegetation and it is frequented by a wide range of birds and animals. The property has three bathrooms, access to petroglyphs, a large parking lot, and over six miles of wide cement paths.

Preserve Vistoso Interview available on Oro Valley Podcast

If you would like to know more about Preserve Vistoso, visit Oro Valley Podcast and listen to an interview with a Board Member click here.   There are other interviews of interest to Oro Valley citizens on these podcasts by Jim Horn.

Additional Information

The Trust for Public Land has ranked Oro Valley near the bottom of the list for resident access to Parks and Recreation. The study indicates that in the United States 54% of residents live within a 10-minute walk to a park. In Oro Valley only 15% of residents live within a 15-minute walk to a public park. 

Preserve Vistoso’s efforts have received a lot of interest from conservation and other agencies.  In particular, the Chief of State Parks and Trails visited the closed golf course and indicated grant money exists from his organization for the acquisition and maintenance of properties just like the closed golf course. Many of Preserve Vistoso members have also indicated they are willing to donate to help acquire and transform the property. Communities all over North America have made projects like this work and we know we can do the same here with help and cooperation from the Town of Oro Valley.  Oro Valley could provide a template for the rest of the country in how to turn a closed golf course into a community treasure.  

  • March 17, 2020 Edition:

REMINDER -- Voice your Opinion to Parks and Rec Wednesday at Safeway 


Thanks to all Preserve Vistoso members who met with members of the Oro Valley Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) outside Safeway on Sunday. PRAB members also will be available on Wednesday outside the Safeway store at Tangerine and Rancho Vistoso Blvd. as part of the Town’s community assessment on the Town recreation facilities.  
 

PRAB members will be at Safeway
Wednesday, March 18, 8:00-10:00 a.m.


We would like the Town to invest in recreational facilities in Rancho Vistoso and work with Preserve Vistoso to make the former Vistoso Golf Course a nature preserve and community trail. 
 
Here is the information we provided you in previous communications.  

We know that the Town has made and plans large investments for Naranja Park, Riverfront Park, the community center and El Conquistador Golf Course.  We have small community parks, but our residents pay a quarterly fee to the Vistoso Community Association to maintain these parks.  Naranja Park, Catalina State Park and Honey Bee Canyon are all wonderful facilities but they don’t meet the needs of senior citizens and families with young children who have difficulty with uneven and often steep terrain. The cement walking trail of the former Vistoso Golf Course would be a wonderful addition to Oro Valley’s parks.

Recently, Romspen and a potential buyer of parts of the Vistoso Golf Course announced plans to rezone a large portion of the property for residential development and a senior living community.  We need to work with the Town to protect this last remaining land in Rancho Vistoso for community enjoyment and recreation.  We need to work with the Town to protect this last remaining land in Rancho Vistoso for community enjoyment and recreation.

The former Vistoso Golf Club property is uniquely positioned to provide recreational facilities for all of Oro Valley.  It is within easy walking distance to over a dozen neighborhoods and thousands of Oro Valley residents. The property has beautiful views of the Catalina and Tortolita mountains. Almost 70 percent of the property is covered by natural Sonoran Desert vegetation and it is frequented by a wide range of birds and animals. The property has three bathrooms, access to petroglyphs, a large parking lot, and over six miles of wide cement paths.

Additional Information 

The Trust for Public Land has ranked Oro Valley near the bottom of the list for resident access to Parks and Recreation. The study indicates that in the United States 54% of residents live within a 10-minute walk to a park. In Oro Valley only 15% of residents live within a 15-minute walk to a public park. 

Preserve Vistoso’s efforts have received a lot of interest from conservation and other agencies.  In particular, the Chief of State Parks and Trails visited the closed golf course and indicated grant money exists from his organization for the acquisition and maintenance of properties just like the closed golf course. Many of Preserve Vistoso members have also indicated they are willing to donate to help acquire and transform the property. Communities all over North America have made projects like this work and we know we can do the same here with help and cooperation from the Town of Oro Valley.  Oro Valley could provide a template for the rest of the country in how to turn a closed golf course into a community treasure. 

 March 30, 2020 Edition:

ORO VALLEY GENERAL PLAN

 

Preserve Vistoso Update. As information becomes available on rezoning applications for the former golf course, we will let you know. In the meantime, Sharon Jarvis compiled some important information to help us understand Oro Valley’s General Plan. Preserve Vistoso believes that the Town Council should follow the 2016 citizen-approved General Plan and maintain the recreational designation for the former Vistoso Golf Club. The current rezoning applications by Romspen Investments and Spectra Properties would require changing the General Plan.

 


Why is Understanding the Oro Valley General Plan Important?

In November 2016, Oro Valley citizens voted and approved a 10-year blueprint for the future called the Oro Valley General Plan, OUR VOICE, YOUR FUTURE. The Romspen Investment and Spectra Properties rezoning applications for a sizeable portion of the former Vistoso Golf Course will require amendments to the General Plan.   Preserve Vistoso believes Town Council members should not approve changes to the General Plan that would destroy parts of the Sonoran Desert and diminish our access to this beautiful property.  The Town’s General Plan highlights the value of community input.

The Town Land Use map identifies the Golf Course at Vistoso as Resort/Golf Course.   While Preserve Vistoso understands that the property is no longer viable as a resort or golf course, we believe that the area needs to remain zoned recreational.  Since it was designated as golf course, Preserve Vistoso believes that changing the land use designation to medium and high density residential violates the intent of the General Plan.  p.51

You can find the Oro Valley General Plan on the Town Website by clicking here or entering this in your browser: https://www.orovalleyaz.gov/generalplan.


WHAT IS A GENERAL PLAN?

A general plan is essentially a community’s “blue print” for land use and development; it serves as the basis for rational decisions regarding a community’s long-term development. The general plan expresses the community’s development goals and embodies public policy relative to the distribution of future land uses, both public and private.  

The Town of Oro Valley’s General Plan, YOUR VOICE, OUR FUTURE, was created and reviewed by residents during a multi-year process.  “The goals and policies of each chapter (General Plan) will be used as a foundation for decision making over the next 10 years.” p.11


Quotes from Your Voice, Our Future General Plan in support of parks, recreation and lands with high scenic value:

  • We know first-rate economic and lifestyle opportunities, educational facilities and abundant outdoor recreation areas will continue to attract people seeking a high quality of life. In addition, visitors come to experience the unique Sonoran Desert and to enjoy Oro Valley’s active lifestyle, resort and cultural offerings. p.4

  • Preserve the scenic beauty and environment:  1) Desert and mountain views, 2) Desert climate and environment, 3) Wildlife and vegetation, 4) Open Space.  p.8

  • Provide more parks, recreation and cultural opportunities for all ages: Outdoor recreation such as hiking, walking, and biking paths. p.9

  • A high-quality parks, recreation and open space system that is accessible, comprehensive, connected and serves the community’s needs. p.14

  • The proactive conservation, protection and restoration of environmentally sensitive lands, natural resource areas and habitats and lands with high scenic value. p.14

  • Neighborhoods that include access and effective transitions to open space, recreation, and schools and that are supported by shopping and services with meet daily needs. p.15

  • Oro Valley’s emphasis is developing complete neighborhoods that encourage physical activity. Complete neighborhoods include: Parks and outdoor spaces, and recreational facilities. p.17

  • People of Oro Valley Strive for: High-quality parks, recreation and open space system that is accessible, comprehensive, connected, integrated and serves the community’s needs. p.19

  • Provide appropriate park facilities and services for residents of all ages in the community. p.21

  • Link existing and planned neighborhoods with parks and open spaces by incorporating path and trail facilities. p.21

  • Provide public open space and park space where there is an existing park shortage or a need to preserve open space, natural areas or scenic views. p.21

  • Oro Valley’s greatest assets are its natural environment, resources and beauty. Our community enjoys scenic views in nearly every direction. p.28

  • Oro Valley highly values the Sonoran Desert and strives to conserve and protect its resources.  Additionally, the community desires to connect open spaces to establish an environment enjoyable for all. p.33

  • Protect scenic corridors, Public Park and trail view sheds, and the distinctive visual character and visual appeal of Oro Valley.  p.33

  • Neighborhoods that include access and effective transitions to open space, recreation and schools. p.40

  • The Oro Valley community recognizes the importance of natural, scenic and cultural resource conservation in sustaining Oro Valley’s identity as a desired place to live, work, and visit. p.41

 

   ●  March 30 2020 Edition:

ROMSPEN FILES APPLICATION TO CHANGE THE ZONING OF THE CLOSED VISTOSO GOLF COURSE

March 30, 2020 -- Preserve Vistoso this afternoon received the preliminary filing plans from Romspen and Spectra Properties on plans for development of the former Vistoso Golf Course.  Click here to view the  Descriptive Letter, a Land Use Map, and an illustrative Site Plan Map from the "Planning Center," which is representing the two companies. 

 

We are meeting this week with the Town of Oro Valley to discuss how it plans to have open meetings before the end of April. 

Preserve Vistoso believes that the requirement for community input is seriously jeopardized by precautions in place to protect citizens from the spread of the COVID- 19. The Oro Valley Public Code indicates that public meetings should be set up to promote fair and open dialogue between stakeholders, applicants, and staff.  Since the rezoning proposals would alter the 2016 citizen-approved Oro Valley General Plan and Planned Area Development, Preserve Vistoso believes that the process must include in-person meetings planned at a time when public meetings are again possible. 

Part_2-3-30-2020 Romspen Application-Pag
Part_2-3-30-2020 Romspen Application-Pag
Part_2-3-30-2020 Romspen Application-Pag

  ●  April 3, 2020 Edition:

TOWN PLANS TO HOLD VIDEO MEETINGS INSTEAD OF IN-PERSON FOR ROMSPEN FILING

April 3, 2020 - On March 25th, Romspen filed a pre-application with Oro Valley to change the General Plan to allow development on 87 acres of the Vistoso Golf Course.  Changes to the Town’s General Plan (approved by citizens in 2016) generally require public participation meetings but precautions put in place to protect citizens from the spread of the COVID-19 have led the Town to propose alternative procedures for this application.  
 
Instead of holding public meetings on the pre-application, the Town is going to post a video on April 10th explaining the rezoning process to residents and asking residents to direct questions and concerns to ASKOV ask@orovalleyaz.gov or call 520-229-4711. The Town will also post a video from Romspen and Spectra that should provide an overview of rezoning applications.  Subsequent video presentations will address questions and concerns from residents.  

Preserve Vistoso is concerned that the revised plans for community feedback will limit your ability to participate effectively in the General Amendment process and so we have asked the Town to postpone the pre-application process until the Public Participation requirements can be met. Please see the Oro Valley Process Rezoning Guide for details on what is usually required before a rezoning application is accepted by the Town of Oro Valley.  If you have any concerns or questions about the alternate process the Town is proposing to use for Romspen’s application, please send them to ask@orovalleyaz.gov and copy us at CopyPreserveVistoso@gmail.com.

The news release below was sent to the Explorer newspaper this morning.  

Thanks for your support.  And, get your neighbors involved if they aren’t already members of Preserve Vistoso.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

 

Community Group Opposes Rezoning of

Former Oro Valley Vistoso Golf Course

 

COVID 19 Precautions Could Limit Fair and Open Community Dialogue


 

ORO VALLEY, AZ April 3, 2020 -- Preserve Vistoso (preservevistoso.org), a non-profit (501c3) with more than 1,100 members, today announced opposition to plans by Romspen Investments, a Canadian non-bank mortgage lender, and Memphis, TN based Spectra Properties Inc., to rezone more than 87 acres of the former Vistoso Golf Course in northern Oro Valley.

Preserve Vistoso believes that the requirement for Oro Valley community input is seriously jeopardized by precautions in place to protect citizens from the spread of the COVID-19. The Oro Valley Public Code states that public meetings are set up to promote fair and open dialogue between stakeholders, applicants, and staff.

The Town announced that it will post videos on April 10th explaining the rezoning process to residents and ask residents to direct questions and concerns to ASKOV ask@orovalleyaz.gov or 520-229-4711. The Town also will post a video from Romspen and Spectra that will provide an overview of rezoning applications. Subsequent video presentations will address questions and concerns from residents.

While the Town of Oro Valley is attempting to manage the rezoning process under trying times, Preserve Vistoso believes that this process severely limits the ability of more than 1,000 residents to have a fair and open dialogue on the rezoning proposals impacting their neighborhoods.

“Since the rezoning proposals would alter the 2016 citizen- approved Oro Valley General Plan and Planned Area Development, the process must include in-person meetings,” said Michael Bilodeau, President of Preserve Vistoso. “We are in the middle of a national emergency and videotaped presentations would not provide for adequate citizen input. We need to focus on our family’s well being and health and not worry about attempts to rezone property in our backyards.”

Preserve Vistoso believes that the Town should push the pause button and put a moratorium on General Plan amendments by Romspen and Spectra until public meetings are possible and impacted residents can effectively voice their opinions.

Spectra Properties announced plans to build a large senior care facility on 38-acres of the former golf course driving range with buildings adjacent to nearby residential homes. Romspen has filed for rezoning of additional golf course property for residential development, including proposed high density residential areas near Vistoso Highlands Boulevard.

Romspen, a $3 billion Toronto investment company, acquired the Vistoso Golf Course in 2015 at a foreclosure auction when the owner of the property, IRI Golf Group LLC, defaulted on its mortgage loan. Attempts by Romspen Investments to sell the former golf course ended in June 2018 with the closing of the golf course. Preserve Vistoso was founded in 2019 so the community would to have a voice is what happens to the former golf course property.

Preserve Vistoso believes that the 208-acre golf course property should remain zoned as recreational to protect some of the last remaining Sonoran desert habitat in Oro Valley. The organization wants to turn the property into a nature preserve and community trail to benefit all Oro Valley citizens.

The former golf course was designed as a desert golf course and more than 70 percent of the property is desert habitat and a sanctuary for wildlife. Volunteers have identified eight different kinds of mammals, 29 species of birds, and at least five types of reptiles. It has spectacular mountain scenery, more than six miles of paved trails, three restrooms, existing parking areas, a pond, walking access from hundreds of homes and petroglyphs.

A recent survey by Trust for Public Land, a leading conservation group, puts Oro Valley near the bottom of the list of communities that provide residents with easy access to a park or recreational area. Only 15 percent of Oro Valley residents are within a 10-minute walk of a park or recreational facility, while the national average is 54 Percent.  Oro Valley could change the Town rankings by preserving the 208 acres of the closed golf course as a nature preserve and community trail.

Trails in Honey Bee Park, along with Naranja Park in the central part of Oro Valley and nearby Catalina State Park are not appropriate for people with mobility problems – seniors or even families pushing strollers. Walking areas in Oro Valley’s Rancho Vistoso area generally are limited to sidewalks along busy streets.

Oro Valley is conducting an assessment of its Parks and Recreation facilities. The Rancho Vistoso community has voiced repeated concerns that most of the Town’s facilities are in the central part of the Town.

“Now is not the time for the Town Council to change its General Plan and rezone the former golf course when there is a need for more recreational areas north of Tangerine Road,” Bilodeau said.

Preserve Vistoso Board members have met with local and town officials, conservation groups and the State of Arizona. Representatives from the State of Arizona Parks and Trails recently toured the former golf course and told Preserve Vistoso representatives that acquisition grants could be available for half the purchase price of the property, based on a Yellow Book appraisal. Grants also could be available to help maintain the property. These grants are available to communities through government agencies, such as the Town of Oro Valley. Preserve Vistoso members told Oro Valley officials that it would help raise money for the purchase.

Preserve Vistoso invites all residents of Oro Valley and the Tucson area to join its effort at PreserveVistoso.org. Questions can be directed to PreserveVistoso@gmail.com

 

###

  • April 9, 2020 Edition:

CALL TO ACTION:

EMAIL YOUR CONCERNS TO TOWN BY APRIL 23 ABOUT PROPOSED

VISTOSO GOLF COURSE ZONING CHANGES


April 9, 2020 -- The Preserve Vistoso Board supports our members and the Rancho Vistoso community by opposing plans submitted to Oro Valley to revise the voter-approved 2016 General Plan and rezone parts of the Vistoso Golf Course. The proposals would drastically alter our neighborhoods.

Romspen Investments, a Canadian non-bank mortgage lender, and Memphis, TN based Spectra Properties Inc., propose rezoning 87 acres of the former Vistoso Golf Course and request a revision to the 2016 voter-approved Oro Valley General Plan. In addition, Romspen posted a second option for the driving range that includes medium density residential (minimum 5,000 sq. ft. lots); medium high density residential (3,000 sq. ft lots) and high density residential (2,000 sq. ft lots). We have attached two links that include information about the second option.  

       Click here for the General Plan Amendment and Rezoning sheet

       Click here for the Project Information Sheet

Oro Valley will post a video April 10 describing how we can participate in the rezoning process. Romspen and Spectra also will post a video detailing their re-zoning plans. You should receive a post card from the Town with information about how to access these videos. Notification signs will be posted throughout our neighborhoods. More information and the schedule for the rest of the year is available here:

We will have another website available soon to give you some messaging ideas and help you direct your messages. SEND EMAILS after the April 10 Oro Valley videos describing the process and the rezoning plans to ask@orovalleyaz.gov  and copy us at CopyPreserveVistoso@gmail.com. Let the Town Council know this plan is not what we want for our neighborhoods. You can send multiple emails to express your concerns and we hope you will do that. You will have until April 23 to send in your comments.

Oro Valley will post these comments on the information page which you can access here.  Romspen and Spectra and the Town staff will reply to our comments with a video presentation on April 30.

If we weren’t fighting COVID-19, there would be in-person neighborhood meetings before a rezoning application could be accepted by the Town by April 30. You would have had an opportunity to stand up and let the Town and the developers know in person what you think. Since neighborhood meetings are not possible, Oro Valley has substituted emails and videos. Preserve Vistoso believes that the only appropriate forum would be in-person meetings. However, we urge you to send emails to the Town, watch the videos and continue to comment at ask@orovalleyaz.gov.

As a reminder, Spectra Properties plans to build a senior care facility on 38-acres of the former golf course driving range with buildings adjacent to nearby residential homes. Romspen has proposed a second plan to include residential housing on the driving range. Romspen also has filed for rezoning of additional golf course property for residential development, including proposed high density residential areas near Vistoso Highlands Boulevard and housing on several areas of the property. Click here to view the Descriptive Letter, Land Use Map, and an illustrative Site Plan Map from the Planning Center.  

Thank you.  Your support and comments are extremely important to our community.

●  April 10, 2020 Edition:

PRESERVE VISTOSO BOARD SENDS SUGGESTIONS & CONCERNS TO ORO VALLEY OFFICIALS

April 10, 2020 – Preserve Vistoso’s Board recognizes that you are receiving multiple Pulse messages from us. We hope you understand that we need to express our opinions and concerns to Town officials as they consider Romspen’s rezoning proposal. We are trying to keep you up-to-date and let you know about opportunities to voice your opinions.  

The following is a letter sent by Preserve Vistoso Board members earlier this week to Oro Valley Town officials.  

April 8, 2020

To:  Mayor Winfield, Vice Mayor Barrett, Bayer Vella, Mary Jacobs and Council Members Jones-Ivey, Nicolson, Pina, Rodman, and Solomon.

This letter is to express Preserve Vistoso’s concerns and suggestions related to the Town of Oro Valley (“Town”) allowing Romspen Vistoso, LLC to host an online, video only pre-application neighborhood meeting (“Video Neighborhood Meeting”) in lieu of an in person meeting, for its redevelopment of Golf Club at Vistoso.  We at Preserve Vistoso understand that the COVID-19 pandemic requires us all to make changes for the safety of community residents.  That said, Neighborhood Meetings are a crucial part of the General Plan amendment process that allow affected residents to learn, question and comment about land use plans that will directly impact them.  The change to a Video Neighborhood Meeting for the Romspen General Plan Amendment, while required at this time, has a significant impact on our community and its ability to weigh in.

The Town’s Planning staff has provided us the format for the Video Neighborhood Meeting on April 10, 2020.  Below are some elements of the Neighborhood Meeting that we feel are essential to provide our residents the information they need for the General Plan amendment.  In a spirit of cooperation, we ask that the Town provide us assurances in writing that the following conditions for the Video Neighborhood Meeting will be honored:

  1. The Video Neighborhood Meeting will be noticed pursuant to the Town’s Zoning Code requirements.

  2. The Town will provide online written instructions that clearly explain how the public can access the online Video Neighborhood Meeting.

  3. The Town will provide clear instruction on how the public may submit questions and comments to Romspen and/or the Town regarding the Video Neighborhood Meeting presentation.

  4. The Town will require Romspen to provide written responses to these questions and comments by a set date (e.g., 20 calendar days post meeting (“Comment Period”). After the Comment Period, the Town will distribute these responses to interested parties via email and make them available online.  

  5. During the Comment Period, the Town will post online all questions and comments as they are received.  This will allow community members to support, build on, or clarify comments submitted by other community members, as would occur in an in-person Neighborhood Meeting.

  6. Preserve Vistoso is designing a web page that will make the feedback submittal process more streamlined for our members. Each submittal will still be individually identified and sent to ask@orovalleyaz.gov  We request that these submittals be given the same treatment as those submitted through the Town portal.

  7. This Video Neighborhood Meeting is in addition to the minimum two Town-required meetings and is not a substitute for the in-person meetings.  Unless not allowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person Neighborhood Meetings will be held in September and October 2020.  These meetings will also be made available for online participation.  If the in-person meetings are still not permitted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the process will not move forward unless the alternative Neighborhood Meetings adequately inform the public and allow for input similar to in-person meetings.

Sincerely,

Preserve Vistoso Board of Directors
        Michael Bilodeau   President
       Gayle Mateer          Vice President
       Craig MacKay          Secretary
       Rick London            Treasurer
       Roy Hoff                   Director
       Ray Barth                 Director
       David Smoler           Director
       Walt Rogers             Director
       Pat Sturmon            Director
       Crist Stevenson       Director
       Dave Kozloff            Director
       Gerald Bren             Director
       Bill Murray               Director

●  April 18, 2020 Edition:

CALL TO ACTION:

KEEP SENDING CONCERNS AND OPINIONS TO

ORO VALLEY ABOUT ROMSPEN REZONING PLANS

Preserve Vistoso members should continue sending emails with comments on the Romspen rezoning plan to ask@orovalleyaz.gov and copy Preserve Vistoso CopyPreserveVistoso@gmail.com.   This is our only option to let the Town know that we are united in opposition to the Romspen rezoning application and proposed changes in the Town’s General Plan.  The Town website indicated that questions and concerns sent to them by April 23 will be answered in a video presentation on April 30.  If you send a copy of your comments to Preserve Vistoso, we will be able to better understand community concerns and evaluate the responses we receive from the Town and Romspen. If you’d like to also send your comments to Town Council members, you can find that information HERE.


Preserve Vistoso had established a separate website to help members communicate with the Town, but we encountered technical issues and the Town was not receiving all our emails.  We are resending the emails sent through the separate website to the Town, but you also can resend your messages to ask@orovalleyaz.gov.

You can see the difference you are making and view community comments posted so far by clicking here. This file is updated at the end of every business day.  If you do not see your comments by next Tuesday (April 21), resend your email and let Preserve Vistoso PreserveVistoso@gmail.com know your comments were not included in the Town's summary.

Preserve Vistoso Concerns

In the video of the rezoning process, Town official Michael Spaeth said that certain criteria are used to judge any application to rezone or change the General Plan.  The criteria include: compatibility to the neighborhood; impact on views; appropriate transitions; traffic considerations.   Preserve Vistoso believes that the proposal by the applicant, Romspen, fails all four of those categories.  

Preserve Vistoso also believes that the requirement for Oro Valley community input is seriously jeopardized by precautions in place to protect citizens from the spread of the COVID-19.  The Oro Valley Public Code states that neighborhood meetings are set up to promote fair and open dialogue between stakeholders, applicants, and staff.   We do not believe that emails and videos provide fair and open dialogue.  

What About Our Neighborhood HOAs?

Michael Bilodeau, President of Preserve Vistoso, keeps the presidents of impacted HOAs informed about Romspen's rezoning application. Please make sure your HOAs know about your concerns. Part of Romspen's Public Outreach Plan is to get feedback from your HOAs. If you don't see your HOA listed on page 4 of the Town’s document (click here to see it), please let the Town and Preserve Vistoso know.

Information Resources for Preserve Vistoso Members

Let Oro Valley Excel: http://letorovalleyexcel.blogspot.com/  Bookmark this Oro Valley Blog as it has extensive coverage of Preserve Vistoso and includes interviews with candidates for the August Town Council election.  There have been several updates on the zoning process.  

Oro Valley Podcast: https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/oro-valley-podcast-jimhorn-Wepnz6Bj03f/.  The host of the Podcast, Jim Horn, interviews Oro Valley leaders, including candidates for the August 4 Town Council election.  You can listen to an interview with Michael Bilodeau, President of Preserve Vistoso here.

Explorer Newspaper: Preserve Vistoso sent a news release to the Explorer newspapers generating the following article by Kathleen Kunz .

Oro Valley Rezoning Schedule Through December

If the Town accepts Romspen’s application on April 30 for changing the General Plan, Planned Area Development and rezoning portions of the former Vistoso Golf Course, we will have several months to let the Town know our concerns before the Town Council votes on the proposal.

Here is information from Oro Valley’s website on the timeline for the rezoning process:

  • April 23 – Questions and comments received by this date will serve as the foundation for the 2nd video being posted on 4/30. Staff and the applicant will be addressing the most common and frequent questions received.

  • April 30 – Second informational video with Town staff and the applicant answering the most common questions and comments received. All questions and comments received on ask@orovalleyaz.gov will be posted on this page throughout the process to be available for view by the public.

  • May 14 - Web-based, fully interactive Zoom meeting.

  • June to July – Web-based and interactive meetings for different groups of subdivisions. This enables focused discussion on specific areas and related concerns. More detail will be provided upon approval of the applicants Public Outreach Plan (POP).

  • August – Two conventional in person neighborhood meetings - if safe and possible; otherwise web-based and interactive meetings will be offered.

  • September – Two conventional in person neighborhood meetings if safe and possible; otherwise web-based and interactive meetings will be offered.

  • October – 1st Planning and Zoning Commission public hearing (informational only - as required): Public testimony is encouraged during the public hearing, though no action will be taken by the Planning and Zoning Commission at this meeting.

  • November – 2nd Planning and Zoning Commission public hearing: Public testimony is encouraged during the public hearing. The Planning and Zoning Commission may take action by voting to send a formal recommendation to Town Council.

  • December – Town Council public hearing: Public testimony is encouraged during the public hearing. Town Council may vote to approve, deny or continue the applications.

  • May 2, 2020 Edition:

 

Members have reported that the link to the video with Romspen and Town responses is not working. The link has been updated in the e-mail below but you can also watch it on YouTube or on OVProjects.com under General Plan Amendments.

ROMSPEN RESPONSES TO SOME OF YOUR QUESTIONS 

 

May 2, 2020 -- Preserve Vistoso urges you to view the April 30 Oro Valley video produced to give us answers to some of the more than 1,000 questions we sent to the Town, click here.  

Michael Spaeth, Oro Valley Planning and Zoning, provides an overview of the process and the proposed Romspen request for a revision to the 2016 voter-approved Oro Valley General Plan and rezoning of 87 acres of the former Vistoso Golf Course. Linda Morales, The Planning Center, and Peter Oelbaum, Romspen’s Managing Partner, participate in the video. Oro Valley Parks and Recreation Director Kristy Diaz-Trahan also shares information on the Town’s plan to prioritize community investments in the Town’s currently owned facilities. Those facilities are not in Rancho Vistoso, but in the central part of Town.   

After viewing the April 30 video, please continue sending your questions and concerns to ASK@OROVALLEYAZ.GOV and CopyPreserveVistoso@gmail.com. If you’d like to have additional input into the Parks and Recreation study and the plans shared by Director Kristy, you can send your comments to http://www.planyourparksov.com/participate/ (see "Your Comments" at the bottom of the page.) 

Your first opportunity for open dialog with Romspen and the Town of Oro Valley will be May 14 at 6:00 PM when the Town will host a Web-based ZOOM meeting. Information about how to participate in the Zoom meeting is posted on www.OVProjects.com and Preserve Vistoso will send out more details closer to May 14th. If you would like an opportunity to get a preview of what it is like to participate in a Zoom meeting, the Planning and Zoning Commission is hosting a Zoom teleconference at 6:00 PM on May 5th and the Town Council Meeting is being held via Zoom at 6:00 PM on May 6th. Information on how to participate in these meetings is posted here.

  • May 11, 2020 Edition

CALL TO ACTION - PARTICIPATE IN MAY 14 ZOOM CALL


May 11, 2020 - Oro Valley has scheduled the first neighborhood meeting on Romspen’s rezoning application for Thursday, May 14, at 6:00 PM. This is being done as a Zoom teleconference call. We strongly urge everyone to participate as this is the Town’s alternative to in-person meetings during the COVID-19 crisis. If your questions and concerns were not answered in the April 30 video, it is important to continue e-mailing ask@orovalleyaz.gov and attend the May 14th teleconference to address Town Management and Romspen representatives directly.  

WEAR YOUR PRESERVE VISTOSO BUTTON, and make sure it is visible on camera. If you need a button, send an email to preservevistoso@gmail.com. Even though we cannot pack Town Hall with our members, we can voice our opinions about the Romspen development plans and tell the Town Council that the needs of our community must be considered. 
 
Preserve Vistoso Video

An aerial video of the property produced by Jim Horn is posted on the VISION tab of PreserveVistoso.org, which you can access here. The video provides an overview of this property and why Preserve Vistoso feels it is critical for Oro Valley to preserve it as a Nature Preserve and Community Trail. Please feel free to share the link to this video with your neighbors, friends, and people who may be interested in helping to preserve this amazing piece of property. You can find the video on the https://www.preservevistoso.org/desert-park page.

How to Participate

Below you will find details on how to participate in the Zoom call based on the current information posted by the Town. Make sure to check the Town's website here on May 14th just in case the Town changes the instructions.

We recommend you download and install the Zoom software from https://zoom.us/download and then go to to the Town's website here for instructions on using Zoom for Town meetings. You can also visit support from Zoom here to see additional instructions on how to use Zoom. We recommend you make a test call with your friends or family prior to May 14.

A few minutes prior to the Thursday call, open the Zoom app to its home page and then click "Join A Meeting". On the Join Meeting page, enter the meeting ID, 921 2282 7563. In the box below the meeting ID, it will should show your name as registered with Zoom. That is the name that will on the screen visible to all participants. Once you click join, you will be on the call.  

NOTE:  You can join the call by phone by dialing 301-715-8592 and ask questions by pushing *9.

If you hear audio echo or audio feedback during your meeting, there are three possible causes:

  • A participant has both the computer and telephone audio active

  • Participants with computers or telephones speakers which are too close to each other

  • Multiple computers with active audio in the same room

While you are not required to have a webcam to join a Zoom Meeting or Webinar, without one you will not be able to transmit video of yourself. However, you can listen and speak during the meeting and view the webcam video of other participants. 

To speak or ask questions, you will need to raise your hand (hand symbol on Zoom). The Town representative should explain how to use the hand symbol and will probably call on people in the order that you raise your hand. If you are called to speak, you will need to push the microphone symbol to unmute yourself.  

What if I can’t connect or I get disconnected?

If you are unable to connect to the Zoom teleconference, you lose your connection, or you were not called on to ask your question or present your concern after raising your hand, please try again. If you are unable to resolve the issue after a few minutes, please call the Town at 520-229-4711 and send an e-mail to CopyPreserveVistoso@gmail.com describing the problem you experienced. Preserve Vistoso will not be able to help you get connected but we want to understand the issues that people have experienced. It is important that all residents have an opportunity to ask their questions and express any concerns they have.

 ● May 22, 2020 Edition:

 

PLAN TO PARTICIPATE IN JUNE FOCUS AREA NEIGHBORHOOD MEETINGS 

 

Oro Valley announced the schedule for Zoom interactive focus meetings on Romspen’s application to amend the 2016 General Plan and change the zoning in our neighborhoods.

Meeting 1: Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 6:00 PM--Monterey, Stonegate, Vistoso Highlands, Richmond American, Discovery 

Meeting 2: Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at 6:00 PM--Stone Village, Fairfield, Siena, Cortona, Center Pointe – Desert Crest 

Meeting 3: Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at 6:00 PM--Center Pointe--Summit North and The Pinnacle, Vistoso Golf Casitas at 655, 695 & 755, Vistoso Resort Casitas - Worldmark 

Meeting 4: Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 6:00 PM--Somerset Canyon, Center Pointe--Summit South and The Cove, Stone Terrace, Bella Vista 


We recommend you download and install the Zoom software from https://zoom.us/download and then go to the Town's website here for instructions on the link for each meeting.

The Town states that the purpose of these smaller meetings is to focus on issues affecting specific neighborhoods, but all meetings are open to anyone who wants to attend. If your schedule does not allow you to attend your specific neighborhood meeting, please attend one of the other meetings. Or if your questions were not answered, attend another meeting. The Town states that they will take questions/comments from specific neighborhood residents and then open it for questions from those who do not live in the specific neighborhood.
   
This is the next step in the hearing process for Romspen’s proposal to amend the General Plan and change the current recreational zoning to medium and high density residential. The illustrative site plans (Options 1 and 2) are included in the applicant Project Information Sheet
  
Option 1 remains a proposed senior citizen facility with high density housing on the former golf course driving range even though it was announced that the developer (Spectra) withdrew from the application. The option for medium density housing on the driving range area is proposed as option 2. Both filings include medium density housing on holes 6, 7 and 14 and high density multifamily housing near the existing casitas.  

The Romspen filing also proposes donating 115 acres to the Town or a designated third party to establish a linear trail throughout the property. This plan does not:

  • Provide an adequate wildlife corridor.

  • Provide enough spacing between housing developments for trails.

  • Keep the three remaining restrooms.

  • Include a comprehensive restoration plan for the former golf course fairways and greens.

  • Include a restoration plan for the pond near Vistoso Highlands Blvd. ​

 

The Town of Oro Valley has been receptive to our comments, so let’s continue to let the Town know what concerns us about the proposed changes to our neighborhood. Our goal is to preserve the recreational designation in the General Plan and make the former golf course a nature preserve and community trail.
 
If your questions are not answered, or if you still have questions about the answer you received, please email ask@orovalleyaz.gov and copy Preserve Vistoso at CopyPreserveVistoso@gmail.com. The Town has stated that additional neighborhood meetings could be required if all your questions are not answered.  

 ● June 1, 2020 Edition:

Wednesday Town Council Meeting Considers Options for Former Vistoso Golf Course


We urge all members of Preserve Vistoso to attend the Oro Valley Town Council meeting (Zoom Call) on Wednesday, June 3, at 6 pm to demonstrate our community supports Council efforts to consider “possible options” to save the former golf course as a nature preserve and community trail.   This could be an important first step in keeping the property zoned recreational.  It made a difference when we packed the Council Chambers on January 23rd for a Parks and Rec meeting, so let’s cover the Zoom screen with hundreds of our members.  

The first agenda item is sponsored by Mayor Winfield and Vice Mayor Barrett: DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE DIRECTION TO THE TOWN MANAGER TO FACILITATE, WITH ROMPSEN'S KNOWLEDGE AND CONSENT, COMMUNICATIONS WITH THIRD PARTIES ABOUT POSSIBLE OPTIONS FOR ITS ORO VALLEY PROPERTY COMMONLY KNOWN AS THE FORMER VISTOSO GOLF COURSE.  

The Second agenda item, sponsored by Town Council Members Solomon and Pina: UPDATE AND INFORMATIONAL DISCUSSION REGARDING THE CLOSED VISTOSO GOLF COURSE.

We can demonstrate our community commitment to save the former golf course as a Nature Preserve and Community Trail by participating in this Zoom call via https://orovalley.zoom.us/j/94950116545  or via phone 1-669-900-6833.

You can view the agenda and detailed instructions to join the call by going to the Town Council Agenda.   

If you are joining the meeting on your computer and would like use the Preserve Vistoso logo as your Zoom profile, you can download the White Logo (for dark backgrounds) or Color Logo (for light backgrounds). Instructions for setting your Zoom profile image can be found here.

The possible Council actions on the agenda are separate from the Planning and Zoning neighborhood meetings scheduled for the next two weeks.

Reminder to Participate in June Focus Area Neighborhood Meetings
 
Oro Valley announced the schedule for Zoom interactive focus meetings on Romspen’s application to amend the 2016 General Plan and change the zoning in our neighborhoods (See May 22 Pulse).  The dates for Summit North and Summit South were incorrect on the initial postcards, but corrected postcards have been mailed.  

  • Meeting 1: Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 6PM--Monterey, Stonegate, Vistoso Highlands, Richmond American, Discovery 

  • Meeting 2: Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at 6PM--Stone Village, Fairfield, Siena, Cortona, Center Pointe – Desert Crest. 

  • Meeting 3: Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at 6PM--Center Pointe--Summit North and The Pinnacle, Vistoso Golf Casitas at 655, 695 & 755, Vistoso Resort Casitas - Worldmark 

  • Meeting 4: Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 6PM--Somerset Canyon, Center Pointe--Summit South and The Cove, Stone Terrace, Bella Vista 


The Town's website includes links for each meeting. 

Oro Valley states that the purpose of these meetings is to focus on issues affecting specific neighborhoods, but all meetings are open to anyone who wants to attend.  If you do not see your community listed or your schedule does not allow you to attend your specific neighborhood meeting, please attend one of the other meetings.  Or if your questions were not answered, attend another meeting.  The Town states that they will take questions/comments from specific neighborhood residents and then open it for questions from those who do not live in the specific neighborhood.   

If you have questions about the Council agenda item or the neighborhood meetings, email ask@orovalleyaz.gov  and copy us at CopyPreserveVistoso@gmail.com. The Town states in the letter that additional neighborhood meeting could be required if all your questions are not answered.  

• June 4, 2020 Edition:

Rezoning Meetings Continue Tonight While Town Council Votes to Explore Purchase Plans for the Vistoso Golf Property

Last night, the Oro Valley Town Council voted unanimously to ask Town Staff to work with The Conservation Fund (TCF) to explore the purchase of the Romspen property as a Nature Preserve and Community Trail.  This is great news!  Preserve Vistoso completely supports working with TCF to acquire the property, but we want to make sure you understand that this is just a first step. Romspen has NOT withdrawn its request for rezoning the property and it is more important than ever that you participate in the Focus Neighborhood Meetings to express your concerns. The first one is tonight at 6pm.

Two of our neighbors and founders of Preserve Vistoso, Rosa Daily and Tom Stegman, arranged for TCF representatives to visit the Romspen property last week.  Preserve Vistoso, the Mayor and the Vice-Mayor joined them for a tour of the property and a meeting to discuss TCF's involvement.  TCF has worked in all 50 states to protect over 8 million acres of land since 1985 and has saved almost a million acres in Arizona. You can read more about TCF at https://www.conservationfund.org.

TCF is interested in helping us conserve the Romspen property but there are conditions for its involvement. The first step was confirmation that the Town of Oro Valley would support its efforts to acquire the property and consider accepting the land as a donation.  We believe last night's Town Council vote met that requirement.  The next step will be for TCF to confirm that Romspen would accept an offer and determine the offer amount.  TCF would then decide if its acquisition funds could be replenished within a reasonable amount of time.

Fundraising is where Preserve Vistoso becomes important. We hired GiftPro LLC a month ago to help guide our Board in fundraising efforts. We're also in the process of conducting one-on-one meetings with impacted homeowners to better understand their willingness to contribute toward purchasing the property. We will share more information about these efforts and TCF plans in the upcoming weeks.

In the meantime, it is important that you continue to participate in the Rezoning Focus Neighborhood Meetings.  Although Preserve Vistoso will continue to push for conservation of the Romspen property as a Nature Preserve and Community Trail, the decision to rezone the property is a Town Council decision. Their decision on whether or not to approve Romspen's request to rezone is based in a large part on the community's participation and feedback in neighborhood meetings. Please continue to participate in these meetings and send your feedback to Ask@OroValleyAz.gov while copying us at copypreservevistoso.org.

Here is the announced schedule for Zoom interactive focus meetings on Romspen’s application to amend the 2016 General Plan and change the zoning in our neighborhoods:

  • Meeting 1: Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 6PM--Monterey, Stonegate, Vistoso Highlands, Richmond American, Discovery

  • Meeting 2: Tuesday, June 9, 2020 at 6PM--Stone Village, Fairfield, Siena, Cortona, Center Pointe – Desert Crest.

  • Meeting 3: Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at 6PM--Center Pointe--Summit North and The Pinnacle, Vistoso Golf Casitas at 655, 695 & 755, Vistoso Resort Casitas - Worldmark

  • Meeting 4: Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 6PM--Somerset Canyon, Center Pointe--Summit South and The Cove, Stone Terrace, Bella Vista

We recommend you download and install the Zoom software from https://zoom.us/download and then go to the Town's website for links to each meeting.

The Town states that the purpose of these smaller meetings is to focus on issues affecting specific neighborhoods, but all meetings are open to anyone who wants to attend.  If your schedule does not allow you to attend your specific neighborhood meeting, please attend one of the other meetings.

  • June 4, 2020 Edition:

June 4th - Message from Bayer Vella, Oro Valley Town Planning Manager, to Preserve Vistoso Members

In light of the Town Council’s discussion regarding options for the former Vistoso Golf Course, Romspen, has requested that all neighborhood meetings regarding their application be postponed for 30 days. The purpose of the request is to provide the Town, Romspen, and the Conservation Group time to review the options for the Vistoso Golf Course, and also for Romspen to evaluate their application. I want to make it clear that from the Town’s perspective, these neighborhood meetings are not being cancelled; they are being postponed until further notice.

This 30 days is just a hiatus in the public engagement component to allow for due diligence to be performed. At the end of 30 days, Romspen may pull, modify, or proceed with their application. Once Romspen communicates their intent, staff will resume the public engagement process and reschedule the neighborhood meetings for late July. If Romspen ultimately decides to pull their application, the public engagement process would stop as there would be no application to discuss.

Since the first neighborhood meetings was scheduled for tonight, the Planning Team intends to host the meeting and provide an update on the project’s status. The applicant’s representative, Linda Morales, will also provide an update. As the other meetings for this topic are being postponed, we will not be taking questions or allowing public comment. Since the applicant may or may not change their application based on last night’s direction from Council, any responses to questions about traffic, studies, etc. would be conjecture at this point. It also seems to be an inequity in allowing one group of homeowners (tonight’s group) to ask questions and comment, while postponing the other meetings and not providing those residents with the same opportunity.

Sincerely,

Bayer Vella, AICP
Planning Manager
Town of Oro Valley

To hear the update, you can join tonight's Zoom Meeting at 6pm by going to https://orovalley.zoom.us/j/99308166704 or calling (669) 900-6833. The Meeting ID is 993 0816 6704.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • April 22, 2020 Edition:

REMINDER TO SEND EMAILS TO TOWN BY APRIL 23


All Preserve Vistoso member comments on the changes to the General Plan and rezoning proposed by Romspen need to be emailed to the Town of Oro Valley at ask@OroValleyAZ.gov by Thursday, April 23.  If you have not sent your email comments, please do so, and be sure to send a copy to copypreservevistoso@gmail.com.  For those of you who have submitted your opinions, we encourage you to send additional emails.  If you’d like to review the issues, please refer to the last few issues of Pulse which you can access here.

  • April 27, 2020 Edition:

RESPOND TO ORO VALLEY PARKS AND RECREATION ONLINE SURVEY


APRIL 27 -- As many of you know, the Town of Oro Valley commissioned PROS consulting to do a comprehensive needs assessment and master plan for Oro Valley Parks and Recreation and recommend an overall plan for the future.  As part of the process the Town posted a needs assessment online survey at https://www.planyourparksov.com. It will be available until May 3 and we urge all 1,200 of our members to complete the survey.  

There are several questions in the survey that relate to Preserve Vistoso’s goal of converting the golf course property to a park.  For example, there are questions asking if you support:

  • Preserve open space and protect the environment

  • Purchase land to preserve open space

  • Develop new parks that generally meet the highest needs of the community

If you feel, as we do, that we need more park land in our area, please rate them items “very supportive” when you take the survey.

We packed the Town Hall meeting introducing the Parks and Rec survey on January 23 to demonstrate support to preserve the former Vistoso Golf Course as a nature preserve and community trail.  Even though we have supported the need for a recreational area north of Tangerine Road, the Town’s summary of the parks and Rec study does not appear to reflect our Rancho Vistoso community need for funding and strategic partnership with the Town.

Here is the description from the Town’s website about the Parks and Rec master plan.  There is no mention of our need for a recreational area in Rancho Vistoso.  

Once all the information gathering is completed, a final report will be presented to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and Town Council, likely late April or early May. The next step is to develop the comprehensive Master Plan. Key to the plan is using all the data that is gathered to develop a strong system that our residents want, and a reasonable plan to bring that vision to fruition. The plan will include strategies and priorities for funding, program development, and strategic partnerships.

As you may recall, Oro Valley Town Council made the decision to retain 36 holes of golf, and that decision will stand. Input will, however, be used to develop conceptual site plans for Naranja Park, James D. Kriegh Park, Riverfront Park, Steam Pump Ranch and the Community Center.

The above comments could indicate that the survey’s focus may concentrate on improvements to existing parks in the central part of the Town.   We need to have a voice in determining the future of parks in Oro Valley and encourage you after completing the survey to return to the feedback option still available under http://www.planyourparksov.com/participate/.   There is a box where you can express your opinion that we need to work with the Town to save the former Vistoso golf course as a nature preserve and community trail.   Let the Town know what recreational facilities and improvements are important to our Rancho Vistoso families.  

TOWN SCHEDULES APRIL 30 VIDEO
TO ANSWER OUR COMMENT AND CONCERNS


Oro Valley will post a video April 30 to address our most common questions and comments about Romspen’s proposed changes to the General Plan and rezoning proposals.   We tallied 669 comments from you to the Town.  You can view the comments and concerns here:

If you send comments to Oro Valley about the information in the April 30 video ask@OroValleyAz.gov please remember to also CopyPreserveVistoso@gmail.com  The Town must decide April 30 if it will accept Romspen’s application on to amend the Town’s General Plan and rezone the former golf course.  Our next opportunity to comment on the proposed plans will be May 14 with a web-based, fully interactive Zoom meeting.  

We will keep you informed on how to continue to participate and voice your opinions.  

 

• June 13, 2020

 

UPDATE ON THE CONSERVATION FUND’S INTEREST IN
ACQUIRING THE FORMER VISTOSO GOLF COURSE


This week, The Conservation Fund (TCF) submitted a Letter of Intent to Romspen for the purchase of the Romspen property as a Nature Preserve and Community Trail.  TCF, a highly regarded national non-profit 501(c)3 organization, helps make conservation projects a reality.  If negotiations with Romspen are successful, TCF will provide the critical financing necessary to acquire the property and work with the Town and organizations such as Preserve Vistoso to return funds to TCF to reinvest into other conservations projects.  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.  

We still have work to do as this is a first step to acquire the property. If negotiations for TCF to acquire the property succeed, we need to raise funds to replenish TCF’s acquisition funds. We hired GiftPro LLC a month ago to help guide our Board in fundraising efforts.  We're also in the process of conducting one-on-one meetings with impacted homeowners to better understand their willingness to contribute toward purchasing the property. 

TCF representatives will negotiate with Romspen.  During this period we ask you not to contact TCF or Romspen representatives about the potential acquisition.  We will let you know more information as it is available.

We also need to remember that Romspen paused its request to amend the General Plan and rezone the former golf course from recreational to medium and high density residential.  At the end of 30 days, Romspen may pull, modify, or proceed with its application. If Romspen communicates its intent to proceed, Oro Valley staff will resume the public engagement process and reschedule neighborhood meetings for late July.

Preserve Vistoso members made this happen.  Thank you for your support.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Preserve Vistoso Pulse Published in 2020 January - June