** September 2019 FAQ's **
What is the expected purchase price of the property?
Preserve Vistoso is in the process of getting an appraisal of the property that is currently predominately zoned for recreational use. About 7 acres, where the Club House and the VCA office are located, are currently zoned for high density housing. We will know what a fair market price is after the appraisal is complete.
When can the community make an offer to purchase?
Once we know the fair market value of the property as it is currently zoned (95%+ of the acres for recreational use), Preserve Vistoso can begin to prepare our offer. As part of our offer, a time period to raise the needed funds will be included.
If purchased, how will it be paid for?
Preserve Vistoso will raise funds to purchase the property thru private donations. We are also hopeful that we will find a nature conservatory organization to partner with to help fund the purchase.
** August 2019 FAQ's **
Can we see Romspen's plan?
Romspen shared its concept, but not its development plan. The concept consisted of rezoning 109 of the 208-acre property into low, medium, and medium-high density housing. An engineering review must be completed and it is likely there will be significant changes. Rather than speculate on Romspen’s plan, Preserve Vistoso is focused on protecting the entire property. Our plan is to purchase and convert it to a nature preserve for to benefit the community. Romspen told Preserve Vistoso that they hoped to have a residential development plan ready to share with the Rancho Vistoso community in the fall.
Has Romspen's plan been submitted to the Planning and Zoning Commission and Town Council?
As part of the Oro Valley rezoning process, Romspen must hold neighborhood meetings prior to formal submittal of the proposed project. Romspen told Preserve Vistoso that they hoped to have a plan to share with the community this fall. We will keep our members abreast of when it is the time to attend these meetings and write/email government officials regarding our desire to retain the existing recreational zoning.
Can you share details on the zoning process?
Yes. You can obtain a pdf document detailing the specific steps of the Oro Valley rezoning process by clicking this link or going to: https://orovalleyaz.gov/sites/default/files/media/docs/2017/rezoning-process-guide-revised-1172017.pdf
Can we really stop the rezoning?
Yes. The Oro Valley Planning and Zoning Commission considers community feedback before making a recommendation to approve a zoning amendment to the Oro Valley Town Council. Preserve Vistoso is a large group of 700+ members, is well organized, and knowledgeable about the rezoning process. The current zoning code is aligned with our position. We are requesting that Oro Valley government officials listen to its constituency - retain existing recreational zoning and not approve zoning amendments for residential development.
How does Preserve Vistoso plan to contest Romspen's plan?
Preserve Vistoso plans to purchase the property and convert it to a nature preserve. Our goal is to unify our voice so the Oro Valley governmental officials hear loud and clear that the community wants to retain existing ordinances and keep recreational space as recreational space. Keeping the property zoned recreational is consistent with the Oro Valley Planned Area Development and the Your Voice, Our Future General Plan.
Why would the Planning and Zoning Commission and Town Council agree not to rezone?
The property is presently zoned as recreational space. Recreational zoning is consistent with the Oro Valley Planned Area Development and the Your Voice, Our Future General Plan.We need to unite as a community and keep the zoning as it currently exists.
What happens to the donations to Preserve Vistoso?
All donations currently received go the general operating budget to cover items such as: 501(c)(3) application, legal advice, website hosting, communication materials, etc. We are a 100% volunteer organization; no salaries are paid. Once we advance our plan to purchase the property, a separate fund-raising campaign will be conducted. Financial information will be made public after our 501(c)(3) application is approved. We truly appreciate all those who have donated and provided their support to get Preserve Vistoso off the ground and keep it operating!
Can we get specific details from the Preserve Vistoso Committee chairs at our next meeting about what they are doing?
Please go to the Preserve Vistoso website where you will find names, neighborhoods, and pictures of our Board of Director.s Additional information about our organizational structure, task forces, and committees will be posted to the website in the near future.
Should we send emails, letters, or call Oro Valley Planning and Zoning Commission or Town Council to express our opinions about rezoning?
Your voice is important. When the time is right, we want the Oro Valley Planning and Zoning Committee and Town Council to understand that we are united behind a common goal to maintain the zoning of the property as recreational. Preserve Vistoso will monitor and will keep members informed about when we need to make our viewpoints known and provide information on how to voice your opinion. Look for future editions of The Preserve Vistoso Pulseon when to take action.
What will happen to the cart paths, club house, and rest rooms on the course?
We believe our community is best served by converting the property into a nature preserve and recreational area. The property lends itself well to hiking trails, bike paths, picnic areas, and exercise stations. We are working with nature conservancy groups to assist us in our vision. All existing amenities will be evaluated for how they might enhance our plan. We want to take advantage of this opportunity to turn the unfortunate closing of the golf course into something the community can support by making it better than it was.
Have you evaluated retaining the property as a golf course by paying for it with golf memberships?
There are no potential buyers for the Vistoso Golf Club. Numerous attempts to find a buyer for the golf course have failed. At this point the course needs $2M to $4M to bring the 18-hole course back into playable condition, on top of the original purchase price of $3.5 million and on-going water expenses of ~$500,000 per year. With the decline in golf across the U.S. and the abundance of golf options in the Tucson area, Preserve Vistoso believes that it is in the best interest of our community to move forward to protect the land as a nature preserve. We want to provide a first-class amenity for the entire community; one worthy of the Vistoso name. Our goal is to retain the natural tranquility, spectacular scenery, and wildlife habitats that exist there today.
What was Romspen going to do with the portion of the property that they were not going to rezone for residential use?
Romspen indicated that it would consider donating the balance of the property to the community to determine future use.
What would PreserveVistoso do with the property?
Preserve Vistoso is working on a plan to purchase the entire 208-acre property. Preserve Vistoso believes that it is in the best interest of our community to move forward to protect the land as a nature preserve. We want to provide a first-class amenity for the entire community; one worthy of the Vistoso name. It is too early to give specifics, but some ideas include converting portions of the property to a butterfly park, cactus gardens, humming bird sanctuary, exercise stations, hiking trails, and biking trails. Our goal is to retain the natural tranquility, spectacular scenery, and wildlife habitats that exist there today.
What are your plans for the petroglyphs?
Our intention is that the petroglyphs will stay where they are. Our goal is to preserve them and hope to incorporate them into an educational exhibit in the nature preserve.
If we are able to buy the property, will the members have input on the design plan for the property?
Preserve Vistoso will ask for community input. We are hosting a series of Meet & Greet meetings and want everyone to attend. We also are planning HOA and neighborhood meetings starting this fall. You also can send you questions to PreseveVistoso@gmail.com
I don't live on or near the former Vistoso Golf Course, why should I get involved in what happens to it?
We are all part of the Rancho Vistoso community. Preserve Vistoso wants to retain recreational space as outlined in the Rancho Vistoso Planned Area Development and the Oro Valley Your Voice, Our Plan General Plan. The Rancho Vistoso community was not designed to have the additional 100-300 homes that could result. These additional homes stress our existing school system, roads/infrastructure, and increase traffic. Our goal is to retain the natural tranquility, scenery, and wildlife habitats that exist there today. We want to provide a first-class amenity for the entire community; one worthy of the Vistoso name.
Who do I contact about "property maintenance issues?"
Contact Jessica Hynd, Oro Valley Constituent Service, 520 229-4471, if you have issues or concerns.
What can I do to help Preserve Vistoso?
JOIN PRESERVE VISTOSO TODAY. It’s free! Go to preservevistoso.org and click the “JOIN” button. Indicate the level of engagement that interests you or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. A financial contribution is always welcome to help offset start-up costs used to help communicate to our neighbors. You will find a "DONATE NOW" button on the home page. Together we can achieve greater control of over future of the golf course property.
** March 2019 FAQ's **
Why was Preserve Vistoso formed?
Preserve Vistoso was formed to proactively engage community members so we have a voice in the future of the Romspen property (the former Vistoso Golf Club). Our mission is to explore options to retain the natural beauty and recreational amenities of Rancho Vistoso.
Who owns the Vistoso Golf Club?
Romspen ( http://www.romspen.com/default.aspx ), a Canadian non-bank mortgage lender, bought the foreclosed Vistoso Golf Club in 2014. The course has gone through a number of ownership and management changes through the years and has been closed since June 2018. Romspen has been trying to sell the golf course for a number of years without success. It is reasonable to assume that a residential developer would be interested in the property if Romspen is unable to find a buyer.
What is the role of the Vistoso Community Association (VCA) in the development and/or preserving the Vistoso Golf Course property?
The VCA has a fiduciary obligation to all 8,000 voting units (5,000 homes and commercial owner members). While the golf course is a central feature of the community, the vast majority of the property is not governed by the Rancho Vistoso CC&Rs, meaning that as a community, we have no direct control over the use of the Romspen property. Only the parking lot, clubhouse area, and the driving ranges are governed by Rancho Vistoso’s CC&Rs. The parking lot and clubhouse areas are presently zoned for high-density residential, while the driving range is zoned for light-commercial.
What is the role of my neighborhood HOA?
Many neighborhoods in Rancho Vistoso have local HOAs in addition to the VCA. The golf course property is not subject to these neighborhood CC&Rs. While your local HOA has no direct authority or role, it can help support Preserve Vistoso’s mission. Your HOA can share our communications and encourage community engagement regarding reopening the golf course, preservation of recreational area, or other development endeavors that that will benefit the community.
What is the role of Preserve Vistoso?
Preserve Vistoso was formed to ensure we have a voice in preserving our neighborhood. We will act as a conduit, connecting the interests of our diverse community to achieve the optimum outcome of the golf course property, consistent with the Oro Valley General Plan.
We recognize that golf is the preferred option for many in our community and we will continue to look for options to re-open the Vistoso Golf Club. Recognizing some of the challenges of managing a sustainable golf course in the current market, we are also concurrently looking into other options. We believe the property would be ideal for a park, walking trails, and other recreational uses. We plan to research the viability of all recreational options, determine the level of community support, and the financial resources needed for each option.
If a developer presents a plan that requires rezoning recreational space or other variances, Preserve Vistoso will work with all Oro Valley authorities to assure that responsible development is achieved, maintaining the quality of life for all in Rancho Vistoso. We need to protect our recreational area, natural habitats, and our Indian petroglyphs, which are important to the history of Oro Valley. We want to minimize development that would increase traffic, add congestion and noise, and adversely impact our schools. Development of current recreational space will detract from the image and reason people move to Oro Valley, as expressed in the Oro Valley tag-line – “it’s in our nature”.
United, the neighborhoods of Rancho Vistoso and the thousands of residents can influence the future of the golf course property.
Who has responsibility for the rezoning process in Oro Valley?
The rezoning process is the responsibility of the Oro Valley Town Council with input from the Planning Department, Zoning Commission and residents. Rezoning the Vistoso Golf Course for something other than recreational purposes would require an approved amendment to the Oro Valley General Plan. A well-organized group of citizens with a cohesive message will have a much greater impact on influencing these governing bodies than individual citizens. Preserve Vistoso’ s mission is to organize and mobilize community members in an effort to give us an equal voice in the rezoning and development process.
For more detailed info about the rezoning process, go to https://orovalleyaz.gov/sites/default/files/media/docs/2017/rezoning-process-guide-revised-1172017.pdf
Protect our quality of life!
Retain recreational space!
Uphold the Oro Valley General Plan!
Let your voice be heard. Preserve Vistoso.