To keep you informed about the planning and development of the
Romspen property (former Vistoso Golf Club).
The following content is an archive of “The Preserve Vistoso Pulse” mailings.
● 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 email@example.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.
● November 27, 2019 Edition:
Preserve Vistoso Granted 501(c)(3) Status! – Preserve Vistoso received the great news that we have been granted nonprofit 501(c)(3) status by the Internal Revenue Service!
This tax exempt status allows Preserve Vistoso to accept tax-deductible contributions to continue its mission to retain recreational space for Rancho Vistoso and Oro Valley. The tax exempt status applies retroactively to all donations made to Preserve Vistoso since February 1, 2019. Consult your tax advisor on your individual ability to deduct contributions.
You can go to PreserveVistoso.org and click the Donate Now button at the bottom of the page to make your gift. Together we can work to determine a better future for the Romspen golf course property.
Opportunity to join the Preserve Vistoso Board – Reminder that we are accepting applications to join the Preserve Vistoso Board of Directors. Board members serve two-year renewable terms that expire in alternating years. Board Members from Cortona, Fairfield, Summit South, Stonegate and Vistoso Golf Casitas will continue for another year. We are looking for applicants from all other neighborhoods. In addition, we have the ability to add multiple representatives from a single neighborhood if they bring important skills such as previous experience serving on non-profit boards, fundraising, environmental, or legal experience.
To apply for a Board position with Preserve Vistoso, go to our Online Application Form. Applications are due December 10th. New Board members will be selected by the current board and announced at the end of January.
Preserve Vistoso wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!
● November 4, 2019 Edition:
Update on Romspen – Romspen said it would have rezoning plans to share with the community in the early fall, but we are still waiting to see these plans. Romspen has indicated it will meet with Preserve Vistoso when plans are available. We will keep you informed.
Oro Valley Needs More Recreational areas -- 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 from a park. The national average for communities is 54 percent of residents are within that 10-minute walk. We believe, along with the experts, that access to nature and recreational space enhances the physical and mental health of a community as well as its livability.
% Residents within
10-minute walk to
COMMUNITY Park or Recreation
National Avg 54%
Oro Valley 15%
% Land Used for Parks
National Avg 15%
Oro Valley 3%
Preserve Vistoso is 1,000 members strong -- We just reached our fall goal of 1,000 members. With your help, we can be on our way to having 2,000 members. Members make us strong, so let’s see who we can recruit to join. Joining is simple, and free! Just go to PreserveVistoso.org and click the Join button. To everyone who has helped us reach this milestone, thank you.
Join the Board of Directors – If you want to support Preserve Vistoso even more, consider joining the 2020 Board of Directors. An electronic application will be sent out to all members in the next couple of weeks. We’ll interview candidates in December and announce the new Board members after our annual meeting on January 22.
● August 13, 2019 Edition:
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 the benefit of 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.
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!
What would Preserve Vistoso do with the property? - Preserve Vistoso is working on a plan to purchase the entire 208-acre property and move forward to protect the land as a nature preserve. 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.
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 Future General Plan. The Rancho Vistoso community was not designed to have the additional 350-700 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, spectacular scenery, and wildlife habitats that exist today. We want to provide a first-class amenity for the entire community; one worthy of the Vistoso name.
● July 19, 2019 Edition:
No Thank You! - This was Preserve Vistoso’ s response to Romspen Mortgage Investment Fund when they shared their conceptual plan to rezone 109 acres of the 208 acre property from recreational to a combination of low, medium, and medium-high density residences.
Retain Currently Zoned Recreational Space for Recreation - This is the desire of our membership and is consistent with the intended use of the property per the Oro Valley General Plan and Rancho Vistoso Planned Area Development (PAD) ordinances. The governing zoning regulations are aligned with our position and with community support we will persevere!
Your voice is important. When the time is right, we want the Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) and the Town Council to understand that we will unite behind common goals to:
Retain recreational space.
Keep existing zoning.
Uphold the Oro Valley General Plan.
How do we stop zoning amendments? We understand the process and then unite our voice.
Amendments to both the Oro Valley General Plan and the PAD must be submitted and approved.
Neighborhood meetings are held before the Oro Valley PZC will propose accepting these amendments to the Town Council.
Oro Valley Town Council then approves, denies, or continues the application process.
Stay tuned to learn how the Rancho Vistoso community can come together to preserve this breathtaking property.
Vistoso Nature Preserve – Since there are no potential buyers for The Vistoso Golf Club, Preserve Vistoso believes that it is in the best interest of our community to move forward to protect the land as a nature preserve. Our goal is to retain the natural tranquility, spectacular scenery, and wildlife habitats that exist today. We want to provide a first-class amenity for the entire community. An amenity worthy of the Vistoso name.
Purchase the Property – Preserve Vistoso is working on a plan to purchase the entire 208-acres of property. A Task Force of skilled professionals will lead this effort. Member volunteers are also working closely with land and wildlife conservation organizations to assist us in our vision and provide possible financial support.
What can you do to support recreational space vs. residential development?
Spread the word! We are more than 700 members strong and growing. Volunteer – we need to establish neighborhood captains in all Rancho Vistoso neighborhoods. Get your friends and neighbors to join, donate, attend one of our Meet & Greets. The larger and more active our membership, the greater the influence, impact, and clout we will have.
The Preserve Vistoso leadership team met with Romspen, the owner of the property that was formerly the Vistoso Golf Club. Romspen shared that it is working on plans to rezone 109 of the 208-acre property from recreational to residential use. Another meeting with Romspen is scheduled for mid-July where we hope to get more details. Look for the next e-mail issue of The Preserve Vistoso Pulse due out in mid-July for an update.
The Preserve Vistoso Board has been busy over the past month setting up the Task Forces, introducing our group to external parties, and establishing relationships with key players. Some of the highlights:
Romspen Meeting - Met with Peter Oelbaum, Managing Partner, Romspen Mortgage Investment Fund. Romspen is the owner of the property that was formerly the Vistoso Golf Club. Peter shared that they were unable to reach agreement on terms with Parks Legacy Project (PLP) and they are pursuing rezoning a substantial portion of the property for residential development. They have hired The Planning Center, an Arizona owned and operated planning and urban design firm, to assist them. Preserve Vistoso expressed our desire to retain as much of the land as possible for recreational use. Peter is open to hearing any proposals we wish to present. We plan to sync back up with Peter once he has the conceptual plans and/or we have a proposal ready to share with Romspen.
We need community support to:
Protect our neighborhoods.
Retain recreational space.
Uphold the Oro Valley General Plan.
Town Manager Meeting - Met with Mary Jacob, Oro Valley Town Manager, to introduce her to Preserve Vistoso and to request assistance getting answers to questions on land use, rezoning procedures, etc. Mary briefed her executive team on our goals and asked the Directors of Planning, Water, Public Works, and Parks & Recreation to make themselves available. Although the Town is not able to help us financially, Mary envisions there are ways for us to work together and she encouraged us to keep her updated on our progress.
VCA Meeting - We continue to work closely with the Vistoso Community Association (VCA). At the last VCA Board Meeting, President Pat Straney reiterated their support for our efforts to retain the Romspen property for recreational use. The VCA Board has appointed Dick Surowiec (VCA Board Member) and Dan Sturmon (VCA Committee Member) to be our liaisons with the VCA Board. We are working out details on how we can best work together to achieve what is best for all Rancho Vistoso residents.
What can you do to ensure responsible development of the former Vistoso Golf Club property?
Volunteer, donate, talk to your neighbors, attend VCA and HOA meetings. The larger and more active our membership, the greater the influence and impact we can have.