By: Sal Diciccio
The public is being misled by True Life and the underlying property owner. On several occasions, True Life and the owner have lied to the residents surrounding the Ahwatukee Lakes Golf Club, so why should we trust them now?
It is my obligation to make sure that I protect the quality of life in our community, provide the facts and consider the impact of any decision on other areas of our community. Those other areas would include Ahwatukee Country Club, Foothills and Club West golf courses. Any decision made on the Lakes property could and would set a precedent for those other areas.
That said, I am not surprised by True Life’s development plan. This is what developers do. They promise a “farm” or a “school,” but in reality, they are paving the way for high density development. And if they succeed at the Lakes, it will open the floodgates to high density development in all of our golf courses and in particular Ahwatukee Country Club.
We are being told that the Lakes is going to be turned into some type of agricultural setting. This could not be farther from the truth.
The same developers that purposely shut down the golf course and created an environmental hazard are coming out with a plan to save our community?
The truth is they purposely neglected maintaining the golf course in order to create a wasteland so that the surrounding residents will be put in a desperate situation.
True Life is one of the parties that created this blight to exact concessions from neighbors. That is not what a good neighbor does.
True Life owes $1.4 million in back taxes- which could go towards our schools and other vital services for our community. That is not what a good neighbor does.
True Life had multiple code enforcement violations because of the way they managed the Lakes property. That is not what a good neighbor does.
You and your family take care of your property and pay your taxes. Why should they be exempt from that basic requirement?
Do not buy into the argument that these developers don’t have money. The amount of money True Life spends every month on public relations and lobbyist could have easily kept this golf course watered and clean.
Let’s lay out the facts about the developer’s proposal and the impact of development on this property:
Fact One: The developers want to triple the density that would normally be allowed on this property.
Fact Two: The Lakes golf course was purposely designed to curb flood waters from negatively impacting surrounding properties. We recently saw many homes surrounding the Lakes property flooded. Imagine what would happen if this property, this open space and flood plain were developed.
These developers live in areas that would never allow this type of density to come into their neighborhood. Nor would their neighborhood ever allow a critical flood plain to be compromised by high density development putting existing homes at risk.
Fact Three: The Ahwatukee Lakes was purposely designed to provide an open space for our community. The open space was provided to the original developer in exchange for higher density at other locations.
Fact Four: Ahwatukee Country Club has over 2,000 high density units zoned on that property. If it is developed, we are looking at the equivalent of five high-rise apartment complexes on one single parcel of land.
Regardless of the promises these developers make, nothing will stop them or anyone in the future from coming in and using the Lakes as precedent. If True Life succeeds, they will have created a model for all developers: neglect a property until it becomes a blight and an environmental hazard, then use strong arm tactics on desperate residents, forcing them to accept anything to make the blight go away, even if that means high density housing.
That means Ahwatukee Country Club, Foothills and Club West golf courses would all have higher density on their properties as well.
For these reasons, I caution residents not to sign anything until it has been reviewed by an attorney. This plan has nothing to do with agriculture. This is all about maximizing density and profits.
Please share this with your neighbors!