DiCiccio working on global solution to help Ahwatukee golf courses - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

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DiCiccio working on global solution to help Ahwatukee golf courses

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Posted: Saturday, July 20, 2013 7:17 am

An abandoned water line may be the solution needed to keep all Ahwatukee Foothills golf courses viable into the future.

City Councilman Sal DiCiccio brought together representatives from the Ahwatukee Board of Management, Foothills Homeowners Association, Club West Homeowners Association, Save the Lakes, and Ahwatukee Golf Properties to discuss a plan to provide Club West with cheaper water. The plan calls for approval from the Club West and Foothills HOAs and would activate an abandoned pipe from an old treatment plant to carry well water from the Foothills well to water Club West Golf Course and replace the expensive potable water the course currently purchases from the city.

The hope is that Ahwatukee Golf Properties would save enough money using well water to fill the lakes at The Lakes, water trees and plants at The Lakes, and keep Club West profitable in to the future.

This solution has not been presented to Wilson Gee, owner of Ahwatukee Golf Properties (AGP), yet. Terry Dugan, president of AGP, was present at the meeting and was asked to take the discussion back to Gee. Gee has been asked to respond in writing within 30 days.

In order to make this happen, DiCiccio did add one additional stipulation that Gee would not ever be allowed to develop the Club West or Foothills golf courses. There are CC&Rs already in place to protect those golf courses from development, but this would add an additional level of protection.

AGP closed The Lakes Golf Course on May 5. Gee told homeowners in the area he’d like to develop the course into luxury apartments, since the golf industry has taken a hit and the course is no longer profitable. There are CC&Rs to protect The Lakes from development. DiCiccio has said the only way Gee will be able to develop the course is if homeowners surrounding it decide to allow the development. Gee does not have to keep the business open.

DiCiccio hopes bringing all the groups together will help them work together in the future. AGP owns all the courses in Ahwatukee, so DiCiccio fears what is happening at The Lakes could happen to Club West next if a solution to the cost of water is not found. Club West’s potable water is six times more expensive than well water.

The Ahwatukee Board of Management (ABM) decided weeks ago to pay AGP to have the lake at The Lakes filled through February, which feeds a pond owned by ABM. The board approved $7,000 to fill the lake, but also decided to ask the community for donations to help with the cost. 

DiCiccio said that solution made him sick.

“You shouldn’t have to pay for this,” he told the ABM board of directors on Monday.

DiCiccio is trying to get Gee to agree to start watering the trees on The Lakes Golf Course to keep them alive.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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