Ahwatukee letter: Unused land is not ‘blight’ - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Letters To The Editor

Ahwatukee letter: Unused land is not ‘blight’

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Posted: Saturday, July 12, 2014 9:43 am | Updated: 10:53 am, Tue Jul 22, 2014.

Labeling the closed Lakes Golf Course as “blight” is a clever maneuver. A negative word that makes it sound like something needs to be done. Pulte Homes and the owner, Mr. Gee, say we need a “solution.”

I have a different opinion. It is not “blight.” No “solution” is needed. Unused land is not “blight.” It is OK for it to be unused until someone comes along and wants to rebuild the golf course. It is open land, which, if left alone will naturally return to its original state. We have South Mountain to the west and the Indian reservation to the south. I love the smell of creosote bushes when it rains. I love the Palo Verde with their glorious crown of yellow flowers followed by a carpet of gold beneath them. I very much like living with the open spaces we have around us. Behind my house I see quail, a giant owl that flies at dusk and hoots in the night, a nest that just housed a pair of baby hawks, a bumper crop of baby rabbits to feed them.

I like not being in a densely developed area. I’m not fond of more traffic and pollution.

Stick it out neighbors. Please do not sign away the protection of our CC&Rs.

Mr. Gee recently had the golf course reclassified by the county assessor as vacant land. The value for tax purposes changed from $870,000 to $3.4 million. I think his property tax bill will be going up. That can’t be good for Mr. Gee — unless he can sell it to a developer such as Pulte Homes. How was the land reclassified as vacant land if the CC&Rs say it can only be a golf course? Does the county have a vested interest in land that could be developed and taxed at a higher rate?

Mr. Gee — we don’t care if the golf course is closed. We like open land. We don’t like more houses. Our homes are more valuable with open land in our neighborhood. They are less valuable with more dense housing.

Joan Gillespie

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