It’s time to discuss the nightmare I experienced in the late ’80s, early ’90s. We were drawn to Ahwatukee in 1983 by a billboard near Elliot Road and Interstate 10, featuring large cutouts of a tennis player and golfer and much ado about what was offered here. Perfect. Our retirement dreams come true. We bought a house that day on Cheyenne Drive. Two lovely golf courses with club houses, restaurants, pro shops — clothes, equipment, gifts, etc. AND 14 lighted tennis courts, a center court with patio seating, club house with showers, locker rooms, lavatories, pro shop with clothes, tennis equipment, etc., located at the corner of 48th Street and Warner Road.

Then the developer sold the tennis facility for the strip mall we have today. About 120 tennis members signed a petition protesting this action — the painful result: each and every one of us were sued individually by the developer. Newly single, I received a sheaf of papers nearly an inch thick. I was so scared, I and several others homesteaded our houses. We hired a lawyer, but the developer brought in big lawyers from L.A. We didn’t stand a chance, the tennis facility was not written in our CC&R’s. We lost, the outcome: some members had umbrella insurance policies and the settlement was $100,000 and the six lighted tennis courts we have today with a mini club house. The huge difference today regarding The Lakes and Country Club golf courses — there are CC&R’s in place to protect them. We have a VOICE. We cannot afford to lose what we have left and our freedom to choose. Blight — now that our splendid executive golf course has deteriorated, the city of Phoenix needs to step up and enforce laws that prohibit this kind of neglect. We must stand together and remain firm in our resolve to keep our rights as they were written when we signed our contracts and agreed to the CC&R’s when we purchased our homes. Remember too, what we decide could have a profound effect on other golf course communities.

I remain, loving Ahwatukee.

Marilyn O’Connell

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