Now that the Arizona Court of Appeals has unanimously ordered the Ahwatukee Lakes Golf Course restored, we write to thank thousands of neighbors for your support.
We also outline a next step to restore our community.
For more than a decade, our community has suffered while outside developers, starting with Southern Californian Wilson Gee, systematically degraded the Lakes and claimed, despite its record of profitability, that it was not viable.
Last month, the Appellate Court ruled unanimously, 3-0, that “The evidence did not show that [Gee] was unable to operate the course profitably.”
Indeed, the judges said, “The trial court weighed the conflicting evidence and found that Swain and Breslin’s evidence was more credible… we defer to the trial court’s factual findings” (p. 11)
Courts have now found in our favor and against Mr. Gee and his associates three different times.
No matter: Mr. Gee continues to abuse the Lakes, Club West, Foothills and the Country Club in his never-ending gamble to convert community space into private cash.
At the Lakes, when our community refused to cave, he sought the backing of the Ahwatukee Board of Management, which professed support for the residents, but refused to defend the residents.
And yet, somehow, ABM’s law firm ended up representing the developers!
To this day, Wilson Gee seeks to evade the court rulings by offering 18 percent of the profits from golf course property sold for development and offering the two of us 1 percent each.
Both of us declined, unwilling to sell out our community.
Despite the most recent Appeals ruling, Gee told AFN Sept. 19: “Doesn’t matter what the courts rule. It’s not going to happen.”
And so, we conclude: enough is enough. Because Mr. Gee won’t comply, we have asked our counsel this week to summon Mr. Gee back to court to enforce the permanent injunction we were awarded.
We will ask that Mr. Gee be held liable, civilly and criminally, for obstructing the restoration the courts have ordered.
In this process, we have learned that the people of Ahwatukee love their neighborhoods, and are hungry for the right thing to be done.
As neighbor Chuck Corbin put it at the Save the Lakes assembly last spring: This is no longer for us; this is for our children and grandchildren.
We intend to prove our neighbors’ faith in us well-founded.
Look for the filing of our request for sanctions against Mr. Gee this week and a community update on the part of Save the Lakes soon.
We thank you, most sincerely, for your support financial and moral, and for believing that as a community acting together, we can make the difference.
Eileen Breslin and Linda Swain are the two Ahwatukee Lakes homeowners who filed suit in 2014 to force the restoration of the golf course, which had been closed by owner Wilson Gee the previous year.