Life Here

July 8, 2021 By Franz von Bradsky

Perils of Pauline

As spring unfolds, Paradise Valley Estates residents are asked to provide suggestions for Capital Expenditure (CapEx) projects that enhance the community’s infrastructure. CapEx funds are also used to acquire, upgrade, and maintain the community’s physical assets.

CapEx submissions are first reviewed by the relevant standing committee and are then by the Resident Council for its approval. PVE senior management then prioritizes which projects will be included in the budget based upon the community’s most pressing needs. CapEx projects often take several years from initial proposal until ultimate completion.

For instance, in 2019, a PVE resident proposed creating a park in the land surrounding Laurel Creek, between the 3000 and 4000 areas. There is an area inside the PVE fence north of the bocce courts and across the creek that has been exposed by the recent fire to be a beautiful grassy area of about 3 acres in size and has several shade trees. The area could be made into a park. It didn’t pass muster in the committee or with the Resident Council.

Two residents picked up the mantle in 2020. Their approach was an embellishment of the original thought: PVE has some beautiful open space, and we would like to maximize the enjoyment of it by proposing some walking paths on land that we think is available and usable. Our proposal is to construct several short, natural, walking paths so our residents can enjoy the flora and fauna along Laurel Creek. It was recommended by two committees and then approved by the Resident Council. The latter concluded “more study through a Land Use group was needed to plan our open areas to keep the natural areas as undisturbed as possible.”

In July, an exploratory group was established to “develop a masterplan for the open space within the PVE campus” with Bob Epperson as chair. Since the City of Fairfield owns the land abutting the creek, the journey through the labyrinth of governmental regulations and approvals commenced. CEO Kevin Burke later observed PVE was moving forward, and the Land Use Group was in discussions with the City of Fairfield as to “what can or cannot be done” with respect to the land.

In December, the NCROC Board’s Executive Committee approved acquisition of the land. Conversations with the Resident Council, management team and City of Fairfield continue regarding the 1.85-acre parcel/walking path; options for formally acquiring the property are being evaluated. The Board accepted a motion to continue working through this process and to engage Terra Realty as a local expert and partner. In January 2021, John Stebbins, a retired botanist, performed a preliminary site survey. This spring he’ll “conduct plant surveys to prepare for the environmental documentation for the trail.”

The journey continues, so stay tuned to follow the twists and turns certain to be encountered in future episodes of PVE’s Perils of Pauline adventure.


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