The Ranch House Coalition
Preserving a Beaver Creek Landmark through Community Ownership & Professional Management
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RHC News Archive

August 2010 - Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Gives Reprieve to Villas at Beaver Creek Subdivision Developers

On Monday morning 8/16/10 after a long wait while the Board of Supervisors met in executive session for legal consultation, a decision was announced on the proposed Abandonment of Plat for the Villas at Beaver Creek.  Chairman Chip Davis explained that the plat would not be abandoned and the zoning would not be reverted.

Chairman Davis stated that the subdivision assurance bond of $1,326,412 must be in place withSex Offender Caught 1 Yavapai County within six months.  Also no building permits for the condos or hotel would be issued until the nine stipulations required by the Board at the time of the zoning change in 2004 are met.  Interpretation of the stipulations and how compliance is to be measured are under review and need to be followed up.

Marilynn Henry and Gary Delisle presented petitions containing 312 signatures from Lake Montezuma and Rimrock area residents in favor of abandoning the plat and reverting the zoning. They spear-headed the quick collection of these signatures in less than a week.  Other residents spoke in favor of the abandonment and asked the Board to consider the condition of the golf course and Ranch House Restaurant and promises that had been made to the residents by the developers but not kept.

In light of the final action, the comments from Kala Pearson, president of the Beaver Creek Regional Council, were particularly pertinent to future needs of the residents.  She emphasized the need for careful attention to the health and safety of those living near these closed properties.

Complaints in regard to weeds, trash and other health and safety threats may be called in to the Yavapai County Land Use hot line at: (928) 771-3464. This can be done anonymously.  However,  if you leave your contact information, a follow up report will be mailed to you.  Starting Monday, August 23, complaint forms will be available at the Beaver Creek Adult Center.  Please call 567-4556 to make an appointment for help with the parcel information or complaint filings.

The following Bugle and Daily Courier articles provides good detailed coverage of the event.



Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Beaver Creek Villas gets a six-month reprieve
By Steve Ayers
Staff Reporter

COTTONWOOD - On the fourth attempt to consider abandoning the plat for the Beaver Creek Villas, the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors has decided not least for now.

The controversial subdivision surrounding the already abandoned Beaver Creek Golf Course has been under the gun since last December when the owners notified the county that the financial assurances they were required to have in place, never were.

Since then, residents in the Beaver Creek area have become increasingly more disenchanted with BC Villas owner, Rob Shabatka and Seth Williams, primarily because the adjoining golf course has become an eyesore.

As of Monday's board meeting in Cottonwood, a solid majority of the community, many who spoke at the meeting, was calling for the county to abandon the 137-condominium project and return the property to its underlying residential zoning.

However, it became apparent during the earlier attempts to resolve the problem that the Beaver Creek Villas abandonment issue was not cut and dried.

Under the subdivision code, the county can abandon the plat of a subdivision that has failed to complete the required infrastructure and has not sold off any parcels within two years of it platting.

Beaver Creek Villas clearly failed the first test, but there have been questions about the second.

The subdivision consist of 12 separate parcels, some of which are now owned by parties other than Beaver Creek Land and Water, Shabatka and Williams' company.

As to whether or not the parcels were sold or were a division of assets among the investors has been a question that would not likely have been answered by anyone other than a court.

There were also a questions of the county's culpability after it failed to follow its own guidelines about financial assurances when it accepted a loosely worded letter stating the financial assurances were in place.

On Wednesday, the board of supervisors took what can be described as a cautionary tack. Instead of abandoning the plat, the board reverted back to what it had originally asked of the developers, specifically to secure the financial assurances originally promised.

'Our first goal is to protect the citizens of Yavapai County and protect legal property rights," said supervisor Chip Davis in leading up to his motion that will give the owners six months to secure the necessary $1.3 million in financial assurances.

It was a wise decision, very wise," said Beaver Creek Land and Water attorney William ring following the decision.

Kala Pearson, president of the Beaver Creek Regional Council, whose organization had called of abandonment, was as cautionary as the board.

"I hope we are not back here in six months," she said, "It's not a perfect solution but it's something to work with."

8/16/2010 10:02:00 PM
Supervisors give Villas at Beaver Creek plan second chance

By Linda Stein
The Daily Courier

COTTONWOOD - After postponing the issue three times, the Yavapai County supervisors Monday decided against revoking the plat for the Villas at Beaver Creek.

Scores of Lake Montezuma residents signed petitions and spoke out, asking the three-member board to revoke the zoning for the proposed 137-condominium project and 50-room hotel off Beaver Creek Road that was approved in 2005 but never built. Also, the long-time Beaver Creek golf course and the Ranch House restaurant at the site went out of business.

Neighbors of the languishing project claim stagnant ponds breed mosquitoes and high weeds could be a fire risk. Residents asked the county to step in saying the condition of the property led to a decrease in their home values.

Carol Rotta, a resident, said the developers haven't improved the area as promised.

"The community of Beaver Creek is our home, not just an investment," Rotta said. "Vote in favor of the community and those who love it and not in favor of the developers."

Another residents, Janet Aniol, said the developers, Beaver Creek Land & Water LLC, had behaved like "pirates."

"We request no condos, no hotel," Aniol said. "They are at breach of contract with Yavapai County and residents."

John Squires added, "These guys have done nothing but ruin the neighborhood. They would put a cement plant there, a topless bar. They don't care. They just don't give a damn."

But Carol Redenbaugh, an investor in the project, implored the supervisors to allow the project to continue.

William Ring, a Flagstaff lawyer for developers Bob Schabtka and Seth Williams, his clients are not pirates and said the developer and investors are working with county staff to make the required improvements to get the project back on track.

In siding with the developers, the board mandated that the builders must adhere to a nine stipulations, including posting a $1.3 million assurance within six months. The county will not issue any building permits until the other stipulations have been met. Other agreements include a second access road, a water adequacy report and maintaining water levels in the lake.


Afterward, Supervisors Chairman Chip Davis said the board received legal advice from the Yavapai County Attorney's Office. It met in executive session about the issue for about 45 minutes Monday.

"We need to adhere to the law," Davis said. "The number one issue for the community is the maintenance of the golf course." Also, Development Services staff members spent hundreds of hours working on the problems.

"By reverting the PAD (planned area development) and zoning would posture everybody into a legal position," Davis said.

If the issue went to court the project could remain in limbo for years, he said, an outcome that would ultimately hurt the community.

"It would be tied up in the court," he said. "What's the best way is to put the onus on property owners," he said. Davis said the board decided the best way to deal with the problem was to "put everything back on the property owners' lap and take the county out of it."


Friday, August 13, 2010

Public Hearing Notice - Plat Abandonment & Revert PAD Zoning for 137 Condominiums - 50 Unit Hotel on the Beaver Creek Golf Course and Ranch House Restaurant site  - County Board of Supervisors - Monday Aug 16th - Cottonwood

Golf Course HearingOn Monday, August 16, Yavapai County Development Services has requested the consideration of the Abandonment of the Final Plat and Reversion of the Planned Area Development zoning back to the underlying zoning districts for the project known at the Villas at Beaver Creek.

This would result in the removal of the plat for the 137 potential condo units on part of the golf course and the potential 50-unit hotel at the Ranch House location.  We expect that Development Services will go forward with this as no agreement was reached by Yavapai County with the owners and their attorneys to implement all of the stipulations of the original zoning change as well as no agreement on other issues requested by residents.

The last opportunity for public comment on this issue will be at:

Board of Supervisors Meeting

10 S. 6th St. (corner of Mingus & 6th) Cottonwood

Monday, 8/16, 9:00 AM
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Beaver Creek developers get 30-day delay
                        Villas at Beaver Creek developer Rob Shabatka (left) and his attorney
                        William Ring, listen during Monday’s hearing as several residents of the
                        Beaver Creek spoke in favor of the board of supervisors abandoning
                        their development and returning it to vacant land. The board ultimately
                        gave the developers 30 days to come up with a plan of action
                        satisfactory to both the county and the area residents.
VVN/Steve Ayers
Villas at Beaver Creek developer Rob Shabatka (left) and his attorney William Ring, listen during Monday’s hearing as several residents of the Beaver Creek spoke in favor of the board of supervisors abandoning their development and returning it to vacant land. The board ultimately gave the developers 30 days to come up with a plan of action satisfactory to both the county and the area residents.
The continuing saga of the ill-fated Villas at Beaver Creek development will continue for at least another 30 days.

That is the not-so-final decision of the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors at Monday's board meeting, as they considered for the third time, the possible abandonment of the proposed 137-unit condominium and 50-unit hotel on the Beaver Creek golf course.

See Related Stories:

Beaver Creek golf course condo decision delayed

Beaver Creek subdivision stirs legal questions

Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Read More
7/20/2010 1:55:00 PM
Editorial: County makes wiser decision on golf course property

As frustrating as the situation has been, the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors made the wiser choice when considering circumstances at the Beaver Creek Golf Course this week.

The supervisors could have decided to abandon the plat of the Villas at Beaver Creek, and almost did. It certainly would have been a reasonable and understandable decision. The situation of the Villas has been called a potential mess, and there is much hostility in the unincorporated community toward the developers, Beaver Creek Land and Water, LLC (BCLW).

Instead, the supervisors rather reluctantly granted the developers another 30 days to "fix" the problem of unfulfilled promises. That will mean BCLW meeting with investors, county staff and residents to work out a plan of action.

This is not a case of the county being brow-beaten by threats of lawsuits. The supervisors are more than prepared for that. This was a case of the supervisors being able to set emotions aside and be the better people with just a little more patience.

The 30 days gives developers the opportunity to find a solution or to sink themselves deeper into trouble. Either would plant the board of supervisors even more firmly in the right.

Monday was the board's first public discussion of the development, and the supervisors were set to lock horns and could have done so with righteous indignation.

There is a list of grievances, from the blight of an un-maintained golf course to claims of no financial assurances. It would have been natural to tell BCLW to pull the plug and start all over.

That, however, besides leading to a sluggish court battle, may have had unfair impact on investors, many of whom have been out of the loop regarding these proceedings. The 30-day delay gives them all the chance to get involved in the process.

If, after 30 days, the developers still cannot deliver a plan to end the eyesore that was once the drawing card of Lake Montezuma, it will be time for the ax.

NEWS ALERT!! 7/17/2010

The Villas at Beaver Creek Final Plat (condos to be built on the golf course parcels and a 50 unit hotel built in place of Ranch House) will be discussed at the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors meeting scheduled for Monday July 19th at 9:00 at the County offices at 10 S. 6th  Street in Cottonwood (corner of Mingus & 6th St).

 The attorney for developers Beaver Creek Land and Water, LLC has expressed intent to recommend that the BOS make a decision regarding the fate of the Villas at Beaver Creek Final Plat at its July 19th meeting. The Ranch House Coalition and LMPOA urge you to plan to attend this meeting. A significant community presence will be needed to show the Supervisors that this is an issue of great importance to our community.

These are some of the issues:

  • The 50 unit hotel on the Ranch House property.
  • Community blight from the closure of the restaurant and lack of maintenance on the golf course
  • No requirement to contribute in mitigating traffic impact of 137 new households by participating in the Lake Montezuma community alternative access fees as promised and County stipulated during the zoning hearings in 2004 (similar to LMPOA Indian Lakes development 2008 agreement of $600 per unit built for secondary access development).
  • No oversight of $82,200 Golf Course Maintenance fee required from developer’s HOA for golf course maintenance identified in developer’s unenforceable CC&Rs
  •  No specified maintenance of lake and water quantity as stipulated during the zoning hearings in 2004.
  • Final Plat construction of condo units around the lake will decrease wildlife habitat and cut public access.
  • Undefined conditions for potential sale of developer’s Wet Beaver Creek surface water rights to protect the Beaver Creek region.

 We feel that these issues need to be addressed and incorporated into a County approved developer plan in order to maintain quality of life, marketability and property values for the developers, lot owners AND the community. 

 Good neighbors improve property values for everyone.

Please attend the meeting on Monday. This is the best way to show the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors how important these issues are to you.

Beaver Creek Development Corp. – Ranch House Coalition

Beaver Creek golf course condo decision delayed
Following a request from county staff, the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors has delayed a decision on the possible abandonment of the Villas at Beaver Creek subdivision until July.

"If we held the hearing today I'm afraid we would have more questions than answers," Development Services Director Steve Mauk told the board at its Monday meeting in Cottonwood.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dysfunctional development turns paradise into blight
The Ranch House Coalition, a group of Beaver Creek residents who have attempted to secure a lease and reopen the Ranch House Restaurant in Lake Montezuma now find themselves in a dysfunctional and disenchanting relationship with the owner/developers they are negotiating with.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010                                                                                        (more)

Editorial: Residents of Lake Montezuma deserve better treatment
Few things cause more unease than the realization that your property is not what you thought it was. It is not worth what you thought, or it does not have the legal description you thought it had.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010                                                                                  (more)

This is an update of where we currently stand on this project. - June 12, 2010

Dear Ranch House Coalition Pledged Members and Volunteers,

On June 1, core team members met with Seth Williams at the Beaver Creek Adult Center. Mr. Williams said that the whole property (golf course and restaurant) was still in escrow with aDamaged Ranch House potential buyer until June 13th. He said that the present price is $1.75 million which is the cash offer now in escrow. A balance of $80,000 towards a $100,000 down payment was due by a June 13th deadline. An additional $200,000 must be paid at the close of escrow with the balance due by December 2010.  He stated that the potential buyers were from Phoenix and were golf enthusiasts. If this offer falls through, Seth stated that he only wanted to sell the entire property, and did not want to sell just the restaurant.  Consequently, he said that he wants $1.75 million and would entertain an offer from the coalition to purchase both with a down payment of $100,000 and would carry the loan.  (more)

6/10/2010 4:10:00 PM
Beaver Creek subdivision stirs legal questions
                                    county Board of Supervisors is set to discuss abandonment of the
                                    property June 21.
The county Board of Supervisors is set to discuss abandonment of the property June 21.

By Steve Ayers
Staff Reporter - Camp Verde Bugle
LAKE MONTEZUMA - When Rob Shabatka and Seth Williams, owners of the Beaver Creek Land and Water Company, decided to subdivide the Beaver Creek Golf Course property in Lake Montezuma, they did as all developers do.

First they got a loan and purchased the golf course for $2.8 million. They had an engineer draw up plans, they secured financing, and they submitted the idea to public scrutiny through the county's subdivision process.

The subdivision process required that the developers hold public meetings and gain the approval of the county supervisors.

And, before their final plat was recorded with the county recorder, which would give them the final OK to begin selling property, they had to post a letter of credit that would protect the county and community in case they were unable to complete the necessary infrastructure, such as water lines, sewer and roads.   (more)

6/8/2010 4:15:00 PM

Beaver Creek development seeks county bail out
Developers of the Villas at Beaver Creek are seeking changes to the
                                    original agreement with Yavapai County following a series of financial
                                    problems. Area citizens, however, are asking the board of supervisors to
                                    instead abandon the subdivision and let it revert back to vacant land.
Developers of the Villas at Beaver Creek are seeking changes to the original agreement with Yavapai County following a series of financial problems. Area citizens, however, are asking the board of supervisors to instead abandon the subdivision and let it revert back to vacant land.

By Steve Ayers
Staff Reporter - Camp Verde Bugle
BEAVER CREEK - In 2004, property owners in Lake Montezuma woke to discover the unthinkable -- developers were planning to bulldoze the historic Beaver Creek Golf Course and build 600 homes in its place.

The residents immediately took up metaphorical pitchforks and torches, and, in no uncertain terms, let the developers and the county know that the plan was unacceptable.

Regrouped, the investors, Beaver Creek Land and Water Company LLC, than floated a second plan that would break off some of the undeveloped property on the golf course into a dozen individual parcels on which they would build 137 condominiums. (more)


5/4/2010 4:41:00 PM
On Our Own
Beaver Creek group wants to reopen Ranch House restaurant
Forms non-profit corporation to lease property

By Steve Ayers
Staff Reporter
LAKE MONTEZUMA - In the very heart of Lake Montezuma lies a sore spot.

It used to be a green spot. It used to be the center of community life.

Last year, The Ranch House Restaurant, along with the golf course it served, closed when the previous owners were unable to make their payments.

Since then the area residents have heard a parade of promises, none of which have amounted to anything more than talk. And in the meantime, the gem of the community has begun moldering into the landscape.

Now, say the neighbors, enough is enough. It's time to control our destiny.

With that in mind a group of residents of the greater Beaver Creek area recently formed a non-profit corporation and developed a plan to assume control of the old restaurant, and, maybe just maybe, the golf course, too.

The Beaver Creek Development Corporation received the blessing of the Arizona Corporation Commission last week, opened a bank account and is now ready to go public.

On Monday evening, before some 50 members of the Lake Montezuma Property Owners Association, corporation organizer and spokesperson Kala Pearson laid out the group's plan.

According to Pearson, the corporation has submitted a letter of intent to the current owners of the property, stating the group is interested in leasing the restaurant, along with the surrounding four acres and buildings, and, eventually, purchasing the property.

Once the lease is agreed to, Pearson says, the plan will be a lot like an old-fashioned barn raising.

"We are going to need a community-wide effort that includes dedicated volunteers and money -- lots of money," she says.

The nonprofit corporation plans to sell memberships in what is envisioned to become a member-owned recreation facility that will serve the Beaver Creek community. Eventually, the profits from the restaurant will be used for other community projects -- possibly the purchase of the golf course.

Members will have certain privileges depending on whether they are individuals, community organizations or private businesses.

Memberships are available for families for a $100 initial fee plus $10 a year dues. For organizations it is $1,200 plus $120 a year dues and for businesses $3,000 plus $300 a year dues.

According to Pearson, the group that has been formulating the plan, known as the Ranch House Community Coalition, has already received commitments for $50,000 and expects more once they have a signed lease.

The coalition has also surveyed the building and come up with cost estimates. The plan calls for about $110,000 in funding and all the volunteer labor the community can salvage.

The plan calls for signing a lease by June 1 and opening the restaurant by Sept. 1.

Those present at Monday's LMPOA meeting were almost unanimous in their support of the project.

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