Great Hearts wants to purloin your city park

by John Washington on April 7, 2017

A recent letter-to-the-editor regarding a proposal from a private business to take over land deeded to the city for a park as part of a development agreement:

Kadavy: Park article light on DC Ranch input

By Casey Kadavy Apr 7th, 2017

I was disappointed to see that your recent [Scottsdale Independent] article about the Great Hearts sports complex allowed Mr. Twist, a representative of Great Hearts, to speak for DC Ranch.

Your article suggests that DC Ranch supports the plan to build the sports complex on the larger, city-owned site. We remain deeply opposed to the construction of the facility on the larger site and urge GH to scrap their plans for the larger site and embrace the land they already own.

Any indication to the contrary is a gross misrepresentation.

Our opposition stems from the following:

1. It is not the open space, public neighborhood park for which the land is deeded in perpetuity. It’s a collection of artificial turf, rubberized track, and various structures/courts in the form of an enormous sports complex.

2. The deal allows Great Hearts exclusive rights on the property. Thus, it is not the “public” park that was intended, no matter what they intend to pay for lease.

3. The larger site allows GH to construct a track and a variety of different courts, drawing far more traffic to an already congested area. (The limited space on the smaller site prevents many of the additional courts and structures).

4. Our community is built around a public school: Copper Ridge. We support Copper Ridge. This land deal amounts to the subsidization of a charter school managed by a for-profit entity. Where’s the gift for our neighborhood school?

5. If they build on the larger site, rather than the small site, they get an enormous tax break, as they no longer have to pay the taxes for the developed land.

6. Maintenance, security, and the far more significant traffic issues at the larger site will cost taxpayers money. GH should be footing the entire bill on this for-profit move for their for-profit parent company.

Let GH build their sports facility on the smaller parcel they already own. They can fund the land, the development of the structures, AND the taxes for the developed land from their own pockets. This is all possible on the SMALLER site.
Keep their exclusive use sports complex off the large site.

Editor’s note: Casey Kadavy is a Scottsdale resident.

GH headmaster, Eric Twist (referenced in Kadavy’s letter), is the brother of the JP Twist, PR flack for public education enemy and AZ governor Doug Ducey. 

The Twist boys are sons of Goldwater Institute founder, Steve Twist, who you would think (mistakenly) would oppose the gift of taxpayer-owned resources to private businesses. Both Steve Twist and Doug Ducey are close associates of Scottsdale mayor Jim Lane, so you can imagine how Lane will vote when this ‘deal’ comes before the city council for approval.

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