Scottsdale has threatened the Villa Monterrey Golf Course’s owners with fines unless they take action to beautify the long-neglected links and stop mosquitoes from breeding in ponds.
In a letter dated April 26, Raun Keagy, the city’s neighborhood services director, wrote the owner that he could face $250 a day in penalties if the course’s lakes were not treated for mosquitoes and bacteria within 48 hours.
That deadline came and passed without a response from the owner, a business partnership named R&B Country Club, Keagy said on Tuesday.
However, Robert McGarey, one of the partners, said he never received the letter indicating there is a problem.
Keagy said he both mailed and faxed the notice to McGarey after visiting Villa Monterrey last week. The course, at the northeast corner of Camelback and Hayden roads, has been closed for two years.
During the visit, Keagy said it appeared the measures McGarey had agreed to had not been completed. Vegetation and debris floated atop the lakes and tractor ruts covered the shorelines. The grass was overgrown and brown. All code violations would need to be remedied by Friday to avoid fines, the letter states.
Nonetheless, Keagy said those deadlines are meaningless if McGarey did not receive the notice.
Scottsdale code enforcers cannot easily determine if the already expired deadline concerning mosquitoes and bacteria in the lakes was violated.
“What I asked him to do, as it relates to treating the pond, I can’t tell you by physically going out there and just visually looking . . . whether he did it or not,” Keagy said. Tests must be run on the water or McGarey must provide documentation proving that it has been treated with mosquito larvicide.
McGarey said he has hired a firm to do that work this week as higher temperatures increase the risk for mosquitoes, known to spread disease.
Villa Monterrey was closed in May 2004 after the Arizona Golf Association struggled for years to keep the executive nine-hole course financially afloat. Since then, it has twice changed owners and fallen into disrepair, drawing ire from neighbors.
Harvey Mackay, a syndicated newspaper columnist and Minnesota businessman, purchased the links in early 2005 with the intention of turning it into “garden” course that would specialize in teaching golf to handicapped children.
Mackay, who owns a home in Paradise Valley, sold the course to McGarey’s partnership in December.
The links are up for sale again and McGarey said he has nearly completed a deal with a buyer.
It is unclear if Villa Monterrey will remain a golf course, McGarey said. “I don’t think you can rule out anything.”