Residents of D’Andrea aren’t convinced that a group wanting to restore the golf course and add other amenities has developed a viable plan.
About 200 residents of D’Andrea gathered at the Sparks Holiday Inn last week to discuss updates to the proposed D’Andrea Rising project.
D’Andrea community planners Steve Trollope and Randi Thompson spent the last several months meeting with D’Andrea homeowners and discussing the plan, which includes restoring the property to a vibrant golf community, building a performing arts center, and possibly developing a winery/brewery with agricultural crops.
“A lot of information came out of the meeting, some good and some bad,’’ D’Andrea resident Joe Canale said.
“If [Trollope and Thompson] purchase the property, then there will be absolutely no representation from Will,” says Canale.
A lot of residents are upset with D’Andrea absentee owner Will Gustafson for allowing the golf course to fall in disarray. Therefore, Thompson and Trollope are trying to separate themselves from Gustafson by assuring D’Andrea homeowners that Gustafson and IPC D’Andrea will in no way be involved with the project. However, no work can commence until Gustafson pays off the liens on the property.
“They are doing an analysis on what they think would work profitability-wise or not and if something will not work, then they say they will not pursue it,” he adds.
According to Canale, D’Andrea Rising stated to residents that they will release an “advisory vote” to 1,100 residents asking for a simple yes or no if they want to move forward with the project. A “Yes” vote would mean that D’Andrea Rising planners will commit more resources to analysis and feasibility studies on specific points of the project while a “No” vote would kill the venture.
There are currently four open seats on the D’Andrea HOA board of seven. There are 10 candidates vying to fill the open seats, with the election coming in the following month or so. Everyone understands that the DCA Handbook carries significant weight on what can and can’t be done with the property, so the future of D’Andrea Rising depends on amendments made to the document.
Canale said that he is not sure if D’Andrea Rising plans to send out the “advisory vote” before or after the new members are elected. Canale says that even if the homeowners vote “No” through the advisory vote letter, the new D’Andrea HOA board could vote “Yes” on it, subsequently moving forward on the proposed project. Canale said with that realization, a lot of the residents in the room got pretty upset and it led to a half-hour discussion.
Canale said that almost 100 percent of the homeowners are in favor of a wine tasting room that could double as an event center, but is concerned that the simple yes/no advisory vote that D’Andrea Rising is sending out is too vague and open-ended.
“If residents vote yes to that question, it would be the same as handing them a signed blank check, the protection our Handbook has given us will be handed to them,” stated Canale.
Although Canale does acknowledge that D’Andrea Rising has a number of great ideas regarding the gentrification of the property, he adds, “There are as many problems as much as potential solutions in the way they are dangling these carrots.”