My View

BY DON SORCHYCH  |  October 7, 2015

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don sorchychRoadhouse | Tom Lehman

The Hideaway Roadhouse issues with town hall are not yet resolved. Council, led by Vice Mayor Steve LaMar, directed staff to cite Jim O’Toole, who owns the building, for building a patio on the south side of the building on town property without a permit.
They took the patio down and are seeking to have the charges, which are criminal, withdrawn. I claim that is like robbing a bank, getting caught, giving the money back and claiming they did no wrong. I was told by an attorney that my example fails because my example was a theft. Nonetheless, O’Toole and his partner Mark Bradshaw knew they were breaking the law and went for it anyway.

I maintain the ease with which the town accepted the water barrel monument, or whatever it is, on town property by development agreement gave them the idea the town was stupid and not protecting their property. That action by the town invites a liability and it should be reversed.
Council is out of the issue (except for the water barrel) because the court now has jurisdiction. The court is in the hands of Carefree thanks to a stupid vote by the former recalled slate. The whole issue is being addressed by Cave Creek Town Council members.

So the fate of Roadhouse owners is in the hands of the Carefree court prosecutor. I assume Cave Creek attorneys will have a say here and I think the Sims firm will avoid the politics since the council is split on the matter. Both Mayor Vincent Francia and Councilman Ernie Bunch voted against the measure. Some worry they could lose their liquor license if convicted. Who cares?
Time for a hanging judgment!

Tom Lehman

Tom Lehman is a well-known Golf Professional who won the 1996 U.S. Open Championship. He was born in 1959 in Minnesota and is a Christian member of multiple charitable organizations.
He is involved with Elevate Phoenix, a civic program providing long-term, life-changing relationships with urban youth, Cortney's Place, McKenzie Monks Foundation, Hopekids, Children’s Cancer Research Fund, Phoenix Crisis Pregnancy Center, The Changing Lives Center for Women and Children, Search Ministries, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Big Oak Ranch (Birmingham, AL).

He bought Carolyn Fabrici’s estate south of Honda Bow and is currently developing property south of the existing estate.

Since I live across the creek from him, I have an amazing view through extended patio doors on our north side.

Currently there are four tractors/bulldozers on site, a water truck and various trucks and cars. After looking him up online I found he owns Lehman Design Group.

From the Design Group webpage:

“When one thinks of Tom Lehman the man, words like integrity, class, intelligence, emotion, work ethic and character stand out. As one of the most widely respected players in the world, the British Open champion plays the game with the highest passion, thought and heart. With Tom Lehman the designer, the same descriptions apply.

“Born in Austin, Minnesota, it was only natural that Tom would attend the University of Minnesota. After college and an early stint on the PGA Tour in the middle 1980s, he played on several different tours around the world before returning to the U.S. and the nationwide tour where in 1991 Lehman won three times, was the leading money winner and then player of the year, all of which earned him a ticket back to the PGA Tour and the start of a stellar career.”

There is a good deal more about Lehman online.

I called Lehman last Friday to chat about his project, got his voice mail and at the end of his message he said “God Bless.” He is well known as a Christian and a charitable Christian to boot.
Why all of this discussion about a new resident?

After I called him I received phone calls regarding some “dark side” assertions about his project.

I read their whining and projections and they are way wrong if you believe the town’s policies as explained by Planning Director Ian Cordwell and Building Official Mike Baxley.

For instance, Janelle Smith-Haff claims Lehman’s contractor referred to parcel one as a golf course. On two acres? Lehman said he would have grass and putting holes on the two acres. Then she complains Lehman will be using the same aquifer neighbors are using. So? There are putting greens all over town; does anyone else complain about use of aquifer water?
Haff is the woman who fancies herself as an expert on the annexation agreement signed 20 years ago to help enable the purchase of Spur Cross Ranch, and it did.

The irony is it was Carolyn Fabrici’s lawyer that drafted the annexation agreement in such a way most people in the county would agree to joining Cave Creek.

Although no plans have been presented yet, both Cordwell and Baxley say the work so far does not require permits.

Haff claims the four council members who replaced the slate promised citizens on the west side of Cave Creek there would be an east-west crossing over the creek before the expiration of the annexation agreement. That is absolutely not true unless the comments involved the trail beside my easement which would be for horses, hikers and bicycles, not motorized vehicles.
There is much more but darksiders rely on fantasies and are typically not true to fact.

So Welcome Tom and Melissa and their four children to Cave Creek. I find your project to be fascinating and wish you the best with it. Don’t let the few anxious neighbors get under your skin.