Indian Bend Properties v. City of Scottsdale ends in settlement

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Scottsdale City Council has agreed to settle an issue that began several decades ago and involved a handful of properties developed into a golf course.

Ultimately, the city will acquire title to three parcels of land for $75,000, and pay any outstanding real estate tax liabilities for the parcels in the amount of $35,000.

The settlement was approved as part of the council’s Sept. 19 consent agenda. The council agreed to a settlement of claims in the lawsuit, Indian Bend Properties v. City of Scottsdale, that includes a $50,000 budget appropriation transfer and a General Fund Capital Contingency budget transfer for $60,000.

The matter stems from a property dispute involving three parcels of land adjacent to the Silverado Golf Course near the corner of 84th Street and Cactus Wren Road in Scottsdale. The dispute dates back to the 1980s when Scottsdale entered an option on a lease with an entity known as Scottsdale Lakes Golf Club, Inc. to develop what was then proposed as “Inlet Golf” course.

Scottsdale Lakes developed plans to construct the golf course but ultimately failed to do so, and the lease was terminated, according to a city staff report.

While attempting to construct the course, Indian Bend Property provided Scottsdale Lakes an easement for golf course purposes over the three subject parcels. That easement was provided to the developer, and not the city.

In the mid-1990s, the city renewed efforts to build a golf course in the area and entered into a new lease with Even Par, LLC to construct a course. The leased area did not include the three parcels, but the golf course design continued to include those parcels, the staff report stated.

Parties to the lease at that time appeared to believe the city still had rights in the easement, but there was no documentation to that effect. Meanwhile, Indian Bend Properties had recorded a notice asserting the easement given to Scottsdale Lakes was dissolved with the failure of the first lease with Scottsdale Lakes.

Even Par, LLC and its successor, Silverado, ultimately completed construction of the course around 2001. Since then, the three parcels in question have been used partially as a playing area, and partially as a buffer to nearby development.

In 2016 Indian Bend Properties asked the Maricopa County Superior Court to establish the title of the three parcels and rule that neither the city nor Silverado had any interest. On Sept. 1, a settlement conference was conducted through a court-sponsored program, the staff report stated.

The parties reached a tentative settlement where Indian Bend Properties will deed all three parcels to the city, and the city will then pay Indian Bend Properties $75,000 in exchange.

With the $35,000 in outstanding property taxes, the city will pay a total of $110,000.

The Inlet golf course fund has $50,000 available to aid in payment of the purchase price. The remaining $60,000 is being requested to be funded through a General Fund Capital Contingency transfer, the staff report stated.

Scottsdale City Council approved the item unanimously on consent.

Northeast Valley News Editor Melissa Rosequist can be e-mailed at mrosequist@newszap.com or can be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/mrosequist_.

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