On to the Millennium:


By 1970, with lots sold (and some resold), John and Mary Bender deeded the reversionary interest in the ten Flechas over to FCHOA, giving control to the Association and its Board.


Although no longer in charge and more or less retired, JOhn remained on the Board until about 1980 as a resident of Flecha No. 2 on Camino Arenosa and a valued source for information. With the new formalization of duties and purpose, two items of business early in the days of Association responsibility were the hiring of a consulting architect or firm, and establishing a relationship with an attorney. Most Board members were busy people without the time or necessary expertise in these areas. also, this was the beginning of the so-called Age of Litigation. There were new state statutes and county zoning regulations, new building materials and a looming energy crisis.


There were two major lawsuits in the early 1970's. In one, a family built a two-story home which blocked the city views of those to the north. After a lengthy battle in which the owner and his builder traded accusations about who was supposed to submit the plans, the matter was settled with the homeowner paying a sizable sum to the Association for legal fees. As it turned out, the blockage was mainly of downtown and the 'view' had already begun to move to the east.


The other case involved a property fronting on Dead Man's Curve on River Road. The owner wanted to put a huge wall around the property and build a house on the lot. Although the minutes of the Board meetings do not show any details, this dispute went on for a long time and ended with a denial of approval for the wall and the house. FCHOA also terminated its arrangement with the architectural firm that reviewed the plans and there was some litigation with them. A new architect, who had left this firm, was hired and life went on. However, many of the plans that had been processed by the old firm mysteriously disappeared.


Another landmark event occurred in 1974, at the height of the energy crisis and rising utility costs. It was voted by ballots distributed ahead of the Annual Meeting to waive enforcement of some of the CRR's relating to energy use. No longer would new owners be mandated to use burnt adobe, brick or other masonry, and if they wished to change from refrigeration to evaporative coolers, these could be placed on the roof. Both these waivers required, and still do, the advance approval of the Board. White roofs were also permitted under the same conditions. My own house was built of frame and stucco, and had two coolers and solar hot water panels on the roof (along with an 80-gallon water heater), screened by a 42-inch stucco wall, constructed to look like an area with higher ceilings. The house was built in 1978 and was typical of construction at the time.


Early Board minutes are often sketchy, but one year in the early seventies the Recording Secretary noted a complaint about a group of people running about their property unclothed. The complaint was registered by a clergyman, who was outraged. Unfortunately, the minutes do not describe the disposition of this case. I wish the secretary had gone into a bit more detail.


Most of the 1970's agenda items are much like those of today, with some incidents of drama. There was an ongoing battle with Pima county during the time Heatherwood Hills was built just north of Flecha No. 8 and south of No. 6. Since many of the streets were continuations of those in Flecha Caida, trucks were roaring up and down all day long. I lost two headlights from being passed by dump trucks carrying - and spilling - gravel and rocks. Finally, an agreement was reached with the County to close Cardenal, Cazador, Gacela and Arco until construction was complete upslope. Unfortunately for me, Camino del Celador, where I lived, became the shortcut of choice. These roads were not paved at the time.


In the early 1980's FCHOA became a part of several coalitions to preserve the foothills. The first was when more than 20,0000 signatures were gathered to protest the original plans for La Paloma, which would have drastically changed the character of the upper bajada. The County listened and sharply reduced the density and height of buildings, as well as alleviating seasonal flooding down slope by making retention basins out of the water hazards on the golf course.


In the mid-eighties, another crisis loomed when the County decided to straighten Dead Man's Curve and make a straight shot four-lane road east to Craycroft. This would have destroyed at least four very upscale homes on the south side of River, as well as causing some very difficult ingress and egress problems for everyone. We joined with several small subdivisions to fight this, with the help from those far west of this area, who were members of a group whose slogan was "Keep River road Kinky". Again we prevailed and the curve was eventually modified, using a lot in Flecha Caida (the very one that the one-time owner wanted to wall in).


This, however, was not done until after a long succession of accidents (usually on Friday nights) and one in particular. The scion of a noted family of St. Louis brewers was giving a ride home to a young waitress from one of the local watering holes where he had spent the evening. His Porsche skidded off the road at the top of Dead Man's Curve, shot onto the vacant lot and she was thrown from the car and killed. He got out, walked all the way home to his apartment near First Avenue and River, allegedly unaware of her fate. Nevertheless, the family attorneys quickly whisked him out of town. He did not finish the year at the University, nor has he ever returned to the state, at least not publicly.


Another major event was the widening and recontouring of Swan Road in the mid-1980's. Since additional lanes were being added, as well as the modification of the roadbed to eliminate blind hills, this meant some major changes for residents along the roadway. This project was one of the first to use 'fake rocks' to shore up the resulting cliffs along the right-of-way. It also meant driveways had to be moved from Swan onto Calle del Pantera and Camino Esplendora. The project, as well, involved the purchase of portions of some lots on the west side of the road to redirect Calle Bendita to exit onto a newly aligned Calle Barril. One plus, for most people, was that the County paved most of the through roads in the Flechas east of Swan to use during the lengthy construction period. This, along with the Dead Man's Curve project, was a period of unprecedented cooperation from Pima County. An interesting connection was made when we learned that one of those whose driveway had to be moved also owned a lot just to the north of Calle del Pantera, which built a retention basin and ended most of the flood prone tendencies of this neighborhood.