Volume XXV, Volume 1

March 2004

Published by: Flecha Caida Homeowners Assn. Inc.
P.O. Box 64633, Tucson, AZ 85728
Phone/Fax: (520) 327-4240

E-mail: fchoa@flechacaida.org

Website: http://www.flechacaida.org


It’s Annual Meeting Time
Come and Hear Sheriff Dupnik

This is the official notice of the Annual Meeting of Flecha Caida Homeowners Association, Inc., which will be held on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 at First Evangelical Free Church, 4700 N. Swan Rd. in the large upstairs room in Building F (south side of the parking lot.)

Following the success of last year’s delicious buffet dinner, we have again arranged with Basha’s to provide our ‘feast’, which will be served beginning at 6:00 p.m. We may have some informal discussion during dinner, (see article at right), but the business meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m., as usual. Sheriff Dupnik will talk about the operation of his department during these difficult times – financially and otherwise, and will answer questions following his talk.

The menu for the dinner, which will cost only $6.00 per person, is as follows:

Baked Chicken Breast
Mashes Potatoes & Gravy or
Choice of two vegetables
Tossed Salad Rolls and Butter
Cookies Coffee (decaf) or Water

Prepaid reservations are due by Friday, April 16 to allow Basha’s time to catch the chickens. Send your check to the P.O. Box above. Sorry, we can’t do VISA or MasterCard.

Everyone who attended last year said "Let’s do this again next year", so we did!

New Neighborhood Watch
Meeting Set for April 6

There will be an organizational meeting for new Neighborhood Watch groups throughout the Flechas on Tuesday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the First Evangelical Church. A representative of the Sheriff’s Department will be there to tell you how to get your neighborhood into the program.

Connie Beuerlein, a new Flecha Board member who has agreed to take on the task of coordinating the groups, has arranged the meeting. Call her at 615-9494 for more information.

The last several months have seen a startling increase in crimes against property in the central foothills, with more than 27 burglaries in just a two-month period.

Not long after the release of this statistic, a man in a stolen vehicle was arrested in Los Angeles, and the car was full of STOLEN mail from FLECHA CAIDA! Folks in some neighborhoods have been filling out forms for the Postal Inspector to retrieve their mail.

There are other strange goings on, with people knocking on doors allegedly for a charity – just to ‘case’ the house. Just a week or so ago, a resident who lives on a prominent curve of River Road called to tell us that thieves had broken a large front window, in broad daylight and in full view of dozens of passing motorists and taken items from the house. The Sheriff’s Department says the average time inside a home is seven minutes!

In Kris Thompson’s NW area, there have been fewer break-ins and thefts from parked cars since they organized.

Requirements for an active Neighborhood Watch group are not stringent. Each group must meet only twice a year to keep the signs up on the street, and groups can combine to get some interesting speakers. We urge you to take part – the results are proven, and you’ll feel much safer knowing your neighbors are keeping an eye on your house.

Flecha Caidans have always considered privacy a major attraction, but we can still keep that feeling while being observant and helping each other.

The Board is considering some options for various security measures and will take the matter up at the May meeting. In the meantime, coming to the Annual Meeting will give everyone a chance to let Sheriff Dupnik know how concerned we are and perhaps something could result from the sentiments of such a sizable portion of the County tax base.

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Speaking of Mail –

Here are the prices for getting your mailbox repainted, lettered and repaired:

Painting: Members get a new paint job free every three years – by request.

Non-members pay $20 for repainting.

Labeling is $5.00 per address -- $10,00 to number both sides of the mailbox. Names are $1.00 per letter.

Straightening of stand or arrow is $15 – 25.

Installing a new box is from $20 to $25.

Re-welding of arrow is $25.

Contact Patty Sea at 577-6226 or E-mail her at: pasea@earthlink.net

You can also call the message center or send an E-mail to: fchoa@flechacaida.org

The process usually takes three trips to complete.


Rescued Native Plants – A Real Bargain for Homeowners

Thanks to Chris Monrad, a Flecha resident, we now know about a new – and very economical -- way to buy cacti and succulents through the Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society’s Rescue Program at almost a third of retail.

The group seeks areas where development is about to occur and contact the owners to save and reuse the native plants on the property. Last year they saved over 12,000 plants, including those from the La Encantada site at Campbell and Skyline. We recently got a note from Chris, telling us about some work that will clear land at Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch. The Society gets the plants, gets the proper state tags and seals, and you get a bargain.

To find out more, call Joe Frannea of TCSS at 575-7126, or E-mail: frannea@earthlink.net to make an appointment to see and purchase. You can find out more on their website: http://tucsoncactus.org/html/cactus_rescue.html.


Board Notes …

The Board has elected three new Board members in the past several months: Tina Gingras, Carol Donner and Connie Beuerlein, mentioned earlier.

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It’s amazing to consider after nearly fifty years of Flecha’s existence, but plans for three new houses have been approved in the last month or so. Our few unimproved lots are gradually getting filled with homes.

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You may have read about the latest in building trends – teardowns. This is where it is cheaper to simply tear down and replace an outmoded or distressed house. We have our first one in Flecha Caida, and demolition may already have started by the time you receive this.

Flecha Caida, with our spacious lots and unsurpassed views, is still one of the most attractive neighborhoods in the near suburbs. This is why your Board works so hard.


Flecha Caida and the Old Pueblo – Both Venerable and Still Growing

Part 3

It was into this atmosphere in the mid 1950’s that John and Mary Bender entered with the idea of developing a more casual subdivision with acre-plus lots. While there was no set style, each home being a custom dwelling, the emphasis was on rural family living, close to town, but with horses and even ‘fowl’ until County zoning kicked the chickens out of most subdivisions. As it happened, the preponderance of houses were ranch style homes with the mandated minimum of 2,000 square feet, built of the burnt adobe that was so popular in these pre-energy conscious days. John Bender did not want his subdivision to be high profile and removal of vegetation was strictly controlled. Just enough trees, cactus and desert scrub were to be graded to allow for the house and surrounding parking areas. Roads were left unpaved for equestrian use. Few Flecha homes can be seen from the valley, so carefully were they planned to emphasize the desert. As a result, the Flechas have always attracted those who espouse the very values that formed the ‘Tucson’ lifestyle.

I always found it interesting that John Bender, who had developed Mecedora Estates on the west side and later Skyline Country Club Estates and Skyline Bel Air to the north of Flecha, as well as Bel Air Ranch Estates on the far east side, would come to meetings dressed in his customary attire of green Sears-type work clothes and often a cap with a logo such as ‘John Deere’ on it. This was typical of the ‘reverse snobbery’ that characterized him.

The first sales office was built at 5000 East River Road, just across from where the Hughes house would be built. Sales, with lots starting at about $600 an acre, were brisk. The son of the owner of Wild Horse Ranch mentioned earlier, was a sales representative for Coolidge-Moore Realty. On my first visit to Tucson – and Wild Horse – in 1960, he urged me to buy a lot as an investment – quoting a price of under $1,000. As a New York-based working girl, there was little extra left in my budget for such investments, a fact I’ve often lamented. Eight years later, brochures listed lot prices as priced from $4,500. Now, some are close to twenty times that price.

When Flecha Caida was first developed starting in 1956, the only way to reach it was via the old Dodge bridge, or by traversing the bed of the Rillito on Swan – not always feasible. Craycroft Road ended south of the river and continued on the other side as a dirt and then gravel road. There was virtually nothing east of Craycroft and River Road itself was a very rural street. People are still fighting to keep it that way.

These subdivisions in the foothills, as well as others in the city itself, were built with recorded plat maps and a set of Conditions, Covenants and Restrictions. Although some of the earlier neighborhoods were quite exclusionary, by the time Flecha Caida was developed the objectionable clauses in such documents had been rendered unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Even so, producing the right mix of do’s and don’ts was a learning experience. The CCR’s for Catalina Foothills Estates No. 1, for example, failed to include an automatic renewal clause, which was quickly remedied in the subsequent CFE developments. This caused a major upheaval in that subdivision when they expired. John Bender learned from that experience. His great regret was that he did not make membership in the Homeowners Association mandatory in any of the Flechas, an omission that was quickly corrected in later projects. The other major problem was failing to include a mechanism for amending the CCR’s, which could have eliminated the first omission.

While lots were being sold, in an amazingly short time for nearly 560 of them, John Bender kept a fairly tight rein on the development, granting variances and signing off on plans. He also ran the Flecha Caida Water Company, which had its headquarters in the office at 5000 East River. Until the City of Tucson bought the water company and began providing city water to the Flechas, the man who read the meters also served as the inspector for violations to the CCR’s.

A somewhat informal Homeowners Association was formed in 1968, acting principally in an advisory and social capacity. I understand that Board meetings and even the Annual Meetings were more like cocktail parties. Dues at this time were $5.00 per year. By this time, all the lots had been sold and the ‘plank-owners’ were all in place. Soon afterward the office (by that time relocated to a lot on Swan Road) was closed down.

Most of the CCR infractions discussed were minor ones, stemming from the owners not reading the restrictions, much like today’s topics – real estate signs, mailboxes and the like. Meetings, however, were often very spirited.

Although I have never been able to get anyone to tell me who the two parties were, it seems that one heated discussion at an Annual Meeting, held at Skyline Country Club, degenerated into an actual fist fight in the bar after the meeting was over. I have also been unable to determine the cause of the dispute. I’m happy to say that by the time I became President, things had become less physical.

(to be continued)

Please Join Us for:

Dinner … and Dupnik

Come to the Annual Meeting
Tuesday, April 20, 2004
First Evangelical Free Church
4700 N. Swan Road
Dinner: 6:00 p.m. Annual Meeting: 7:30 p.m.