Barisi Village uncertainty frustrates Pharaoh Valley residents

Posted at 4:33 PM, Jul 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-02 20:40:09-04

Nearly four years after Pharaoh Valley homeowners approved the Barisi Village project, work still hasn't started.

Developer Jeff Blackard wants to build an Italian-style village with both residential and retail space, but the project has been tied up in court since 2014, by a minority of homeowners opposed to the development.

Their lawsuit was thrown out of federal court and defeated in state court last year; but now they've taken their case to the state Court of Appeals. There's no word yet on when the appellate court will hear the case.

All of this has left Pharaoh Valley homeowners in limbo. They say the country club and golf course threaten their property values, and their safety.

“I don't feel completely safe if there are homeless people living on the course,” resident Prescott Williams said.

Williams thought he got a great deal when he bought a house for his wife and two young children in Pharaoh Valley North last year. He says he'd heard about homeless people coming from the golf course but hadn't seen any. That is until one night when his video doorbell recorded a homeless woman using his porch swing.

“It was a little alarming, of course, to wake up early in the morning and see that your doorbell has captured a visitor,” said Williams.

Incidents like this are part of why Pharaoh Valley property values are dropping.

“What used to be a golf course is feral field,” said Chris Kuehn, president of the Pharaoh Valley Neighborhood Association. “It has been that way going on nine years now, since the club had to close its doors."

Kuehn lives across from the old tennis courts. She says in the last three years her property values have dropped $30,000, and she's not the only one. Kuehn expects property values to keep dropping until work starts on Barisi Village.

“It would improve the looks of the area, it would improve our property values, it would improve people's morale,” said Kuehn.

Most Pharaoh Valley residents say they're confident Barisi Village will eventually be built, and are willing to wait as long as it takes, though they are getting frustrated.

Blackard says work on the Barisi Village project will start as soon as the project clears the courts, whenever that is.