One Small Voice
by Laura McGaffey
Articles originally published in "The Voice in the Desert"
Bill Fisher, Shadow Mountain Group Manager
Bill Fisher had just purchased his "dream retirement home" in Quail Creek when he first visited the Sulphur Springs Valley. After two years the Quail Creek house is still being constructed while Bill is now firmly committed to his plan to retire in the Sulphur Springs Valley after seeing a life-long goal fulfilled.
During Bill's thirty years as a successful land developer one of his dreams has been to manage the development of a golf course retirement community. Two years ago, he was living and working in Tucson when a realtor told him about Sunsites and the Shadow Mountain Golf Course. The golf course was for sale. So were much of the surrounding vacant land as well as the water company and several small businesses.
Although the original developers of the Shadow Mountain Golf Course, the Horizon Company, had an extensive plan for the building out of thousands of housing lots, their plans were never fully realized. They were also decades old. Rezonings and lot plans approved by the county had long since expired. Nevertheless, Bill believed the area was the most beautiful, peaceful, quiet place to live and he determined to make his dream come true by finishing the job Horizon began.
Since 1995 Bill has been developing projects with Mark Lundberg, the owner of the Carlton Group of Seattle, Washington. He has known Mark since Bill was in the third grade. Mark was a year ahead of him in school and already hard at work at the local grocery store when they met. Bill says that Mark is one of a rare breed these days: a man of his word who will do whatever it takes to fulfill his promises.
Bill contacted Mark and returned with him to Sunsites to describe his vision. They decided to move forward and the Carlton Group purchased the golf course and quite a bit of the surrounding vacant land. They also bought a few small businesses and the water company. Another company, Barclay's, was brought onboard to help finance the purchases. Since the Carlton Group and Barclay's are out of state businesses, it is a tribute to Bill Fisher's reputation that these companies have invested so much in his vision for the community where he now lives permanently and where he plans to stay into his retirement.
Over the two years Bill has lived in the Sunsites area he has come to admire and respect his neighbors. He loves their independent and self-reliant spirit. He believes much of the charm and warmth of the Sulphur Springs Valley is due to its diverse personalities and the tolerance and amiability of the population.
Bill's dream for Shadow Mountain's properties around Sunsites has included keeping the density of the new developments in line with the current village. He never agreed with the 1417 lots originally planned for the 307 acres south of Treasure Road and is very proud of the newly redesigned plan which has an 800 lot limit, a larger setback and larger lots. He likes the ruralness of our area and wants it preserved. He does not want the clean, pure air of our paradise poisoned and he wants the night sky to remain unlit by artificial lights so stargazing with the naked eye remains unimpeded.
But Bill also loves golfing and maintains a dream of reinvigorating the Shadow Mountain Golf Course. This requires the development of new homes for the retirement population he expects to draw to the area. He believes retirees and those with jobs or businesses that allow them to work out of their homes will be the primary purchasers of the homes the Shadow Mountain Development Group is planning. He also believes these individuals will be of the same caliber as the current residents - self-reliant, resourceful and in love with the rural character of the Sulphur Springs Valley. He believes they will be just as desirous of a quiet, peaceful neighborhood and will wish to preserve the open spaces, clean air, and clear night skies he and we moved to the Sulphur Springs Valley to enjoy.