For more than a decade, the Torres Blancas Golf Club in Green Valley has been stuck between a river and hard place — and it’s getting worse.
Since 2016, the golf course has lost 10 to 15 yards of land due to erosion from the Santa Cruz River, said Mike Cochran, club general manager.
The erosion is also swallowing portions of the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail, which is forcing hikers onto golf course property, creating safety issues.
Pima County Regional Flood Control told the Green Valley News if the river winds through, or affects private property, managing the waterway is out of their hands.
For Cochran, that argument’s dead in the water.
History of erosion
In September 2014, Torres Blancas’ former managers notified the county about erosion on the golf course green opposite homes located from 2773 to 2709 S. Greenside Place.
At the time, the county said a review of historical photographs of that bend in the Santa Cruz River “has not been significantly altered” and “is naturally prone to erosional events.”
Pima County then determined the area of concern was on property owned by Torres Blancas LLC, and the county could not spend public money for private land improvements.
“From a regulatory perspective, this natural process is addressed by establishing minimum safe setback distances for structures from washes,” according to the statement to Torres Blancas.
The default setback distance established by the county is 500 feet.
Read the entire Green Valley News and Sun article here. Originally published Nov. 14, 2018.