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  • Writer's picturePinewood News

To My FellowMunds Park Residents

Adam Sandoval and Ari Levenbaum

On behalf of my good friend and partner Adam Sandoval and myself, I’d like to clear the air and dispel any confusion, falsehoods, and misconceptions. Before I do so, I’d like to share with you what this community means to me, why we chose to purchase a ten-acre parcel of land that had been vacant and unsold for 6 years, and how we intend to develop a home away from home for a lucky few like it has been for me and some of you.

About 5 years ago, my wife and I stumbled upon this bedroom community on a side by side that we had rented for the weekend. We were attending my friend’s UTV rally at Mormon Lake and we stayed in a log rental cabin at the lodge. We had a wonderful time and dreamt about purchasing a place of our own somewhere in the area where we could get out of the heat and take a break from the fast-paced life we lead in Phoenix. After spending several hours traversing the many forest trails in the area, we somehow stumbled onto East Pinewood Blvd which of course led us into Munds Park. Despite attending NAU summer classes in my 20’s and visiting Flagstaff countless times throughout my 48 years living in Arizona, I never actually visited Munds Park or knew much about it until that day. In fact, this is when I both discovered and fell in love with Munds Park. Within two months, we had made an offer on a dilapidated 1980’s log cabin and spent the next year and a half renovating it to make it our very own.

Over the past 4 years we’ve enjoyed many long weekends, holidays, and extended stays with friends and family at our Munds Park cabin. All who have stayed at our place have expressed just how special and unique the community is. As part of our time spent up here, we have become friends with several of our neighbors, we’ve joined the Pinewood Country Club, ridden countless trails on our side by side, hiked hundreds of miles of local trails, and warmed up in front of our cozy log fireplace. I have also shared my experiences and love of Munds Park with countless friends, family, and acquaintances, several of whom have purchased their own homes in the community. My love for this special place runs deep and was rooted in my decision to provide a little slice of heaven to those individuals who cannot afford to purchase a home of their own here or prefer to visit for a period of time in an RV or rental cabin.

Our vision is to use the land on the West side of the freeway to create a high-end community, of which all Munds Park residents would be proud, for both visitors and residents to share. Currently the land, which is within a limited use flood plain, is zoned as residential, but was originally designated and intended for commercial zoning, like all other land that surrounds it. Adam and I want to create a place that people can visit for the entire season in their RV or spend a few days in a cabin, enjoying nature and all that Munds Park has to offer, including its diverse residents.

Part of this plan includes building a Pavilion where both those staying on the property as well as Munds Park residents can gather for fundraisers, social events, and other activities that are designed to bring people together. We welcome the opportunity to work with the church, country club, our business neighbors, and other groups within the community with a shared purpose of helping others and giving back in meaningful ways. We also plan on educating and strictly enforcing rules and regulations that are intended to preserve the forest, maintain the RV park and everything around it, limit light emissions at night, and keep vehicles within the speed limit.

Furthermore, the business will undoubtedly provide tax revenue to support local infrastructure, jobs, and services along with generating additional sales and revenue to local businesses. In addition, Adam and I plan on volunteering, making charitable contributions to those less fortunate, and taking an active role as both community and business members.

I would like to address those individuals who oppose our project for reasons such as increased traffic and population, placing a strain on local infrastructure, such as roads, water, sewage, and attracting “undesirables” and transient campers. First let me start by saying our RV park will likely have between 90 and 125 RV spots in phase 1. Until we have all of our surveys and assessments completed, we won’t be able to provide an exact number. In phase two, we plan to build approximately 20 to 30 rental cabins. While these numbers are estimates at this time, we should have a clear understanding of the final numbers in the weeks to follow.

Based on the discussions we’ve had with experts, adding between 250 to 400 seasonal residents at any given time will not have a significant impact on additional vehicle traffic nor will it place a burden or cause harm to local dirt or paved roads. Furthermore, we are working closely with the sewage district, the County, and local engineers to ensure that we meet or exceed all requirements at every stage of this development. My discussions with the sewage district are ongoing and their representatives are certain that they will be able to accommodate the increased demand. In fact, we will be making a sizable investment to cover our part of the infrastructure improvements, hookups, and continuous use to facilitate this process. As far as water usage is concerned, the property has its own well, which is constantly being replenished, resulting in more than enough water to last a lifetime. In short, it is our intention to work with state and local officials and community members to ensure that we do not have a negative impact in any way on the community.

For those who claim we will be attracting people who will break the law, have no ties to the community or cause destruction or any sort of unrest, my response is that this is completely unfounded, unfair, and unwarranted. Furthermore, we will not discriminate against anyone who seeks to stay at our RV park. The individuals at our park will be no different than those who stay at our neighbor’s RV park or any other parks throughout the country for that matter. If there is availability and somebody is willing to meet the financial obligation to either rent an RV spot or a cabin, we will welcome them with open arms. I also want to make it clear that the majority of our RV locations will be designated for seasonal rentals. It is our intention to rent out over 90% of the RV pads to long term guests. Doing so will provide less RV traffic, guaranteed upfront seasonal income for the park, and guests will be more tied to the community.

We also plan on providing discounts and incentives for first responders, active-duty military, and veterans who have served our country. This is important to both me and Adam as a way of giving back and recognizing everything these individuals have done to support their community and preserve our freedom and way of life. Moreover, we’ll conduct fundraisers and support other’s events that are designed to raise money and awareness for our local first responders, veterans, and the elderly who may need a helping hand.

With the explosive growth that continues in Phoenix and throughout the state, it’s inevitable that more people will want to experience our community and all that it has to offer. That’s what attracted me 5 years ago and undoubtedly drew many of you to plant roots here. Who would you prefer develop this land? A fellow Munds Park resident who will contribute to the community, respect and listen to their fellow residents, and have the best interest of the community at heart? Or would you prefer to have an outside developer or entity with no roots, ties, or interests, other than economic, to purchase the land and do with it as they please?

Please realize that everything we do will be in the best interest of Munds Park and its residents. As homeowners ourselves, we will be here every step of the way to answer any questions you may have and provide transparency and honesty. Once we are open, the entire community will be invited to the RV park for a celebration and open house. We will show, through our actions, that the RV park will be an asset to this community and everything we do will enhance the community in a way that makes everyone proud to be a Munds Park resident. All I ask is that you give us a chance to prove to you that we will be good stewards and give way more than we will take.

As a good faith gesture, on Tuesday, April 27th, I will be hosting a Zoom meeting from 9:30-10:30 am to answer any additional questions community members may have. By this time, I should hopefully have more information to share about the total number of RV spots we can accommodate as well as flood compliance matters. My intention is to be completely transparent every step of the way and do whatever I can to address those community members who have ongoing concerns.


Ari Levenbaum


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From the Pinewood News

The opposition to the proposed RV Park was offered equal space in the Pinewood News to write a counterargument to clearly state their factual reasons for opposition. On deadline, we received not an article but rather an advertisement for donations and a petition for signatures. We rejected the submission and, as a courtesy, extended the deadline to re-submit. Our offer was declined.

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