The Facts About Ridgeline Equestrian Estates and Rio Santiago

There has been a lot of talk about the Ridgeline Equestrian Estates, the Rio Santiago project, open space that should or should not be required in Orange Park Acres, the fate of the Sully-Miller Equestrian Arena, and more. If you’re curious about what is actually being proposed like I was, you might want to take a look at the Rio Santiago website.

Change is inevitable. The real question is how will that change take place. The Rio Santiago website has a clear picture of the developer’s vision, so whether you appreciate it or not, you will at least be able to see what it is. He has maps, photos, drawings, a community overview, FAQs sheet, and step by step milestones.

Here is a PDF fact sheet called THE FACTS ABOUT RIDGELINE EQUESTRIAN ESTATES AND RIO SANTIAGO, created by John Martin, the developer. This appears to be one of the clearest expressions of his goals in creating these developments. Once you have the picture, you can see whether you like what you see or not.

The Orange Park Association Board of Directors has weighed in with their own ideas on these projects. You can see what they think by visiting their websites at www.orangeparkacres.org or www.opacommunityaction.org

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Another group has been created within OPA called the Responsible residents of Orange Park Acres (RROPA). The RROPA has been set up as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, however from their website difficult to tell if this association is comprised of one family or 100 families. Regardless of the number of individuals behind the group, the RROPA put together a very well researched piece on the facts related to these two developments, which appeared as an advertisement in the Foothills Sentry. On the RROPA website they also have a number of original documents posted that make for interesting reading related to these projects, including typography maps, city filings, historical documents and other pertinent documents. Unfortunately, they have not posted a copy of the article they ran in the paper, which was a concise, well-researched piece on Ridgeline, the projects, what we have been told as residents, and the underlying facts. It is definitely worth a read if you can get a copy of it.

One of the most interesting items in their Foothills Sentry piece is related to open space. Apparently the Ridgeline Golf Course was not designated as open space. According to the QUIMBY Act, RROPA states that OPA is actually only entitled to about 1/3 of an acre of open space related to the Ridgeline Equestrian Estates. According to the development plans the RROPA states there are 2.3 miles of open space planned along with an addition mile of OPA horse trails. Also, according the the developer’s websites he is also willing to donated the Sully Miller Arena land to a designated organization for the Orange Park Acres residents to hold in trust. If you add in the 80 acres that will be left as open space in the Rio Santiago project and the additional land that is being offered for trails in that project, it seems like the residents of OPA are getting a pretty nice deal related to open space and trail development.

If you are curious to learn more, you might want to do what I did and start at the websites listed below. They were a little hard to find, so I decided to put them all in one place to make it easier for you to take a look for yourself.

  1. The proposed Rio Santiago development website
  2. The proposed Ridgeline Equestrian Estates development website
  3. RROPA- Responsible Residents of OPA
  4. www.orangeparkacres.org
  5. www.opacommunityaction.org

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