Frequently Asked Questions
How will the green-space be maintained? Please speak to litter, dog droppings, garbage collection and removal, vandalism, homeless people, etc.
All green-space maintenance will be the responsibility of the Conservancy. Maintenance workers will be employed with amount to be determined.
Litter, garbage collection, and removal will be assigned to maintenance staff.
Dog bag stations with garbage receptacles will be strategically located along greenway including signage asking that all dogs be on leash at all times. Maintenance staff will also be asked to patrol grounds and clean up after pet owners as necessary.
We are, and will continue to, work with the City of Maryville asking them to increase patrol through the community. Additionally, signage will be posted with hours (Ex. Closing at dusk) and residents will be encouraged to call the police to report any activity during non-operational hours.
How will maintenance be funded?
Maintenance will be funded through fundraising (individuals, corporations, foundations, grants, etc.) with the goal of creating an endowment sufficient to cover average annual maintenance.
Discussions are being held with the City of Maryville to determine the possibility of turning all or part of the space to their Parks and Recreation department for long-term maintenance and planning.
Will some, or all of the land revert to a natural state, or would grass be mowed in some places?
Some of the land will revert to a “managed” natural state. We have started conversations with conservation organizations and will be contracting with landscape architects, to create a plan that prioritizes three main points:
Resident privacy and safety
Passive recreation (Ex. Greenway)
Natural area and wildlife habitat
If it becomes Conservancy land, with public access, could the City still take care of the maintenance? Would they consider doing that?
Conversations are currently underway and while the City has been clear that they are not interested in purchasing the property, there is a possible interest in the long-term planning and maintenance of the property.
Is it possible that the ROPOA Covenants will need to be amended to allow the Conservancy project to exist within the subdivision?
We have found no indication that the covenants will need to be amended to allow the Conservancy to exist. Care will be taken to ensure compliance with all existing covenants.
Are there areas currently within the golf course land to add sufficient parking, and entries to that parking, or will additional land need to be purchased?
We are currently looking at potential spaces outside of the Royal Oaks community to allow public access to greenways without requiring additional traffic on our private roads.
Will parking be at each “end” of the green-space, versus deep within the subdivision?
We are looking at sites on either end of the green space.
We hope to begin discussion with Blount Memorial Hospital (owner of holes 10 and 11 near the Walgreens on Highway 411, as well as developers for one or all of the new neighborhoods being developed off Morganton.
If it becomes a public park, won’t there be more people parking on our private roads (which is not allowed by our Covenants)?
This space will only become a public park if access is available without increased traffic through our private roads.
Where will restrooms be built? The Maryville Greenway has four restrooms within about three miles of walkway. Surely we will need at least one, and probably two.
This will be part of the master plan which has yet to be created.
What are the group’s thoughts about re-surfacing the current paved golf path? Or would a goal be to have more natural materials for the paths?
This will be discussed in the master plan as well as inclusion within a long-term maintenance plan. We will look at all options including repaving of current pathways, permeable pavement in areas with poor drainage, boardwalk across low-points, etc.
What about in some cases moving the path where it is right behind an owner’s home (so they aren’t inundated with people walking by)?
Following an initial walkthrough, we have identified a number of locations that would need to be rerouted to provide adequate privacy for homeowners. A specific distance has yet to be determined but will be included in the master plan.
Will at least some paths be handicap accessible?
This has yet to be discussed but will ideally be included.
Will biking, roller skating, and skateboarding be banned? Or encouraged – perhaps one day a week or month?
General sentiment has been to exclude these activities. However, these discussions will not be made final without significant input from Royal Oaks residents and neighbors.
Are any of the following additions being considered or even possible? Dog park, Skateboard park, Tennis/Pickleball court, Picnic Areas / Shelters, Benches, Frisbee Golf, Basketball court.
These features are currently being discussed and will be included in discussion with Royal Oaks residents and neighbors.
Will the group consider working with the other nearby subdivisions?
All subdivisions within a walkable distance of this project will have an opportunity to contribute in some way to this project. We believe that this project has the ability to improve home values for these communities and we will be starting discussion with developers immediately.
Does the group have a vision of purchasing, or trying to get conservancy status, for any of the forest lands beside the course?
Absolutely! We are already working with local conservation groups and wildlife habitat is a specific priority in our mission.
Will trees be planted to enhance the area? Will most owners approve? Might some actually want trees added behind their property (on Conservancy land) to act as buffers?
Yes, it is very likely that tree planting will be a feature of the Conservancy. Homeowners abutting Conservancy space will be specifically consulted throughout the process of developing the master plan
Privacy and aesthetic value for homeowners will be prioritized.
If not enough funds are raised, will donators receive refunds?
The initial funds raised have been specifically allocated to cover costs such as state filing fees, 501(c)3 application, etc. and will not be refunded.
We plan to work on a pledge basis before accepting funds which means that we will have written commitments from donors, but will not be taking funds until we have reason to believe this project will be successful.
Will donations be tax deductible?
We are in the process of obtaining our 501(c)3. Currently, donations are not tax deductible. However, deductibility can be backdated per IRS guidelines*. We will notify anyone who has contributed to the project upon approval of the Conservancy’s tax exempt status.
What percentage of the total purchase cost might be paid for by grants?
We are currently exploring grants on a local, state, and national level. This project will likely be heavily reliant on grants and corporate support. A list is being compiled of all relevant grant opportunities and we are assembling a team of volunteer grant writers to complete these applications.
We have already started discussion with potential corporate and non-profit partners in the area to discuss either direct funding, or assistance in accessing funding.
How long will the current owners continue to consider the Conservancy plan, if they are offered a good cash price for the golf course land?
We are monitoring this as closely as possible but know that a solid cash offer for the course will be accepted regardless of the buyer’s intention.
We are looking at partner’s who may be able to provide initial gap funding to speed up the purchase process.
Additionally, we plan to pivot our strategy as necessary in the event the course is sold. We believe this project requires a loose, as opposed to an all-or-nothing approach. Should the property be sold to a developer, we will work on providing incentives to retain walking paths, green space, etc. through purchases, donations of non-buildable land, etc.
*The Royal Oaks Conservancy is not certified to provide tax advice. Please consult a tax professional for advice related to deductibility of contributions.