Barney: Vote by May 15 on General Plan, which provides framework for the future

As a Queen Creek resident of nearly 70 years, this community and its residents are near and dear to my heart. Growing up we knew everyone, with dirt roads and visits to Oscar’s, the local market.

Queen Creek Mayor Gail Barney

I’ve had the privilege of seeing Queen Creek take shape and change over the years. From our founding fathers leading the incorporation effort in 1989 to our first traffic signal at the Ellsworth and Ocotillo intersection in 2005, Queen Creek’s strategic growth has made it a sought-after community to live, play and learn.

As the mayor of this fantastic community, I am charged, along with my fellow council members, with ensuring we are honoring our past while embracing our future. The councils before us had outstanding foresight and paved the way for what we enjoy in Queen Creek today. Part of their planning efforts included our previous General Plans.

Arizona state law requires communities to have a General Plan, and to update that General Plan every 10 years. Our most recent General Plan was approved in 2008, which is why we’re asking residents to vote in the special election.

Over the past several years, town staff has been working diligently to gather input from our community to help shape this General Plan Update. We’ve had an outstanding response from the community, which is extremely important. This General Plan Update is a collaborative document, capturing the vision for Queen Creek. To help reach our community, we provided opportunities for input beyond the standard public meetings, asking questions on social media and hosting an interactive website, and appreciate participants being generous with their time and feedback.

All of that input was integrated with existing town plans like the Transportation Master Plan and the Economic Development Strategic Plan to create the General Plan Update that Queen Creek voters have an opportunity to vote on by May 15.

During this process, I’ve received questions about how this plan compares to the previous plan and if it results in smaller lot sizes. The short answer is no, approving the General Plan Update will not result in smaller lot sizes, or a larger population. Our staff was tasked with creating an update that is easier to understand and includes important new requirements that will make it easier to ensure new developments are good neighbors. The General Plan provides a framework for the future. It is a planning document that will help this current council and future councils make decisions that reflect the vision of our community.

Queen Creek has experienced a lot of change since I went to school in what is now the San Tan Historical Society and will continue to change as all communities do. Our intent with the General Plan Update is to ensure we honor our agricultural and rural areas while providing solid guidance about the community’s vision for the future when developers and individual property owners request to develop their land.

As the deadline to turn in ballots draws near, 7 p.m. May 15, I encourage our residents who have not voted to take a few moments to review the General Plan Update and make sure you’re part of Queen Creek’s future.

Gail Barney
Mayor
Queen Creek

Editor’s note: To view the General Plan Update, visit QueenCreek.org/PlanQC or go to the town’s Municipal Services Building at 22358 S. Ellsworth Road, Queen Creek, or the Queen Creek Library at 21802 S. Ellsworth Road to view a hard copy of the plan. The deadline to mail ballots has passed. To turn in a ballot, drop it off at one of the following locations by May 15: Queen Creek Library*, 21802 S. Ellsworth Road, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Monday, May 11, 12 and 14, and 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday, May 15; Maricopa County Recorder/Elections Offices*, (including 111 S. Third Ave. in Phoenix, 510 S. Third Ave. in Phoenix and 222 E. Javelina in Mesa), 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, Monday and Tuesday, May 11, 14 and 15; and Municipal Services Building, 22358 S. Ellsworth Road in Queen Creek, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday, May 14. *Replacement ballots may also be requested at these locations.

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