Resident urges Queen Creek officials to think long and hard on Box Canyon

 

In 1999, Ron Hunkler and I founded the San Tan Mountains PRIDE Association, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that said in part in its mission statement: The San Tan Mountains PRIDE Association is an organization of volunteer citizens formed to promote the preservation of the San Tan Mountain Regional Park and adjacent mountains and its surrounding desert areas.

In 2006, the town of Queen Creek presented a public involvement forum and public meeting to gather input for the San Tan Foothills Specific Plan Project. Prior to this first public meeting I had the pleasure of being a member of a citizens advisory committee that dealt with the planning and development of Box Canyon. It was then that I and many others who served on that committee first heard about the possibility of a resort being built there.

(Click here to read an earlier story about the Box Canyon community.)

We also found out that there might be many homes built on this land so we were asked about what we thought on how many homes per acre should be allowed. We all agreed that one home per acre (net), which was already a part of our town’s Master Plan, would be the maximum. Not the 1.8 homes per acre as was recently submitted to the town for approval by the town council.

We also agreed that commercial development in the Foothills will be minimal. Resort development will be considered on a small scale and only if it complements the surroundings and is supported by the local community. In all developments, open space, native vegetation and a mind-set toward water preservation will be required to maintain the Sonoran Desert character.

Our Queen Creek Town Council could possibly vote to destroy our park by putting over 10,000 people on its border and that includes where this subdivision juts directly into the park. They also could possibly vote to destroy some of the most beautiful pristine desert land in the Southwest by allowing a resort (unknown details) and a golf course (also unknown details) and condominiums of unknown size and numbers.

Everybody who lives within our town gets their water from wells. A few years ago those wells went down 600 feet to get water; now they have to drill down 1,000 feet. Folks, we live in a desert. We gave our best knowledge to our town as our vision for the future of Box Canyon because most of us rode horseback all over that land for years.

This vision we had will hopefully not be trashed by our town council because what was submitted to them was overloaded with a lot of unknowns that will not benefit our neighbors, our park or those many thousands who use our road system now. But it will fill the pockets of the developers and home builders who will be gone as soon as they sell and ruin what we who live here cherish so much.

The bottom line is our town council may possibly vote to allow over 3,700 homes, along with a resort with a golf course and condos to be jammed into a 1/2-mile by 4-mile strip of land that will negativity affect our park.

Incidentally the traffic that it will disgorge from its narrow bowels is estimated at 36,000 vehicles per day on our already overburdened road system.

Council members: Please ask them to scale their plans down so that it will fit within our community.

Alden F. Rosbrook
Queen Creek

(Editor’s note: The Queen Creek Town Council will hear a presentation about the Box Canyon Planned Community District at its Aug. 17 meeting. It will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Queen Creek Town Hall, 22350 S. Ellsworth Road. To view the agenda, visit the town’s website, click on Calendar and then clock on the Aug. 17 meeting listing.)

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