ARIZONA CITY — Pinal County officials say there is some interest from real estate developers and investors in the now-closed Arizona City Golf Course, but nothing definite.

Pinal County Community Development Director Himanshu Patel spoke about the golf course at Supervisor Anthony Smith’s Session with the Supervisor last week in Arizona City.

Smith will take a summer hiatus from his Sessions with the Supervisor meetings. His final guest speakers of the season were Patel and Pinal County Public Health Director Dr. Shauna McIsaac.

Patel and Smith provided additional information about the closure of the golf course and the county’s concerns going forward.

“The RV park model went through a rezoning process in 2016,” Patel said. “In 2017 a site plan was approved and laid out spaces for RVs. They pulled a grading permit to allow grading work, obviously they did more than the grading work. To our understanding (Scott) Waddle has basically stopped that project and is no longer proceeding with that.”

Patel added that Waddle had a building permit ready to be issued, but the permit was never issued because Waddle chose to stop the project.

“So where we’re at today in relationship to that project is we’ve met with a few realtors and investors that have inquired about it as to what has been approved and what plans have been in place,” Patel said. “There seems to be some interest in changing that asset, but we can’t say for definitive yet.”

Patel mentioned that they looked for different ways to move the project forward such as converting it to a campground site where it didn’t require a connection to sewer, which was one of the areas of concern for Waddle.

“At the end we were going to approve that permit that was ready to be issued for a dry campsite, but (Waddle) still proceeded not to move forward,” Patel said.

Waddle has not returned phone calls seeking comment. He has relocated to the White Mountains, where he has opened a restaurant.

As for the golf course itself, it closed on April 15 but still remains private property.

“If there are violations related to zoning or building safety,” Patel said. “There is actually one case that we are pursuing where they did the driving range and installed some poles and some netting, some of the work was done without permits. For the rest of the golf course as there are issues that come up, it’s important that we get communicated to.”

One Arizona City community member asked Smith if there was a possibility that the golf course could become a municipal golf course, but that is not possible for a number of reasons, the biggest being that Arizona City is not incorporated.

“The county is not in the business of buying golf courses,” Smith said. “We’re interested in more large regional parks. That’s why we have two active projects in the Peralta Park and the Palo Verde Regional Park. We’re not typically in the business of playgrounds and that, but there are certain exceptions that the board has supported for the very small communities. Typically the County is interested in very large recreational opportunities.”

McIsaac informed the audience that the county has 11 clinics that are available to residents and the different factors that have come into play when it comes to public health.

McIsaac stated that public health is expanding from its traditional functions and is starting to focus on identifying non-medical factors that affect a person’s health.

“What we thought were the biggest and only factors such as genetics, nutrition, exercise and access to clinics are just one piece of the total picture,” McIsaac said.

She also added that social and economic factors play a role in determining a person’s health. Additionally, the traditional functions were to provide the same services to everyone as if they all had the same needs.

“Health equity is where all Pinal County residents have a fair and just opportunity to be healthier and are able to achieve their full potential,” McIsaac said.

The county’s 11 clinic locations are in Casa Grande, Eloy, Maricopa, Apache Junction, Kearny, Mammoth, Oracle, San Manuel, San Tan Valley, Coolidge and Superior.

There are seven divisions the county uses to promote public health:

  • WIC — Women, infant and children nutrition
  • Clinical services
  • Community health
  • Environmental health
  • Infectious disease and epidemiology
  • Vital record
  • Emergency preparedness and response

Since 2017, the top three priorities for the health department have been mental health, substance misuse and dependency and obesity, nutrition and physical activity.

According to McIsaac, Pinal County has a higher percentage of obese adults at 33 percent than the state, which is 27.3 percent. She also added that the county is looking at ways to promote wellness and prevent disease in everyday activities.

“The percentage of obese adults has been used as an indicator of overall health and lifestyle of a community,” McIsaac said. “By finding creative ways to increase physical activity; planners, local officials and residents can create a more supportive community where a healthy choice is the easy choice.”

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