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FLORENCE — After Pinal County supervisors expressed skepticism about a proposal for a new moderate-to-low-density subdivision near Florence, the agent requested a continuance to design a project with a better chance of passage.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Mike Goodman, R-San Tan Valley, whose district the subdivision would be in, objected to the loss of commercial property along Hunt Highway specified in the county’s Comprehensive Plan. The developer is planning an open-space buffer instead.

“We keep pulling away from commercial in an area that needs it drastically,” Goodman said at the Wednesday meeting. He and Supervisor Pete Rios, D-Dudleyville, said they were also reluctant to see more sewage bound for the troubled Section 11 wastewater plant in Magic Ranch.

Supervisor Steve Miller, R-Casa Grande, said the proposal isn’t in keeping with the county’s recent San Tan Area Plan. “It’s counter-productive to eliminate commercial when there’s not that much there now.”

Landowner Lucky Hunt 65 LLC and its agent, United Engineering Group, were requesting a non-major Comprehensive Plan amendment from medium-density residential and general commercial to moderate-low-density residential near Oasis Golf Club. The subdivision is 65 acres with Heritage Road on the north, Hunt Highway on the east and the Gila River Indian Community on the west.

Pinal County senior planner Gilbert Olgin said the commercial area in question is less than 4 acres. “You’re talking a strip mall at best.” But Goodman noted the commercial area in front of Copper Basin can’t be much bigger, and “that’s heavily used.”

Supervisor Anthony Smith, R-Maricopa, said based on the county’s San Tan Area Plan, he’d prefer to keep Hunt Highway frontage commercial. “We don’t need that many more housing units without retail and employment-based businesses.”

Olgin noted that the property in question is actually south of the San Tan Plan. The county’s Comprehensive Plan calls for medium-density residential (between 3½ and eight homes per acre) on a majority of the land. The owner is seeking a change to moderate-low-density (between one and 3½ homes per acre) in response to what buyers currently want, Olgin said.

In “call to the public,” Dave Coward of Gold Canyon commented on the county’s plans for a “Tech Corridor” on Interstate 10. He said western Pinal County already has resources that aren’t present in northern and eastern Pinal County. “How about some attention to the rest of the county?” he asked.

A resident of Crestfield Manor near Florence complained of a retention pond behind his home that breeds mosquitoes, along with noise and trash in the neighborhood. Goodman directed county staff to contact the resident to discuss those issues.

A representative of the 2020 U.S. census told the supervisors that the Census Bureau has temporary jobs available to U.S. citizens at least 18 years old. No previous experience is necessary.


Mark Cowling is the county reporter for PinalCentral and covers the town of Florence, San Tan Valley and the surrounding area. He can be reached at