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Pinal County continues to grow rapidly, and not just in its cities. The best example of that is San Tan Valley, which would be Pinal’s largest city if incorporated. But other places are growing as well. One of those is Gold Canyon, where a study backed by the Pinal Board of Supervisors no doubt will be a benefit to residents.

There has been some misinformation about the project, and some Gold Canyon residents have objected. However, they hopefully will feel good about it in the end.

The community is known for its golf resort with two championship courses, picturesque at the base of the Superstition Mountains. In the midst of public land, it has continued to develop and has nearly doubled in population to more than 11,000 in the last two decades. Now the county, which is the local government in the area, is planning a study done by the nonprofit Gold Canyon Community Inc. and Arizona State University. The two-year process is to involve a number of public meetings.

Results of a survey being conducted are to be integrated into an ASU School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning case study as part of the Urban Land-use Planning course, led by faculty from the ASU Knowledge Exchange for Resilience. The finished product is to be incorporated in the Pinal County Comprehensive Plan.

Another group, ADOBE, or Association for the Development of a Better Environment, has objected and said community input has been lacking. However, those involved in the process have pledged to include everyone, including ADOBE.

Using the resources of ASU, including graduate students, is a sound idea. Not only will this be a learning experience for them, but they and the faculty can bring much insight after interacting with residents.

Pinal Supervisors Steve Miller and Mike Goodman, respectively, pointed out that the study is not binding but that it could be beneficial, just as an earlier one was in San Tan Valley.

Planning the growth of Arizona has become more sophisticated over the years, and this study promises to be a good example of that.

— Donovan Kramer Jr.

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