San Tan Valley, which easily could be the largest city in Pinal County if it actually were a city, has presented many challenges for county government since it sprang up early in the 2000s. Incorporation into a city has been discussed and proposed at times, but getting enough people to approve that has been elusive. If it happens someday, that will be great, but in the meantime, services must be provided.
One of many related events occurred last week when the Pinal Board of Supervisors was told that residents cut off from the main community by San Tan Regional Park did not want to be included in the update of the San Tan Area Plan. The Planning and Zoning Commission and an advisory committee already had concurred with that position. Years before, an outlying area had been opposed to an incorporation attempt.
This plan update is not incorporation, and the Board of Supervisors went along with the request. Supervisors Chairman Mike Goodman, who represents that general area and has worked hard to help it, pointed out some communication problems. He said planning efforts often were misunderstood and sometimes seen wrongly as incorporation attempts. Also, few people actually have gotten involved.
In the early years, the area did not even have a uniform name. Former Supervisor Bryan Martyn led an effort to choose one with cooperation from the U.S. Postal Service, and a very small number of people decided on San Tan Valley.
The area takes a large chunk of the county budget, and that will not end anytime soon. In the meantime, parts of the area are being added by Queen Creek and other towns, frustrating incorporation advocates. Potentially, a large part of San Tan Valley could end up that way. However, for now, Pinal County government is doing the best it can to service the community.