Gold Canyon Sign

GOLD CANYON — This northern Pinal County community’s population has almost doubled to 11,404 in the last 20 years.

To help guide Gold Canyon’s growth in ways current residents and businesses support, Pinal County is partnering with Arizona State University and the nonprofit Gold Canyon Community Inc. to develop a community plan.

GCCI will hold a community meeting from 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 9 at Gold Canyon Resort, where ASU and Pinal County representatives will explain the two-year study process. There will be several more meetings over the next two years to obtain feedback.

“We’re not trying to jam anything through,” David Coward, a board member and the treasurer of GCCI, told PinalCentral. The Oct. 9 meeting will also launch a community survey to allow residents to comment on a variety of issues.

Coward said the group has been sharing rough drafts of the survey in the community. Pinal County will make it available in a digital format for residents to fill out online, and it will be publicized to residents in several ways.

Another group advocating for the orderly growth of Gold Canyon, ADOBE, has found fault with the survey in several areas. Coward said several of ADOBE’s comments “made sense” and will be used to make the survey better.

GCCI asked in a news release for residents to complete the survey as soon as possible and alert friends and neighbors to respond to it as well. The results will 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 faculties from the ASU Knowledge Exchange for Resilience.

The goal of ASU's in-depth study is a plan that will become part of the Pinal County Comprehensive Plan. “The success of the development of this community plan will be accomplished through your strong and active community involvement throughout the process,” says GCCI’s news release.

GCCI’s mission is to “sustain Gold Canyon’s unique sense of place by attracting and supporting long-term businesses and services that enhance the quality of life for all residents of our community, according to its website at gccincaz.org.

The group previously surveyed its community last year, and in response to those findings, established volunteer committees on wilderness and open space conservation; responsible development; and transportation and safety.

GCCI has monthly meetings with guest speakers on topics of interest to the residents of Gold Canyon on the first Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. These meetings are currently held online over the Zoom platform, but GCCI hopes to have in-person meetings soon. Email the group at gccinc21@gmail.com.

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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 mcowling@pinalcentral.com.

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