Queen Creek sign

FLORENCE — A Pinal County judge has dismissed an effort to invalidate a land annexation completed by the town of Queen Creek.

San Tan Valley residents filed a petition in Superior Court earlier this year attempting to thwart an ordinance the Queen Creek Town Council passed in May to annex 35 acres near Ellsworth Road and Empire Boulevard.

Court documents show the land could be developed into car dealerships and storage facilities. Plaintiffs objected to how this type of development would negatively impact their community.

Last week, Judge Joseph Georgini determined the plaintiffs failed to allege any specific defects in how Queen Creek adopted the ordinance.

Plaintiffs argued the annexation petition was invalid because it was signed and dated at different times and by different representatives. Even if this were true, Georgini ruled, that could not be the basis for invalidating the town ordinance.

The judge determined the plaintiffs did not prove those who signed the petition lacked authority to do so.

The plaintiffs further tried to fault the town for not alerting the public to the proposed annexation. Because the town only published a public notice in The Arizona Republic and not a local newspaper, the plaintiffs argued this was grounds for invalidation.

Georgini disagreed, finding the defendants followed state law because the Republic circulates in Queen Creek and Pinal County.

The town held a public hearing in April on the proposed annexation. Minutes from that meeting show many San Tan Valley residents spoke in opposition to it.

The plaintiffs had hoped to let voters decide the fate of the annexation by referring it onto a ballot initiative.

Queen Creek has scheduled a public hearing Dec. 6 to hear comments about another proposed annexation in San Tan Valley. A group of residents of the Ironwood Crossing subdivision have filed an application for annexation with the town of Queen Creek.

The hearing will take place during the Dec. 6 meeting of the Queen Creek Town Council, which meets in the Queen Creek Community Chambers, 20727 E. Civic Parkway. Public hearings do not begin before 7 p.m. The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m.

Ironwood Crossing is a master-planned community of Fulton Homes generally located between Germann and Ocotillo roads and Meridian Road and Ironwood Drive, according to the council meeting agenda.