The Vote San Tan Valley (VSTV) Steering Committee today announced that hopes to allow residents to vote on whether or not to make San Tan Valley a municipality were derailed by a surprise announcement from Shea Homes stating that, as a declarant, they would not give permission to the effort, in effect terminating the democratic process.
At issue was whether over 100,000 people would be represented by one and part of another county supervisor or a self-elected seven member town council that mirrored the community. The ability of residents to self-determine their form of local government was ended by non-resident landowners of planned area developments. Shea Homes Regional Project Manager Rob Izer and General Manager Levi Shill previously expressed the desire to explore annexation into the Town of Queen Creek.
“Izer and Shill initially told their Encanterra homeowners they were going to file a Declaration of Exclusion with Pinal County to give homeowners time to explore their options,” explains Rey Torres, a VSTV Steering Committee member. “Then two days later these two people decided to deny San Tan Valley residents the right to decide on their future by sending out a letter to different stakeholders stating they would not consent to incorporation.”
The actions of the two Shea employees came as a surprise to many of their homeowners. Over half of those eligible to vote in Encanterra signed the petition to put the incorporation question on the ballot. As a master declarant, Shea Homes has yet to turn their development over to a resident controlled homeowner’s association, instead retaining the majority representation needed to thwart any municipal incorporation.
It seemed a perfect time to start the incorporation process after the Arizona State Legislature passed HB 2088 last year, and Queen Creek seemed to ramp up their annexation efforts shortly after. San Tan Valley residents expressed the need to incorporate to preserve their own identity and their self-determination. Several people stepped up to form a Steering Committee.
Does this mean the end of incorporation for San Tan Valley? “No way,” says Torres. “This effort is too big and too important to stop now. We have several options. And we’re encouraged by the fact that many others are disgusted, as we are, by the continued denial of our community’s right to decide our future. Numerous friends and residents have vowed to help us win the right to vote on incorporation.”
In recognition of these efforts, the Steering Committee “would like to thank all of the volunteers who gave of their time, donations, and talents, serving on committees and spending numerous hours at events and going door to door to collect signatures. Their continued interest and energy will be a vital part of the next step in finally realizing San Tan Valley’s right to vote on its municipal incorporation.”
The required amount of signatures had already been collected and the committee was simply working to collect additional signatures should any signatures be disqualified.
BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS
Have a comment to share with Levi Shill or Rob Izer? Click here to let them know your thoughts on their decision.