By Jeff Serdy
Mayor, City of Apache Junction
In light of recent reports regarding the open land south of Apache Junction, it is important to know that we are ready.
The East Valley Tribune recently published a story on the “Superstition Vistas” project south of the city. The project dates back many years and the newspaper reported that no movement is expected any time soon, although, regionally, the discussion continues.
However, it mentioned that perhaps the first domino in the process of long-term development is the land immediately south of U.S. 60, to be known as Lost Dutchman Heights, which lies within the city of Apache Junction. I am here to tell you that the city is ready to expand in this area responsibly.
In fact, the city’s infrastructure—including its water and sewer districts —are ready to add many residents to their systems in short order. The sewer district has the capacity to handle several thousand more residents almost immediately. The water district has its new purification plant that can serve several thousand more customers and beyond.
We know that residents throughout the region are ready for shorter commute times and more convenient access. The city is set to embrace more diversified housing options as Apache Junction grows. The school district also has resources to expand. The proximity to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport is another key piece of the growth puzzle. The region would be very attractive with lower costs for land.
The city also has a robust, well-developed conceptual community plan and design for the first 12 square miles of the area.
We have seen the mushrooming growth far south, but the initial area was leapfrogged. All parties must understand that for the region to grow responsibly, many of these issues must be addressed. We have already taken them into account.
This is a long-term process. Lost Dutchman Heights, if it is to be developed, will need many champions. We must galvanize the region to pursue more housing, shopping and employment options—overall higher quality of life.
The city and the surrounding area is ready to work together to develop the Superstition region. All residents in these areas share city facilities, including the city parks, the library and city streets.
While much of the growth talked about in this newspaper report may be years off, when it does happen, it will start right here in Lost Dutchman Heights.
We must set a high standard for this future development. The infrastructure is in place. The access is in place with U.S. 60 and the soon to be extension of State Route 24 and the north-south corridor. We look forward to working with any possible developer and with potential business partners to make this the next great area of the southeast Valley.