Rural Arizona residents fearful of push for incorporation
SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. (AP) — Residents of a rural community southeast of Phoenix fear that incorporating into a city could have an adverse effect on their lifestyle that involves riding horses and all-terrain vehicles free of government regulation.
A committee from the community is pushing for incorporation for San Tan Valley, which residents described as covered with dirt roads and fields filled with farm animals. Residents said the process has not been transparent, and the committee has not reached out to residents, the San Tan Valley Sentinel reported .
Resident Liz Johnson said if incorporation occurs, her concerns are mostly with what could happen to the animals that many people keep in the community.
“In my neighborhood we have lots of roping arenas and even a bull-riding practice arena. We have vets and equine therapists here. We all own livestock and worry about our future here with our animals,” Johnson said. “We have seen what other towns and cities have done to the people that own livestock, and we don’t like it.”
Rey Torres, a committee member for Vote San Tan, said the concerns voiced by residents are misplaced and becoming a municipality would not change their rural lifestyle.
“They are citing laws that don’t exist from a municipality that hasn’t been formed,” Torres said. “Just because you incorporate into a municipality doesn’t mean that you all of a sudden start putting down codes that mean rural animals won’t be allowed on your property.”
Residents should be more concerned about the county government imposing regulations or the possibility of other cities annexing the community, Torres said.
Information from: Casa Grande Dispatch.