San Tan Valley Area Information

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Is Encanterra now part of Queen Creek?

encanterra

The Town of Queen Creek and Shea Homes have both sent emails to Encanterra residents stating that as of December 19, 2019, Encanterra is now part of Queen Creek.  There seems to be some confusion however as to how those entities could make such a claim.  While the Queen Creek Town Council voted to approve the annexation on October 16th, a group of Encanterra property owners, collectively known as Encanterra Residents Against Annexation, filed a challenge to the annexation November 15, 2019. The Town of Queen Creek filed a motion to dismiss which was heard by Judge Stephen McCarville on December 12, 2019.  McCarville submitted his opinion at 4:57pm on Friday December 14th, in favor on Queen Creek's request to dismiss.

Within minutes, the Town of Queen Creek had sent out communication to the pro annexation group in Encanterra announcing that they were now part of Queen Creek.  The Queen Creek fire department put in a request to change 911 dispatch effective immediately (Monday Dec 17th at 8 am) and Pinal 911 accepted the request.  

The Town's rush to change services and take over Encanterra seemed a bit odd however considering Encanterra Residents Against Annexation had the option to appeal McCarville's decision.  If the group decided to appeal, the annexation would be kept "on hold" until the appellate court made its ruling.  If the court ruled in favor of Encanterra Residents Against Annexation, annexation would continue to be on hold and the case would be heard again in Pinal County Superior Court.  If the court ruled in favor of Queen Creek, the annexation would become final, unless appealed again to a higher court.   

Encanterra Residents Against Annexation filed a notice of appeal Monday December 17, 2019.  The Town of Queen Creek was notified that an appeal was filed but on Dec 18, 2019 they sent out the following email to Encanterra residents:

The Pinal County Superior Court has confirmed that the Encanterra annexation into the Town of Queen Creek was properly completed; Town services will be provided effective Thursday, Dec. 19 at 8 a.m.

At the Oct. 16 meeting, the Queen Creek Town Council approved an annexation including approximately 755 acres located along Combs Road and Gantzel Road. The area extends the southeast Town boundary and includes the Encanterra community. The submitted petition included 62% of property owners in Encanterra in favor of annexation.

A challenge regarding the annexation was filed with the Pinal County Superior Court, delaying the initial effective date for providing services. On Friday, the party filing the challenge voluntarily dismissed any claim that there were insufficient signatures and the judge granted the Town's motion to dismiss the remaining challenges. Now that a final judgment has been entered in favor of the annexation, to ensure an integrated transition the Town will begin providing services on Thursday, Dec. 19 at 8 a.m.

While a notice of appeal has been filed, the Town is moving forward with providing Town services to its newest residents. The annexation will continue to be effective unless the court orders otherwise.

Shea Homes then sent out the following email to residents Wednesday, December 18, 2019:

Dear Encanterra Members,

We have exciting news! Encanterra, a Trilogy Resort Community is officially annexed into the Town of Queen Creek. All homeowners are now residents of the Town. Below you will find the Town's public statement regarding Encanterra's annexation.

"Under the law Encanterra is not a part of Queen Creek, as of yet," said Tim La Sota, the attorney for Encanterra Residents Against Annexation.  

"It's a bit premature to claim that Encanterra is now part of Queen Creek," said Gayle Peters, President of Encanterra Residents Against Annexation. "Our initial case disputed the signatures, the collection process, the basis for the number of signatures necessary to obtain the 50% (plus one), the Town of Queen Creek hearing itself and the process. We look forward to arguing our position in the court and believe we will prevail."

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