Apache Junction isn’t ready to let its neighbor Gold Canyon become a city.
City officials stated Monday they would not approve a resolution required for Gold Canyon to form its own municipality, invalidating a debate between groups for and against incorporation.
Apache Junction Mayor Douglas Coleman told a group of Gold Canyon residents on both sides of the issue that the city isn’t prepared to sanction the incorporation of Gold Canyon, since Apache Junction still hasn’t settled a dispute with Mesa over its own southern border.
"We would have a real hard time justifying creating an eastern border at this time," Coleman said. "We’re not saying yes, we’re not saying no, we’re just saying not now."
The announcement came during a public hearing requested by Apache Junction officials to hear what Gold Canyon residents had to say about the proposed incorporation. Coleman cited concerns about Apache Junction’s borders and ability to grow as reasons to hold off on approving the formation of the city.
Apache Junction City Manager George Hoffman also sent a letter to Pinal County officials earlier this month asking them not to authorize an incorporation election until Apache Junction approves.
Hoffman cited a recent Pima County lawsuit in which a federal appeals court ruled that a community near Tucson known as Tortolita could not incorporate without the consent of all municipalities with more than 5,000 residents within a six-mile radius.
The city’s stated position would appear to nullify a recent debate between two community groups, the Incorporation Committee of the Gold Canyon Concerned Citizens Group and its opponent, the Financially Responsible Citizens Group.
Founders of the proincorporation Concerned Citizens Group claim Gold Canyon could support itself by generating about $1.8 million in its first full fiscal year while requiring only about $1.5 million to run.
However, the antiincorporation Responsible Citizens Group says the revenue estimate could be as much as $630,000 too low.