A top county official is encouraging residents of Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler and Queen Creek to weigh in on whether they would support a campground run by the Boy Scouts of America at San Tan Mountains Regional Park in the south East Valley.
Fulton Brock, chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, also called for each municipality’s elected officials to discuss the matter and give their recommendations before the park’s revised master plan is finalized later this year.
"I really think there needs to be more feedback from the residents of those areas," said Brock, R-District 1 of Chandler, adding that he had yet to form an opinion about the proposed youth camping area.
Scout officials hope to lease about 1 1 /2 square miles of county-owned land — the bulk of the park’s "south finger" — to build and operate a campground that also would include facilities for hiking, picnicking, horseback riding and other recreation.
The proposal comes during the home stretch of a $250,000 master-plan revision designed to incorporate public opinion into the park’s future. The plan is expected to be finalized in November.
Larry Abbott, Boy Scouts Grand Canyon Council chief executive, and Roc Arnett, East Valley Partnership president and chief executive, hope to present the proposal to the Board of Supervisors before Sept. 18, when a final in a series of open houses will be held in Queen Creek to receive public comment on the park’s proposed master plan. The next open house is Sept. 4 in Gilbert.
Supervisor Andy Kunasek, R-District 3 of Phoenix, said the campground appears to be a "viable option," and that it likely wouldn’t conflict with the recommended uses in that area. "I consider myself a supporter of the Scouts," he said, "although I never made it past the Webelo level."
What: San Tan Mountains Regional Park master plan open house
When: 5:30 p.m. Sept. 4
Where: Gilbert Community Center, 100 N. Oak St.