North Valley Area Aiming For Incorporation

Some residents who live in New River-Desert Hills want the area to become incorporated. The area is located in the North Valley and has 15,000 residents.

“We started researching municipal incorporations back in 2017, and after doing a lot of research, we think that it can solve the problems that we face in our area,” said Laurie Ricci, president of the New River-Desert Hills Incorporation Committee. She stated that the community can gain autonomy and have a say in local affairs.

“Some of the issues are, for example, we’ve lost 25% of our area to other municipalities by annexation in the past 20 years, and the county is passive towards annexation,” said Ricci. “So a lot of our area will get annexed by another municipality, then it will be promptly be rezoned to a higher density.”

Those against incorporation believe it will make conditions worse in the community. One resident, Mary Gee, said it could potentially raise taxes and force senior citizens to move from the area. “The (pro-incorporation) group says if we incorporate we will be able to control growth. We all know you can’t stop growth. They say this will help with the water situation. That has already been addressed,” said Gee. “Many, many New River and Desert Hills residents feel as I do. I do not want more taxes, more rules and regulations, and more government!”

Ricci pointed out that, at the moment, the community is zoned at one home per acre, and a recent proposal had homes zoned at five per acre. “If we were able to incorporate, we would have a central body that would be able to act on behalf of our citizens,” said Ricci. “We’re 15,000 people and unfortunately we’re just a group of homeowners that are inside of a larger area that’s Maricopa County.”

Those against township have organized a Facebook page aimed at preserving the area’s “rural lifestyle.” A committee has officially sent an incorporation request to Phoenix, Peoria, and Scottsdale. They would also need signatures from 10% of the area’s registered voters for it to be on the ballot in November.