By TARA ALATORRE
NEW RIVER – The New River Desert Hills Incorporation Committee announced it will be dropping commercial properties along Daisy Mountain Drive in south Anthem, and potentially other areas near the Carefree Highway, which were originally included in its preliminary map released on October 9.
The announcement comes a couple weeks after Anthem Community Council threatened litigation against the New River Desert Hills Incorporation Committee (NRDHIC) for including Circle K, CVS and Fry’s as well as other properties, which Anthem claims is in its master-planned community.
The Anthem Community Council (ACC) stated in a public response that it “respects the rights of our neighbors in New River and Desert Hills to explore incorporation and to ultimately incorporate, if that is the will of the residents,” but still demanded that NRDHIC remove all Anthem properties from the incorporation map.
“In light of concerns from Anthem residents and after discussions with the ACC and surrounding municipalities all portion of land in the master planned community, Anthem, will be left out of the proposed boundaries,” stated NRDHIC President, Laurie Ricci, in a post on the group’s Facebook page on October 23.
Members of NRDHIC also had a long-anticipated meeting with the City of Phoenix department heads, and Interim Mayor, Thelda Williams, last week to discuss the proposed boundaries of the potential town.
The incorporation group and the city also discussed a strip of land near the Carefree Highway and Seventh Street that was included in the boundaries of the preliminary map and is in the process of being annexed by Phoenix.
“So, it will be excluded from the proposed boundaries,” Ricci stated in the Facebook post about the land being annexed.
However, if it is excluded from the potential town’s boundaries then the large swath of land could potentially create a county island, which is unfavorable, explained NRDHIC Founder and Core Member, Steve Scharboneau Jr. in a phone interview with The Foothills Focus.
The strip of land in the process of being annexed extends from Seventh to 16th streets, and then south of the Carefree Highway near Discount Tire to the north side of the highway, with the property line ending just south of Desert Hills Community Church of Nazarene.
However, Interim Mayor Williams’ ability to take any real action about the proposed map and the annexation in question is limited in its scope because Phoenix is amid a leadership change, with a special mayoral election happening due to Greg Stanton resigning to run for Congress.
“With Thelda in her capacity, all they [NRDHIC] could do was talk about ideas in the meeting and basically lobby,” Scharboneau Jr. said. “We’ll see how it goes.”
Based on the changes to the map boundaries Scharboneau and the group’s other members are confidant that the new map is legal and believes they can move forward with the incorporation process.
The next step will be raising money and getting an official survey of the new boundaries, which NRDHIC estimates will cost about $10,000, according to Scharboneau.
There will be an upcoming meeting NRDHIC will be holding for residents with opportunities for questions and comments about the incorporation process on November 15, at 6 p.m. at the Crossroads Christian Fellowship Church, 42425 N. New River Road.
For more information or to donate to NRDHIC visit their website at nrdhic.org.