The study was developed to provide Pinal County, State and local decision makers and the people of Arizona with definitive data to aid in land use planning of the lands that lie at the base of the Superstition Wilderness. The inventory and analysis is based on quantitative, physical data, with some qualitative elements based on interdisciplinary consensus. The report presents a balance based on this analysis to help make rational decisions as to which lands may be appropriate for development, and which should be conserved as open space for future generations.
These web pages are a summarization of the study
A substantial area of undisturbed virgin Sonoran Desert open space lies on state trust lands, which if preserved, would serve as a buffer for the Superstition Wilderness and the Tonto National Forest. This would prove to be an economic and environmental asset for future development of the remaining adjacent state trust land.
The study concluded that about 50% of the State Trust Lands in the planning area meet the Arizona State Land Department’s criteria for reclassification as suitable for conservation. The Superstition Area Land Trust proposes that 45 sections (43%) of the planning area (green) be preserved. This includes a three quarter section of Bureau of Land Management property and one half section of private land.
The yellow area indicates state trust land that may be suitable for limited development. Gray areas are privately owned parcels. The gold area south of US Highway 60 is state trust land that is most suitable for higher density residential, commercial or light industrial development. SALT also proposes moving a planned extension of the Superstition Freeway (U.S. 60) to the south to encourage development growth outside the scenic Sonoran desert north of the existing highway. We propose declaring the existing US 60 corridor as a Scenic Highway (pale green along highway alignment) to preserve panoramic viewscapes of the Superstition Wilderness and enhance lower density residential and small business development.
SALT proposes that Pinal County and the Arizona State Land Department utilize this Conceptual Area Plan to guide the planning and approval of all future development and conservation of State Trust and private lands.
Acquire or set aside as open space preserve and gracing allotments, with a new, dedicated Peralta Road Entryway and other trailhead access roads.
FLOOD PLAIN PRESERVE
Protect as flood plain preserve and wildlife / riparian habitat for Pygmy Owl protection, wildlife connectivity, and hiking trail access to the preserve,
Protect as scenic buffers along Hwy 60, wildlife habitat along washes, and public parks on hilltops.
VILLAGES / PAD
Develop residential villages, with village centers, between the major flood plain washes, including public roads to access the preserve.
Develop a Town Center and Shopping Center at new interchanges along an extended Superstition Freeway.
MIXED USE PAD
Develop planned area developments of mixed use within an extended Superstition Freeway corridor.
Already, or currently being developed, as mixed uses.