San Tan Valley
San Tan Valley is a census-designated place in northern Pinal County, Arizona. It is a bedroom community located in the Phoenix metropolitan area’s southeastern suburbs. San Tan Valley derives its name from the nearby San Tan Mountains. Previously referred to as San Tan Heights, San Tan Foothills, Greater San Tan and simply the San Tan Area, the community lacked any official name and residents used nearby Queen Creek for their mailing addresses. To coincide with the addition of a new ZIP code for the community on July 1, 2009, the United States Postal Service was petitioned to provide the area with a new name. As part of the initial request, “Bella Vista” name was submitted to the postal service, but some local residents opposed the suggested name. In response, the Greater San Tan Area Coalition organized a non-binding vote from June 16 – 22, offering residents the opportunity to vote on a name for the community. On June 23, 2009, a room full of people, including the current Pinal County Supervisor, counted the votes and San Tan Valley became the new name of the area.
The area, which had consisted primarily of undeveloped desert and agriculture prior to 2000, experienced considerable growth in the early part of the decade. As early as 2004, attempts to incorporate the area were underway. An initial attempt, which proposed a name of simply “San Tan” for the area, was blocked by the neighboring town of Florence after rural residents there expressed concern that allowing incorporation would accelerate the urbanization of the area. A subsequent effort in 2005 failed to gain traction. Following the renaming of the area in 2009, a renewed effort at incorporation sought to put the issue to a vote in 2010, this time with the support of Pinal County. The Town Council of Florence unanimously rejected a resolution that would have approved San Tan Valley’s proposed boundaries over concerns of their allotment of state shared revenue.