Mesquite Groves Park: Across the Street From the Zinke Land

Do you recognize this property? This 110-acre parcel is on the west side of Val Vista Road, just south of Chandler Heights Road. It belongs to Chandler, and in the distance behind the yellow sign sits Chandler’s Mesquite Groves Aquatic Center. Just a little further south on Val Vista is Chandler’s Basha High School. Chandler plans to develop this 110-parcel into a park which will offer lighted athletic fields, lighted basketball and volleyball courts, group picnic facilities, and activity areas for large scale events. Back in April, 2008, Chandler put a hold on development of this park due to the economy.

What’s interesting about this park is that it is directly across the street from the westernmost border of the 80-acre parcel that the Gilbert Town Council of 2009 purchased, without an appraisal, to be developed into a park. The Council overpaid for this land by about $8.6 million.

How much park do we need? How much state, taxpayer-subsidized entertainment does it take to put the private entertainment market out of business? Three of the Council members who voted to buy this parkland are up for re-election: Linda Abbott, Dave Crozier, and Les Presmyk. If we re-elect them, we may find out.