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Santan Adventure Park in Gilbert receives final approval, despite concerns from some nearby residents

Santan Adventure Park Gilbert - Proposed rendering
Posted at 9:51 PM, Apr 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-08 01:26:47-04

GILBERT, AZ — A developer’s plans to build an outdoor adventure park with a miniature golf course and a go-kart track in Gilbert received approval from the Town’s Planning Commission on Wednesday night, one of the final approvals needed for the project to move forward and begin construction.

SanTan Adventure Park is proposed to be a 4.5-acre adventure park with an 18-hole mini-golf course, go-karting, splash pad, and a concessions stand at Crossroads Park, by the AZ Ice complex, near Knox Road and SanTan Village Parkway.

A second phase is also planned, though what that phase will entail is still being determined.

Developer Ben Cooper initially proposed the idea to the Town of Gilbert in 2017 and hoped to open in 2018. However, for reasons not known, it was delayed.

Earlier this year, in February, the project received initial approval from Gilbert’s Design Review Board. On Wednesday night, Gilbert's Planning Commission approved the design, 5-2, which means the project can move forward.

However, some residents from nearby neighborhoods are opposed to the adventure park and expressed concerns at Wednesday night’s meeting over potential noise pollution, light pollution, increased traffic, and concerns that home values would decrease.

"My wife and I, we go to bed around 9, get up at 5. People are upset because dogs bark. Can you imagine go-karts? That's gonna be like come on," said one resident during the meeting.

Prior to the vote, several members of the Planning Commission said they understood residents concerns, thanked them for participating in the government process, and said that if these noise complaints and other concerns prove to be true once built, that there are rules, complaint lines, and government processes to address those concerns.

Council members also said that because it was a design review, they have to vote on that narrow scope at that particular stage in the review process.

Senior Planner Stephanie Bubenheim told the council that the public can appeal the ruling within 11 calendar days from the day of the vote, which begins Wednesday.

ABC15 reached out to Cooper via email following Wednesday's meeting for comment. We did not immediately hear back. If we do, we will update our story.

“We are excited to bring this new family-friendly entertainment venue to our community and we are grateful for the enthusiasm that everyone has shown us so far,” Cooper told ABC15 in an email in February.

He said, if approved, the project could begin construction as early as the summer. He said in February that he hoped to then open in late 2021 or early 2022.