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Land battle brewing between City of Buckeye and longtime rural residents

Posted: 11:30 PM, Jul 25, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-26 05:30:55Z

Ralph and Debora Dumpert have been savoring the view on their rural, county land for more than 35 years.

"Open space, my neighbor's cattle and horses," said Ralph Dumpert. "It's serene; we like coming home to the peace and quiet."

Right now they are flanked on both sides by generations of family, but new neighbors could be coming to town in the form of a proposed 537-lot subdivision.

"The traffic is going to be outrageous," Ralph Dumpert said.

Part of the plans include expanding Tuthill Road from two lanes to four, as part of a fourth entrance to the development.  

There are also plans to build a bridge over the nearby Roosevelt Irrigation District Canal.  

For the past year-and-a-half the Dumperts and nearly 100 others who signed a petition, have been voicing concerns over traffic, decreasing property values and most importantly, safety.

"There is no reason for a road to be there," Debora Dumpert said.

City Communications Manager Annie DeChance, however, tells ABC15 fire codes and emergency access are two of the main reasons expansion is necessary. 

She also says the city sympathizes with residents' concerns and has been working with them throughout the appeals process. The developer has also made changes to the original plans to try and mitigate those issues.

Still, the Dumperts and their neighbors say it is not enough because this fight is about so much more than the road.

"It's about life; it's about home," Debora Dumpert said.

The Buckeye City Council will take up the issue during a meeting on August 7. 

The Dumperts and several others plan to be there voicing their opposition. The development plans are on hold pending the outcome of that meeting.