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Gilbert residents voice concerns over Ocotillo Road expansion at town council meeting

The town is moving forward with new plans to expand Ocotillo Road, but it would take away land from particular residents.
Published: May. 24, 2022 at 10:26 PM MST
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GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A handful of residents spoke at a Gilbert Town Council meeting Tuesday night to voice concerns over a street widening project. The town is moving forward with new plans to expand Ocotillo Road, but it would take away land from particular residents.

“They proceed to tell me they are going to take over half of my backyard,” said one resident.

Residents we spoke with said they only recently learned that the town of Gilbert is now planning a 65-foot expansion on each side instead of 55 feet. They also told Arizona’s Family they were only made aware of the amended changes when town officials came by a few weeks ago to canvass the area and put in stakes.

“To take 65 feet is wasteful and disrespectful, slap in the face,” said Terri Naddy, resident.

Gilbert officials sent Arizona’s Family a statement that said in part that the widening of the road is critical for infrastructure, and the design will be complete later this year. They say the project team is meeting with property owners, and the goal is to reach an agreement with everyone, and that eminent domain is only used if the county, town, and property owners are unable to reach an agreement.

Meanwhile, residents we spoke with say their concerns are not being heard. Most of those impacted live in the unincorporated part of Maricopa County and don’t get to vote on projects like this one, despite having a Gilbert address. Many are calling for the council to go back to its original plan.