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City of Apache Junction
2017 - 2018

City of Apache Junction
2017 - 2018

City of Apache Junction
2017 - 2018

City of Apache Junction

Nestled at the foot of the Superstition Mountains, Apache Junction is strategically positioned as the eastern gateway into the Greater Phoenix metro area (Valley of the Sun) and the western entry to the Tonto National Forest’s recreation venues. The surrounding geography and western atmosphere draw more than half a million visitors through the city annually. From the mysterious stories of hidden treasures to the people who follow them, Apache Junction is surrounded by legends.

2017-2018 Apache Junction Projects

Off-Leash Dog Park Site Analysis

In 2008 the city approved the master plan for an off-leash facility as Phase Four to the city’s existing Prospector Park. A complete set of construction working drawings for the off-leash facility were completed and approved in 2009. Unfortunately, funding for the Phase One off-leash facility did not make it into the budget the following year. A master plan for Silly Mountain Park was also developed and approved by the City in 2008. A major component of that effort was a 4.5 acre dog park, which was included in response to citizen interest during public hearings related to the park. With both proposed dog parks are over 4 acres in size, projected costs for Prospector and Silly Mountain Park are in the millions. To stretch budgets, a 2015 effort by city staff was made to consider lower cost, alternative sites. As a result, a conceptual off-leash dog park plan was developed in an area that the city currently maintains for Pinal County. The estimated cost of a dog park on this site is around $650,000. Though initial discussions have been started with county and city leadership, ideas have not yet been presented to elected officials or the community, and the City is still searching for alternative off-leash sites.

  • LDE 361-590 Landscape Design with Dr. Kenneth Brooks and Kevin Kellogg:
    Students will create a land use map and recommendations for the City, with particular attention to the needs of each project.
  • PAF 509 Public Affairs Capstone with Dr. Malcom Goggin:
    Students are undertaking policy research, assessments, and analysis related to each project.
View Fall 2017 Semester Project Presentations

Positively Apache Junction

In years past, Apache Junction residents have seen and heard many stereotypes about their community. Stereotypes have confused and discouraged visitors from spending time and money in the city. In an effort to counteract negative perceptions and inform visitors about Apache Junction’s positive attributes, substantial tourism marketing efforts began in 2009 with the implementation of the Downtown Revitalization and Implementation Strategy (DRIS). One recommendation in the DRIS was to create original branding to identify the downtown area as unique within the city. Another part of the strategy was the development of the downtownaj.com website for updates on the progress of the DRIS, which is being transformed into visitaj.com. Though visitaj.com was originally envisioned as a tool to entice visitors to the burgeoning downtown it has not come to fruition. City staff received new directions and budget appropriations, to begin a partnership with the Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT). The partnership allows the city to explore new advertising opportunities with AOT over the past four years. Through this partnership, a multi-channel approach has been taken that includes both print and digital platforms. Even so, work remains to be done on reversing negative perceptions.

Classes Involved:

  • LDE 361-590 Landscape Design with Dr. Kenneth Brooks and Kevin Kellogg:
    Students will create a land use map and recommendations for the City, with particular attention to the needs of each project.
  • TDM 372 Tourism Planning with Dr. Evan Jordan:
    Students will write a Sustainable Tourism Plan for the City
  • TWC 544 User Experience with Dr. Tatiana Batova:
    Students will review the City’s website for ease of access, applicable information, and recommendations for improving content and layout.
View Fall 2017 Semester Project Presentations

Sustainability & Solid Waste

The City of Apache Junction is home to the Apache Junction Landfill Corporation’s landfill (a subsidiary of Allied Waste/Republic Services) and as such has very low disposal fees. City residents are allowed to bring one pickup truck load of solid waste for free to the landfill, four times a year. All other times, residents may drop waste at the landfill for $8.00 per ton. Solid waste collection or recycling is not mandated by the city for residents. Moving the city from a fledgling solid waste program to one similar to its peer cities will take a concerted effort, and buy-in from residents, staff and elected officials. The city has a solid waste ordinance in Volume I, Chapter 9 of the City Code. The ordinance outlines requirements for days on which trash may be collected and where trash containers may be placed before and after pick up. The city council issued a direction to staff in February of 2017 to revise Chapter 9, primarily for code compliance issues, but also asking city staff for their suggested improvements to the solid waste ordinance. City staff presented an ASU authored paper titled Sustainability and Solid Waste in Apache Junction to the city council on June 19th. Staff are waiting to hear if the council is interested in changing the current system. City staff, city management and some council members have indicated that they are now interested in making changes to improve solid waste and recycling in the city.

Classes Involved:

  • ERM 432/532 Sustainable Solid Waste Management with Dr. Albert Brown:
    Students will evaluate the formal complaints registered by residents related to the City’s solid waste services.
  • LDE 361-590 Landscape Design with Dr. Kenneth Brooks and Kevin Kellogg:
    Students will create a land use map and recommendations for the City, with particular attention to the needs of each project.
  • PAF 509 Public Affairs Capstone with Dr. Malcom Goggin:
    Students are undertaking policy research, assessments, and analysis related to each project.
View Fall 2017 Semester Project Presentations

Understanding Homelessness

The City of Apache Junction perceives the rapid increase in homelessness, and illegal activities by homeless people are a growing concern. The Chronic Homeless Committee was established to take a look at the homeless situation and create solutions. In March 2017, the committee held a brainstorming session on ideas for addressing the situation. The city struggles with identifying real concerns versus perceived issues, identifying best practices used by communities similar to Apache Junction, providing effective cross boundary services, and establishing a unified voice among elected officials, management, staff, law enforcement, the business community, and the public.

Classes Involved:

  • LDE 361-590 Landscape Design with Dr. Kenneth Brooks and Kevin Kellogg:
    Students will create a land use map and recommendations for the City, with particular attention to the needs of each project.
  • PAF 509 Public Affairs Capstone with Dr. Malcom Goggin:
    Students are undertaking policy research, assessments, and analysis related to each project.
  • PUP 571 Socio-Economic Planning with Dr. Deirdre Pfeiffer:
    Students will assess the homelessness situation in Apache Junction, relative to the services, boundaries, and scope compared with similar cities.
View Fall 2017 Semester Project Presentations