2022 Election

Lew Guyn: Surprise seeing best, worst of times

Posted 6/22/22

Charles Dickens opens his novel, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Sometimes I feel the same way about Surprise. 

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2022 Election

Lew Guyn: Surprise seeing best, worst of times


Charles Dickens opens his novel, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Sometimes I feel the same way about Surprise. 

Urban and Rural. Growing like we have our hair on fire, and settled. Surprise is wonderful, and people are flocking here because of what we have and what we stand for. 

One city lies generally to the south and east of Grand and AZ 303. It is the best of times here because we have a reasonably stable urban area with some areas still being built, and with the population growth, new stores, restaurants, services and jobs are in this area.

Not one square inch of the two-square-mile industrial park between Litchfield and Dysart, Waddell and Cactus is available. There is a 700,000-square-foot restaurant, shopping and entertainment center under construction by Costco at Waddell and the 303. New housing by Waddell and Reems, Cactus and the 303, and the eastern side of Marley Park are all under construction.

The other city lies to the north and west of Grand and AZ 303, forms most of council District 1, includes the rural areas of Surprise, and spans from Festival to Vistancia. 

To be sure there is excitement here, too. There are brand new housing developments with more on the way, an award-winning library, brand new fire station, and the Fry’s Marketplace is under construction. West on Bell by Festival there’s also new housing developments under construction and more being planned.

It is the worst of times in these areas though. The roadways are not yet finished, particularly east of 163rd Avenue to provide alternate access to the 303, 163rd Avenue and Grand is a significant pinch point, 163rd Avenue is not finished to full width north of Grand, Dale Road cannot be paved due to right of way issues, and needed signals are not all in place to help traffic flow.

While some gas stations and convenience stores are planned, none are under construction yet, and other needed shops, stores and restaurants have not yet been developed for this area. On the West side near Festival we have additional development underway without alternate access points to the north to reach Grand.

In both areas we have rural encroachment. Residents that long ago settled in the open desert with acreage for the rural lifestyle feel threatened by the new developments entering the area.

As a candidate for District 1, I recognize that these are not all of the issues that need to be addressed. I can make this promise to all of those in District 1, residents and businesses, that I will listen to you, will work diligently to make every attempt to address your needs, and work to reach a balance between maintaining our history while writing it. Like you, I want the best for our community, and along with the rest of the council and city staff, aim to achieve that goal.

Editor’s Note: Lew Guyn is one of three candidates for the Surprise City Council in District 1.


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