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The Founding of Paradise Valley <br />In June of 1957, the <br />Maricopa County Planning <br />& Zoning Commission <br />altered their original promise <br />to those living in the <br />Paradise Valley area and <br />decided to develop 58 square <br />miles of the 210 square mile <br />area known as Paradise <br />Valley. This area was <br />roughly bounded on the east <br />by Pima Road , on the south <br />by the Arizona Canal and <br />McDonald Drive, on the <br />west by 40th Street and <br />Tatum Boulevard, and on the <br />north by Union Hills Drive. <br />The plans called for four <br />major shopping centers and <br />25 smaller shopping centers <br />scattered throughout the <br />neighborhoods. <br />Raymond 0. Mitchell, an <br />attorney who lived in what is <br />now the Town of Paradise <br />Valley, alerted his neighbors <br />to the plans for development <br />and advised them to <br />incorporate to save their <br />dream of one house per acre . <br />Sixteen people served on <br />the Citizens' Committee for <br />the Incorporation of a <br />Portion of Paradise Valley, <br />chaired by Patrick C. <br />Downey. Over 30 people <br />contributed $500 each <br />toward the incorporation <br />costs. Many others worked <br />diligently, getting the <br />petitions signed. Nearly <br />75 % of the residents signed <br />petitions for the incorporation. <br />One of the stipulations was <br />that there would be no <br />municipal property tax. To <br />this day there is no Town <br />property tax. Paradise <br />Valley shares in the State of <br />Arizona taxes. <br />There was also great <br />concern for protecting the <br />one house per acre ideal for <br />the Town. Developers were <br />diligently working to oppose <br />the incorporation of the <br />Town. <br />On May 24, 1961 the <br />incorporation of the Town of <br />Paradise Valley was <br />approved by the Maricopa <br />County Board of <br />Supervisors. <br />Patrick C. Downey was <br />the first mayor. Mrs. Helen <br />Marston was the Town <br />Clerk. The first "office" <br />was in a guest bedroom of <br />her home and later was <br />moved to a guest house on <br />John Bonnell's property next <br />door to Mrs. Marston . <br />Edwin (Ned) Curtis was the <br />first Town Marshall. <br />At that time Paradise <br />Valley was 2 1/2 square miles <br />in size with a population of <br />approximately 2000. The <br />August 1961 budget was <br />passed for $43,600. <br />The drama of all this was <br />not going unnoticed by <br />neighborhoods adjacent to <br />the new Town. Thirty hours <br />after the initial <br />incorporation, the Town <br />annexed its first neighbors. <br />Other annexations quickly <br />followed. <br />The dedication of the <br />diligent residents of the <br />Town of Paradise Valley is a <br />model for us all . They <br />worked hard without pay, <br />over and above their jobs <br />and family obligations to <br />secure a paradise for <br />themselves and future <br />generations. <br />So far, the Town has been <br />able to maintain its strict <br />zoning. We must be ever <br />alert to the challenges that <br />can destroy our lifestyle. <br />On May 3, 1997 , the <br />Town of Paradise Valley will <br />celebrate "Founder's Day". <br />Founder's Day in this Town <br />has special meaning. It <br />recognizes both those people <br />who had a dream and those <br />who have realized and kept <br />that dream alive.