Developers ask Gilbert Town Council to table controversial Ranch project

Maritza Dominguez
Arizona Republic

Developers for a contentious industrial-heavy project in Gilbert called The Ranch have asked the Town Council to table their application until the summer to continue working with residents.

The Town Council twice delayed voting on the rezoning request by IndiCap last year of because residents pushed back on new plans for the 302-acre property, along the northwest corner at Power and Warner roads.

Sean Lake, the legal representative of the developers, told The Arizona Republic rather than asking for a delay each month, tabling the project makes more sense. The council could vote on the tabling request in February.

Residents were concerned with safety, traffic and the synergy the project brought to the Morrison Ranch community.

Currently, the land is zoned for 56 acres of industrial use, 145 acres of office use and 101 acres of commercial use.

Concept art for The Ranch, a largely industrial use project, planned in Gilbert.

The history:Amid residents' anger, Gilbert council postpones rezoning land for controversial project The Ranch

The new proposal for the project was set to include:

  • 255 acres of light industrial use.
  • 16.5 acres of office use.
  • 30.9 acres of commercial use.  

“We are not bringing forward that plan from November,” Lake said. During the past couple of months, developers have met with residents to hear out their concerns.

Dozens of residents attend a Gilbert Town Council meeting on Nov. 15, 2022, to oppose The Ranch, a largely industrial project.

Nearly two dozen residents spoke at the November town council meeting and more than 1,300 online comments opposing the project were submitted.

Since then, the developers and investors held meetings with residents to find a middle ground that works for all of them.

Lake hopes to present a revised plan to council in June or July. “The goal is to really work hand and hand with the community and go to that (council) meeting in agreement,” he said.

What the newly revised plan looks like is yet to be determined. Lake said developers will hold neighborhood meetings before presenting a plan to the council. The developers don’t want to force anything on the community, but rather they prefer to work cooperatively with the neighbors, he said.

Brandon Ryff is one of the Morrison Ranch residents that is working with the developers to find a compromise. Following the residents' opposition, Stacey Brimhall, one of The Ranch’s investors, opened the dialog between residents, Ryff said.

Among the safety concerns was the type of industrial business set at the site. Ryff said Brimhall promised not to pursue businesses that use toxic chemicals or car battery manufacturing.

Creating a buffer between the industrial buildings and neighborhoods using a green belt is another aspect residents have secured, he said.

Ryff was pleased to see the plan move toward including more restaurants and shops for residents to use.

While the project is moving in a positive direction for residents, Ryff said he’s “as much skeptical as optimistic.” It’s not over until it’s over, he said.

Beyond getting a project that developers and residents are excited about, Ryff hopes the partnership will learning tool for everyone.

“I’m hopeful this whole process will serve as an example of what can happen when residents and developers come together to work reasonably and express their concerns.”

Reporter Maritza Dominguez covers Mesa/Gilbert and can be reached at or 480-271-0646. Follow her on Twitter @maritzacdom.