By Lesley Wright | The Republic | azcentral.com
The old-timers still call it “the Bullet.”
The name refers to the shape of a developed portion of a 640-acre parcel of Surprise desert, the rest of which is empty except for occasional grazing cattle.
The land was once owned by Luke Air Force Base, and long-neglected landing strips are still visible from the air.
In 1947, Luke declared the land surplus and deeded it to Phoenix, which in turn handed it over to Surprise a half-century later. But there was a catch: That land came with deed restrictions that severely limit what Surprise can develop on the land.
Surprise, which over the last decade has become one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, is now fighting for full control of the land, even in the face of resistance from those who fear that it could encroach on Luke and jeopardize one of the West Valley’s biggest economic engines.