A developer who has for several years talked about building a massive master planned community near the Grand Canyon has been given a green light for an important aspect of that plan.
Members of the Tusayan Town Council have voted to approve a proposal for roads and utility easements on two separate 20-acre plots.
That approval gives the Scottsdale-based Stilo Development Group USA permission to build a new road in a part of the Kaibab National Forest, as well as upgrading segments of existing roads in the vicinity, needed for the project.
For the better part of a decade, Stilo has been talking about building more than 2,000 homes, along with hotels, restaurants, and a convention center on land located some 10 miles to the south of the Grand Canyon National Park.
Last fall Stilo said it needed access to more than 28,000 feet of roads and utility corridors.
The overall proposal has generated great controversy in northern Arizona with the nonprofit Grand Canyon Trust of Flagstaff raising the issue of the development’s potential water usage.
“Allowing new developments to pump more water from a shrinking supply of groundwater would do irreparable harm to Grand Canyon National Park and to the Havasupai Tribe, and it would not be in the public interest,” the group charged last fall in a statement.
Four years ago, the U.S. Forest Service turned down Stilo’s initial application for a special-use authorization.
With the approval of the Tusayan Town Council, the roads easement application is now subject to an environmental review as required by the National Environmental Policy Act.
By Garry Boulard
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