TUSAYAN, Ariz. - Italian land developer Stilo Group USA recently asked the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) for an extension on naming a water source for their large-scale development in Tusayan. The Tusayan Town Council approved the agreement last November.
The developer owns 375 acres in and around Tusayan, including Kotzin Ranch on the northwest end of town, Ten-X Ranch, located just outside the town's border and Camper Village, which is partially owned by the group. Stilo plans to develop the land for housing as well as multi-use facilities, including a dude ranch, hotels and cultural center.
The Tusayan Town Council approved the development despite concerns from the Sierra Club, local business owners, the Havasupai Tribe and Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga about environmental impacts and water sources, an element which is already scarce at the Grand Canyon.
Within 30 days of signing, Stilo Group applied for a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CC&N) for Ten X and Kotzin. The CC&N requires the developer to name an adequate water supply prior to the approval of any site plans.
Stilo has since asked the ACC for a year extension.
"We've asked for a year-long extension for a couple reasons," Stilo representative Andy Jacobs said. "Namely being that we are about to start the environmental review process with the Kaibab National Forest. One thing in our initial conversations with the Forest Service has been that they want us to come in with a pretty complete plan on what we are trying to do on a variety of different fronts, including a traffic study, a ecological study and then also water."
Jacobs said it will take a year or two to work through the environmental review, which they must complete before pursuing a CC&N with the ACC.
"If we want to serve our properties in Tusayan, we have to do that through the corporation commission, but at the same time we also need permission to build roads and water to our properties and that permission comes from the Forest Service," Jacobs said, adding Stilo is confident the commission will grant them their extension.
Jacobs said the initial deadline was part of the development agreement. Tusayan asked Stilo to begin the process immediately.
"We always knew water was going to be a very expensive part of this process, but I will say that the process with the Forest Service is probably the more important of the two at this point," Jacobs said. "In order to get the access to our two end holdings in the Kaibab National Forest, we need to know exactly what they need from us. We are starting that process now and that's the route where a lot of these answers will start to be filled in, especially on water."
At press time, the Sierra Club was unavailable for comment.