Tusayan presses Stilo to move forward on land deal, plans to go into mediation with developer

A map showing the three areas around Tusayan that Stilo plans to develop. Submitted graphic.

A map showing the three areas around Tusayan that Stilo plans to develop. Submitted graphic.

TUSAYAN, Ariz. - The Tusayan Town Council is tired of waiting for housing.

After about 45 minutes in executive session, council made a public announcement July 3 that because Stilo is in default of the pre-annexation development agreement, Tusayan and Stilo are going to go into mediation.

The Italian developer has yet to come up with a water source for its project, or hand over the 40 acres it promised within the agreement's timeframe.

Stilo reserved 20 acres at Kotzin Ranch or 20 acres at Ten X as part of its pledge to dedicate a total of 40 acres to the town. It was the council's decision whether they choose to accept at Kotzin, Ten-X or both, splitting the acreage into 20 acres for each.

"And here we are, almost 18 months later," Tusayan Mayor Greg Bryan said. "We've tried to give them the opportunity to perform, and we've supported them, but they've been very slow to act."

Bryan said the mediation meeting is set after the July 24 regular council meeting.

"Over the last three to six months, we've had a couple of face-to-face meetings with Stilo representatives," Bryan said. "We haven't been able to achieve the kind of things that we feel need to take place. One of which is a dedication of 20 acres. They've come to us and requested some amendments to the agreement that they feel have been holding them back. And we said that we're willing to discuss it, but there are some conditions that have to happen."

The development agreement requires a 45-day period of mediation before legal action can happen. If mediation doesn't resolve the issue, Bryan said the town has a few options.

"We could sue for a specific performance, we could revert the zoning back for non-performance and if that happens that means the property would go back to its prior zone," Bryan said.

Stilo 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 the group partially owns. Stilo plans to develop the land for housing as well as other commercial buildings, including a dude ranch, hotels and cultural center.

The council approved the controversial development in November 2011, despite concerns from the Sierra Club, local business owners, the Havasupai Tribe and Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga. The groups questioned the potential environmental effects and where the project's water will come from, which is something already scarce at the Grand Canyon.

The move comes at a time when Stilo has withdrawn its application with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) to become a water company. Instead, the developer wants to focus on completing the Forest Service's environmental review process.

"The Forest Service has indicated they would prefer a municipality to apply," Stilo representative Andy Jacobs said. "We just wanted to make sure if the town were to be the applicant that Stilo has a role in how the environmental process moves forward."

In the meantime, Stilo said it intend to deed 20 acres to the town. But that has yet to happen.

"We've agreed in principle for Stilo to give the 20 acres immediately," said Jacobs, adding that the town has to approve the exchange before it can happen. "The other 20 acres would be put into escrow and given to the town as soon as there's some kind of approval from the Forest Service for Stilo's access. They're going to get that 20 acres regardless TUSAYAN, Ariz. - The Tusayan Town Council is tired of waiting for housing.

After about 45 minutes in executive session, council made a public announcement July 3 that because Stilo is in default of the pre-annexation development agreement, Tusayan and Stilo are going to go into mediation.

The Italian developer has yet to come up with a water source for its project, or hand over the 40 acres it promised within the agreement's timeframe.

Stilo reserved 20 acres at Kotzin Ranch or 20 acres at Ten X as part of its pledge to dedicate a total of 40 acres to the town. It was the council's decision whether they choose to accept at Kotzin, Ten-X or both, splitting the acreage into 20 acres for each.

"And here we are, almost 18 months later," Tusayan Mayor Greg Bryan said. "We've tried to give them the opportunity to perform, and we've supported them, but they've been very slow to act."

Bryan said the mediation meeting is set after the July 24 regular council meeting.

"Over the last three to six months, we've had a couple of face-to-face meetings with Stilo representatives," Bryan said. "We haven't been able to achieve the kind of things that we feel need to take place. One of which is a dedication of 20 acres. They've come to us and requested some amendments to the agreement that they feel have been holding them back. And we said that we're willing to discuss it, but there are some conditions that have to happen."

The development agreement requires a 45-day period of mediation before legal action can happen. If mediation doesn't resolve the issue, Bryan said the town has a few options.

"We could sue for a specific performance, we could revert the zoning back for non-performance and if that happens that means the property would go back to its prior zone," Bryan said.

Stilo 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 the group partially owns. Stilo plans to develop the land for housing as well as other commercial buildings, including a dude ranch, hotels and cultural center.

The council approved the controversial development in November 2011, despite concerns from the Sierra Club, local business owners, the Havasupai Tribe and Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga. The groups questioned the potential environmental effects and where the project's water will come from, which is something already scarce at the Grand Canyon.

The move comes at a time when Stilo has withdrawn its application with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) to become a water company. Instead, the developer wants to focus on completing the Forest Service's environmental review process.

"The Forest Service has indicated they would prefer a municipality to apply," Stilo representative Andy Jacobs said. "We just wanted to make sure if the town were to be the applicant that Stilo has a role in how the environmental process moves forward."

In the meantime, Stilo said it intend to deed 20 acres to the town. But that has yet to happen.

"We've agreed in principle for Stilo to give the 20 acres immediately," said Jacobs, adding that the town has to approve the exchange before it can happen. "The other 20 acres would be put into escrow and given to the town as soon as there's some kind of approval from the Forest Service for Stilo's access. They're going to get that 20 acres regardless TUSAYAN, Ariz. - The Tusayan Town Council is tired of waiting for housing.

After about 45 minutes in executive session, council made a public announcement July 3 that because Stilo is in default of the pre-annexation development agreement, Tusayan and Stilo are going to go into mediation.

The Italian developer has yet to come up with a water source for its project, or hand over the 40 acres it promised within the agreement's timeframe.

Stilo reserved 20 acres at Kotzin Ranch or 20 acres at Ten X as part of its pledge to dedicate a total of 40 acres to the town. It was the council's decision whether they choose to accept at Kotzin, Ten-X or both, splitting the acreage into 20 acres for each.

"And here we are, almost 18 months later," Tusayan Mayor Greg Bryan said. "We've tried to give them the opportunity to perform, and we've supported them, but they've been very slow to act."

Bryan said the mediation meeting is set after the July 24 regular council meeting.

"Over the last three to six months, we've had a couple of face-to-face meetings with Stilo representatives," Bryan said. "We haven't been able to achieve the kind of things that we feel need to take place. One of which is a dedication of 20 acres. They've come to us and requested some amendments to the agreement that they feel have been holding them back. And we said that we're willing to discuss it, but there are some conditions that have to happen."

The development agreement requires a 45-day period of mediation before legal action can happen. If mediation doesn't resolve the issue, Bryan said the town has a few options.

"We could sue for a specific performance, we could revert the zoning back for non-performance and if that happens that means the property would go back to its prior zone," Bryan said.

Stilo 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 the group partially owns. Stilo plans to develop the land for housing as well as other commercial buildings, including a dude ranch, hotels and cultural center.

The council approved the controversial development in November 2011, despite concerns from the Sierra Club, local business owners, the Havasupai Tribe and Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga. The groups questioned the potential environmental effects and where the project's water will come from, which is something already scarce at the Grand Canyon.

The move comes at a time when Stilo has withdrawn its application with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) to become a water company. Instead, the developer wants to focus on completing the Forest Service's environmental review process.

"The Forest Service has indicated they would prefer a municipality to apply," Stilo representative Andy Jacobs said. "We just wanted to make sure if the town were to be the applicant that Stilo has a role in how the environmental process moves forward."

In the meantime, Stilo said it intend to deed 20 acres to the town. But that has yet to happen.

"We've agreed in principle for Stilo to give the 20 acres immediately," said Jacobs, adding that the town has to approve the exchange before it can happen. "The other 20 acres would be put into escrow and given to the town as soon as there's some kind of approval from the Forest Service for Stilo's access. They're going to get that 20 acres regardless of what happens, it's just a matter of timing."

Jacobs said both sides are disappointed with the rate of progress, but thinks a resolution can happen before mediation starts.

"We still have to come up with a water source," Jacobs said. "It's just that we'll do that when we have access to the forest. The town wanted to get their land up front, which in the previous deal, we did donate the 40 acres, but it didn't go into the town's possession until Stilo got access."

Stilo wants to see a new development agreement in place by the end of July and the Forest Service to approve its roadway access application by the end of the summer.

"We're either all winners or we're all losers here," said Jacobs, about the negotiations. "We're in this thing together, the town needs housing, Stilo wants to do this development. So if we all work together on this Forest Service application, if we're working together on the water solution, if we're working together on providing housing for people who desperately need it we can get the ball rolling."

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