Construction resumes at Camper Village

TUSAYAN, Ariz. - Stilo Group's construction at Camper Village will start again after Tusayan Town Council approved its site plan during the Jan. 22 regular meeting. Council member John Rueter recused himself from voting because of his employment at Camper Village.

Last November, it came to the council's attention that the initial step, the site plan, had not been officially adopted and brought to the Planning and Zoning Commission and the council.

Because of confusion surrounding zoning permits, the council issued a stop work order for construction on Camper Village until they received, reviewed and approved a development plan and design review.

"The site plan is supposed to come first," Tusayan Mayor Greg Bryan said. "It's addressed, and then construction items and grading and all those types of things are handled in the permitting process. There is some mutual culpability in a variety of sources and locations. The system of the process got turned around."

The 2011 original agreement called for an interim housing plan at the south end of Camper Village, which allowed some manufactured temporary homes. When land at Kotzin and Ten X ranch became available, residents could then move those units out there, or purchase property and build. The temporary housing has a five year term, with an option to extend two more years if needed.

"The applicant came through during a transition in our management and made applications for permits," Bryan said. "We as a council felt that things were moving according to the schedule. In that process we had two sets of zoning documents with ordinances in place. We initially adopted Coconino County's ordinances and then during this transition of the last year we adopted and modified those zoning ordinances to be more specific to Tusayan's needs."

Attorney Carolyn Oberholzter told council members that her client, Red Feather Properties, was concerned the site plan didn't address the potential consequences of building on a floodplain.

"Every single home proposed is in the floodplain and our properties, the Red Feather properties, are downstream of that floodplain," Oberholzter 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.

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