Local News

Prop 400 Rejected: Building Heights In Tusayan Remain Where They Are

November 8, 2017

 Italian developer Stilo’s efforts to nearly double building heights in Tusayan from 35 to 65 feet has been rejected by Tusayan voters. Proposition 400 put the question to the voters after the Tusayan Town Council unanimously approved Stilo’s request. Tusayan residents signed a petition to place the item on the ballot. The unofficial count for the mail in ballot election was 71 no and 60 yes.

The pro 400 effort was led by a Stilo backed political action committee called Tusayan’s Future. The opposition was led by “Grand Canyon Not Grand High Rises. Tusayan resident and business owner Clarinda Vail served as treasurer of the PAC. She said, “"I am thrilled to see that Tusayan residents are more for protecting the Grand Canyon than they are for continuing to give Italian Developers & Elling Halvorson via The Tusayan Town Council everything they want."

Stilo campaigned hard for the height increase placing professional printed signs in Town, many of which were in the ADOT right of way. 

Those opposed to the height increase placed a number of homemade campaign signs throughout the town. 

The height increase was opposed by a number of environmental groups, local residents, and businesses because of the impact it would have on dark skies in the area and the skyline so close to the Grand Canyon National Park.  Before the Tusayan Town Council approved the height increase the park wrote the Town a letter that stated in part.

Prior to the decision, The National Parks Service sent Tusayan a letter expressing concern about the dark skies, water usage, and visitor capacity at the Grand Canyon National Park. The letter stated in part:

"The importance of sustainable building, water conservation, night sky protection and visitor use capacities are of critical importance as we move into the next century of park preservation and management and we value collaboration with the Town on its planning and zoning initiatives."

Despite those concerns the Town Council approved the new heights. The election overturns that decision.