Local News

Solving The Tusayan Housing Challenge Without Wrecking The Environment

September 28, 2018

 A new proposal for affordable housing in Tusayan has been offered that doesn’t commit the town to a development that could permanently scar the environment at the doorstep of the Grand Canyon.

For years Stilo and business partner Elling Halvorson have been holding the promise of affordable housing hostage by tying a land deal to a controversial and environmentally damaging development project that calls for three million square feet of commercial space and thousands of new homes.  In exchange for approving the plan, Tusayan gets acreage for ‘affordable housing.’ Right now just a handful of homes are planned and access to utilities is minimal. 

 The Tusayan Land and Cattle Company has sent a letter to the U.S. Forest Service offering 15 hundred acres of land the company owns bordering the Grand Canyon National Park in exchange for Forest Service land adjoining Tusayan. If the exchange were made the land adjoining Tusayan would be deed restricted for single family and multi-family housing.

The letter was sent to the Forest Service September 21st. To see the letter click here.

While business owners such as Red Feather Properties, the Holiday Inn and Canyon Plaza Inn have constructed apartment style housing for employees, Stilo and business partner Elling Halvorson have not.

The letter states in part:

“While multiple parties own multiple undeveloped private properties in Tusayan that could
be used for this purpose, and single-family home sites exist to the south, this desire continues to be expressed by some. One developer has long used this as an excuse to justify massive commercial development in the area that would tax the environment, area water supplies and degrade what it means to visit the Grand Canyon. Indeed, the developer Stilo/Halvorson have failed for many years to deliver on their new housing commitment despite pledges and property to do so. They also continue to build more hotels rooms with no new housing in Tusayan.”

The Tusayan Land and Cattle Company would then sell its newly acquired land to Tusayan-based employees  to build homes.

In addition to providing land for affordable housing, the exchange would also allow the federal government to consolidate its land holdings around the Grand Canyon National Park.

The letter also calls on the Stilo/Halvorson alliance to abandon its controversial and environmentally damaging development plans and, “… join us in exchanging their inholdings for other federal, non-sensitive lands outside of the Grand Canyon area as well.”