Local News

Stilo Requests for Access Roads Takes a Wrong Turn

February 21, 2013

By Mike Scerbo

For nearly a year Stilo has been trying to get access and use of Kaibab National Forest roads. In order for development plans for Kotzin and 10-X to be viable, people need to be able to get in and out of the areas. It’s within these two areas where Stilo has promised, and failed to deliver, affordable housing.

Back in April, Stilo started communicating with the Forest Service to get access and use of Forest Service roads. Then on January 4, 2013 Stilo submitted its Special Use Permit Application.  Less than a month later, the US Department of Agriculture wrote back.  Nick Larson, District Ranger for the Kaibab National Forest said more information is needed.

Among the concerns Larson listed were ‘better justification for the need for access’ and ‘greater assurances that proposed activities are likely to occur.’

Larson is also concerned about cooperation with local entities. He wrote, “We need to show that this was assembled with all the correct players at the table.”

Larson, while polite in his correspondence, is clearly indicating that Stilo’s application falls short. That’s surprising considering the how Stilo bragged about its expertise when its PR machine was at full throttle. Here is a link to Larson’s letter and Stilo’s application.

The application also makes reference to connecting Kotzin to the Tusayan Sanitary District. Stilo has since backed off on that idea. In fact Stilo honcho Tom DePaolo recently tried to dismiss the application stating it was premature and technically not an application.

 DePaolo said at a recent council meeting that Stilo intended its correspondence with the Forest Service to be a ‘proposal’ and not an application. The documents we linked to clearly say “application.”  Nevertheless, the Forest Service is cutting Stilo some slack by writing DePaolo and calling the paperwork a “proposal.”

Regardless of the terminology, the Stilo project which would add three million square feet of commercial space and thousands of new residents to the area, has no water supply, no sewer service, and no Forest Service road access for the portions that are supposed to be set aside for affordable housing.