Local News

Updated: A General Plan Any Italian Developer Who Wants To Exploit The Grand Canyon Would Love

April 17, 2014

The Tusayan General Plan has been approved by the Town Council despite the fact that it lacks a water source for the massive Stilo development project.

Over its many incarnations, the pan failed to address how to supply water to the Stilo project which calls for three million square feet of commercial space and thousands of new homes. Warnings have come from the Sierra Club, the Grand Canyon National Park, and countless residents concerned that the development dry up groundwater supplies and as a result dry up seeps that feed the Havasupai Tribe and the Grand Canyon National Park.

The plan was given final approval April 16th. At the April 9th Town Council meeting, the general plan was given another review.

Councilman Bill Fitzgerald obviously did his homework as he noted a number of revisions that needed to be made.

Fitzgerald also pointed out a measure of hypocrisy in the plan. There is a portion of the plan that addresses housing and it reads:

"Policy: Evaluate all possible avenues for the acquisition of parcels for affordable housing development by the Town."

The current council, with the exception of Fitzgerald,  ignored ideas such as land trades or the Town Site Act to make affordable housing happen and instead signed a pact with Stilo that trades the town's character and integrity for 20 to 40 acres of land.

Fitzgerald said, "This Council has failed in that we never really evaluated that possibility of obtaining private property without having to go through the Stilo Group."

Mayor Bryan said the council is merely 'creating a future policy."

Other objections to the general plan came from the Sierra Club.The Sierra Club's Alicyn Gitlin says the plan doesn't address resources such as water and seems designed to accommodate unchecked development.

Gitlin says the plan is vague and shallow and urged the Council that the Plan could cause considerable damage to the Grand Canyon National Park and the Havasupai Tribe. A guest editorial from Gitlin is in the Editorial section of the Watchdog.