Local News

The Story behind Stilo's failed End Run Through The Grand Canyon School District

July 11, 2014

Stilo pulled out all the stops to obtain access for its controversial development project. Specifically trying to make the Kotzin site accessible by grabbing land from the Grand Canyon School District on Long Jim Loop Road.

The District got the acreage from the Forest Service expressively for educational purposes. Some of that land is being used for the new park which certainly has a benefit for children.

On June 4th Mayor Greg Bryan learned the School District attorney may have issues with that plan. School Board Member Pete Shearer, who is very concerned about this proposal, delivered the news at the recent council meeting. it was not on the agenda.

While Stilo and the Town have been hinting at multiple options from the looks of a draft application is sure does seem as if there’s only one option for southern access…right through land set aside for a school. Here is part of the request as outlined in the draft application:

The southern access roadway and utility corridor would be 1.4 miles (7,100 feet) long and would traverse lands within the Kaibab National Forest (approximately 0.9 miles; 4,850 feet), connecting the existing SR 64 roundabout at Long Jim Loop to Kotzin Ranch, including the segments listed below. The utilities proposed within the two, 14-foot-wide border area and utility corridors vary slightly by segment, but generally include water transmission and distribution mains, a reclaimed water main, and a sewer main. Dry utilities in the corridor also vary by segment, but generally include a natural gas pipeline, electric lines, and telecommunications.

The existing FR 605M (Long Jim Loop) would be improved from the SR 64 roundabout west approximately 2,460feet to the forest boundary. Of the 2,460 feet, approximately 200 feet are on USFS lands and approximately 2,260 feet are on private land road easements administered by the USFS.

The Town of Tusayan, and not Stilo, did the developers bidding for this land grab. On May 27th at 7:40 in the morning the School Board conducted a special meeting. The minutes indicate the School Board was to discuss options with an 'S'. But from the documents we have obtained, it looks like just one option was on the table.
Here are the minutes:

Discussion and Possible Action regarding the Scoping of the easement for the Tusayan School Park
Mr. John Rutter (Rueter) and Mr. Will Wright talked to the issue at hand saying that the town was looking at options of using existing roads and/or power lines in the development of road to access Kotzin Ranch area.
Multiple options were discussed and lots of input given. It was determined that a better map with more details would make this easier to understand.

Mr. Rutter explained that this is merely the town asking for permission to continue to explorer this avenue as an option. The town has other options they are looking at as well. At a later date all options will be placed on a map together for public input and discussion.

He added that the school Board would at a later date, if this were to be the selected avenue; the Board would still have to approve or decline the action.
Mr. Hartigan moved for approval of the scoping sequence to move forward. Mr. Donehoo seconded the motion. The motion carried 3/1.

And here is a link to the Forest Service Application for Transportation and Utility Systems. So far this appears to be only option for southern access to Kotzin.

It should be noted the one ‘no’ vote in May came from former mayor Pete Shearer who has consistently put the best interests of Tusayan ahead of Stilo’s wants. The vote in July to withdraw the offer was unanimous, with the exception of Kevin Hartigan who was not in attendance in July.