Local News

Changing The Rules For Stilo’s Dangerous Road To Kotzin

September 14, 2014

Italian developer Stilo really wants a road from Highway 64 to its Kotzin site and it doesn’t care if that road puts kids in danger. The route would require the Forest Service to make use of an easement on Grand Canyon School District land along Long Jim Loop Road. Now the Town wants to amend the development agreement with Stilo making the claim the route is ‘required’ by the Forest Service.

The Grand Canyon School Board has already voted against the road because they don’t want thousands of cars a day passing next to a park where little kids play not to mention the site of a future school. The District sdays the safety of the kids has to come first.

Tusayan Mayor Greg Bryan tried and failed to convince the School Board September 9th that the road to Kotzin was a good thing, but when pressed on specifics on the scale of the massive Kotzin development and traffic Bryan replied, “I’m not going sit here to give you a number.” Bryan apparently seeing the writing on the wall as the public opposed the road then insisted, “Tonight is not about discussing and making a decision about this development.”

After the School Board’s rejection, the Town sent out its agenda for the September 17th meeting which mentions that Tusayan is amending the development agreement to put the Forest Service access on the School District property "as required by the Forest Service" in spite of the District rejection of the corridor. It’s on Item 7 C under Recital C of the agreement draft.

Here is a link to the agenda.

We asked the Forest Service is this a new requirement and did the agency make the requirement. We also sought reaction to the school board rejection. Here is what we received:

“The Kaibab National Forest has received the application from the Town of Tusayan for transportation and utility access across National Forest on the Tusayan Ranger District. As you know, the Town is specifically proposing to make improvements to segments of existing forest roads and construct new segments to provide all weather access and utility service to two inholding properties.


 As a side note, it is common for the Forest Service to work with the owners of private inholdings that are surrounded by or adjacent to National Forest lands. We often receive proposals for various kinds of easements, and there is a process in place for evaluating those proposals.

 The next step for the Kaibab National Forest will be to follow the application process required for a road easement.  As part of that application process, we will conduct an environmental analysis (NEPA) to determine the effect the proposed use may have on the natural and human environment.  Once a Proposed Action has been developed, it will be scoped with the public. We will be seeking input on the proposal and will ensure that the public has ample opportunity to comment." 

This really doesn’t answer the question as to whether the Forest Service is ‘requiring’ access through school district property but it does indicate the agency will listen to the public. So far the Forest Service has failed to listen to the School Board which doesn’t want its land confiscated to create a high traffic roadway next to the town park and a future school site.