Local News

Stilo's Big Plans for Annexation are Running into Big Opposition

September 14, 2011

Stilo's plans to annex more than 5,600 acres of land at the TenX Ranch could have the unintended consequence of killing off a major tourist draw for the area, Elk Hunting. If the land is developed and Stilo gets to convert pristine land into resorts and golf courses; the elks will have to move on. And so will the scores of hunters. And here is something to consider. You can play golf at hundreds of locations in Arizona. Elk hunting is much harder to come by.

On the other side of the coin, the Sierra Club is pretty darned concerned about Stilo's plans to move thousands of people to a town whose population is currently about 500. One of the biggest concerns is water. If Stilo drills its own wells, that could dry up waters that currently flow into the Canyon. Lots of hikers will have a hard time filling their canteens if Stilo makes good on it's threats. In fact Stilo doesn't have any concrete plans on a water source. Honcho Tom De Paolo recently said much of what happens depends on the Corporation Commission. 

At a recent town Council meeting, Alicyn Gitlan, the Sierra Club's Conservation Coordinator for the Grand Canyon Chapter had this to say about the annexation, " Water depletion may sound far off, but please view the loss of our most accessible water sources as an imminent and dangerous reality."

Water isn't Gitlan's only concern, "Beyond the water concern, please also consider the possibility that Kaibab National Forest could consider the proposed infrastructure through the forest: a paved road of at least two lanes or more, water main, electric and phone lines, sewer, and, potentially, internet and natural gas, as contributing to a cumulative impact that would irreparably damage Forest resources. What would happen then? Would Tusayan’s housing needs take priority over tourism development? Or could the developer abandon the whole proposal, leaving the Town with nothing?" Here is a link to Ms Gitlan's entire statement.

The Sierra Club is also taking action on a statewide level. This is the Club's statement on its website:

"This is the same company (Stilo) that promoted Canyon Forest Village, a development the Sierra Club helped fight. This new proposal is similar to Canyon Forest Village in that it would benefit corporations over residents, squander precious water resources, and promote more development in our forests. Coconino County voters said NO! to the previous rezoning, but now those involved have helped to incorporate the town and to elect people to the city council who are friendly to their proposal."  Here is a link to the entire statement.