Controversial Development Bordering Grand Canyon Suffers Major Setback: Town of Tusayan declares Italian developer Stilo in default
Controversial Development Bordering Grand Canyon Suffers Major Setback
Town of Tusayan declares Italian developer Stilo in default
(TUSAYAN, Ariz.) Italian developer Stilo’s plans to bring three million square feet of commercial space and add thousands of new homes to the environmentally fragile area surrounding the Grand Canyon are in jeopardy following the Tusayan Town Council’s July 3rd vote to declare the developer in default. Four of the five members of that council are either employed by Stilo or its business partner, Elling Halvorson.
Stilo received its lucrative rezoning two years ago over the objections of the Sierra Club, The Havasupai Tribal Council, and the Superintendent of the Grand Canyon National Park.
Previously, Stilo had funded the campaigns of the first elected council members and launched attacks on those who opposed its plans.
Stilo had promised to identify a water source for this massive project and donate 40 acres of land to the Town of Tusayan to assist residents in obtaining affordable housing. Stilo has failed to keep either promise which was contained in the development agreement.
What little development it has achieved amounted to a small collection of trailer homes, five of which have been under a stop work order by the State of Arizona.
Following an executive session on July 3rd the Town Council voted to declare Stilo in default. The vote followed months of intense email exchanges between the Town and the developer inquiring about the promised acreage.
Just prior to the vote Tusayan Mayor Greg Bryan issued the following statement:
“After extensive discussion with our attorney and getting his advice we have given the attorney direction to provide notice of default to the Stilo Development Group and based upon our pre-annexation development agreement and we intend to institute or begin the process of mediation as the remedy or process of addressing that default and we will set a date for that mediation and should the development group come back with a proposal, we would consider it at that time. But once the mediation date has been set, and we can’t reach agreement by that time then we will go to mediation.”
Bryan also told a local paper, “All I can say is that we were unable to come to a concurrence at this time based upon our negotiations and that’s why we are giving a notice of default,”
More information about the Stilo development agreement and the issues in Tusayan can be found at The Grand Canyon Watchdog