Ten X Ranch annexation talks continue in Tusayan
Havasupai tribe members, residents and lawyers comment before Tusayan council
TUSAYAN, Ariz. - The Tusayan Town Council reopened public hearings regarding the possible annexation of Ten X Ranch during their Sept. 21 regular meeting. Residents, lawyers and Havasupai tribe representatives all spoke out against the move.
Stilo Development Group recently requested Tusayan annex approximately 5,638 acres of land that comprises Ten X Ranch, currently in unincorporated Coconino County, as part of their development proposal to the town.
Grand Canyon resident Marjorie Woodruff first addressed the council and said she questions whether there is enough water in the area to support the scope of development Stilo Group is planning.
"I have also worked in a number of resort towns and I'm afraid to see Tusayan go the same way as Vail and Steamboat Springs and Sedona, to the point where people that work here will not be able to afford to live here and end up commuting from Valle and from Williams in order to work," Woodruff said.
Havasupai tribe representatives Carletta Tilousi, Tim Uqualla, Don Watahomigie also spoke, citing concern over water sources and rights, impacts of population growth and Native American archeological sites that could be affected by Stilo's development plan.
"The more I learn about this Ten X annexation, the more I am against it," Uqualla said. "Show me the water - that's our main concern. We don't want where you are getting your water from to conflict with our streams down below."
Uqualla went on to say that he was born in the area and remembers what Tusayan looked like before it's initial development,
"I really don't like coming here anymore, it's not as natural as it used to be. Our main concern is the water pumping and destruction of areas that have been here for centuries. Burial sites, sweat lodges, old homesteads, things like that, they should just be left the way they are," Uqualla said.
Uqualla told council members the Havasupai tribe survives on tourism,
just like Tusayan does, but Tusayan needs to know when to stop and let the land remain natural.
"Do not try and beautify the horizon. It's good the way it is," he added.
Kris Thurston, resident of Tusayan and Flagstaff, cautioned the council to be good neighbors to Tusayan's surrounding communities and habitats.
"For what amounts to about 40 acres for housing, it seems you are going down the path on annexing 5000 acres in order to change the zoning for a developer that's not from Arizona, not even from the United States," Thurston said. "There will be impacts to the wildlife, to the Havasupai tribe, to the national park and for what? So the developer can make tons of money. It doesn't seem like the right thing to do morally or ethically."
Currently, Town Manager Enrique Ochoa said they are in the process of filling all the legal matters required before proceeding with annexation.
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