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Sat, Oct. 31

Council halts construction at Camper Village

TUSAYAN, Ariz. - Tusayan Town Council issued a stop work order for Stilo's construction on Camper Village until they receive, review and approve a development plan and design review.

"A lot of work occurred based on the assumption that we'd approved the site plan which hasn't gone through the formal process of council approval, and so that's was the impetus behind issuing the stop work order," Town Manager Will Wright said. "We've done our review based on documents that we've found from around a year and a half ago. The conceptual plan that was provided in the original agreement was to be followed up with a development plan that was going to be brought before the council and that never occurred."

The move comes after Red Feather Properties attorney Carolyn Oberholzter suggested that the Italian developers did not have the proper permitting to work at Camper Village, where they were installing temporary housing units.

Oberholzter said the homes weren't properly permitted because the State Manufactured Housing Office issued violation notices earlier this year.

"Prior to that, Stilo constructed water lines on Red Feather's property in the Texaco gas station parking lot without any permission," she said. "That's where this all started."

However, Stilo representative Andy Jacobs said Oberholzter didn't give him enough time to prove otherwise at the Nov. 13 regular meeting.

"With it being just an hour before, I just wasn't able to gather all those permits and make sure that the council understood that we have indeed applied for and received permits for all the work that we've been doing out there," Jacobs said.

Jacobs said the original agreement called for an interim housing plan at the south end of Camper Village, which allowed some manufactured temporary homes. When land at Kotzin and Ten X ranch became available, residents could then move those units out there, or purchase property and build.

"There's been quite a bit of turnover over the past couple years, which can lead to a little misunderstanding and a bit of confusion on everyone's part," Wright said about the mixup. "I think what we've found based on the research is that there's never been a formal adoption of any development plan. Thrown in the mix was that the town was transitioning from county planning and zoning codes to putting in their own zoning codes, so that added to the jumble of things."

Stilo owns 375 acres in and around Tusayan, including Kotzin Ranch on the northwest end of town, Ten-X Ranch located just outside the town's border and Camper Village, which the group partially owns. Stilo plans to develop the land for housing as well as other commercial buildings, including a dude ranch, hotels and cultural center.

The council approved the controversial development in November 2011, despite concerns from the Sierra Club, local business owners, the Havasupai Tribe and Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga. The groups questioned the potential environmental effects and where the project's water will come from, which is something already scarce at the Grand Canyon.

Town council meets today at 6 p.m. in the chambers at 845 Mustang Drive, Tusayan.

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