The Tusayan Town Council for the second time in recent years has submitted a road and utility easement plan to the Kaibab National Forest. If approved, the draft proposal could eventually open the door for a large development project near Grand Canyon National Park. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.
The Tusayan Town Council unanimously voted last month to submit the plan. It would utilize two existing roads, paving one, through forest land that would access parcels owned by the town, along with more than 300 acres slated for development by the Italian company Stilo. They propose hotel rooms, commercial space, other tourist attractions, and resident housing close to the South Rim.
Kaibab officials returned a similar proposal in 2016, citing possibly harmful effects on Grand Canyon National Park and other public and tribal lands. Conservation groups have fought the development for years and say it would threaten the Grand Canyon’s watershed and environment.
Kaibab officials say they’ll evaluate the proposal using Forest Service criteria and policies but won’t say how long the review will take. If it’s approved, it’ll then undergo environmental analysis.