Bluestone Community Development Project
ETD Inc. completed an Environmental Assessment for the Bluestone Community Development Project in Houck, Apache County, Arizona, located about 10 miles west of the Arizona and New Mexico state line next to I-40. The Navajo Housing Authority (NHA) is the project sponsor. Bluestone's master plan identifies 200 housing units, along with parks, central plaza, community hall, basketball courts, horse stables, cafe, and local markets. Open spaces will be interspersed among the developments for farming. The community has been planned with social and economic sustainable practices and is anticipated to be a model for future housing developments by NHA.
The proposed site is located on a private tract of land owned by NHA; however the land is located within the Navajo Nation's exterior boundary. The theory is that by developing on private land, instead of reservation trust land, the development process will be more efficient; it would avoid time consuming regulatory requirements that are inherent on tribal trust land. This is yet to be determined.
Typically, things that hold up development on the Navajo Nation are: 1) inability to obtain customary land user's consent; 2) lack of infrastructure; 3) and lack of local plans. ETD's owners perspective is that it is in part, due to the mundane attitude toward development on the reservation at large.