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#354591 - 10/14/09 08:01 PM Minutes of ACCSD Meeting Wednesday 7th October
Short Offline
Dear Members

Here are the minutes/main points from Meeting Wednesday October 7th at the Lions Den. start 5.30pm

ACCSD has received its Belize NGO status. E-Law have promised financial and legal assistance to apply for our US NGO status which will enable US residents to give us donations which are tax deductible.

Grand Belizean Estates was served with an injunction to stop the building of the E/W road. The final court date and hearing was rescheduled for November to allow Grand Belizean Estates time reply to the injunction

ELaw visit
• Elaw - www.eLAW.org - The Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW) works in 60 countries worldwide through citizens groups, lawyers and scientist giving them the training and resources they need to help protect the environment through law.
• Lori and Maria from ELaw visited San Pedro for three days to view first hand the challenges faced by the island and to meet with the ACCSD committee. The visit included several meetings focusing on the achievements, development, goals and visions of the ACCSD. Where it is now and how to change to meet and overcome future challenges.
• ELAW have further promised a grant of $30,000bz, as well as scientific and legal help The committee is currently formulating a plan for how to best use this grant.

Master Plan: Coastal zone is still working on the masterplan although they have again missed several of their deadlines. several members voiced their frustration at the lack of movement, capability of Coastal zone and the lack of leadership from the town board. Eco-works from Belmopan have offered to complete the initial plan for the town core and south for no money down. Once it is complete they will apply for grants to pay for the work they have done. It was suggested by a member that the first step should be to get the existing Master plan made into law then allow the newer versions to be updates. The committee to look into this to see if it is possible.

Green Fair - the date was set for Saturday 14th November. Several people volunteered for the organizing committee. If any other members are interested please contact Rebecca at Seaduced.

During the open discussion one member highlighted the large development in the Sweet Basil area. A repeat visitor to the island who has experience working with MasterPlans offered his assistance to more the process forward.

finish 6.55pm


Edited by Short (10/14/09 08:54 PM)
Edit Reason: Corrected Elaw website

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#354592 - 10/14/09 08:12 PM Re: Minutes of ACCSD Meeting Wednesday 7th October [Re: Short]
elbert Offline
Grand Belizean Estates was served with an injunction to stop the building of the E/W road. The final court date and hearing was rescheduled for November to allow Grand Belizean Estates time reply to the injunction
:-)
_________________________
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http://scubalessonsbelize.blogspot.com/

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#354606 - 10/15/09 12:53 AM Re: Minutes of ACCSD Meeting Wednesday 7th October [Re: elbert]
wasntme Offline
I think its been proven time and time again that injunctions dont mean squat (not the term I would normally use) as long as you have some money behind you, i.e. Jeff Pierce

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#354617 - 10/15/09 03:25 AM Re: Minutes of ACCSD Meeting Wednesday 7th October [Re: wasntme]
Juan Grande Offline
Just for the record.
Grand Belizean Estates is a new subdivision that will be served by a new town road being built by the San Pedro Town Council, connecting Mata Grande with the Colonia San Diego area.
This is a San Pedro Town Council project, so serving an injunction on one of the subdivisions served by this road, Grand Belizean Estates, is misguided at best.




The property owners in the subdivisions of Ambergris Bay, Colonia San Diego Phase I and Colonia San Diego Phase II, have long sought access to their properties. Many Belizeans have owned these properties since these lands were first subdivided by government in 2002. The Town’s road plan #12039 showing a road linking Mata Grande to the Colonia San Diego area not only allows access to over 1,000 properties in these already existent subdivisions, but also to the new subdivision of Grand Belizean Estates.

The property owners in these existing subdivisions are now being provided long-awaited and much-needed access to their properties. In many cases they have waited patiently for 7 long years.

The Town Council's road plans were formulated with the involvement of hydrologic engineers, civil engineers and other 3rd parties to ensure that the road was designed and built in the most environmentally conscientious manner possible. I am not a professional hydrologist, but I appreciate the fact that a hydrologist was instrumental in the design of the culverts and the bridge to be constructed to minimize any environmental impact on the ingress and egress of tidal flow.

Ultimately, the question needs to be asked....would the members of ACCSD prefer that the Town Council NOT provide much-needed and long-awaited road access to over 2,000 property owners, the vast majority of whom are Belizean and simply want access to their lands?

Let's review the facts:

The Mata Grande Road Project is a San Pedro Town Council project.

The Mata Grande Road Project will provide road access to over 2,000 property owners in(east to west) Ambergris Bay, Colonia San Diego Phase I, Grand Belizean Estates, and Colonia San Diego Phase II.

San Pedro Town Council is responsible for construction of the road, and the selection, hiring, and supervision of the road contractors for the construction.

Grand Belizean Estates and its developer are NOT building the Mata Grande Road Project.

To serve an injunction against Grand Belizean Estates for the Mata Grande Road Project, is blatantly wrong. It takes very little effort and fact checking to find out that it is a San Pedro Town Council project.

It doesn't take a hydrologic engineer to know that the injunction will be dismissed because Grande Belizean Estates is not building the road.

ACCSD knows this is a Town Board project, so it begs the question why they would serve an injunction against an innocent 3rd party, rather than the Town Board itself? Easy target?

Forget Grand Belizean Estates for one moment, and answer this... What reason do you offer the property owners of Ambergris Bay, Colonia San Diego Phase I, and Colonia San Diego Phase II as to why they should be denied access to their properties? Since they make up 1,000+ constituents of the San Pedro Town Council, does it not make sense that the SPTC would like to see access provided to their properties? They should be commended for doing just that.

ACCSD represents a noble and worthy cause, and stands poised to grown in stature and significance on the island. But doing so will require a cooperative resolve to work with the Town Council and developers to make forward progress, rather than initiating and pursuing an intentionally misguided injunction.



_________________________
Live the life less ordinary.

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#354625 - 10/15/09 05:23 AM Re: Minutes of ACCSD Meeting Wednesday 7th October [Re: Juan Grande]
Krispin Offline
From Channel 5 news August 13th 2009

Mile long road of problems for San Pedro developer

Last week News Five reported on the controversial development in San Pedro Town by developer, David Mitchell. Mitchell is constructing a mile long road that will connect the east and the west of the island over marshy wetlands. The roadway will also provide access to two housing projects, one by government and the other by Mitchell’s company, Grand Belize Estates. The road construction was actually the responsibility of the Town Council, but because it is cash-strapped, Grand Belize Estates offered to build it. Construction started but at least two concerned environmental groups voiced concerns about the method and the swiftness with which it is being carried out. The concerned groups object to construction being done without an Environmental Impact Assessment and feel that the damages will be irreversible to the sensitive mangrove area, which fish use for spawning. At a news conference called by Grand Belize Estates last week, San Pedro Town Councillor, Juan Alamilla had asked the company to cease all construction until a way forward could be outlined. And the company’s consultant, Frank Panton, had agreed that if the requests were strong enough then the company would heed it. But on Monday when we checked, work was still progressing despite the agreement. Alamilla informed us that the Town Council called a meeting with the concerned groups and Panton late Monday to make clear its position on the project. We spoke by phone to both Alamilla and Panton.


Juan Alamilla, Councillor, San Pedro Town Board (Via phone)
“They haven’t stopped and they’re more or less closing one of the creeks, so I called an urgent meeting with Mr. Panton, the representative for Grand Belizean, and Mr. Elito, Mr. Billy Leslie and Mr. Jose Gonzalez. The Mayor decided to ask Mr. Panton, the representative to please stop a while and then come with a plan.”

Marion Ali
“But hasn’t the damage been done already?”

Voice of Juan Alamilla
“Practically yes, part of the damage is done so we decided to bring Mr. David Mitchell today.”

Marion Ali
“But sir how they have been allowed to continue with this project when no EIA was conducted and nothing from the Department of the Environment was ever completed and approved?”

Voice of Juan Alamilla
“Yeah well that is something that we have to accept part of the blame right because we are responsible for the northern road and, like we say, we have to take any consideration. Not because we can just go over anybody right and I tell the mayor that this has to stop immediately and we have to see what damage is there and how we are going to proceed.”

Frank Panton, Consultant, Grand Belize Estates (Via phone)
“I am saying that minimum disturbance has been done to the water environment.”

Marion Ali
“And it’s not going to affect the livelihoods of these fishermen?”

Voice of Frank Panton
“That I’m saying, yes. Once the road is up then the road settles, this is how you build roads. Then you cut out the places where you do the culverts and the bridges and all of that, we figure, that it can be done quickly. Now if the material is there already it is the worst to stop because this is the time environmental damage can be done if you leave it blocked up. They want to stop the project and if the project is stopped for five months that’s when the damage will occur.”

Marion Ali
“But the project should not have even started without an environmental impact assessment.”

Frank Panton
“I won’t argue with that but I won’t agree with that either. I won’t argue with you on that one right, it’s a valid concern, I agree.”

Alamilla says the Town Council will seek the advice of environmental experts and if corrective measures need to be taken, the cost will be borne by Mitchell’s company.

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#354642 - 10/15/09 03:52 PM Re: Minutes of ACCSD Meeting Wednesday 7th October [Re: Krispin]
cracked up Offline
Is Mr. Panton a civil engineer?

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