The Community’s Rights VS. A Business Owner’s Investment
There's a major right happening right now between some key players in the UDP. It's about a proposed business on Baymen Avenue; but it's more than politics, it's also about zoning and a community's right to peace of mind. We found out more.
Looking at #48 Baymen Avenue it is an unassuming building with a residential appearance, while the interiors are well appointed, almost plush and consummately business like.
Karim Berges, owner #48 Baymen Avenue
"It's an actual conference area to facilitate business conversation or business environment. Everything in the essence of what it is for business people where ever from to come and discuss business. They have the option to sit in an lounging area which there is absolute no cost to sit, we just ask to patronize the business. They can patronize the business in 3 different forms, whether it's for coffee, whether it's for desert bar or hard drinks, any type of hard drinks. But the main focus is to actually rent the conference rooms and business rooms."
Sylvia Perdomo, community activist
"A business center is wonderful. We don't want any after-hour drinking, we don't want any problems with parking. "
"First of all its not a night club, a casino gambling house, and I am insulted that it is actually called a bar. It's a new type of business, a new venture, novelty to Belize. And it's a business center. When I heard the rumors that it's all these things; karaoke bar, night club, casino. First of all I am not applying for a casino license."
But that business is bad for the Baymen Avenue residential community says Sylvia Perdomo, daughter of area representative and long time resident Solie Arguelles.
"We thought that we needed to stand up for our community because we don't want another bar or another establishment that has a liquor license on Baymen Avenue. We have two others, if we do that they're going to be others. Instead of just two we going to have more and that's what we don't want. We don't want another establishment that sells liquor to the public. That's why we started the petition and got a hundred names on the petition so that this doesn't goes through."
They generated this petition with 100 signatures and appeared at the meeting to object this liquor license. They did everything the liquor license board required to block this license but still Karim Berges got that license approved.
"Last week Thursday around 2 O' clock I got my certificate. The following day I got a letter that was copied to me and to Sylvia stating from the chairman as to why they approved my liquor license. By 2:30 pm I got a letter from the Local Government saying that they entertained an appeal from Hon. Carlos Perdomo. "
It came into force on Friday and as of now he has no liquor license. Berges says he is going to court.
"I am confident that I will get my liquor license. My attorney had said that you will get your liquor license. I leave it in the attorney's hands. But I will fight."
But he may have to fight against the entire Cabinet. Perdomo took it to his colleagues on Tuesday for their support against former national campaign manager.
"I have access to all members in Cabinet and Area Reps. I can put a personal phone call to any of them. I should be able to. I am the former national campaign manager. I am the founder of ACB and I have a track record to show that I am a part of society and I contribute to my society even as a board member when I was a part of Rotary Club. The Cabinet is to serve the country, how did we get there? I was denied my opportunity to make my argument. And not because I am national campaign manager, but I worked for it. "
"I did not want it to go to Cabinet. I think it is silly to have to have gone to Cabinet. I thought by having a liquor licensing board that is where it should stop, at the board. We did what we were supposed to do."
"I worked to get a government in to look at national issues. This is being petty. I did not happen to only me, I am fighting for others as well."
We apologize for being unable to air the very passionate input from the long time protector of Baymen Avenue Solie Arguelles. That was due to a technical difficulty. But she and Perdomo stressed that #8 Baymen is not the only business being targeted. They both said that they will go energetically against two others, New Hope Restaurant and the place called Alaska, which is a popular Chinese store that seals famously cold beers.Channel 7