April 27 2000
The aforementioned concerns result from a history of developments that have not been properly planned in San Pedro. Residential developments in the San Pedrito and Boca Del Rio areas are perfect examples of what can occur in the absence of proper environmental studies and planning. To make the land more suitable for development, both areas needed to be dredged and filled, and mangroves were removed. These efforts alone did not guarantee that residents would be provided proper living condition, and as a result, many San Pedranos live in what are considered little more than slums.http://sanpedrosun.net/old/00-171.html
May 4 2000
After a thorough walk-through of the surveyed area, Mr. Hanson stated he would make a recommendation to the Ministry of Natural Resources for a stop order to cease all surveying of this area until an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was completed. As a result of the investigation, he found cement pillars depicting lot markers and survey lines running across the lagoon to the west. Mr. Hanson was unsure whether permits were issued for clearing by the surveyors and continued saying what land is there would not support development as it was mostly peat with only about 10 acres of the area at the back of El Pescador being high ground. He estimated that in wet season, the water in the area would rise anywhere from one foot to one meter in height.
In his opinion, government land to the west and north would be more economically feasible as it is all high ground and would not incur enormous developing or environmental costs, also noting that the land in the north would be the safest in the event of a hurricane. Stating that an Environmental Impact Assessment should have been the first step in this proposed subdivision to determine if this land was suitable for development, he added it also would have alleviated the expenses of surveying should it be turned down. He cautioned that aside from the amount of money development would demand because of dredging and waste management, the environmental costs could be severe as the reef is already being overtaxed by the development on the front of the island http://sanpedrosun.net/old/00-181.html
May 4 2000 different article
The government-owned land to the west contains no mangrove swamps, is high ground that needs little or no fill and is large enough to fit an area from Boca del Rio to the Yacht Club five times over. Another area suggested is the government land further north, at the widest part of the island. This is one of the higher areas on the island and would offer greater protection to the residents in the event of a hurricane. This area makes sense since proposals to build resorts in that area have been submitted. Families would not have to commute, as employment would be nearby. The millions of dollars saved from having to fill large amounts of wetlands could be used to help build an infrastructure capable of making this town or village self-reliant.http://sanpedrosun.net/old/00-182.html
June 20 2000
Following up on this statement, The San Pedro Sun learned that the land referred to as San Mateo belongs to the San Pedro Town Council and will not be subdivided. The area is being surveyed and current plans are to sell it by the acre.
In response to concerns regarding rising crime and the lack of infrastructure, the area representative reportedly relayed plans for a "police sub-station," a "small fire truck" to serve the northern community, and a possible "landfill" for trash and garbage. Further information received revealed that the "small fire truck" would consist of a portable fire pump that would fit on a "gator or mule-type" vehicle. http://sanpedrosun.net/old/02-231.html
June 1 2000
A poorly attended open meeting counted little more than 20 people who came to hear comments on the San Mateo Subdivision issue.
It was further explained that these subdivisions were not ordained by Central Government and bypassed the regulations set up to ensure proper development.
Questioned on the means of disposing of human waste in the development, the Area Representative stated that in the initial stages it would not be possible to have the town water and sewerage hookup, but it would be done at a later date. One person voiced concern about this statement because underground channels exist under this land and empty out to the reef. It was asked what safeguards could be employed to assure that contaminates and human waste are not discharged into the wetlands or into the sea, as is happening in other developments. Ms. Arceo replied that an alternative way of disposing of the waste would need to be found. http://sanpedrosun.net/old/00-222.html
July 13 2000
In that communication it was stated that based on the site visit conducted, the DOE, at that time, could not grant Environmental Clearance to the San Pedro Town Council for the proposed development of 500 acres of land into 308 parcels. The DOE further deduced the site seemed unsuitable for residential development.
This map, prepared by Community Design Institute with environmental consulting done by the Belize Center of Environmental Studies, features the proposed site of the San Mateo subdivision area as a "Conservation Area" yet denotes the high, dry, solid land to the west, (that many feel would be better utilized) http://sanpedrosun.net/old/00-282.html
August 10 2000
As stated by the local Area Representative, the proposed San Mateo Subdivision will not be given basic infrastructure such as water and sewerage at this time. Residents who purchase a lot will not have access to clean, fresh water for cooking, bathing or drinking. Homeowners who currently live just on the other side of the cut of Ambergris Caye, are seen crossing the ferry daily, carrying five-gallon buckets, in search of water. The occupants of San Mateo will have to hike miles daily in order to secure potable water. With a lack of sewage and refuse disposal in a plan for a subdivision that is to contain 308 houses, the health risks to the residents of the island and visitors is tremendous along with being an environmental disaster in the making.http://sanpedrosun.net/old/00-321.html
January 11, 2001
Mrs. Cardona confirmed that San Mateo was indeed put on hold, but declined any further comment and referred the paper to Mr. Cardona, Commissioner of Lands. Mr. Cardona stated that he was not informed of this order and that the Sun should contact the Prime Minister or the Area Representative. Upon contacting the Prime Minister's office it was learned he was tied up for the next two days with the American Olympian Marian Jones. The next call to the Area Representative proved fruitless as she was in Belmopan but her office staff was not aware of any hold order. So much for transparency in government.http://sanpedrosun.net/old/01-23a.html
January 22 2001
The San Mateo Subdivision, involving 590 acres between Buena Vista and Punta Arena on the north side of Ambergris Caye, has been the subject of much controversy lately. The age old argument remains: Environment versus Development.
The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has possession of this land as a result of the parcel being traded for delinquent taxes. They have expressed the people's demand for land as the reason behind wanting to develop this parcel. A recently obtained copy of the plans for this area show a development consisting of over 300 lots, 26 "cul-de-sac" type streets, nine canals and two bridges. At the last meeting with SPTC they explained they had the property surveyed before submitting the above plans for development. They assume responsibility for that and will accept whatever land is approved for development. It was further stated that water and sewerage would not be available at the start of this project for lack of funding. http://sanpedrosun.net/old/00-251.html
Dec 22 2005
Press Release – December 19th, 2005 – North Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch (NACNW) – They started showing up at 8:00 AM to sign up for the possibility of winning cash prizes. By 9:00 a.m. there were 40 children, mostly from the San Mateo Sub Division, ready to start collecting trash on the north end of the island. The staging area was next to Coco Locos Bar and the plan was to work from the pull ferry to the Palapa bar. However, no one made it past The Cloisters.http://sanpedrosun.net/old/05-503.html
Sept 7 2006
The Anglican School is now embarking on its journey in education, but still needs a little more help from the community for it to be fully functional. The school has three classrooms for Infant I, II and Standard 1 children.http://sanpedrosun.net/old/06-362.html
January 26 2006
You have mentioned, the environment, you have mentioned the streets, as councilor do they encompass your top three priorities?
Yes, but I also think that there is another project that needs to be addressed and that is the sewer problem. Especially in the Boca del Rio Area, San Pedrito and San Mateo, because when the project was commenced it was with the purpose to protect our marine life (so that the sewage does not seep into the Caribbean Sea). That is were our natural resources are that need to be protected and I strongly believe that much more has not been done to upgrade the system. We are growing rapidly and if this issue is not addressed there will be problems in the near future. http://sanpedrosun.net/old/06-044.html