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#372680 04/06/10 09:49 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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CZM are planning a consultation next week on the revised Master plan. Here is a copy of their last revision from February, so people have a chance to look at it...

Consultation is scheduled for 6:30pm at the Lions Den on Tuesday the 13th of April.

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 515
I am really not conversant with what something like this should look like but it doesn't seem to me that there is enough detail in these maps to make any difference at all, e.g. the so called map of the roads of the North doesn't seem to correspond to reality. Also, without at least some landmarks on the map it is hard for me to imagine exactly what is being proposed and where.

I would be interested in hearing from any of you that are knowledgeable really what all this means (I have my own suspicions).

Captain One Iron
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 484
Originally Posted by CaptOneIron
I am really not conversant with what something like this should look like but it doesn't seem to me that there is enough detail in these maps to make any difference at all, e.g. the so called map of the roads of the North doesn't seem to correspond to reality. Also, without at least some landmarks on the map it is hard for me to imagine exactly what is being proposed and where.

I would be interested in hearing from any of you that are knowledgeable really what all this means (I have my own suspicions).

You hit the nail on the head there. "Road Network"???? Network, not so much. If that's a road "network" then my degree in Computer Network Engineering is worth nothing. Where's the network? Hopefully that pdf is maybe a blank canvas to start on. It cracks me up...for one, the network consist of ONE road...unless of course you're counting the one they show running through the river on the border. I think most of us love Belize for the simplicity of things but when it comes to matters such as these shouldn't things be a little more up to par? I mean at least use a proper map key that doesn't use the same line weight and color for borders and roads. As backwards as it is I honestly really do love Belize. Come to think of it, born and raised in New Orleans; it's really not much different.

Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 12
The Consultation is tomorrow - Tuesday at 6.30pm - Yes there is lots of holes in this Master Plan, the only way for us to fix them is to go to the consultation and point them out. If we dont then this will fail and we will fighting the same battles for the next 50 years. A proper Master Plan is sooo important.

Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 842
My understanding is that the presentation is of a DRAFT. It is put out there for feedback. That is the rational process that communities use to begin the process. So take all your comments to the meeting in a positive way and participate. Otherwise, back off and let the people committed to a better future do the work with the support of well meaning people who may have differing opinions.

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 13,675
The meeting last night was to view and give input to the First Draft. A very good presentation. The projector screen didn't fall during the meeting as it usually does at the Lions Den gatherings.
Interesting crowd. The mayor attended and a large number of people that sell realestate on the island.
Its a very good plan and i feel it is a more modern version of the master plan addressing the environmental issues with todays knowledge rather than what was known in 1989, when the last Master Plan was written.
Something I could input is my observation of the failing of the 1989 plan so possibly it wont happen this time.
The 1989 plan was a good one and it was observed and accepted as almost a 'Gentleman's Agreement' style of arrangement between local and nation levels. That of course didn't work when the other party took office.
The plan was never ratified and it fell by the wayside after the election.
The implementation/ratification of this plan needs to be done before the election or it is surely to become a waste of time like the 1989 plan. The plan, if made law, will restrict local government from some of the activities we all complain about on this board. If it is still in the planning stages in 2012 after the next election you can be sure it will be used only as a guide line and only when it isn't profitable to the town board to do otherwise..

White Sands Dive Shop
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 5,563
Well said Elbert. Now it is time to put your fingers to work and send them your suggestions. As I stated last night at the meeting; I didn't see anything in the proposal that I disagree with but there were a good number of things that need to be added. I'm told that the draft can be view and downloaded at the ACCSD web site. I don't have time to verify that right now.

Take only pictures leave only bubbles
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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Consultation on Revising Master Development Plan

On Tuesday, April 13, The Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI) held a public consultation at the San Pedro Lions Den for the Master Development Plan of Ambergris Caye. Heading the consultation were Mr. Vincent Gillett of Coastal Zone Management, Mrs. Malayka Cardona - planner and Ms. Camila Cardona - Civil Engineer.

Ambergris Caye is growing rapidly with much development on the rise and proper planning is crucial to avoid negative impacts in the environment. With this in mind, the Master Plan for Ambergris Caye is being revised as it was initially written in 1989 but was never put into law. A number of issues were presented along with recommendations as to what and how things can be done to address these issues.

Issues such as general land uses, excessive building in the town core, illegal dredging, illegal pouching, protection of natural resources such as mangroves, barrier reef, addressing beach erosion and pollution were some of the issues addressed. Recommendations included: having proper guidelines to be followed, proper EIA's for dredging and to comply with the local building authority.

One of the major topics was the zoning plan for the island which covered development of residential, commercial, industrial, open spaces/conservation areas and special coordinated development areas including proper guidelines as to how many units per acre, as well as beds and measurements for building that should be followed.

Another area of concern was that of the Robles Point which is a conservation area for turtles to nest; the land is already privately owned. Development in the area would destroy these conservation areas and put in danger the lives of the turtles. The strongest recommendation for this area is the acquisition of the land by the public sector for conservation purposes.

San Pedro needs to take charge of its development for proper sustainable development to take place, which would include proper infrastructure such as safe roads, water & sewer and the proper maintenance and upgrade of the areas.

The success of the plan will only be possible if everyone works hand in hand to make sure these guidelines are being followed. San Pedro needs to take a stand for the betterment of proper development, proper school, and protection of the environment for the livelihood of all its residents. In order for this to take place the community needs to embrace this plan before hazardous and accumulated negative impact continues to get out of hand.

Groups involved in the Master Development Plan are the San Pedro Town Council, Ambergris Caye Local Building Authority, Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture, Belize Tourism Board, BTIA, Belize Hotel Association, Belize Port Authority, Forest Department, Fisheries Department, Archeology Department, and Coastal Zone Management, to name a few.

The technical committee consists of Dr. Melody McField, Mady Morrison, Nadia Bood of the World Wildlife Fund - Belize, and Miguel Alamilla of the Hol Chan Trust Fund. The Steering committee consists of the San Pedro Town Council, Mr. Severo Guerrero, Mr. Fidel Ancona, Miguel Alamilla and the Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development.

The objective of the consultation was to share, exchange and incorporate into the document ideas and views of the San Pedro community. After discussion with the proper authorities another consultation will take place. For more information about the Master Development Plan of Ambergris Caye you can email Mr. Vincent Gillett at [email protected]


Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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// is the latest version of the Master plan that was presented on Tuesday.

Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Proposed Ambergris Caye Masterplan consultation held

    Ambergris Caye is one of the fastest growing tourism destinations in the country and as a result, is challenged with the opportunities and advantages brought on by economic development. Too often, while development takes place in the interest of promoting productive tourism activities, there is failure to recognize the basic objectives of long term protection of the natural resources of the coastal zone. This is where the long awaited Ambergris Caye Master Plan comes in. On Tuesday, April 13th, 2010, members of the community joined Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI) for a consultation on what will be the island's Master Plan. Held at the Lions Den, the consultation had the participation of Malaika Cardona, consultant and Camilla Cardona, the plan's civil engineer.

    People in attendance were eager to hear the plans that will structure and zone development on the Caye. In our haste to compete we ignore the need to plan hence, the process becomes one of crisis management and shortsightedness due to the fact that consideration was not taken as to what the cumulative impacts of the development activities would have on the reef and other sensitive ecosystems. An original Master Plan was drafted in 1989 however it was never passed into law. This original draft has now been re-worked with the assistance of CZMAI, as well as other key stakeholders which included the San Pedro Town Council, the Ambergris Caye Local Building Authority, marine expert Dr. Melanie McField, World Wildlife Fund's Nadia Bood and Hol Chan Marine Reserve manager Miguel Alamilla. This Master Plan is intended to be used as a regulatory and vision document both by the public and private interests to carry out development in the proper place and direct it away from those sections of the community that are ecologically sensitive and should remain undisturbed in their natural state.

    During the meeting, issues which were found to be affecting Ambergris Caye were discussed. Among those were rapid large scale, unsustainable development without the proper management and monitoring mechanisms in place to mitigate negative environmental impacts, excessive building density within the Town core, excessive and illegal dredging and excessive human activity within the boundaries of the Bachalar Chico Marine Reserve.

    During her presentation, Malaika Cardona offered a few recommendations such as to manage growth in a manner that is consistent with the desires of the residents by consolidating the zoning and land utilization and subdivision act to simplify the application and review process and eliminate the possibility of incompatibility between two laws. She also proposed the incorporation of flexible zoning regulations which will direct specific types of development to set sites with particular developmental codes. Land use in the town center must be maintained in accordance to the master plan, ensuring that any expansions or construction done within the town core abide by the legal boundaries set forth by the Central Building Authority in pursuant to the Belize Building Act. All necessary infrastructure must be provided, and frequent inspection visits to the proposed development sites must be made to ensure that they are adhering to what has been approved. Penalties must be implemented in case of mis-management of the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve, especially when there is failure to adhere to development procedures set forth by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Department of the Environment.

    Camilla Cardona went on to explain the zoning of the island and what will in essence be incorporated into the town's Master Plan. The Land Use zones are as follows:

*Residential: - areas of residential and all other purposes directly related with residential areas including schools, public space small professional offices, home industries, place of worship, playing areas, social facilities and small scale local shops. It includes hotels, apartments, buildings, vacation homes, guesthouses, motels, etc.

*Commercial: - includes stores, offices, banks, insurance broker, restaurants, hotels, bars, and repair shops. It also includes residential use, which might be found above shops or with commercial uses.

*Industrial: - includes areas for manufacturing, and land for warehousing, Storage, building contracting, port facilities, trucking and distribution.

*Open spaces/Conservation areas: - areas designated for conservation purposes, areas to be left in its natural state, sixty-six feet (66') strip along the coast to be kept for public use of all shorelines; parks and public recreational space.

*Special Coordinated Development Areas: - are areas that would be comprehensively planned in partnership between the owners and the planning authorities given their highly ecologically sensitive nature.

    A breakdown of the zones can also be found on the Master Plan but briefly, Residential is being divided into four (4) categories - R1, R2, R3, and R4 with R1 being the lowest density residential area. In the R1 zone, site coverage will not exceed 30% with the net density not exceeding one dwelling per acre and the maximum number of lots per acres will be one. R2's site coverage will not exceed 35% and not exceeding a net density of four dwellings per acre. R3 is the medium density residential and will have a site coverage of 40% and not exceeding eight dwellings per acre while R4, being the high density residential, will have a site coverage of 60% and not exceeding twelve dwellings per acre. All residential zones include individual setbacks and building types and heights.

    When it comes to Commercial Zoning, the Master Plan makes provision for two types: Town Core/Central Business District and General Commercial. Within the Town Core/Central Business District there lie many specifications and among them are: that the building heights not exceed three stories or 38 feet and that parking space should be provided as 1 per every 250 square feet of floor space with the same specifications going for the General Commercial Zone.

    The Open spaces and Conservation Areas applies to areas designated for conservation purposes, areas to be left in its natural state, sixty-six feet (66') strip along the coast to be kept for public use of all shorelines; and it applies to parks and public recreational space. Cardona explained that the entire beach from Robles Point north is a known nesting site for three species of turtles, two of which are endangered. This is the only point along the coast at which the reef is a national resource, which plays a critical role not only in fisheries, but also via the protection it provides for the coast, and nourishment to beach areas, and as such its integrity should be the subject of aggressive protection. The Master Plan makes the recommendations that since the area in question is privately owned, that all possibility for further subdivision should be eliminated and that the area should be zoned as R1; the lowest permitted density, prohibit pier construction and that consideration should be given to its acquisition by the public sector for conservation purposes.

    After the presentation, the consultation held a question and answer session where members of the community voiced their concerns. Some strongly suggested that the document be legalized (which it will once it has been legally processed) so as to cement the regulations which will guide development on the island. Other concerns included: who will enforce the rules and regulations? If the Minister would have the final say, as far as development goes, when it relates to approving certain structures? And, what will happen to the controversial developments already being constructed? How about transparency?

    According to Vincent Gillett of CZMAI, who lead the presentation explained that the Master Plan is available for viewing and it is highly recommended in order to understand the entire plan. Kindly email Gillett at [email protected] to get your copy. Recommendations are being accepted and Gillett explained that that is the reasoning behind the consultation, to get the feedback from the community. It is believed that once the Master Plan has been re-drafted following the implementations of the recommendations, the final Master Plan should be legalized by September.

San Pedro Sun

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