Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
New Market Project in Belmopan #544722
09/04/20 10:53 AM
09/04/20 10:53 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 68,995
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP
The Belmopan City Council takes this opportunity to inform and clarify for the benefit of residents of Belmopan the circumstances surrounding the establishment of an unlicensed market project in the Garden City. Residents of Belmopan are informed that the site being informally introduced as an alternative to the current market day location has not yet received the proper licenses needed to conduct any business. This venue must go through the proper procedures to obtain its Trade License as all other businesses in Belmopan have done before it.

The Belmopan City Council looks forward to working with the proprietors of this new business venture. We will treat them with the same due care and diligence with which we have treated all prospective business owners and business establishments that have come before them. The Council believes it is imperative that the market vendors be clearly notified that while we understand your struggles in the present circumstances and will continue working to optimize your ability to earn a living, you will not be allowed to sell any goods on or near this location until the requisite permits are in place. There should be no business transactions at the impromptu market as this would be in violation of the Trade License Act of Belize and the Council reserves the right to pursue all available penalties under the laws of Belize.

Re: New Market Project in Belmopan [Re: Marty] #544730
09/05/20 04:42 AM
09/05/20 04:42 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 68,995
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

A Fight For A Marketplace

p> Tonight, Belmopan Mayor Khalid Belisle and his City Council are being called out by a group of fruit and vegetable vendors. That's because they are trying to relocate to a more centrally-located area to conduct their business. But, the Mayor says that they can't occupy a piece of private property unless the owners get a proper license to turn it into a marketplace.

Residents of the Garden City tell us that Belmopan's marketplace used to be centrally located at the parking lots belonging to the Belize Social Security and the Civic Center. This area allowed for customers from Belmopan to get easy access to the vendors, but, several months ago, the coronavirus pandemic came to Belize. To protect public health and create more space, the City Council relocated them to the National Agriculture and Trade Show Grounds. According to the vendors, their customers have since been complaining that the new marketplace is very inconvenient for them.

The vendors say that they began to lose business, and so, when they were approached by the private developer, David Zabaneh, re-locate yet again, it was an offer they couldn't refuse. That's because Zabaneh has a family property located right across the street from Social Security and the Civic Center. They were basically being enticed to move near to their previous location, but there was only one problem.

According to the City Council, Zabaneh has an obligation to apply to them for a license to have his family property designated as the new marketplace. He hasn't done this as yet, and so, when the vendors began setting up shop on the private property, the police moved in early this morning to discourage and prevent any business.

Our colleagues from Plus TV News have been following this story from before daybreak this morning, and with their help, our Daniel Ortiz put together this report:

This stand-off over a suitable marketplace for Belmopan's vegetable and fruit vendors began early this morning, before sunrise.

A group of vendors, who had been occupying the National Agriculture and Trade Show Grounds, was prepared to begin selling at a new location which they say is more favorable for business, and more easily accessible to customers.

They already had set up their stalls on the private property of the developer, David Zabaneh, a property that is being proposed as the new market site.

But, before vendors could begin their final preparations to welcome early customers, police were already there to greet them with a cease and desist order. The cops were acting on behalf of the Belmopan City Council, which insists that because Zabaneh hasn't gotten the appropriate trade license to turn his property into a market, it is illegal for them to conduct business here.

Reporter
"You're packing up and going?"

Market Vendor 1
"Yeah."

Reporter
"Why?"

Market Vendor 2
"Because they said if we stay, they will charge us?"

Reporter
"That's what they said?"

Market Vendor 2
"That's what they said, those - I don't know what you call those police. They said that if we stay they will charge us."

Market Vendor 1
"They will kick us out."

Market Vendor 2
"They said that they would take [away] our license to sell. That's what they just came and told us."

Reporter
"So, where are you going, back to Showgrounds?"

Market Vendor 1
"No. I have all of my vegetables here."

Market Vendor 2
"We don't want to go back there, but we have to go back at least to sell for rice or something, especially in this crisis that we're in."

As the morning progressed, the vendors began to organize themselves into an effort to peacefully - but adamantly - resist the orders from the police.

Market Vendor #3
"Employment is a right. That is the only opportunity, we, the poor people have, hustle with a few onions and tomatoes. We want a private market for the poor. This is a call to the Mayor. Please authorize the license to this place, because knowing we have land here, it is a sin to have us over there where there is no business."

Oscar Mira - Observer/PUP Politician
"This is not about City Council. This isn't about anyone else. This is about all those people you see out here, who are trying to earn an honest living. They are trying to ensure that they can get food for their children, send their children to school. This about hard-working people who, at the end of the day, are asking nothing else but permission to go and work. I don't see what is the issue. I don't see why the City Council is taking this hard stance on these people."

Anna Banner Guy - Independent Political Aspirant, Belmopan
"People are in survival mode. The vendors are in survival mode, and they are out here because they want to give trouble. I believe that it is a genuine concern. They need to sell their produce, and we need to eat. We need to buy."

But, the cops were obliged to do their jobs and uphold the law. That meant, that they had to employ all kinds of diplomacy to convince these frustrated vendors to voluntarily leave the unauthorized market space. ASP Elroy Carcamo - Deputy OC, Belmopan Police
"I do not want this thing to get out of hand. Let us discuss it. I have been discussing with Mr. Zabaneh, and Mr. Logan, who have you all out here. I have been discussing it with them. Let us do what we're supposed to do. First of all, standing out here like this is a form of protest, and it is illegal. You have a right to protest, but you need to apply."

David Zabaneh, the developer of the property, says that he will attempt to get the license so that if the vendors still want to return to his family's property, they won't be breaking any laws.

David Zabaneh - Private Developer
"The vendors, it's up to them what they want to do. I told them that I don't want them to break the law. But, at the same time, I can't force anybody to do or not do what they want. I didn't force anyone to come out here. They came of their free will. I'm gonna do what I need to do to protect myself and not break any laws out here."

"So until we could get that sorted out, I'm hoping that the councilors, the decision-makers in Belmopan can see the - these vendors are crying for help. So, I hope that you can at least appeal to them a little bit, and let's get this process going."

As you saw in our story, Oscar Mira, the PUP's standard-bearer in Belmopan, come out in support of the vendors. Before midday, he and his party sent out a press release saying, quote: "It is hypocritical and discriminatory of them to target one individual who is offering his private land for use by the vendors, while several other small private markets are operating around the city without interference. Sending police officers to block access to a private space is uncalled for."

The Belmopan City Council sent out a release of their own, saying "the site being informally introduced as an alternative to the current market day location has not yet received the proper licenses needed to conduct any business. This venue must go through the proper procedures to obtain its Trade License as all other businesses in Belmopan have done before it. The Belmopan City Council looks forward to working with the proprietors of this new business venture. We will treat them with the same due care and diligence with which we have treated all prospective business owners and business establishments that have come before them." End quote.

They close out their press release by saying, "There should be no business transactions at the impromptu market, as this would be in violation of the Trade License Act of Belize... The Council reserves the right to pursue all available penalties under the laws of Belize."

Channel 7


Re: New Market Project in Belmopan [Re: Marty] #544917
09/15/20 04:23 AM
09/15/20 04:23 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 68,995
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

Belmopan Private Market Situation May Come to a Compromise

We've been reporting on the dispute in Belmopan over a private property being used as a downtown marketplace for vendors.

As we told you 10 days ago, Belmopan's marketplace used to be centrally located in the heart of the city, but when the coronavirus came to Belize it had to be moved. To protect public health and create more space, the City Council relocated the fruit and vegetable vendors to the National Agriculture and Trade Show Grounds - inconvenient for both vendors and their customers. The vendors were losing business, and that's when they were approached by the private developer, David Zabaneh, offering them to re-locate to his family property right across the street from Social Security and the Civic Center. But the City Council said that new location needed a special license - and without that, the police shut it down.

Today, a second round of talks to regularise this impromptu private market space was held between the Belmopan city council and the landowner. Plus TV spoke to them when they came out of that meeting:

David Zabaneh, Landwoner
"I'm here complying or do my best to comply with what the council requires."

Norman Moore, Attorney for D. Zabaneh
"I was surprise that the area representative was here as you all have seen. Today was a very significant day, it was a good day. I can't say it was bad. There are certain issues that need to be iron out. My client is of the opinion that he can get that done and he will get that done in a timely manner. What we are trying to do is trying and put forward our view at and to to say that this is not a fly-by-night thing. This is one that will come and try to change the entire aesthetics of the city and trying to make Belmopan look and keep that vibe."

Reporter
"You expressed surprise at the area rep. being here. Why is that and what role did he play in this meeting?"

Norman Moore, Attorney for D. Zabaneh
"I expressed surprise because the last time I was here, it was just the council and I believe it was just going to be the council that would have their input in it since they have the management of the city. For them to invite the area rep. in here it does speak leaps and bounds to say that well they want to get it off the ground, which that was his sentiment coming into this whole thing."

David Zabaneh, Landwoner
"We are not here to challenge the system - they are coming up with new rules for this project and what I should have been a straightforward process turned out to this. So, we are trying to comply. Our main goal is to get the vendors back into central Belmopan and get them selling. I hope that sooner we can come to an agreement and a solution to get the market up and running."

Norman Moore, Attorney for D. Zabaneh
"My best advice is I guess to have a little more patience. We don't want to rush anything. Again, we might have another strike or another uprising or something like that. We don't want that. So just bare a little more patience with the developer and with the city council and as soon as we work out all these logistics then you will be free to come and sell your produce."

We'll keep following the progress.

Channel 7


Re: New Market Project in Belmopan [Re: Marty] #544944
09/16/20 04:51 AM
09/16/20 04:51 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 68,995
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

Belmopan CitCo, Area Rep John Saldivar & Developer David Zabaneh Meet over Market Issue in the Capital City!

On the morning of September fourth, more than thirty vendors from Belmopan and surrounding communities were up in arms because they were removed from the proposed site of the Belmopan Market Plaza, which sits on the south ring road and the Bliss Parade in the capital. The vendors complained bitterly that current market arrangements are just not working out for them so they were ready to take their business on the property of private developer David Zabaneh. And as we showed you – police didn’t allow them to do that. So, to date, no one has been allowed to conduct business from the site. And as we had reported, the city council issued a statement to say that they developer needed the proper license to conduct business from the property. Well, today, Zabaneh and his attorney met with Mayor Khalid Belisle, his city councilors and the area representative John Saldivar. We were outside the Belmopan City Council following the meeting to find out what’s the status of the proposed market space. Here’s the story.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

What’s the future of the proposed Belmopan Market Plaza? Developer David Zabaneh and his attorney Norman Moore attended a meeting today with the Belmopan City Council to find that out. Area Representative John Saldivar – who we caught leaving the premises shortly after eleven – was also a part of the meeting. Attorney Moore tells us about what transpired inside.

Norman Moore, Attorney for David Zabaneh

“In this meeting, I should point out this is the second meeting which is very good because we are progressing and we are trying to get this market up and running. I was surprised that the area representative was here as you all have seen. Today was a very significant day. It was a good day. I can’t say it was bad. There are certain issues that need to be ironed out. My client is of the opinion that he can get that done and he will get that done in a timely manner, nuh, I mean sometime this week I would believe. It is just a dialogue that we want to have with the council because the council wants to have input in this thing and we understand their concerns and what we are trying to do is to try and put forward our view and to say this is not a fly by night thing. This is one that will come and try to change the entire aesthetics of the city and this will try and keep that vibe.”

Andrea Polanco

“Sir, you expressed surprise at the area rep being here. Why is that and what role did he play in this meeting?”

Norman Moore

“I expressed surprise because the last time I was here, it was just the council and I believe it was just going to be the council that would have their input in it since they have the management of the city. Since they invited the area rep in here it does speak leaps and bounds to say they want to get it off the ground which that was his sentiment coming into this whole thing.”

Over a week ago, when vendors tried to set up tents and sell – they were removed. That’s because according to the City Council, Zabaneh doesn’t hold a trade license to operate a market. Today, we asked Moore if this issue has been sorted out:

Norman Moore

“Currently not as yet. It hasn’t been fully worked out as yet because you know this is something new to Belmopan. But the Council needs to go and reassess the fees that they need to charge because you have to remember that you won’t only have peddlers there but you will also have those who will have a general trade license. So, there is an instance where they will need to go and recalculate and come back to us with a figure.”

…and with all the paper-work to be done and requirements to be met, it means that the vendors will have to wait it out before they are able to sell from this new site. While there is no projected date for the completion of the project – complying with the Council’s requirements indicates there will be a delay for the developer – he can, however, go ahead and develop his property with some conditions.

Norman Moore

“I mean it does affect the project substantially because my client has already put down thousands of dollars into the land already as you all had seen. It is a pause in the whole construction or getting it to completion but I am happy to say that the council is willing to collaborate with us which is a good sign.”

Andrea Polanco

“So, for now your client holds off on the development of this property?”

Norman Moore

“No. He doesn’t hold off on everything. He can still go ahead and develop the land and try to process and get everything up to what they want, or their standard that they want because I believe their whole thing is the aesthetics of how it would look. I understand that the Belmopan residents don’t want another “tent city” as what they said in there. But that is not the plan that my client has for this project any at all.”

…and after the meeting today, developer David Zabaneh says he is hopeful that they can chart a way forward that is in line with the Council’s vision for the Capital City.

David Zabaneh, Developer

“We are not here to challenge the system – they are coming up with new rules for this project and what I should have been a straightforward process turned out to this. So, we are trying to comply. Our main goal is to get the vendors back into central Belmopan and get them selling. There is a huge time issue here where we need them working again. We need to put them to work.   I hope that sooner we can come to an agreement and a solution to get the market up and running.”

Andrea Polanco

“Are you leaving this meeting feeling hopeful – moving forward?”

David Zabaneh

“Yes, I believe so. So far I have taken a lot of hits in the past. It is nothing I can’t overcome. It is nothing we can’t overcome. So, yes.”

Channel 5



Links
Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!
Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
Maruba Beach Klub and Spa is the premiere Secret Beach spa and restaurant located on the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean Sea at the center of Secret Beach, Belize
First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler
First Class Accommodations for the Budget Traveler

Things to do

News
Daily News
Daily Weather

Classified Ads
BelizeNews.com
San Pedro Sun
Ambergris Today
SP Town Council
Channel 7
Channel 5
Amandala
ReefTV
Love FM
The Reporter
PLUS TV
TV Newscasts
Radio Stations

Click for our
Search thousands of Belizean-only websites

Event Guides
Event Calendar
Specials & Events
Things to Do
SanPedroScoop
iTravel Belize
Paradise Theater
San Pedro Fun Finder
Paradise Guy Event Calendar
Cayo Event Calendar

Blogs
San Pedro Scoop!
Tia Chocolate
Tacogirl
My Beautiful Belize
I-Travel Belize
Belize Adventure
Belize Hub
Romantic Travel
Belize Happy Adventures
Conch Creative
Caribbean Culture & Lifestyle
More Blogs...
Search thousands of Belizean-only websites
White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Click for Ian Anderson's Caves Branch, Welcome to a World of Adventure
Lil Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
September
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30
Cayo Espanto
Click for Cayo Espanto, and have your own private island
More Links
Click for exciting and adventurous tours of Belize with Katie Valk!
ShoutChat Box
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 127 guests, and 0 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Statistics
Forums44
Topics72,278
Posts483,261
Members19,701
Most Online2,982
Jan 29th, 2019



AmbergrisCaye.com CayeCaulker.org HELP! Visitor Center Goods & Services San Pedro Town
BelizeSearch.com Message Board Lodging Diving Fishing Things to Do History
BelizeNews.com Maps Phonebook Belize Business Directory
BelizeCards.com Picture of the Day

The opinions and views expressed on this board are the subjective opinions of Ambergris Caye Message Board members
and not of the Ambergris Caye Message Board its affiliates, or its employees.

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.1