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SP Belize Express Water Taxi to Build Boat Terminal?

Posted By: Marty

SP Belize Express Water Taxi to Build Boat Terminal? - 08/16/19 12:31 PM

Minister Heredia spoke about the proposed construction of another boat terminal on the island. The development has been proposed to take place in front of Ruby’s Hotel which was purchased by the San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi company in December of last year. The company now wants to build a boat terminal along the beach but the plan for its mega-development is causing many concerns that it has been substantially downsized. Heredia explains:

Manuel Heredia Jr., Area Representative, Belize Rural South

“There was a plans that was done by the now owners of Ruby’s that they wanted to do a terminal at that point. There was a plan that was done and when they discussed with the neighbors they were not happy with the plan that they had. They felt that it was too big and it would be encroaching into their property. SO they went back to the drawing board and my understanding is that it is being downsized substantially to be able to do just be right in front where their property stands. I must say that in the future if the channel is build to accommodate the terminal at the back then whatever is over here will have to move over. In the meantime I believe what they are doing now will be substantially less than what they wanted to do. They wanted to do a first class. If you look at the plans it was a class. Even the neighbors said it was a beautiful plan but it is not the right thing for the area. I believe according to my last chat with the is that other than having the winds this side, all of those winds will be eliminated and it will be just the main pier with their terminal, substantially less.”

Hipolito Novelo

“Now it has your support?”

Manuel Heredia Jr.

“Not yet. I am saying if the neighbors are in support of it when they come back to it, it will have my support. If the neighbors are not in support, I’ve always been with my people like what I did with the Cayo Rosario thing. Even today, if they have been given the green light to go ahead, up to now i don’t know exactly one hundred percent what is it. I spoke with the Minister responsible and there will be no dredging, there will be no over the water cabanas. And I stand by that also. I will not support anything that my supporters do not like.”

Channel 5

Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: SP Belize Express Water Taxi to Build Boat Terminal? - 08/17/19 12:49 AM

This is really stupid. We have a terminal on the lagoon. With parking and not on the main one-way artery through town. Open the channels, make them use it. Safety will be enhanced, traffic will be alleviated and some of us may be able to park near the park and/or actually enjoy the waterfront.
Posted By: Roberto El Vagabundo

Re: SP Belize Express Water Taxi to Build Boat Terminal? - 08/17/19 04:26 AM

Originally Posted by Diane Campbell
This is really stupid. We have a terminal on the lagoon. With parking and not on the main one-way artery through town. Open the channels, make them use it. Safety will be enhanced, traffic will be alleviated and some of us may be able to park near the park and/or actually enjoy the waterfront.



It seem like they waiting for dredge longer then it took for hole new water taxi termi to be builted? Why so long?

Roberto
Posted By: Gridguy

Re: SP Belize Express Water Taxi to Build Boat Terminal? - 08/17/19 02:02 PM

Diane, if I read your post correctly, you are saying a lot of the vehicles parked on front street are using the water taxi. I never thought about that but it does explain a lot. I have wondered why front street always seemed full the last few years, even in the morning!
Posted By: Marty

Re: SP Belize Express Water Taxi to Build Boat Terminal? - 08/18/19 11:59 AM

Amen Diane.... Here's an article in the San Pedro Sun on this...

SPBE’s plans for proposed beachfront water taxi terminal continues to face rejection

After acquiring the property formerly known as Ruby’s Hotel in downtown San Pedro in December 2018, the San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi (SPBE) revealed that they had plans of building a large beachfront water taxi terminal in front of the hotel. The water taxi company is currently operating from the Municipal Dock, and is anticipating its relocation as soon as the terminal is built. However, this idea has not been well received by many islanders, including businesses and even The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC). They believe the size of the project is not suitable for the location, given the fact that it is near a primary school, and will add to the already congested area in downtown while affecting neighbors and businesses. Many also object to the location, considering a water taxi terminal has already been constructed on the lagoon side to the island. Despite these objections, the company’s stakeholders have already worked on designs for the construction of the facility and have shared such designs with some of their neighbors to get their support so they can start building the water taxi terminal.

According to those who have seen the plans, the design calls for a massive terminal over the water, complete with coffee shops, restaurant and a three-story parking facility in front of the beach among other amenities. The SPBE investors were recently on the island in the company of Area Representative and Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Honourable Manuel Heredia Jr., trying to sell the idea of the water taxi terminal. They met with Celi McCorkle, owner of San Pedro’s first hotel, Holiday Hotel. This beach hotel, which opened in 1965 is adjacent to the property that was once Ruby’s Hotel. McCorkle is a pioneer in the hotel industry and an advocate for sustainable development. Following the meeting with the investors, she spoke to The San Pedro Sun weighing in on the proposed terminal. McCorkle stated that she has been against over the water structures since 1978 because they can have detrimental effects on the marine environment surrounding the island. However, she can understand people having small piers where they can dock their boats.

The SPTC continues to object SPBE’s terminal in front of the island, and Mayor Daniel Guerrero maintains that the only place they should relocate is by the Sunset Boardwalk Boat Terminal. In January of this year, the SPTC began dredging the lagoon channel leading to the boat terminal via the services of a private company. However, the project was halted due to financial issues. Guerrero’s administration remains optimistic and hopes to soon find the resources to continue with the project. The San Pedro Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association has also gone on the record against the proposed terminal.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: SP Belize Express Water Taxi to Build Boat Terminal? - 08/18/19 12:12 PM

Originally Posted by Gridguy
Diane, if I read your post correctly, you are saying a lot of the vehicles parked on front street are using the water taxi. I never thought about that but it does explain a lot. I have wondered why front street always seemed full the last few years, even in the morning!

Yes. People park there when they go off-island for the day. this is just the WRONG place for these water-taxi services - Coastal Express isn't creating a similar congestion - but the two services to Belize City sure are. If you have one central terminal the police can much more easily monitor the coming and going of individuals. With one terminal, emergency evacuations can be handled with a level of sanity not possible now with two different companies in front. The Sunset Terminal is located away from already heavy traffic, and has good access to a TWO-WAY interior street (back street). If the water-taxis came in at the Sunset Terminal the artisan's market would be a busier and more profitable place for these folks to sell their wares. Tourists will arrive and immediately see the House of Culture and begin to visit it and enjoy the displays there. The water-taxi companies need to get on board with the idea of being positive contributors to th community - making San Pedro more beautiful and less congested. Front Street simply cannot continue to be a transportation terminal - its NUTS.
Posted By: Marty

Re: SP Belize Express Water Taxi to Build Boat Terminal? - 05/17/20 11:27 AM

Are you in favor of moving the water taxi terminal to where Ruby’s on the beach is?

The plan to KNOCK DOWN Ruby's and build an enormous WATER TAXI terminal in the place has been given the GO AHEAD. Think of the traffic, the 1000 kids RC School just across the street AND the fact that there was a $6 million water taxi terminal built at the back of the town that is hardly being used.

This is not about white people or locals...PUP or UDP...it's about self-serving decisions made by politicians that hurt everyone else.
This is absurd and I can't think of ONE reason that this even makes sense.

There is PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY being planned (not by me but I'm DEFINITELY going to be there) to show concern for the kids of the RC School and our entire town...stay tuned.

I vow to stop using San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi - it's silly but I hadn't thought of this (thanks Willard) - it IS the best way to express our dislike of this.

San Pedro Scoop

Here are the thoughts of the owner of the FIRST tourist hotel in Belize.

by Lisa McCorkle Guerrero

Listening to the talk show about the proposed water taxi terminal at Ruby’s.

Is there anyone in this town who wants the water taxi there?

My mom, Celi McCorkle, and I met w the owners of the water taxi, including minister Heredia, a few months ago. And this is how it went down.

1. THEIR reason for not moving in the back is that the entrance/exit is way to shallow for them to go in and out. It would be way to expensive for them to make it deeper.

Our answer: that’s not really our problem. You knew the back was the new area for water taxis and everyone was suppose to move back there.

2. They showed us their blueprints. Quite impressive actually. Huge docking spaces, restaurants, bathrooms and waiting area. So huge actually, over 50 feet of the building extended north right in front of the holiday hotel. I’ve been a developer for 18 yrs. I can read a blueprint. When I pointed out the them that Ruby’s only has 50’ of beachfront and their plan is about 100’ wide, they seemed quite surprised and shocked. Stating that was not possible. I proceeded to explain that quite a few things in life are subject to interpretation but not mathematics. 100’ is 100’ no matter how many ways u want to measure it and Ruby’s is only 50’ wide. I pointed out to them that even if they built entirely in front of the easement, they would still be in front of Holiday. To add injury to insult, the docking spaces are horizontal to the beach on Holidays side. Sooooo...... the boats have to turn in front of our beach to dock into their slips. To put this into perspective. My moms 200’ beachfront property, with her colonial charm hotel and one of the nicest beaches in town will now become a fuel smelling, engine noise, docking area for the water taxi. Bet u her guests will just love️ that! U guys following so far?

3. For those that don’t know, the Holiday Hotel is THE FIRST hotel in this island. My mom Celi, is known as the “Mother of Tourism” is this island. Her response to the entire group, including our cousin, Mr Manuel Heredia Jr. was:

“I am 1000% against this project. U all knew the traffic situation, the school situation, and the space situation (apparently not in the latter) and u still went ahead and purchased this property thinking u will have the political pull to make it go through. This will be the death of me. I am 81 yrs old and this will kill me. And Junior, if u want to be known as the area rep that killed Celi McCorkle, go right ahead. I have always remained politically quiet, but I will put all my efforts and my family’s into supporting whichever party will be against this with me and I will do whatever it takes to block it.” Slight paraphrasing but that was the jest.

The minister did tell my mom he would support what the ppl of this community want. Let’s see!

3. The mayor and the town council are all AGAINST this plan as well.

4. There u have it folks! This is what we know and quite frankly, this is the initial rounding cry to whoever will back our movement when we need you! Half of the locals in this town worked for my mom at one point or the other in their lives. The Holiday Hotel should be made a national monument in this country not be destroyed by greedy people who have no ties to this community!

Facebook discussion here

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Found this article from just a little over a year ago. The town council "definitely against" the proposed new terminal at Ruby's. Hmmm, wonder what changed ?

New Water Taxi Terminal On San Pedro Underused; Town Council Will Not Sanction Proposed Project By San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi

https://lovefm.com/new-water-taxi-t...ect-san-pedro-belize-express-water-taxi/
Posted By: BZ4me

Re: SP Belize Express Water Taxi to Build Boat Terminal? - 05/17/20 06:28 PM

Miss. Celi McCorkle, may I have a way to contact you? I believe you may have the answers to a question I've been researching for a few years on the hospital lots. Thank you.
Posted By: Marty

Re: SP Belize Express Water Taxi to Build Boat Terminal? - 05/18/20 04:38 PM

by Gaz Cooper

This is not rocket science is it

There was a Custom Ferry Terminal Built specifically to house the Ferrys on the island and once it was completed ALL ferries were supposed to move to the back because as the Island grew it was impossible to have the ferrys operating on the front in town for many reasons.

7 Million Dollars was spent so the front of the island could be less congested, less golf carts, less taxi's etc.

I remember it had to be dredged to allow for access to the terminal and once completed the ferries were supposed to have moved.

If it needs to be dredged I am sure the money could be raised to have it dredged to allow for the current ferries to access it.

The fact is it should now be LAW that all Ferries are now required to move to the back, should they refuse then permits should be pulled and they should not be allowed to operate until they comply.

After listening to many islanders I do not think anyone is in favor of a ferry terminal being built in front of Rubies it is absolutely ridiculous to even entertain the idea.

This is nothing more than lack of enforcement and politics

Time for someone to take a stand and enforce what was supposed to happen years ago.

========

Call To Action: Please Sign This Petition!

A while back, Ruby's Hotel was sold to the owners of the San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi - a company and service that I use all the time, recommend and like very much. They now plan to knock down the Ruby's Hotel site - the old wooden building at the south corner of Front Street, San Pedro - and build a large water taxi terminal at the busiest intersection in a WILDLY busy town. Aside from being busy for traffic - the largest school on the island, the San Pedro RC Elementary School is just across the street with about 1000 kids between the ages of 5 and teen.

A water taxi terminal brings boat traffic, taxis, hotel pick up, traffic, salespeople...

This town, already at the breaking point when it comes to foot and cart, van traffic will...break. I have vowed to stop taking the San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi going forward.

Here's is a petition (that was created by others) to tell the TOWN COUNCIL AND OUR MINISTER OF TOURISM that this cannot be allowed.

Below is a picture of this intersection.

If you agree that this should be stopped and that the water Taxi company should use the $6mm+ water taxi terminal built just a few years back (as celebrated by our minister of Tourism), please sign attached.

CLICK HERE FOR THE PETITION

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Marty

Re: SP Belize Express Water Taxi to Build Boat Terminal? - 05/20/20 11:09 AM

Will There Be a New Water Taxi Terminal in San Pedro?

More than eight hundred and thirty people have signed an online petition to call on San Pedro officials to put a stop to a proposed water taxi terminal in downtown San Pedro.  The San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi, the biggest operator on the island, acquired the Ruby’s Hotel property. That property, it is being reported, will be transformed into a water taxi terminal for this operator. But many residents have opposed the proposed project.  Four years ago, the almost seven million dollar San Pedro Sunset Boardwalk and Water Taxi Terminal was completed, yet local water taxi operators are not using the terminal. This latest proposed facility by San Pedro Belize Express has angered many residents who have been voicing their concerns over the past couple days. San Pedro resident and businessman, Peter Lawrence created the online petition to galvanize support to put a stop to the proposed development. On Saturday morning, Lawrence discussed this project on Reef TV.

Peter Lawrence, Hotelier

“The San Pedro Express moving to the Ruby’s Dock or a new dock or whatever they are going to do but they are going to move to Ruby’s. I have been informed by a number of senior politicians that it has been given the green light. We can all say – according to the area representative, whose nephew, you have to remember, owns part of the company, because he got given, I don’t know how he got given the permit to run the ferry service. And obviously it is very, very profitable. The Minister came in and he didn’t say his nephew but he did say we owe them huge thanks for helping over the corona virus. Well, I don’t know, all I know is that they were closed. That probably helped and that was probably what he meant – they closed down and didn’t bring anybody to the island, even though I think people were banned from coming to the island. But what do I know? Is he thanking them for following the law? Possibly. The other thing – if they do move, it is going to be an absolute living disaster for the town. Now, the mayor told me years ago when it first came up and they bought Ruby’s, that this was their idea and he would never ever let it happen. And all we need is the mayor to tell us it will never, ever happen. And then we should all be happy and then we can all force them back to the marina which is at the back and what it was built for.”

During the programme, Peter Lawrence summed up a few of the concerns about the project. He says that traffic congestion, safety for students and other concerns show that this is not a feasible project downtown and in front of the island.

Peter Lawrence, Hotelier

“The golf carts, all the golf-carts companies have like ten golf-carts out there. We have like a thousand golf carts that aren’t actually rented but they are there to be rented to the tourists as they come off the boat. It is a bloody disaster. We need to keep them at the back.  Now, there are twelve hundred students in the school, at least, they are ages four and a half to twelve and it is pretty much disastrous. They do not teach the highway code. They don’t tell you to just look right, left, right. They run across the road. And now we are going to have every single taxi driver, every red top, and every pedophile. And we have a lot of pedophile by the way. And look at the paper how many people get caught. And we have all of these and they are going to be just looking and sitting on the beach just looking at everything.   They are then going to take away the sixty foot of Queen’s Beach and then they are going to use all of that.”

We tried to reach Mayor Daniel Guerrero for a comment today but were unable to do so.

Channel 5

Posted By: Marty

Re: SP Belize Express Water Taxi to Build Boat Terminal? - 05/20/20 04:21 PM

[Linked Image]

Island residents oppose plans to build a water taxi terminal on beachfront of former Ruby’s Hotel

The proposed construction of a massive water taxi terminal on the beachfront of the former Ruby’s Hotel, now known Coastal Bay in San Pedro Town, continues to face strong public disapproval. Islanders object to this idea due to its location within the center of town, the commercialization of the natural beauty of the area, and the fact that a multi-million-dollar terminal was built specifically for this type of service on the lagoon side of the island. The proposed location of the new terminal is less than a block from the San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School, deeming it a safety threat to the students. This will come in the form of traffic gridlock every time boats arrive packed with visitors, paired with students on the roads during certain hours and regular traffic that already congests the area. This deems the proposed location unsuitable for such a project. Thus, the resistance from the island community is solid.

According to those who have seen the plans of the project, the design calls for a massive terminal over the water, complete with coffee shops, restaurants, and a three-story parking facility in front of the beach, among other amenities. The structure where the hotel is will be allegedly demolished to give way to the parking facility. Another factor is that the project appears to be larger than the property. The property is reportedly only 50 square feet, and the construction is estimated to cover an area double that size. Thus, they would have to build a long dock, which will harbor large vessels. One of the main concerns, besides noise pollution, is the water contamination caused by the boat’s engines, which would affect the nearby sea life and make the immediate beachfront area of nearby businesses’ (hotels and restaurants) unattractive and congested, negatively affecting these establishments. But before any works take place, dredging must take place. After visiting with the Mining Unit in the Ministry of Natural Resources, The Sun confirmed that no such permits have been issued to SPBE.

In the past, The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has publicly expressed its disapproval, stressing that the only place they should move to is to the Sunset Boardwalk. Mayor Guerrero has publicly said that his administration is against the project and will not support it. If SPBE decides to go ahead and apply for a permit to dredge, they will have to get a recommendation from the SPTC. Guerrero indicated that they would object to it and hopes that the Ministry of Natural Resources will respect their decision and not grant the permit.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun
Posted By: Marty

Re: SP Belize Express Water Taxi to Build Boat Terminal? - 05/24/20 05:42 PM

“No water taxi terminal in front of former Ruby’s Hotel” say island leaders

Island leaders have gone on the record saying that no massive water taxi terminal will be built in front of the former Ruby’s Hotel - by SPBE or any water taxi company. Both the Area Representative for Belize Rural South (Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker) Honourable Manuel Heredia Jr., and the Mayor of San Pedro Town, Daniel Guerrero, have gone on record indicating that no massive water taxi terminal will be built in front of the former Ruby’s Hotel. Both island leaders clarified the allegations that the San Pedro Belize Express (SPBE) Water Taxi had been given the green light to build a large boat terminal in the said area. They said that the only place the water taxi companies could relocate to is to the facilities at the Sunset Boardwalk on the lagoon side.

Guerrero said that they also continue on the position that as soon as the lagoon channel is dredged, water taxi companies will need to relocate to the boat terminal on the side of the island. “If in the event that they override me, I mentioned very clearly the last time, that if I have to lead any protest to stop the building of a water taxi boat terminal, I will be willing and happy to do it. This is my home and this is what we fight for,” Guerrero said. “I can guarantee to the people that no water taxi will be erected in front of Ruby’s.” He pointed out that if SPBE intends to renovate the dock in front of the hotel, they will have to submit such plans to the SPTC for a thorough review. Guerrero explained that his administration is working on getting the necessary permits to continue dredging the said channel. According to him, dredging had begun in January 2019, but was interrupted due to some issues with the company doing the job. According to him, they have once again worked out the dredging of the lagoon.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun
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