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Old 03-28-2008   #31 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Daddy B View Post
Well done, Mexico needs more Mexicans like yourself!

Besides, when a foreigner tries doing something the stock reply is, "Go back to your country"...
Any body is fair game for scubacenote: The three leves of government. from the retard mayor to any secretario federal and beyond. In the big city where I grew up, there was not such reverence to authorities. They work for US, people!!!!
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Old 03-28-2008   #32 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Rissask View Post

I agree, scubacenote-way to go, keep it up! Mexico does need more Mexican people actively trying to preserve more of the coastline and prevent overdevelopment...too bad money talks louder than anything.
Check the rest of the series at YouTube - scubacenote's Channel

You will learn that I just put together an NGO, with about 30 local professional divers, called: guiasenagua A.C. I am going ballistic in this fight!
You will also witness the epic battle against xcaret home port, to protect tortuga reef, at:
YouTube - HOME PORT XCARET
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Old 03-29-2008   #33 (permalink)
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Oye Armando- I just realized now that that's YOU doing that GREAT work that you presented here....... this is Jo (Joana.....), saw you last in November last year when Ronnie helped you out after your car had ben toed to the Ejido.

What you do is great and takes a lot of balls.

I can't believe that esp. the Spanish investors haven't learned a single bit out of the destruction they caused with their developments in their own country- you are right: money talks louder than reason.

I can't believe what they are doing to the Coco Beach area- another jewel lost it appears.

All of this is sickening to me. Tourism- yes. But not for this price.

Keep up the great work Armando!!!
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Old 03-30-2008   #34 (permalink)
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Scubacenote - Armando! Great work, great video! Thank you so very much for fighting this important battle. We have the deepest respect for you. Dean and I have been traveling to the Yucatan/Riviera Maya since 1994 and the development we have watched over the years has been extreme and pure destruction. In the beginning I cried everytime I found out about a big development and had to see what they did to the mangrove or any nature around. Than there was pure anger and the feeling of not being able to help or make a change. We have been trying to find other less developed places in this world for our vacations or future place of retirement. Even so we found some wonderful places in Central America, the Caribbean, other parts of Mexico but no area has ever drawn us to it as much as the Quintana Roo and Yucatan. There is something so special about this region. We love the Interior, the coast, caves, cenotes, the history, the culture, the people. Even so we tried we could not turn our back to it even so we disapprove with what is going on there in regards to development and environmental destruction. We have seen similar destruction in other parts of Mexico, Dom. Republic, Caribbean. We traveled to the Costa Maya (Xcalac) than they built the big cruise ship port. We snorkeled at Chemuyil and ate fish from the local fisherman there and liked that little camp ground. No more because a big resort group purchased the cove and it will be developed if not already done so. We like Akumal alot but are watching that area getting over developed as well. We used to go to Xaac by boat to snorkel and picnic at the beach. Than we actually heard and saw the bulldozers destroy all nature around there with our own eyes for the Grand Sirenis development. We were so angry that we did not visit the Riviera Maya for 1 year.
We have seen this along so many beaches up and down the coast. Playa del Carmen could have been the crown jewel of Latin America if it would have been carefully planed and gently developed with the ecology in mind. But No, money talked and no one cared what happend with all the Collosso areas springing up and all the condos and resorts and there is no stopping. Everything is getting americanized. If we would want that we could stay here in the US for vacation. Where once have stood or stand quaint small hotels in peace with nature now they are torn down or will be soon torn down to make place for huge resort developments. Many of the little sand roads we drove down to find a pristine beach with a local family running a little bar. Gone - big resorts on most of those beaches and soon to be also Osca & Lalo's location at Soliman Bay. Xpu-Ha Lagoon where once Manatees lived in peace and anyone could enjoy for a day, than it was turned into an Eco-Park wich was still okay but than somehow the Palace Resort Developers gotten approval to build Xpu-Ha Palace on this fragile eco area. How could the government ever approve a cruise ship port at Xcaret. Just maddening and just an example of what is going on. And I wish we would have never found out about the deep injection systems the Bavaro resorts use (and who knows how many other large AI resorts) and polute sacred and pristine cenotes. We thought these resort had to put in sewage treatment plants. What happend there? Of course $$$$ When is it going to stop???? We do understand Mexico needs to make money and try to help the economy but if they allow their most precious thing, Mexico's wonderful nature, reefs and environment get poluted and destroyed than Mexico has lost everything. Eventually, tourists will not come anymore because the area was loved to death. We are tourists as well but we would be just as happy in smaller Eco Lodges. Of course since nothing will change and the big resorts are now there we also take advantage of them and stay at them some on those beaches we used to enjoy before they were developed. At least this way we can still be on those beaches. We are adicted to the Riviera Maya and Yucatan Peninsula and will spend much time there for many years to come, maybe even retire there depending how things turn out. We are actually mostly staying at Mexican owned resorts these days (Karisma & small Cabana Resorts in Tulum, restored Haciendas etc) but have to admit we have stayed at Iberostars as well not knowing how they treat the Mexican people. Mexico needs more people like you!! But I also feel you are putting yourself into danger with this fight because these Spanish Resort Developers seem to be like the Mafia or modern day Conquistatores and the local government filling their bank accounts with their pay off money will try to get rid of anyone that get's in their way of making big money. Please be careful. We have so much respect for you and your courage. Thank you for doing what you do!!! Wishing you the best for your fight and please keep us posted here on PlayaInfo. We love your country, the people and the beauty of the nature of your country.
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Old 03-30-2008   #35 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Munichchick View Post
Scubacenote - Armando! Great work, great video! Mexico needs more people like you!! But I also feel you are putting yourself into danger with this fight because these Spanish Resort Developers seem to be like the Mafia or modern day Conquistatores and the local government filling their bank accounts with their pay off money will try to get rid of anyone that get's in their way of making big money. Please be careful. We have so much respect for you and your courage. Thank you for doing what you do!!! Wishing you the best for your fight and please keep us posted here on PlayaInfo. We love your country, the people and the beauty of the nature of your country.
People! People! People! Take it easy!!!! You may be a bit confused here!
I do not want to be confused with a hippie, tree huger, radical from hell!!! That is sooooo not effective; and you know it! In order to be taken seriously, you must always give room and options for development and progress. We just need to get scientific about it! Besides, we can't say everything is lost, and that every thing is negative or corrupt: There are good people in the government as well, designing good laws, like the one my video talks about. We also have that "density law" that is now in jeopardize with the new Tulum "Municipio". We don't allow towers like in Cancun. At least we are saving SIANKAAN preserve, what I call "The Mexican Everglades". Don't worry about me too much, I carry maze, knive + I'm a black belt.
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Old 03-30-2008   #36 (permalink)
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No worries. We did not think you are a radical hippie or tree hugger.
We understand you are fighting these issues the legal and reasonable way.
And you are right some people in the government are trying to do the right thing and put good regulations in place. And it is wonderful that the Sian Kaan Biosphere has been protected for many years now. We have taken tours lead by a biologist and you are right it is much like the Everglades. We just wish there would be more protected areas along the Riviera Maya and regulation would not be bent by certain government officials. The Mangroves are so important and something needs to be changed now before it's to late and to many mangroves get torn down for developments. Keep up the good work! We just want you to know that we the visiting foreigners that love your country are aware and unhappy about what is going on. And it is so good to know there are people like you in Playa. Sometimes people look at things with very rosy glasses. We know not everything is lost but things could get worse over the years.
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Old 03-30-2008   #37 (permalink)
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No worries. We did not think you are a radical hippie or tree hugger.
We understand you are fighting these issues the legal and reasonable way.
Thanks for your attention and understanding, I took note of all the info you wrote, about your experience as a visitor. And the problems you pointed out.
I see three mayor challenges: Preserve the Cenotes, Reefs, and Mangrove; one incident at the time, one battle at the time.
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Old 03-31-2008   #38 (permalink)
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What is this change in the Tulum density laws?

Scubacenote, you say that there is a coming change in Tulum with the new proposal to make Tulum a separate municipio. Currently, the density laws in Tulum are much lower than in Playa, and I understood that the powers that be in Tulum were adament about maintaining an ecological development with lots of open space and a 2 story height limit with minimal beach development. Are you implying that this might change?

When I bought my little piece of land in Playa, I believed the rules on the books were just like in the States. I thought how wonderful it would be if everyone built according to code and that north Playa would be the jewel in the crown.

Surprise!!!! I am the only one who built according to code. Everyone else has built corner to corner and over the height restrictions, because they paid money to the city and bribes to the politicians and penalties to the SEDUMA. I will be surrounded by walls of concrete because I believed that the planners of Playa had a vision of loveliness built in to their building codes. What I found out is that the building codes are simply intentionally drawn too restrictive for developers to make outrageous profits, so they are required to bribe the city and the politicians to allow them to overbuild the code regulations. In short: The code is written to require bribery and corruption. Mexico is indeed different.

When I had my attorney make formal complaints to the city zoning and enforcement departments, the result was simply ..............Nothing. Not a response. Not a letter or call back, even though they are required to respond by law. A gringo cannot fight this kind of thing without being prepared to spend a lot of money and be ready for sudden visits by every regulatory body and utility provider in the city. It is just not worth it, and there does not seem to have any probability of success.

I have been hoping that Tulum would be the place that adhered to the ecological codes that they have promised and that the Riviera Maya needs. The current regulations support this, but you imply that this might change. Can you expand on this and let us know what you have heard about any proposed changes in Tulum and what they might mean for the development of one of the most lovely spots on earth.
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Old 03-31-2008   #39 (permalink)
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DPreefer, I really feel with you. This must be so frustrating for you having built and owning your piece of paradise in Playa and having to watch your surroundings change and not turn out the way we all had hoped for.
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Old 03-31-2008   #40 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dpreefer View Post
Currently, the density laws in Tulum are much lower than in Playa, and I understood that the powers that be in Tulum were adament about maintaining an ecological development with lots of open space and a 2 story height limit with minimal beach development. Are you implying that this might change?
I heard that some people was lobbing for less restrictive rules; but do not exactly know which group in particular. The fact that there is interest about it, makes me feel that there could be future amendments to the density law... But don't take this as complete official, I said: Jeopardize... On the other hand you are all right, what is good of a law when everybody bribes their way around it!
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Old 04-02-2008   #41 (permalink)
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So here is another doozie

So after I build a small project according to the code, and the officials then change the code under my feet, in order to get my condo permits, I have to have it approved in Chetumal by the SEDUMA, which is the Q. Roo central planning board. They decide that because they now say my 3 lots only can support 1 1/2 units and I built 3 (OMIGOD! 3 units on a 3 lot plot! Horrors!) I have to pay a "fine" of $380,000 Pesos (That's $38,000 greenbacks!) Or I can choose to pay a fine of $25,000 pesos and a bribe under the table of $50,000 Pesos. Gee! What a bunch of nice guys! It seems that the whole purpose of the Q.Roo political authorities and regulations is to rip off the gringos and screw their own people by allowing overbuilding and ugly developments without any open spaces. So this is what happens when you try to build according to the code. What do you think happens when you build an extra 20 feet higher than the code allows, add a whole extra floor and build from corner to corner with zero open space? (as my new neighbor, a Mexican builder) is doing? Well, it seems if you are a Mexican national, you do not get much of a fine. How lucky for them!!

I knew there would be a learning curve in building in Mexico, but I never expected the continual series of required bribes and thievery I have encountered. There is no recourse and there is no way to avoid these outrages. My best advice for gringos is by all means buy a good piece of good titled land. Hold it and flip it for a nice profit. Then buy a well titled condo and enjoy the sunshine. I do not think I will try to do this again.
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Old 04-02-2008   #42 (permalink)
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Dpreefer, you are so right to be angry, and I completely agree with you in everything you wrote. I am aware how bad and discusting it all really is, and I am embarrased of my autorities. I don't blame any of you guys for getting tired of it, since it seems to be endless. I will keep making my little vids.
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Old 04-04-2008   #43 (permalink)
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I am a homebuilder in the states and what goes on in Playa is nuts. Have you ever noticed the shadow that shows up early every day on the Playa Palms web cam? It is because they just built a FIVE story condo next door. Now Playa only allows THREE stories. NO PROBLEM since it is only three CONDOS high (two of them are townhouses) we just redefine everything. Of course it helps that the builder reportedly works for the Mayor.
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Old 04-04-2008   #44 (permalink)
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I am a homebuilder in the states and what goes on in Playa is nuts. Have you ever noticed the shadow that shows up early every day on the Playa Palms web cam? It is because they just built a FIVE story condo next door. Now Playa only allows THREE stories. NO PROBLEM since it is only three CONDOS high (two of them are townhouses) we just redefine everything. Of course it helps that the builder reportedly works for the Mayor.
Is the 5 story condo to the west of Playa Palms, (I watched that be constructed in 2006), or has another monster been erected to the North or South? Thanks for your anticipated response.
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Old 04-04-2008   #45 (permalink)
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More demand inevitably means more supply.
If the clock were to be turned back 20 years, in terms of accomodation availability, how many of the current "fans", and people that enjoy Playa would not have visited the area?

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