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Mid-August Breaking News, 2017

Main gate issue erupts…

….BUT IT IS NOT HIDING developing friction between the Fideicomiso and the Colonos over future gate control. Read about it in letters to the editor below. (Staff Photo)

The Mail Box…
Colonos chair tells why
gate plan funds frozen

 (In a letter to all property owners in Puerto Aventuras resort, Colonos board Chairman (president) Jorge Kaufer clarifies why funds approved by the December assembly for main gate improvements have been withheld by the board and the project stalled. Also below are pertinent letters from Fideicomiso (Trustee) Roman Rivera Torres and several residents addressing the issues.)

The Letter:

“The reasons I have not allowed the main gate remodeling project to proceed are as follows:

“The gate structure is owned by the Fideicomiso, which is the private trust that developed Puerto Aventuras. The Homeowners’ Association (the Colonos) has a free-use contract with the trust to occupy, fund and operate the gate area for the benefit of all residents.

“Last February, developer and PA Trustee Roman Rivera Torres asked the Colonos board to block the entrance gates to tourists coming to enjoy the services of various boating businesses that are in a fee disagreement with the marina ownership. According to the marina, they lack a valid contract to service the approximately 3,000 tourists per month.

“In my view, and it is shared by other board members, the fee disagreement between those boat owners and marina ownership is a purely commercial one between them and should not involve the homeowners’ association in blocking access to the resort and running the risk of affecting all residents. It is important to understand that the marina is a private company and is independent of the Fideicomiso.

“After the Colonos refused to block the gates, the Fideicomiso notified the Colonos board that it will exercise its ownership right to end the free-use contract in the required 12 months, May 2018, and take operational control of the gate.

“As of this writing, it is confirmed that the Homeowners’ Association will vacate the gate property by the end of April 2018 . The Colonos must now work to define the process so residents are the least affected.

“I point out that when the gate improvement project was presented at the December Assembly, the Colonos’ Association and the Fideicomiso had a verbal agreement whereby a new, 10-year free-use contract would be drafted. It included a provision that the Fideicomiso would refund Colonos expenditures, in part or in whole, if Fideicomiso rescinded the contract prior to its 10-year term. Unfortunately, after the Colonos refusal to block the gate in February, 2017, this agreement was no longer recognized by the Fideicomiso.

“Had the project been continued with Colonos funding, losing control of the gate would mean the loss of the investment, control of security guards, the policies and operation of the entrance. The Colonos, which places the interests of residents before business could no longer guarantee access policies in the best interests of the majority of residents. It is likely that the Fideicomiso will act first for its own interests and later for the interests of the majority.

“I base the above statement precisely on the attempted gate-blocking action taken against the service providers in the marina dispute and their 3,000 tourists, a strategy that could be repeated with any other subsidiary of the Fideicomiso.

“I also consider the fact that the Fideicomiso unilaterally “stopped” work on the Central Park project until the gate issue is resolved. The park is a benefit for everybody and had already been supported by the Assembly. Now it is being used as an instrument of pressure to make the Colonos yield to the Fideicomiso’s demands.

“Since this matter is rife with implications and too many responsibilities for the Colonos board to handle alone, I want the whole community and all residents to take part in this decision so that the will of the majority prevails.

“I have worked on the Colonos board for 10 years, and believe that an improved entrance and a public park are best for Puerto Aventuras but I wonder if the price of surrendering control and operation of the gate to the Fideicomiso is worth it.

“Some time ago, we had the Beach Club and, many years later, they came and told us “Nobody ever said that this was going to be free forever.” The same thing happened to the marina, something similar with the water company and now, it could happen with the park and with the main gate.

“I take responsibility for stopping the project authorized by the assembly, as I am sure that the result of the voting would have been different if this problem had been known before the December assembly vote to proceed.

“If I am wrong, I apologize. I am acting in good faith, as I have always done, and the worst scenario would be that the funds remain in the Colonos treasury for refund to the people it belongs to or used for other Colonos projects in 2018.

“All property owners can help by staying informed, spreading the word and making certain their condo administrators vote the way the majority of the people want them to. The decision is in your hands and I trust the Colonos will have your support.

Signed/ Jorge Kaufer, chairman, Colonos board 

Fideicomiso: Colonos
job performance fails

Dear Editor:
I did receive the letter from the president of HOA (Colonos) to all residents and owners.  I find it a negative document creating uncertainty in our community by expressing very personal and wrong views of important matters to us all.

As part of the original master plan (1988), the developer (Fideicomiso) granted land and invested in the construction of a control and security building at the entrance of the resort.  The developer assigned and granted the administration of this main gate to HOA for access control and security of the resort.  the HOA subcontracted a private security company to guarantee this purpose and has in time changed subcontracts several times.

Years later, the community (associates), through the HOA,  proposed building additional lanes for easier access, maintaining strict control and presented this as a priority. The association then asked the developer to assign a larger area of land for this purpose and proposed an extraordinary fee to build the addition. The developer assigned the land and  executive designs, and associates  came up with the necessary capital for the construction and security equipment.

The original idea came from an obvious need presented by the owners that still stands and has not changed.  The land has always been owned by the developer and legally assigned for this purpose only with no limit in time.   The funds were approved and placed by the associates for this purpose and construction is  ready to go.  The HOA president  canceled the project based on  a possible change to  a future operator.

The developer has asked HOA board members to return control of the main gate to Fideicomiso based on a deficient operation under their control.  The associates assign over 7.5 million pesos for control and security and  what we get is extensive written and graphic reports on  “how the well was sealed after the boy drowned”.

Fideicomiso, as sole responsible entity of the resort, does not recognize the efficiency of HOA in the control of main access and security.  It is the intention of the developer to take back this responsibility,  aware  through long experience that the developer can do a better job at a time when security is the top priority in the area for  the welfare of our community.

I have participated in a positive and constructive way as a vigilance committee member within the HOA for years.  Nothing good will come out of pointing the differences or whatever the other part is doing wrong, but the associates  should have a correct reference when judging a document like this.

HOA receives from the associates (property owners) over 18 million pesos yearly  to look over our interests. The Colonos does not provide water or sewer, does not coordinate garbage collection, does not coordinate electrical energy or coming fiber optics, does not repossess our beaches or remodel our  marina center. It does not handle government and syndicate relations,  does not…….  The main Colonos obligations are representation of associates, control of access and security. We do not believe they are doing their job.

The president referred to a request from the marina last May, 2017, to close access to over 3000 people accessing the resort and marina installations for the benefit of  private company’s  without authorization to operate and not paying for the services received neither to HOA nor to the operator of the marina.

Fideicomiso strongly believes that HOA did not fulfill  its obligation of protecting  an important associate (the marina) in a specific well-founded request,  did not fulfill the obligation stated for the main gate  and  misused their faculties  producing  important economic losses to an associate.   Fideicomiso believes it was wrong to link this past request to the Colonos president’s personal decision to cancel construction of the gate access building.

The president also links this  matter to the  postponement of the central park construction, which is a totally separate topic  today.   The developer began construction of the park months ago as offered and received communication signed by the president of HOA stating that any person  at the gate with identification in hand would access the resort with no restriction.

The developer conceived Puerto Aventuras as a private, controlled resort for the enjoyment of its owners, residents and authorized visitors. He is also aware that across the highway there is a poblado with a population of 18,000 people with no park.

The  affirmation by the president regarding no control of the access is  contrary to the  conception of Puerto Aventuras.  The park construction has not been canceled. It has been postponed until control of the main gate operates according to the objectives of our resort.

The president takes full responsibility on his personal decisions regarding these topics and mentions the 10 years of hard work placed in our service.   When a lawyer proposes a “pro bono” participation and loses our case, it becomes our worst scenario.

Signed/ Arq. Roman Rivera Torres    

Resident questions law
on land-use changes

(Ed Note: This letter was translated from Spanish)

Dear editor, ladies and gentlemen:
With regard to the above subject, I offer the following thoughts: I believe the time has come to consult with an experienced professional versed in the law, someone who has the knowledge and honesty to find a solution to this situation.

We cannot allow ourselves to be victimized because of our ignorance of legal matters regarding this case. If we give in, we will be ceding our rights to the greed or ambition of a small group. Common sense tells me it is totally illegal or at least highly improper for the Puerto Aventuras Trust (Fideicomiso) to be the owner of the main gate entry or the community streets. I believe those facilities were developed for general use and funded by residents and as such constitute the common property of all fee-paying property owners who continue to fund their maintenance for the common good.

Perhaps the Trust has some privately owned proportion of properties that are  exempt in the common areas, but the Trust, in my view, shouldl never be the absolute owner of all  the common areas or the green areas. Everything must be administered by the Colonos Association with oversight of policies and expenditures by the Assembly of voters.

I would also like to question the topic of the 80 lots in exchange for decveloping the proposed park. If these lots were located in a designated green area in the original project, or on the golf course, then the exchange of lots for a park, I think, could be illegal.

Likewise, I wonder why the golf course belongs to the Trust, because logic tells me that the golf course is also part of the green areas in the original project. These exchange matters should not be put to a vote because I doubt we can legally change the use of these lands. In my view, it is important to examine the following guidelines in the public registry of property:
Original coefficients of the Puerto Aventuras development, since it outlines what can be built on the property:
CAS – the coefficient of absorption the ground can handle: That points out the amount of a plot of land that must be free, that is, no construction as ceilings, floors, basements or any other impervious material. Example:- If you have a field of 100 m2 with a CAS of 10, it means that you should leave 10 percent of free area for absorption (10m2).
CUS – the coefficient of land use: The CUS indicates the maximum square meters that can be built in a batch. It is expressed in number of times, in relation to the total size of the venue. Example: – If the same land of 100 m2 has a CUS 4.0, it means that you can build (use) up to 400 m2 of construction..
COS – the coefficient of soil occupation: -This coefficient indicates the buildable land area. The rest must be free of construction. Example: – If the premises of 100 m2 has a COS of 80.00, it means that it should stop 20m2 free of construction.

Please understand that the above information is based on my own common sense as an engineer more than the intricacies of law of which I am not entirely cognizant.

That is why I urge that this matter be led by an experienced legal professional in the land-use field before under-informed voters ‘exchange’ the main gate operation or the green area for the 80 lots, not to mention the problems such a situation can befall the surrounding community.
I have faith and hope in you, the Colonos board, as representatives of those who live here or have one or several properties in Puerto Aventuras, to always place the general good of this community first.

Signed/ Ing. Alberto Rivera Arguelles

Resident moving away
‘progress’  in PA 

Dear Editor:
Just wanted to share this with you.  About six months ago, we decided it was time to pack it in, like so many others from here who have decided to move to the Yucatán, around the Progresso area.  We have been here six years and of course progress is progress.

However, many mornings I have to wait for five or six cars to pass by just to back out of my parking space which is right on Blvd. Puerto Aventuras.  It was right to call it a Boulevard.  It has become an increasing problem with more and more traffic and no one obeys the speed limit.

I have been run off the road several times while waking my dog as cars become impatient behind golf-carts and pass disregarding anyone walking along the meridian.  Even crossing the street is dangerous even though we have a speed-pump. The new SUV’s have good shocks I guess and slowing down or stopping is of no importance.

Not only that, but the young people don’t want golf-carts. They want Hot ATV’s.  This way they can speed down the boulecvard or race one another without helmets or regard for anyone or anything.  The noise is loud since the ATVs were for off-road use, but nobody says anything, not even security.

The boulevard  It is an accident waiting to happen. I, like others here, are saddened by all this, and one might just say, “Well if you are unhappy here, move!”  That is what we are doing. The moveerw will be here Sept. 1st.  and we will let others deal with the progress in Puerto Aventuras.  The reason so many came here over the years, will soon be a thing of the past. The serenity and peacefulness will be gone forever.

Thank you  for keeping everyone aware of the events in Puerto Aventuras. What you print makes a difference to everyone.  Thank you for your continued service.

Signed/ Dr. James D. Sammon

Then again, there’s the bright side…


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