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November 24, 2017

Tunnel Vision…

RENDERING PROPOSED by the PA developer to the Colonos board last year shows marking of an automobile tunnel, left, that would begin at the Taema development across Highway 307, go under the federal highway and exit on Puerto Aventuras Blvd. near the Phase 4 gate.. The proposal was rejected by the Colonos board. (Staff Photo)

 

Competing interests will vie
for votes at Dec. 9 Assembly

Undisclosed pact faces questioning
on plan to facilitate special access

By Staff
When the Pelican Free Press interviewed Taema Air park CEO Jean Damien de Terwagne last July via emails, he underscored that Taema Air Park and the Puerto Aventuras resort across the way were two “completely independent residential complexes.”

What he did not say was that nine months before the interview, in November 2016, he had signed an agreement that gave future residents of the air park unprecedented access to the PA resort’s facilities.

Also signing, it is now known, were PA developer Roman Rivera Torres, for the resort Fideicomiso, and Chairman Jorge Kaufer of the Colonos board. The previously undisclosed agreement has become a selling point that Taema salesmen enthusiastically share with potential air park lot buyers who are also interested in beach access and other amenities that grace the PA resort. The agreement has also become a bone of contention.

Curiosity sheds light

It was only after several curious Puerto Aventuras residents recently visited Taema’s sales office in Playa del Carmen that they shared with other residents their suspicion of some sort of concealed accommodation between the resort and air park  had transpired.

“When we asked about beach access,” said one couple, “we were told we could have access to the amenities of the (PA) resort for a nominal fee.”

The couple, who refused to be identified, were furious that such a possible invasion of the resort was in the offing, eroding the future degree of exclusivity and space they paid for and now enjoy, they said. Several other residents apparently conveyed similar visits and opinions to resident Angelo Mouzouropoulos.

Inquiries were made and, a few days later, on the night of a Question and Answer forum hosted by the Colegio for developer Rivera Torres, Mouzouropoulos divulged the existence of an agreement to an audience of some 70 people. He supported his revelation with a copy of the agreement signed on Nov. 16, 2016. Responding, Rivera Torres initially denied signing it but later in the evening acknowledged his endorsement on behalf of the Fideicomiso.

Whose idea was it?

Upon subsequent inquiries, Colonos Chairman Kaufer responded that Rivera Torres had first proposed a tunnel for auto traffic under Highway 307 from the air park gate to the edge of the resort’s proposed public park near Phase 4’s entrance on Puerto Aventuras Boulevard. (See rendering above)

That idea was rejected by the Colonos board, Kaufer said. It was later followed by another proposal from Rivera Torres to sell “passports” to residents of the air park for convenient access to the resort’s facilities and businesses. He sweetened the idea by suggesting an initiation fee of 15,000 pesos ($779 USD), then a yearly fee of 1,500 pesos ($77 USD), that the Colonos would keep, Kaufer said.

Contacted last week, Air Park CEO Terwagne said the agreement was drafted jointly by the PA developer and Taema, “in a gentlemanly, friendly, neighborly manner”. He said the agreement includes a “financial consideration,” upon which he did not elaborate, nor were those business details requested.

“We did not register anyone yet as we are under construction for the moment and won’t have any residents on site until next year,” he said. The park will have an estimated 888 living units. At two persons per unit, that is 1,776 people.

Colonos board voted to sign

Kaufer said while Rivera Torres signed for the Fideicomiso, he inked the pact after the board’s affirmative vote, to illustrate that “both powers inside Puerto worked together to give Taema more certainty,” to evidently use the agreement as part of its sales/marketing strategy that adds desired resort amenities to Taema’s beach-less development.

The potential negative impact of such an arrangement on the resort’s already straining infrastructure did not immediately register with Colonos board members, said Vigilance Committeeman Carlos Suarez. Neither, noted one of the couples who visited the Taema office, did the potential for eroding exclusivity and resort property values in the long term. Nor, they said, did questions about  mitigating infrastructure improvements to meet increased demand, particularly traffic and parking.

Vigilance committeeman Tim Howard was away when the passport vote was taken. He said last week that had he been present, he possibly could also have voted for it depending on the developer’s argument. But with the benefit of hindsight, he said “…increasing the attractiveness of properties sold outside of Puerto by granting their purchasers rights to enjoy the amenities of our community without having to buy property here …does not strike me as a good idea.”

Buy here to enjoy here

He said he remembers the earlier meeting when “ we (the Colonos board) said if people wished to enjoy the amenities of Puerto, they needed to buy here and pay the  Colonos fees.”

Several of the community’s movers and shakers said there has been unexpected population growth from flagrant abuse of single-family zoning laws. That situation compounds traffic and parking woes via unexpected population from rentals of rooms or adding illegal apartments to family homes with impunity. It is a subject expected to be raised at the Dec, 9 Assembly by resident Octavio del Rio, who has become a one-man crusade for zoning enforcement.

Developer River Torres, who did not respond to a request for comment for this report, has been steadfast in his vision of Puerto Aventuras as an “exclusive” residential and tourist community. But in theory lately, the vision is not without contradictions in practice as pointed out by Mouzouropoulos at the recent forum.

Mouzouropoulos said he could not understand how the developer could criticize the Colonos board for its I.D. card policy at the main gate on the one hand and open the gate wide to residents of the air park development on the other. He has also questioned why a matter of such import was not first brought to the Assembly for debate.

Residents in general who bought here for exclusivity and security, as expressed by those who visited the Taema sale office, want to limit access to what the infrastructure and beach can reasonably handle. Businesses have expressed a desire to maintain a somewhat liberal access policy allowing a reasonable flow of customers, leaving open the question of what is reasonable?

Assembly voters representing the various opinions will debate and decide on December 9.

Still growing on the inside…

MULTIPLE CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS are ongoing inside the community’s gate and many lots still for sale, assuring an incremental population growth from within adding to the estimated 120 condo complexes, some 400 private villas and more than 200 lots still available. (Staff Photos)

Property tax collectors here
December 4 through the 15th

Pay early and get 20 percent discount

Municipal tax collection agents will make paying property taxes easy for Puerto Aventurans again this year by accepting payments at the Colonos administration office first from Monday, Dec. 4 to Friday, Dec. 8. Hours on those days are from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The collectors will also be at the Colonos on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Payments will also b taken the following week, Monday, Dec. 11 to Friday, Dec. 15, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There will be discounts again this year at 20 percent during the month of December, 15 percent in January and 10 percent in February. Credit cards are accepted but bring cash in the event there is  malfunction as there was last yer.

It is recommended by Colonos that people paying more than 10 bills send cadastral numbers to the following email: f_arandal@hotmail.com

The Mail Bag…

Negotiate end to marina struggle 

Dear Editor:
It’s been almost a year now that the Marina and some boat owners have been incapable of reaching any kind of bilateral agreement. I think that it’s a very positive action what Mr. Angelo Mouzouropoulos is trying to do is a very positive step. (I refer to “Possible break in marina impasse may be offing” in the Pelican Free Press last week.)

I really hope he can reach an acceptable compromise, and I urge both the Marina and the boat owners to do their best so that they can solve their differences.

I’m sure that if a negotiation agreement is accomplished, the troubles between the Fideicomiso and the Board of Colonos will also diminish greatly and we will be able to solve many of our well-known struggles.

I really appreciate what Mr. Mouzouropoulos is doing and I want to publicly thank him because I know very few people are willing or able to spend their time working for a common interest that serves us all.

Signed/Jorge Kaufer
(Ed. Note: Mr. Kaufer is chairman of the Colonos board).

 

 

Rock music and circus festival
tonight (Nov. 24) at Cultural Center

With rock music from the legends and eye-catching circus acts, the Rocksimus Maxximus group will present its myriad talents at the Cultural Center on Bahia Akumal at 7:30 tonight (Nov. 24). Tickets are 120 pesos and available at the Colonos office, the Colegio and at Educando Transformar in the poblado. The Colonos asks for support from residents to attend these events so that more of them can be presented for the enjoyment of all.

Trivial Pursuits is coming up at 4 p.m. Sunday, November 26 at Latitude 20 Restaurant with proceeds going to the Poblado Community Center. Owner Jim Stubbs welcomes new players to join the fun.

November dates of note: In Mexico:  Revolution Day, Nov. 21: All Saints Day, Nov. 1:  All Souls Day, (Day of the Dead), Nov. 2 – In the U.S.  – Daylight Saving Time ended Nov. 5; Election Day Nov. 8; Veterans Day Nov. 11; Thanksgiving, Nov. 23.

Soccer anyone? We heard from Thierry Defauw that the friendly Sunday morning pick-up soccer games have resumed at the Puerto Maya field in back of the Oxxo store on the main road into the village. Call Thierry at  984-877-5190 for more information. Young. middle aged and older folks can join the fun workout.


The Roundup…

We were told last year that the PA Chedraui was going to expand to meet the demand for space this year. However, we learned last week that the plan to enlarge won’t occur until next year, according to a retailer who has been waiting for retail space there for some time…

The gate access situation in PA may be somewhat unstable for the moment but in Paamul the practice of allowing visitors by trading an I.D. card at the gate for a temporary visitor’s pass has evidently been adopted. A resident there said it is the result of experiences “with some bad people” during the summer…

NORMAL TRAFFIC should return by next week just inside the main gate as workers complete road improvements. (Staff Photo)

Some area restaurants are no longer accepting credit card payments. A waiter at an area eatery shrugged when asked why, saying it’s because of the unfavorable exchange rate, adding that it was the boss’ idea. Bring cash too…

 Drug-sniffing dog at Cancun International Airport detected suspicious baggage last week and upon investigation, a cache of cocaine and hashish was found in the baggage headed for Manchester, England.

El Recodo Beach in Playa del Carmen suffered extensive beach erosion last week, causing tourist to leave the area for sandier ground despite efforts to stop the erosion with sandbags. The beach was cited by environmental agents doing a flyover recently as one area from Cancun to Akumal needing reclamation…

Hospiten hospital in Cancun was placed under police protection for a while last week after armed men intercepted a family traveling in a van on Huayacan Avenue. Attackers fired a machine gun during a chase to Bonampak Avenue after injuring the driver. The family escaped when a trailer truck separated the chase vehicle from its target and thr driver admitted tdo the hospital for treatment…

History of heroes – About 1,500 Puerto Aventuras students participated last Friday in a parade and ceremony honoring the heroes of the Mexican Revolution. The event was attended by municipal officials and the delegation’s representative…

The rules we live by…or not!

About ancillary commissions

(Page 12 of 22, unedited)

CHAPTER IX

OF THE ANCILLARY COMMISSIONS OF THE PRESIDENT OR OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

ARTICLE 30.– In order to help either the President or the Board of Directors in their functions, several work commissions shall be appointed with the task of studying, organizing and supervising the activities of the Puerto Aventuras Tourist Development. With this purpose, there will be as a minimum the following: Maintenance Commissions; Security Commission; and the Services Commission.

  1. Commissions shell be formed by one full-time member and two alternates;
  2. Each commission shall meet at last once every month, reporting in writing to either the President or the Board of Directors, about their activities;

III. The members of the work commission shell be appointed by either the President or the Board of Directors, for a period of two years and will remain in office until the new appointed members come to substitute them; and

  1. The members of the work Commissions may attend the meetings of the Board of Directors with say but no vote.

ARTICLE 31.- With the purpose of harmonizing the interest of the residents and to foster the improvement of the Puerto Aventuras Tourist Development, several Area coordination’s will be established which will correspond to those identified with the areas in the Master Plan of the same Development.

  1. Each Areas Coordination shall act before the President or the Board of Directors through its General Coordinator who will be appointed by all of the Coordinators, who in turn will be elected by their Area members and approved by either the President or the Board of Directors.
  2. The Coordinators shall meet at least once every two months, at the Association’s registered address to report on the status of the Associations actions regarding general and public services are dered by the state Government of Quintana Roo, the Municipality or the Developer. (To be continued)

 

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The end – Previous edition below

 

 

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