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City Council votes in favor of Development Plan for Puerto Morelos

By KATHY LORETTA
La Voz de Mexico


With 13 votes in favor, four against and three abstentions, Cancun’s City Councilmen approved the controversial Urban Development Plan for Puerto Morelos.

The plan forecasts the building of 23,000 homes on the west side of the town of Puerto Morelos in an area very susceptible to flooding. After Hurricane Wilma hit in 2005 that area was flooded by four feet of water for several months.
The plan was modified from the original Urban Development Project, which called for a growth of 280,000 residents. The new plan foresees housing for 151,000 new residents in Puerto Morelos.

While the City Council debated and voted on the plan residents of Puerto Morelos protested outside City Hall saying they had not been given the opportunity to express their scientific findings at length.

During the protest, hydrobiologists, specialists in sustainable development, scientists, marine biologists, architects, world-renowned coral reef experts, business people, tour operators and children spoke about the lack of basic infrastructure that the town has at present. Bringing in such a large development without proper planning could kill the coral reef, which is one of Puerto Morelos' main tourist attractions.

Some of the arguments used against the development plan were:
-Projected growth in areas of high flooding
-An increase in the population of a town that already lacks basic services
-Infrastructure that was promised 10 years ago has never materialized
-The proposed population growth would put great pressure on natural resources, a demand for a magnitude of water, which currently does not reach the 10,000 people living in Puerto Morelos.

Councilwoman Berenice Polanco from the Convergence Party congratulated the community of Puerto Morelos saying, “There is a large scientific community in Puerto Morelos that has been advising the residents. I am happy for their participation because they are not only critical but also proactive. They have every right to protest and I commend them for that.”

Last year residents asked that two members of the community be named as representatives on the Municipal Committee of Housing and Urban Development; an academic and a citizen. That petition was ignored.

Many mentioned that the plan was put on the "fast track" to be approved by the city council this year. They argue that this is not an urban development plan but rather a Real Estate Business Plan, which would generate a demographic explosion without any possible sustainability.

This new plan also had a modification in the number of hotel rooms to be built in Puerto Morelos. It dropped from 14,580 rooms to 10,973 rooms.

Environmentalists, who have spearheaded the protest against the Urban Development Plan, along with the scientific community said the signing of the new plan was the “death sentence for Puerto Morelos.”
They argue that the wide fringe of mangroves in Puerto Morelos is threatened by the new Development Plan because over densification would lead to its demise.



 


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This page was updated in April 2012
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This website is all about Puerto Morelos, a beautiful Mexican fishing village on the ocean, between the resort towns of Playa del Carmen and Cancun, Mexico. Puerto Morelos is unique because it has maintained it's genuine "fishing village" atmosphere. Here you can snorkel, fish, explore jungle and Mayan ruins without being in a crowded resort town. Our beaches are wide, clean and practically deserted. Puerto Morelos features top restaurants serving great food to all budgets. Our shopping is unique and low-pressure, like our bookstore. A unique collection of 20,000 books  in a small Mexican fishing village. It's quirky and cool...kind of like Puerto Morelos. Sign up for our free newsletter on this page to sample the town, and plan your next vacation to Puerto Morelos.