In May, ANA officially informed the AMPI, Puerto Vallarta’s real estate association, that the construction of D’Terrace – a new 9-story condo tower under construction in the heart of Amapas – exceeds the limits of the District 9 Plan Parcial.
We notified AMPI that PRODEUR (Jalisco State Attorney General) has announced it will file a lawsuit to nullify the permits, which could result in D’Terrace’s demolition. D’Terrace’s permit and advertised size are double the living space that local law allows, and about 30 feet taller. The new development is represented by Applegate Realtors, an AMPI member.
To protect their clients, ANA asked that AMPI realtors not sell units in the building to unsuspecting buyers until D’Terrace conforms to the District 9 Plan Parcial – the zoning law in Amapas since September, 2012.
This week, AMPI President Harriet Murray published a letter to the ANA in her regular weekly PV Mirror ‘Viewpoint’ column, defending AMPI’s policy of looking the other way, by blaming the city for developments that aren’t in accordance with the law. AMPI’s public reply made two specific claims:
- “AMPI is not a judge” of the legality of developments. But actually it is. AMPI manages their MLS system to ensure that Developers meet certain standards for listing in the MLS. Promoting the sale of these properties is condoning them – that is, judging them – favorably.
- The ANA “does not have the right to request AMPI, or our members, to refrain from selling a property that is operating within the legalities set forth by the Municipality.” But, as the legal representative of Amapas, and having sponsored the zoning law – the District 9 Plan Parcial – it is not only our ‘right’, but our duty to defend this law.
Here is the AMPI letter in full:
Asociación Vallartense de Profesionales Inmobiliarios, A.C.
Dear Amapas Homeowner’s Association,
AMPI as an organization requires our members to have certain documents in order to represent a pre-construction development to the public.
Among the list of required documentation is a copy of the construction license. Construction licenses involve review by the Municipality using a number of building requirements.
AMPI cannot be held responsible for the acts of governmental bodies or judge the validity of such when the documents presented by our clients are deemed to be filed with the Municipality in good faith.
In the particular case involving D’Terrace, AMPI respects the point of view of the Amapas Association, but unless the license is revoked, it remains a valid document before the Municipality.
AMPI suggests, and includes in our purchase-offer contracts, that buyers of pre-construction developments seek independent qualified legal counsel to help perform due diligence.
AMPI is in favor of legality and planned organized growth, but AMPI is not a Judge.
The Amapas Homeowner’s Association has the right to oppose matters that they believe damage the colonia, however the Association does not have the right to request AMPI, or our members, to refrain from selling a property that is operating within the legalities set forth by the Municipality and has the proper documentation, unless it obtains a suspension or a different resolution.
We request that you make our response available on your Association Facebook for others to read.
The Board of the Amapas Neighborhood Association and Junta Vecinal feel AMPI’s position, as stated above, is inadequate, and its ‘let the buyer beware and get their own lawyer’ attitude is not in the best interests of the buyers it purports to conscientiously represent. To simply declare, “D’Terrace has a building permit, end of story” is to be willfully blind to the problem, and condoning the issuance of building permits that are clearly outside the boundaries of established law.
ANA asks ALL realtors to simply disclose to their clients the truth: a PRODEUR lawsuit challenging the lawfulness of D’Terrace – or any other new development – could result in the building’s demolition at worst, and at best may cause problems with passing title to buyers for many years until lawsuits are resolved.
AMPI claims to be in favor of legal and planned growth. But selling buildings that defy local zoning laws is, in fact, helping to undermine those very laws. AMPI can’t have it both ways.