About two dozen ANA members gathered on November 8 for ANA’s Membership Consultation, hosted by Casa Cupula’s ‘Taste’ restaurant. The meeting provided an opportunity for members to ask questions, offer suggestions, raise neighborhood issues, and air complaints, so that Board members could get a better sense of what’s on members’ minds and what their priorities are.
Board members, along with ANA Administrator Viviana Teston, answered questions and took lots of notes. Among issues raised:
· Q: Mike Lyman wanted to know about the deteriorating condition of the Abedul stairs, which many residents and renters take from Hortensias down to Calle Amapas.
· A: This is a big, complicated project because the stairs are so old and so badly deteriorated, plus giant, invasive trees with giant, invasive roots, and many encroachments by neighors. ANA conducted a University Architectural Design Competition last year to find a good design starting point, but the closer we looked at the stairs, the bigger the problems and cost to repair. ANA is currently sponsoring the creation of an Executive Plan for Calle Pulpito, improving sidewalks, adding planters and street lights, and taking overhead wires underground. The object is to present the finished plan to City Hall for approval and execution. If successful, the Abedul Stairs will be our next Executive Plan initiative.
· Q: Richard Francisco complained about loud late-night truck braking on the highway near Paramont Bay – could topes help? Also, the Bomberos turn on their ambulance siren as they leave the Casita, even in the middle of the night, with no traffic. Can anything be done…?
· A: This is really a matter of Transito enforcement. Two or three years ago, at neighbors’ requests, ANA posted signs warning drivers NOT to downshift to slow their vehicles on the downgrade in the Paramount
Bay area, which is the practice that causes those loud, late-night ‘truck farts.’ No luck with the signs.
It’s unlikely that topes will help, but maybe make even more noise as cars and trucks encounter them in the middle of the night. We’ll discuss topes a little later. All ANA can really do is petition Transito to pay attention to the problem and maybe assign occasional patrols to stake out the area and ticket offenders. Frankly, we’re doubtful that this will become a police priority, but we can ask.
Regarding the Bomberos’ late-night sirens: we have a good relationship with them, and we will make a request. No promises.
· Q: Merv Prichard also said that truck airbrakes were a problem, and expressed concern about pedestrican safety at the Hortensias intersection crossing, and asked about the Highway Sidewalk Project.
· A: Your ANA Board has appropriated funds to repaint our highway crosswalks, topes, and the center-line, all the way to Basilio Badillo. Transito has agreed to do the painting, it’s just a matter of ‘when,’ and Viviana is bugging them regularly.
In Mexico, vehicles have the right of way, and it’s ‘pedestrian, beware.’ So Transito determined the placement of our five Amapas crosswalks, not for maximum pedestrian convenience, but for maximum visibility – so pedestrians could see vehicles coming, and vice-versa. Hopefully, repainting the crosswalks and the white warning stripes will help, but it will always pay to be on your toes.
The answer on a Highway Sidewalk start-date was, we’re working on it. City Hall has placed us ‘in the queue,’ and we’re waiting impatiently – maybe a couple more weeks. (Ed. Note: Phase One has since started, and, at this writing, is about a week away from completion.)
· Don Oxford expressed concern and asked for information on the risks to condo buildings, associations and owners when individual owners advertise their units for rent.
· A: This is an issue that has been simmering for years. We know from experience that SEAPAL (and probably other utilities) have been sniffing around for a couple of years, trying to ID individuals renting out their properties, which can make them ‘commercial,’ as opposed to strictly residential. In a situation where a building has multiple owners, but a single utility source and billing ID, theoretically, a single rental unit could trigger a re-designation of the entire building, leading to a higher rate for everybody, and more frequent billing.
Unregistered, and UNTAXED rental properties may also be facing a financial wakeup call, as Mexican governments at all levels become more able – and more motivated – to identify owners who are not reporting rental income…and not paying the taxes that go with it.
In order to fill the ‘information gap’ on this subject, ANA will be hosting a MEMBERS ONLY Presentation on Mexican taxes and other liabilities owners may face. The event is scheduled for Saturday, January 8, 2018, 11 AM at Encanto. We’ll be sending out invitations soon.
· Q: Someone asked about the sad state of the makeshift stairs that descend from Hortensias, at the north end of the bridge, to the Callejon – a longstanding ‘shortcut’ used by residents and workers to get up and down the hill.
· A: Two years ago, your ANA Board appropriated funds and hired workers to transform the old-tire stairs into a solid and safe all-weather cement block stairway, and even add a railing. Unfortunately, the owner of the property blocked us, pretended to negotiate a one-peso/year, revocable-by-her-at-any-time rental agreement to memorialize her uncontested rights to the property…and then stopped answering the phone: Dead end.
Considering the interest expressed, ANA will research with the Planning Department whether there is any way around this stalemate that will improve pedestrian safety without violating property rights.
· Highway Topes: Some neighbors want more, some want to make the ones we have at Callejon de la Igualdad go away forever.
· A: This is an ongoing balancing-act between public/pedestrian safety, and the ability to breeze along the highway unencumbered and carefree, not to mention not having to endure the bouncing.
And there´s no easy, One Size Fits All answer – someone will always be unhappy because there are too many – or too few – topes on our highway.
We’ll continue this conversation, and try to figure it out.
There was also a discussion about all the new condo towers springing up in downtown, aka Emiliano Zapata. The sense of the room (well, actually 100%) was that ANA should take a strong stand and do whatever it reasonably could to encourage responsible development that respects the neighborhood and the law, and discourage out-of-scale new construction.
Last month, ANA’s president and administrator met with their counterparts in El Centro – the heart of the Romantic Zone – to open lines of communication and find ways to work together on common problems.
While not quite next-door neighbors, our two associations have common interests and similar problems. Working together makes our voices louder.
THE AMAPAS JUNTA VECINAL MEETING WILL TAKE PLACE THIS WEDNESDAY JUNE 24TH AT 4 P.M. AT COCO’S KITCHEN
2. PULPITO DRAG DERBY 2015 REPORT
3. TRASH CONTAINERS “PLASTICS BAGS ONLY”
4. PULPITO LANDSCAPING
5. OTHER TOPICS OF INTERESET TO AMAPAS RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES.
6. BUSINESS FROM THE FLOOR
WE VALUE YOUR OPINION AND HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE! ALL RESIDENTS WELCOME
LA JUNTA VECINAL DE LA COLONIA AMAPAS SE LLEVARÁ A CABO EL PRÓXIMO MIÉRCOLES 24 DE JUNIO EN EL RESTAURANTE COCO’S KITCHEN A LAS 4 P.M.
ORDEN DEL DÍA:
2. REPORTE DEL PULPITO DRAG DERBY 2015.
3. CONTENEDORES DE BASURA, “SOLO BOLSAS”.
4. TRABAJOS DE JARDINERIA EN LOS MACETEROS DE PULPITO.
5. ASUNTOS VARIOS.
6. PREGUNTAS ABIERTAS.
APRECIAMOS SU OPINION Y ESPERAMOS VERLOS AHÍ, TODOS LOS RESIDENTES SON BIENVENIDOS
The battle started a couple years ago – concerned neighbors on Upper Hortencias worried about the tons of concrete weights hanging over their heads and oscillating over the street might fall inflicting lethal damage to potentially anyone, anything.
In July, a group of concerned neighbors made haste at the municipal president’s office urging him to act on our requests. ANA’s persistent administrator Oscar Magaña remitted a formal complaint just days before. That afternoon city officials went to the crane site to leave a citation. The project engineer was personally cited and ANA’s administrator was one of the witnessing parties on the citation.
Determined Residents Walk into UMA office
Mr. Zepeda, a condominium (Las Moradas) administrator took the lead on this issue after the citation was served, and during the thirty days the engineer was given to comply or appeal, Mr. Zepeda – whom had initially raised the issue with city government two years ago- followed up with our requests.
During the first week of August, just days after the term had expired, Mr. Zepeda met with Municipal Judge, who acknowledged the time and effort invested in this and ordered the crane to come down.
Gruas Navarro was commissioned to do the job and lo and behold the crane finally came down.
Look what we can accomplish working together! Your ANA at work.
ANA Board Meets PDC Members
[Version Español] PUERTO VALLARTA JULY 30, 2014: The Amapas Neighborhood Association announced today that its Board has voted unanimously to join forces with the Polígono de Desarrollo Controlado del Centro Histórico de Puerto Vallarta (PDC), a new Association of all Neighborhood Associations in Puerto Vallarta’s central and tourist zones. PDC’s mission is to work with government entities and other civic associations to promote the interests of the combined region business and homeowners.
“The Amapas Neighborhood Association in the last 4 years has grown nearly 10 times to membership of over 300 neighbors, including 18 condo buildings in Amapas,” said President Tom Swale. “We were voted as the official Junta Vecinal which has the legal right by the State of Jalisco to represent neighbors in front of government entities. Our interests in fighting for better security, controlled and responsible development, and investment in infrastructure and government services such as trash collection and ecological protection are the same as our neighbors in the PDC. We are proud to join such a forward looking organization.”
“The PDC is delighted to welcome ANA to be the th neighborhood association to become a part of our organization,” said Ricardo Simental, General Coordinator of the PDC. “Together, we have a stronger voice with various government entities to make sure that we make good investments in Puerto Vallarta’s Centro to improve economic development, tourism, the environment to the benefit of business and homeowners whose heart lies in our neighborhoods.”
One of the first orders of business for the Centro is to develop a Parcial Urban Development Plan or “Plan Parcial” for District 8 such as has been approved for District 9, which includes Amapas and was sponsored by the ANA. “All of us must work together to be sure that these plans are respected by developers and the government, so that we can maintain the special character of Puerto Vallarta which has drawn so many to our beautiful destination in the first place”, said Simental. “We look forward to working together with ANA to make Vallarta even better in the years to come, while enhancing our economic development.”
This alliance does not affect the operations of the ANA operating independently, but as part of PDC we will have a greater voice in city affairs and with government entities.
This is a courtesy translation of this article appearing in the Puerto Vallarta Tribuna on May 5, 2014. Click on the article to read the original content.
PRODEUR WILL DEMAND NULITY OF D’TERRACE DEVELOPMENT PERMITS
Puerto Vallarta, Jal.- After neighbors and business owners in Amapas disagreed with the development D’Terrace after considering the height and density coefficients in the Amapas zone, the Procuraduria de Desarrollo Urbano (Attorney Generals’ office for Urban Development) presented a nullity lawsuit against the construction permits granted for this development before the Administrative Tribunal in Jalisco.
According to legal director of PRODEUR, Juan Carlos Hernández Ocampo, after complaints of neighbors and the revision of documents delivered by the Puerto Vallarta municipality, it was considered that there were sufficient proof to present the nullity lawsuit of the permits granted for the mentioned development; however, after interposing said legal recourse, the case was catalogued as a reserved matter while the Administrative Tribunal decides on a solution. Without going into detail, the civil servant informed that PRODEUR considered that there were sufficient elements to present the lawsuit, but the case is now in the hands of the Administrative Tribunal who will determine if PRODEUR is in the right or Puerto Vallarta’s City Hall was right to grant the corresponding authorizations.
It bears mentioning that this development’s construction permit was granted by the current administration, and architects that participated in the planning of Urban District 9, which regulates this zone, say that this development exceeds height and density allowed in this zone; keeping in mind that the permitted height is four floors, and that 41 units are expected to be built in seven floors is the reason why neighbors and business owners complaint.
The civil servant specified that demanding the nullity is going against City Hall because the permit was granted by them, and the developers would be considered third affected parties that will have the right to defend their interests during the trial.
It bears mentioning that an analysis of the urban components of the development D’Terrace done by the architect Alonso Baño Francia, member of the Puerto Vallarta Architectural Collegiate, the development exceeds height by at least nine meters and by 19 habitable units, this according to the actualization of this urban district guidelines, from this derives the complaints made.