An Update from ANA on CALLE SANTA BARBARA

An Update from ANA on CALLE SANTA BARBARA

Do you know where you were on August 10, 2021? For those of us who spend the summers in Puerto Vallarta, it is a day we will all remember. That afternoon the excavation occurring on Calle Santa Barbara in preparation for the new development called Serena – came violently crashing down. Thankfully there was no loss of life; however, the landslide significantly disrupted the lives of those who live and work on that street. Businesses were closed for several months, some neighbors have not had water for nearly five months, employees have had their incomes significantly reduced, and no one can use the street to access the other side.

On Wednesday, January 5th a meeting was planned between Susanna Carreño, local journalist and activist from Radio Universidad Puerto Vallarta 104.3, to conduct interviews with those people and businesses who were impacted by the landslide on Calle Santa Barbara. Even though she was late in arriving, the extra time gave ANA an opportunity to share common information with the nearly 40 attendees.

One Interview Leads to Two

At approximately 1:16 pm Susana Carreño arrived and explained her late arrival as a result of her spending time with the Federal Secretary of Environment & Natural Resources (SEMARNATMaría Luisa Albores González who had spent the previous days with representatives of Districts 4, 6, 8, 9, and 10 regarding ecological issues in the city. Amapas is a part of District 9. Susana’s meetings with Mexican President Lopez Obrador had brought the attention of ecological issues and corruption to his attention. She shared there was to be a video with English subtitles of what has happened in the area. 

Susana Carreño shared with the group that the Secretary of SEMARNAT had completed her analysis and diagnosis of the problems in Puerto Vallarta. There was now a dictamen from the Department of Disaster Prevention that there was to not be any other buildings here. The Secretary of SEMARNAT will return to Puerto Vallarta on February 28, 2022. Susana offered to get us a meeting with the Mayor and SEAPAL at which point she immediately contacted the director of SEAPAL via cell phone. He offered to attend the meeting in session.

Director of SEAPAL, Engineer Salvador Llamas, arrived at 2:20 pm and was greeted to a round of applause by the remaining attendees. Robert Howell greeted him cordially and reminded him that we had yet to hear any response to the Manifesto we had sent to the City nearly three months ago. He also asked if it was true that the person who contributed to the problem – the landslide – was indeed expected to fix the problem. Robert requested a response from the Mayor and the acceptance of our Civil Engineer to

represent the neighborhood in any repairs. Llamas later confirmed that the City is looking into several

ways in which to get the work completed on Calle Santa Barbara in a quicker manner. This could include

alternative repair contracts under City direction.

While there was no money to fix Calle Santa Barbara when this new administration came into office, this week the City has finished securing estimates from SEAPAL, IZZY, TELMEX, CFE, and Obras Públicas regarding the work that needs to be done in the area. The next step will be to get an estimate from different construction companies as to the costs of redoing Calle Santa Barbara by Villa Serena.

Initially the work had begun by the developer; however, the developer stopped the work when he filed a lawsuit against SEMARNAT. The City has also filed a lawsuit against Villa Serena. The winner of these lawsuits will determine who is financially responsible for the repairs of Calle Santa Barbara. Once the work is approved it will take at least five months to complete.

Since significant damage occurred to the surrounding infrastructure in the area, Salvador Llamas made a compromise with the neighbors. The water pipes will be connected within 5 weeks. When the final work of the street is finished, the City will need to temporarily cut the service to add it properly to the street works.

NEXT STEPS: 

  • Calle Santa Barbara will be fixed. Initially, it may only be for pedestrian use but it may not stay this way forever.
  • Neighbors on Calle Santa Barbara should expect the reconnection of the water pipes within 5 weeks – approximately February 5th. However, it is important to realize that the current water issues in the city will still exist.
  • As part of the meeting held with the Federal Secretary of SEMARNAT Llamas shared that building construction and their environmental impact will be reviewed directly by the Secretary of the Environment, in order to avoid local corruption.

THE NEIGHBORS OF THE AMAPAS COLONY PRESENT

Luis Alberto Michel Rodriguez THE MAYOR
PUERTO VALLARTA CITY COUNCIL PRESENT.


The residents of the Amapas neighborhood, visitors, and residents, want to express our concern and annoyance caused by the deterioration and collapse of a section on Santa Bárbara street, located in front of where the Serena Villa was located, which has limited access to residents and visitors and has caused collateral damage to public infrastructure for electricity, drinking water, drainage, and cable and telephone services, as well as damage to private property.

Santa Bárbara Street has suffered constant damage for several years, not only as a result of meteorological phenomena or the obsolete water (potable and sewer) infrastructure in the area, but also the heavy traffic caused by new real estate developments, which has led to the street to come into a deplorable state, which requires an action plan and the intervention of the authority, for its repair and demarcation of responsibilities.

Since the collapse of the street on August 10, 2021, the actions taken for its repair have not been clear to the neighbors. The neighbors have shown their concern, and requested information from municipal agencies; yet the information has not been provided.

We request from the competent authority to:

  1. Support to control the access of construction vehicles in limited hours.
  2. Participate with the neighbors in the corresponding plans and actions to repair the damage to the street.
  3. Take the timely action of the authority in the necessary temporary repairs in order to help the traffic until the work is completed,
  4. Carry out the repair of the collapsed part, in front of Villa serena, as well as the remodeling of the street itself, and the water, drainage, electricity and communication services located in it, to restore the street to its optimal state .
  5. Study, identify and create a plan to identify possible geological phenomena in the area.

Septembre Highlights

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September 2021 news & updatesSeptember| Issue 4
Serena Beachside 2.jpegSERENA LANDSLIDE – What’s Happening?
President Sylvia Toy met with the Serena developer, Roberto Contreras, on Monday, September 20th. This edition reflects some of his comments and information.
It was a friendly and informative meeting which gave us another perspective from which to see what has been going on since the landslide occurred on August 10. According to Contreras, reducing the risk of more collapses and rebuilding the street of Calle Santa Barbara have been their top two priorities. 

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Contreras shared that bench material has been brought in to counterbalance the affected slopes. Despite this year’s torrential rains there have been many preparations to withstand the strong winds and the incessant rain. This has included plastic sheeting and netting to keep the new soil in place. 
President Sylvia Toy is actually standing on the perimeter of the base of Calle Santa Barbara.

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Neighbors commented that work starts at 8 in the morning and usually lasts until 6 in the afternoon. Contreras noted that there were three nights in which the work lasted until midnight as pipes were installed to direct the flow of water away from the hill. Given the nature of this disaster, according to Contreras, the City had given them the authority to work 24 hours a day.

Santa Barbara Street is full of potholes, some covered with sheet metal while others continue to grow. According to Contreras sheet metal was put down to prevent further rupture of the 12” asbestos pipe laid high on the surface by SEAPAL 40-45 years ago which over time has lost its resistance.

Contreras has promised to return the street to its original state once the project is completed. He also stated that should your building suffer any external damage and/or needs water, please document and notify them.
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Contreras shared the following Good News. For the following 3 to 4 weeks (approximately mid-October) no trucks will be used, only the personal vehicles of their main contractors.

Contreras noted that he work will resume once they have the geological study and final design of the structural stabilization required of the slope. Once that occurs, then they will begin to remove material for stabilization.
President Sylvia Toy reached out to Roberto Contreras in hopes of finding out what’s going on at Serena and its future plans. 

The City had not been helpful in providing ANA with any information since the collapse. This meeting with Roberto Contreras allowed us to address the concerns of the surrounding neighbors and re-establish important communications.

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ANA’s attempts at bringing in funds speak loudly as to where our members’ priorities are – fighting irresponsible development does not appear to be a priority. To date we’ve only brought in 20,000 pesos (approx. $1000 USD). Our target was to build up a war chest and the reality is that we have a small piggy bank. This is tragic as we now have consultation and scientific studies to back up our effort to combat irresponsible development.

Please Act Now!

Continued development without appropriately issued permits, and without appropriate environmental and engineering impact studies will continue to result in the issues we have observed with Calle Santa Barbara and the Rivera Cuale Condos now tottering on the edge of Rio Cuale.


It is critical to understand that when a building collapses it affects all the properties and infrastructure around it. ANA cannot continue to do our work which includes negotiations and interventions without your financial support.

ANA NEGOTIATES NEIGHBORHOOD IMPROVEMENTSWITH DEVELOPER

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A Seat at the Table

For the first time the Amapas Junta Vecinal and the Amapas Neighborhood Association (ANA) had a seat at the table with a developer prior to them breaking ground. Excuse the pun, but it was Ground Breaking!

As Sylvia Toy represents both organizations, the developers were seeking approval of the Junta. The EDGE development will be located on Calle Malecón at the site of Villas Enriques and Grupo GOVA is the development company.

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Discussions and negotiations were held over the course of several months and the developer has pledged significant improvements to the surrounding community, such as improving Calle Malecon, increased lighting, burying overhead wires and cables, improvements to the boca calles (water entrances to the beach), and conservation of the various arroyos (creeks). These are huge wins for Amapas as we have never been in a position to demand such improvements.

The Junta’s goal was to obtain observable and measurable improvements to the impacted community. Destruction and construction are messy events. There is no avoiding that process. We are confident that everyone will be pleased once the entire project is finished and the improvements are more easily seen.

More details will be forthcoming in the next Newsletter once formal agreements have been finalized.


INFRASTRUCTURE – WHAT YOU DON’T SEE MIGHT HURT YOU

Where does all of the water go that comes from the rain ? It all flows down and eventually down to the sea. Hurricane Nora‘s damage to Puerto Vallarta occurred as a result of the heavy rains that accumulated up in the mountains and then came roaring down the Rio Cuale, Rio Pitiall, and Rio Ameca. The Amapas community also has lots of arroyos, narrow creeks, where water trickles down to the beaches. Again, with Hurricane Nora and this year’s overly abundant rainy season, it is more obvious what the water and drainage issues are in the area. For years these drains have been handling everything that comes down from the mountains – good, bad, and ugly. The picture below of a boca calle is but one area that highlights the infrastructure projects that need to occur in the Amapas neighborhood.

The goal of the Amapas Junta Vecinal and ANA is that this type of infrastructure improvement be addressed through the agreement with Grupo GOVA as mentioned above. What does this mean for the Amapas community (ANA and the Junta)? Our community does not need to raise funds to get this type of work done! It will be done and paid for by the developer. An important first for our Amapas community!

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A COMMUNITY COMES TOGETHER AFTER HURRICANE NORA

Even though Hurricane Nora was only a Category 1 hurricane, the rainfall in the mountains of Vallarta created significant flooding and devastation along the three rivers that serve Puerto Vallarta – Rio Cuale, Rio Pitillal, and Rio Ameca. The damage on the Rio Cuale is what most people saw as the waters crashed into the bridge at Calle Insurgentes (on one side is Incanto and the other side is Bonito Kitchen).

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The Amapas Neighborhood Association (ANA) kicked into action and using PAVE funds, ANA Administrator, Viviana Teston, was able to bring roasted chicken lunches and cokes for two straight days to those who were working nonstop (City workers, Marines, neighbors, business owners, and volunteers) to clean up the mess – tons of mud, debris, and water.

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Even though our colonia of Amapas was spared the devastation, our members’ hearts care for everyone in Puerto Vallarta. Viviana was able to gain access to the Emiliano Zapata, Buenos Aires, and Paso Ancho colonias that were directly impacted. 

Disasters such as this help us know that we are all part of a greater community and PAVE is a great way of touching lives.
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Funds were provided through the PAVE project of the Amapas Neighborhood Association (ANA) where the focus is on providing food to locals while purchasing the food from local businesses.

Your donations made a difference! Thanks for your kindness.
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THE AMAPAS WALL

It took us exactly one year to finish the Amapas wall located on Highway 200 and near the OXXO. Not bad considering all of the various restrictions we had to contend with because of the pandemic. With the leadership of PVShares and its founder Elroy Quenroe, an ANA member, and 23 generous donors we raised the much needed funds to paint a mural on the longest wall in the center. Sharo Garcia was the chosen muralist whose mural evoked the movement and various creatures one would see in the Amapas area. That was Phase I.

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Phase II included 30 additional benefactors from the Amapas community who were inspired to commemorate and/or memorialize loved ones through the purchase of various sized tile plaques. We found a local talented person who installed each tile into the wall. He worked with Sharo Garcia, the muralist, who created another design for the second wall section focused on our beloved humpback whales. The final installation looks marvelous.Phase III focused on installing the dedication plaque on the first and smallest section. On this section we gave honor and tribute to former ANA President, Tom Swale, whose vision and work brought us the Highway 200 Sidewalk.Our original plans were to hold a dedication ceremony at the end of August, but like many other great plans, we had to adjust and cancel because of the pandemic, summer rains, and the resurgence of the Delta Variant in the PV community. We’ll still have our dedication ceremony…sometime. But until then, we hope you enjoy the pictures of this beautiful piece of art.
We’ll still have our dedication ceremony…sometime. But until then, we hope you enjoy the pictures of this beautiful piece of art.

ANA HELPS CREWS PROVIDING CLEAN-UP AFTER HURRICANE

Like many other neighborhood organizations, the Amapas Neighborhood Association (ANA), is doing what it can to help our fellow neighbors after the destruction brought onto our beloved city of Puerto Vallarta.

Today ANA provided a roasted chicken lunch and a beverage to those workers who have been working diligently cleaning up the tons of mud and debris in the downtown area. ANA Administrator, Viviana Testón, loaded up her car with roasted chickens from Pollo Ranchero on Libramiento.

With the assistance of the La Guardia Nacional, Viviana was able to bring the food down to those who are working nonstop in this restricted area. Funds were provided through the PAVE project where the focus is on providing food to locals while benefitting local businesses. Robin Spencer lead us in this most appreciative PAVE initiative. Your ANA at work

What’s happening with these large buildings?

What’s happening with these large buildings?

URGENT UPDATE ON IRRESPONSIBLE DEVELOPMENT IN P.V.

ANA receives numerous questions about condo development in P.V. and the Amapas Zone. We have selected the most commonly requested questions to answer.

Q. What are the new construction developments this year?
A. The most recent developments are a huge multi story building in Alta Vista at the edge of Amapas, SOHO. This is the tallest building we have yet to see; many stories tall, looming over Calle Insurgentes. Serena and The Creek are in Amapas. There are two new buildings in process in Conchas Chinas and several others around P.V., particularly in Versailles.

Q. We hear about PROFEPA AND PRODEUR, but do not know their functions in Mexico.
A. PROFEPA https://www.gob.mx/profepa, is PROCURADURIA FEDERAL DE PROTECCIÓN. PROFEPA so far has placed a CLAUSARDO closure on the following buildings due to lack of adequate ecological studies: Serena, SoHo, and Carmelina.

PRODEUR https://www.jalisco.gob.mx/es/gobierno/organismos/5408 is PROCURADURÍA DE DESARROLLO URBANO. It is under the state of Jalisco Jurisdiction. ANA filed a question with PRODEUR in 2020 asking if Serena met the Plan Parcial for District 9 that ANA developed in 2012. PRODEUR has responded and identified numerous differences in the permit and the legal requirements of the Plan. ANA will continue negotiations with the City and the Developer, if and when, the property is approved to return to construction by PROFEPA.

Q. What is the status of developments in the Amapas Zone and nearby?
A. Serena in Amapas remains closed by PROFEPA.

If and when it is reopened PRODEUR and ANA will work on negotiations with the developer. The Creek has no permit as of yet, but is actively selling units. SoHo closed by PROFEPA is in the Alta Vista colonia. Carmelina is in Conchas Chinas and has been closed by PROFEPA.

Q. Which groups or organizations are accomplishing all of these closures?
A. The Conchas Chinas Homeowners Association (CCHA) led the charge to bring attention to these matters at the Federal level. CCHA and their lawyer are working with PROFEPA (Federal ecological department) and have closed these illegal developments because they did not conduct the required ecological impact studies.

The ANA and CCHA have been working together on these Federal matters. However, both organizations are Civil Associations must adhere to the requirements of foreigners residing in Mexico. Your ANA Board strictly follows those guidelines.

There is an abundance of rumors and gossip that can be found online about these developments. Your ANA Board is committed to providing you with the truth based on reputable and vetted sources.

Q. How do all of these developments and closures impact ANA financially?
A. Keeping tabs on all of the developments, procuring copies of permits from the City, having an engineer and architect review the plans, takes time, energy and resources, i.e., money. At our 2021 Annual Meeting, your Board recommended a budget of 226,000 pesos to cover those expenses.

Those fees and expenses are not covered through your membership fees. Membership fees only cover ANA’s fixed costs.

Serena Development Closed!
Located on Calle Santa Barbara this development began in February 2019. Notice the water flowing from a naturally occurring stream down into the pit created by the demolition of the original building.

SoHo and Carmelina, both located on Highway 200, were recently closed by PROFEPA.

Orchid, located directly on the beach in Conchas Chinas, on the other hand, has a private lawsuit against it and it has been determined by a Federal Judge to be too tall. As a result, people who bought there cannot get their deeds, because the building does not have a legal occupancy permit.

ANA needs to raise the funds to fight irresponsible development through your generous donations. Please take a moment to reflect upon what you love about your life in Puerto Vallarta. For most of you A VIEW is at the top of the list.

The Plan Parcial for District 9 includes the colonias of Amapas, Conchas Chinas, and down the highway to Los Nogalitos. If it were not for your ANA there would not be a Plan Parcial which specifies the height and density of a building and there would be no legal recourse for CCHA to be taking these issues to Mexico City.

ANA needs your help in keeping the pressure on the City, State and Federal officials. The evidence abounds to show what happens when we work together.

Please donate today to keep ANA in the fight to ensure responsible development is supported and maintained in our beautiful piece of paradise.