Something New in the Beach/Business Area!

Neighbors Welcome Amapas Junta Vecinal

Last Wednesday’s rain may have dampened the more than 30 local residents and business people who gathered for the first public meeting of the Junta Vecinal de Amapas – but not their spirits!

The Junta is officially recognized as ‘the voice of Amapas’ by City Hall, which is required by law to pay attention to its concerns and help achieve its goals for the neighborhood. 

It also acts as a public forum.  And for almost two hours the group, meeting at the Paradise Community Center, discussed what drew them to Amapas, what they value most about this unique place…and what needs serious work to make it a more vibrant, welcoming and desirable destination.

Major targets for improvement were dark streets caused by inadequate lighting; narrow, uneven sidewalks; and street and beach litter – all combining to create a less-than-inviting sense of insecurity. A shortage of parking was also high on the list, along with a sense of being fairly invisible to City Hall when it comes to public investment and improvements.

Guiding the discussion, Jae Palsce – vocal of the recently elected Junta Committee – explained that the Junta will work closely with the Amapas Neighborhood Association for positive change.

The Junta’s immediate goal is developing a Master Plan for the beach and business area that addresses traffic, parking, street and sidewalk issues, and easy & attractive access from the surrounding area to Los Muertos Beach.

Among those expressing concerns and offering suggestions were Liney Cornejo, Emperador Hotel & Suites; Arturo Tovar, Tropicana Hotel; Pastor Ric Lehman, CompasioNet; and Sid Goodman, Saturday Market Co-Op. Local residents Bill Hevener, Raul Duran and Gardner Tonigan, and newcomers Jay Siefman & Marlene Rosenbert also spoke up.

The Junta’s next meeting – 3 PM Wednesday, Nov. 27 at the Paradise Community Center – will continue public input on the Master Plan, include proposals based on this week’s meeting, and strengthening the area’s identity as a unique and desirable beach, shopping and dining destination through ‘branding’.