WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8, 2017
TODOS SANTOS, BAJA CALIFORNIA SUR, MEXICO – In a stunning move to force orderly development, appropriate use of resources and protection of the environment in and around this Pueblo Magico, attorney John Moreno and some 200 local plaintiffs filed lawsuits in the offices of state Governor Carlos Mendoza Davis, Municipal President of La Paz Armando Martínez Vega and 3 governmental agencies for failure to follow and enforce the government’s own Master Development Plan (PDU), known as the Subregional Urban Development Program, Todos Santos – Pescadero – Las Playitas.
Elena Moreno, who served on the commission to design the PDU, explained, “The Master Development Plan (PDU), which took six years to design and approve, was a major collaborative effort between government agencies, civil society, businesses, NGOs, and developers. It provides a comprehensive urban planning guide for development of the fragile Pacific coastal environment from Elias Calles in the south, through Pescadero and Todos Santos, and continuing north to Las Playitas. The plan addresses land-use, environmental planning and protection, zoning, infrastructure, social development, economic development, population growth, urban image and architecture, and transportation planning.”
Recent development activities, including the mega development Tres Santos, as well as smaller projects, have challenged the dwindling aquifer, forced fishermen off their traditional beaches, damaged fragile sand dunes along the coast, and destroyed endangered plants that protect the coast, according to the plaintiffs.
The lawsuits were delivered last week to Lic. Carlos Mendoza Davis, Governor of Baja California Sur; La Paz Presidente Municipal Armando Martínez Vega; the Secretary for Economic Development, Environment and Natural Resources; the State Secretary of Urban Planning, Infrastructure and Transportation; and the Director General of Urban Development.
The voluminous complaint was filed with state and municipal authorities.
The plaintiffs contend that the government officials issued permits for the development of Tres Santos in violation of the PDU. The plaintiffs include all of the fishermen from the Punta Lobos Fishermen’s Cooperative as well as members of the community and local businesses. This is a major step for protecting area fresh water, vulnerable coastal environments and local resources.