Capilla de Piedra−Impact Approved
By Jesús Aguado
The National Institute of Anthropology and History has qualified the four-level-buildings that, although they are outside the area of historical monuments, “do not meet with the characteristics of integration and typology that identifies the traditional architecture of San Miguel de Allende,” states the document from the INAH.
On December 21, 2015, the INAH issued a letter addressed to Mayor Ricardo Villarreal, requesting the intervention “within his jurisdiction.” The letter signed by the delegate in Guanajuato Sergio Ramón Tovar, states that the construction, which currently has four levels, horizontal and rectangular windows, inclined roofs… “situated on the hill, they are visible from several important streets of the city, and they can also be seen from the Jardín Principal, making a contrast with the emblematic buildings of the city.”
“It is an Inherited Topic and We Will Pay Attention to It” Abelardo Quero
Abelardo Quero, director of the Urban Development Department, granted an interview to Atención on March 28. He confirmed the local administration’s receipt of the letter from the INAH and said that his department has conducted several inspections of the construction but assured that the developers are meeting and respecting the permits issued by the previous local administration. They have not found violations to the local regulations. They are not modifying anything and, actually, the INAH authorized those constructions the way they are. Their stamp is on the architectural plans,” highlighted the director, who also commented that if they do not have a legal basis, the development cannot be halted. Quero said that he has had meetings with the developers, and they are ready to make any changes needed, but again he noted that anomalies have not been detected. “I am not the bad guy in this story. People have been accusing me of corruption, but I invite them to present proof if they have it. This is a topic that was inherited from the previous administration, and I am trying my best to solve it. The files will be revised, and in two weeks we could give the same or a different answer,” said Quero. Finally, he commented that the development will have 336 houses, and it has progressed 60−70 percent.
“It does not impact” −Édgar Bautista
Édgar Bautista, former director of Urban Development, assured that the project was approved after several change, and this was the one with less impact. Besides, he said that the developers respected the Indians’ Chapel inside the complex. The original project, said Bautista, included 375 plots and in the end it was reduced to 111. He remarked that any construction built on that hill was going to impact one way or the other, and he made it clear that the buildings have the same height as previous constructions in the area. Bautista said that the buildings have 8.5 meters of construction from the street base and two more under the street base. In addition, the former director said that the project was authorized during the administration headed by Jesús Correa (2006−2009) and ratified by Luz María Núñez (2012−2015) when it changed to condominiums instead individual houses, but it would have 475 houses. Finally, the administration of Mauricio Trejo approved the project, again with 111 plots that will host 248 houses.
Representatives from Inmobiliaria Cruz de San Miguel S.A. de C.V., in a meeting with Atención (held in May 2013), made a complete presentation of the project in progress, showing copies of each federal, state,and municipal permit for working in the area and noting that the official numbers of the documents have been placed at the entrance of the fraccionamiento. They said that if someone needs copies of the documents they must be requested from the authorities that issued them because they cannot be forced legally to hand over copies to individuals.
The architect consulting on the development said that she had worked with the owners since 2005, and it was her responsibility to acquire all the needed permits from the authorities, which she had obtained. “We fulfilled all the requirements from the federation,” she said.
The architect said that the total area for La Capilla is 8.69 hectares, of which about 20 percent will be occupied by houses and 20 percent by streets; the remainder would be communal areas. One hundred eleven buildings will be constructed, each containing one, two or three apartments that would be inhabited by an average of five persons. The architecture, she said, will be environmentally friendly and will preserve the local ecology. The Indians’ chapel will be restored (they already have the permits from the National Institute of Anthropology and History). La Capilla will have four private streets and a main street that will connect Cuesta de Loreto and Santo Domingo, to be constructed by the owners. The new road will have bus stops and, she said, will improve the view to the ravine.
The consultant also said that since they began the urbanization process, they have had five audits, three from the PROFEPA and two from the PAOT, in addition to others from the municipality, but they have fulfilled all the requirements for construction, and for that reason the urbanization has not been stopped. The architect said that the construction is not a political favor but the dream of many people to generate a sustainable project.
Atención has the entire presentation, which states that the housing development will have the following:
1) 111 buildings/248 apartments,
2) 275 parking spaces,
3) Five stations for controlling the accesses,
4) Two clubhouses: with swimming pool, gymnasium, dressing rooms, rooftops, and polyvalent courts,
5) Roads and sidewalks,
6) Land with an extension of 86,973.73 square meters.