Illegal Constructions Halted
By Jesús Aguado
The Department of Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Planning is now responsible for authorizing any permits for construction, land use, or advertisements in the historic center, among other tasks.
Director Ángel Gastelum Cadena told Atención that the department was created during this administration because of the lack of regulation in the preservation and maintenance of the historic center (within the zone appointed as a World Heritage site). The results have been good because “. . . we have detected many constructions without permits, and we have halted them, and most of them belong to expats.” He also remarked, “It is a shame that those architects who are developing the construction are from here, and it is sad that those who come from outside the city ignore that there are regulations for building in San Miguel.”
Gastelum gave the evidence of two specific works for which the owners are now facing criminal complaints. In addition, the completed works could be demolished, and there is a high fine for destroying the seals that are put on the main door of the halted constructions by authorities. One of the irregular works is on Loreto 5, where the owners wanted to open new doors, modifying the façade, and that is not allowed without permission from the INAH. The work was halted, and they continued working. We surprised them working once at night during a weekend.”
The second irregularity was on Pila Seca 37, where the owners wanted to build a terrace that did not meet the requirements of height. “The regulation does not mark a height, but we must analyze criteria, and the construction has to be similar to the construction nearby,” commented the director. He also said that the architects know the regulations, but they illegally advise the owners to work without permits during the weekends or at night because they think there are no inspectors. But now, Gastelum assured, there is a commission of people working daily to detect and stop irregularities in construction.
If a citizen wants to construct or modify a construction within the historic center and the area appointed as a World Heritage site, he can get advice at the Direction of Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Planning. Their offices are in the yellow building on the road to Querétaro.