I only recently became aware of the development Capilla de Piedra, and that was from a friend’s house on Homo Bono. It was shocking. This friend had immediately purchased a number of high bamboo plants creating a wall of greenery blocking that view from his roof terrace. How many others have [done] or will do the same? I certainly would be doing the same from my own house in were I in its view. Very shortly thereafter I read Rodrigo A.T. Lozano’s letter to The Editor in the April 8th edition of Atencion, and I couldn’t agree more strongly with it. Outrage at its highest level! Shortly thereafter I read Atencion’s front page and very thorough article on the subject. What is particularly appalling to me is the concluding remark that “everyone is at fault.” Does this actually translate into no one is at fault, and therefore the project will continue to completion and as Rodrigo says “the beloved image of San Miguel is lost forever?” Bear in mind that almost anywhere else, particularly in the US, this would have never gotten off the ground due to the appropriate authority’s response, that is those inspectors who step by step approve or disapprove of the project would have categorically denied it. Did the developers in this case, knowing full well the legality of submitting in its entirety a full set of plans to obtain an approval? Very, very doubtful. Therefore and regardless, everyone is at fault from that moment on, and everyone should pay the price. The entire project should/must be torn down! If not, the next developer will follow suit, setting Capilla de Piedra as an example of legality after an expected struggle and substantial money offered under the table, as without doubt occurred in this case. That money, if such is the case, illegally obtained, must be returned and those funds used to demolish Capilla de Piedra! More than sufficient I’m certain. It’s a shame that Atencion, which is a fine paper, does not or cannot reach out to the majority of citizens, particularly Mexicans who, being in the majority and those who should be outraged more than all others, must be encouraged to gather together and submit individual letters which would certainly number in the thousands and demand that this entire project be torn down and the presumed “protected land” restored as it was intended, protected! Translation: undisturbed and free of development. The cost of doing so to be borne by all those from the top down who have allowed this monstrosity. I suggest that a group of agreeing individuals, Mexicans and foreigners alike, pass out to every household and business a letter requesting a vote approving or disapproving Capilla de Piedra followed by the question: Is it to be torn down or not? Simultaneously on radio and TV, this should and must be broadcast so as to be certain no one is left out of the vote. Finally our Mayor, who has shown extraordinary, we hope, intentions to rectify so many wrongs that have “slipped through” the authority’s nets must be actively involved. His legacy is certainly at stake. In the interim and until a resolution is enacted, continued work on Capilla de Piedra must be halted. Finally I’d like to add, and please take this to heart, to tear it down and restore the land might take as long as a year. To leave it as is or completed will be a travesty. It will become a permanent eyesore and an incredible compromise to San Miguel for countless generations. Is that the legacy this generation wishes to leave for hundreds of years?
Christopher H. L. Owen, A.I A. Architect