Permits Missing for Lomas de San Miguel
By Jesús Aguado
The 5,000-unit affordable housing development planned for the road to Los Rodriguez is now on standby status due to the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources filing a moratorium on building until issues related to a gas station near the site are resolved.
The housing development was first announced in 2017 and was to feature shopping and religious centers, schools, as well as green and recreational areas. The project is slated to be finished in ten years. It is estimated that more than 20,000 people will live there, making it the biggest and most populated neighborhood in San Miguel.
At the housing development’s formal presentation to the public last June, officials said that the development would feature one- and three-family homes and duplexes. Director of the Municipal Institute of Planning Fabián Trujillo remarked at the time that the development is conveniently located “close to local, state, and federal offices as well as close to the university section of town, the Bicentennial park that features the Acoustic Shell performance area, the general hospital, and the city’s industrial zone.”
As the biggest neighborhood in the city, Lomas de San Miguel would have its own kindergarten and primary, secondary, and preparatory schools. It would also have a church, a mall, and recreational centers.
At the formal presentation of the housing development by the city in June, officials promised that the first keys to finished homes could be handed out by this past October. However, the reality is that the first stone has not even been placed yet. Secretary of the City Council Gonzalo González told Atención that the project is in progress but there are some necessary permits that were not obtained from the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources due to the development site being located a few meters away from a gas station.
“We worked to get new land [to relocate] the gas station, and we found it,” he said. “Now we are just working on the agreement so that they can be relocated, and when that happens, the SEMARNAT will give us the permits and construction will begin immediately.”
During the June presentation, Trujillo also remarked that the six kilometers of road from the Patrimonio traffic circle to the Lomas de San Miguel site would be widened from two to four lanes in order to accommodate the increased traffic that the development will bring.
Marco Ledón, liaison between the local and federal departments involved, said in a 2017 interview that the architecture of the houses will be like the ones people are used to here. “It will be very San Miguel,” he said.
Around the same time, Juan Antonio Jaramillo, then director of the Water Department, or SAPASMA, emphasized that SAPASMA had already drilled a well and could drill a second one in the near future. There is water, he said, and SAPASMA would be responsible for providing water and sewage service to the neighborhood. “We already know the area, and we know where we will build a treatment plant,” he said at the time.
A representative from the Federal Mortgage Department told Atención that the home prices would cost between 320,000 and 350,000 pesos. The only requirements necessary to buy a home in the development would be that the buyer is a Sanmiguelense and has an income of double the daily minimum wage (close to 190 pesos in total). The city put out a call out for applications, and more 6,000 responded.