Mayor Guerrero approves temporary beach fence

Friday, February 17th, 2017

When a beach fence suddenly appeared at Xanadu Island Resort, a number of people were shocked. Since its construction, residents have been complaining that the fence makes the beach less accessible, while Xanadu claims its intention is to protect their guests. Residents have reached out to the Ambergris Caye Building Authority (ACBA) to ask them to enforce the 66 feet rule, which is the law that applies to beachfront property.
According to Fidel Ancona of the ACBA, the resort did not obtain a permit to build the structure, but Mayor Daniel Guerrero gave them special permission. “We received some calls from people concerned about this new fence on Xanadu’s beachfront, and there’s a lot of frustration. We did not authorize or issue out a permit for them to build the fence, but Mayor Guerrero is fully aware of the fence” said Ancona.
Mayor Guerrero stated to The San Pedro Sun that the fence it is only temporary. “The fence is temporary until the construction that is happening there is completed. Xanadu actually wanted a higher fence, but we told them they cannot build higher. It is illegal to block the beach side, but they have obtained special permission to do so. There’s no exceptions, the fence will have to be removed as soon as the construction is done in the area,” said Guerrero.
Ancona agreed that it is illegal to block the beachfront, and further explained that all land up to 66 feet from the high water level on the beachfront is public property, known as “Queen’s Land”. This means that it is to be kept accessible to the public and free from development. He also explained that this rule also applies to docks/piers. In the past, there were several incidents where property owners would make their docks/piers private or place gates around them. Under the 66-feet Reserve, all docks/piers are accessible to the public from 6AM to 6PM.
Xanadu’s Manager, Kathy Ulchin, told The San Pedro Sun that despite the complaints, the beach is still accessible to the public. “Our fence does not obstruct people from entering. There is an eight foot gap in the middle for people to pass through. The reason we built this fence was because there is construction currently going on at the north and south of us. It was simply for our guests’ safety. We were trying to reduce some of the noise that is occurring right next us, which disturbs our guests. We built the fence because these massive trucks would drive near us, and stuff would fly everywhere. Anyone who wishes to pass through can,” said Ulchin.
Mayor Guerrero reiterated that the fence at Xanadu is temporary, and has informed Xanadu to remove the fence once the construction phase is over. He also stated that if they do not remove it, the next course of action will be to issue a cease and desist order. The San Pedro Town Council encourages all developers or property owners to follow all regulations, and consult with them at the Town Council before commencing construction.

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