Mayor Elsa Paz clarifies controversy with Property owned by the Paz Sisters

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

In Vol. 20, Issue #47 The San Pedro Sun reported on a construction in progress, located on Pescador Drive. The building is owned by a company under the name Paz Sister Company Limited, a business which is jointly owned by four sisters, Mayor Elsa Paz being one of them. This building was the subject of many complaints, and scrutinized in the SPSun story. In the article we further stated that the Chairman of the Ambergris Caye Local Building Authority (ACLBA), Counselor Joseph Elijio received complaints from neighbors pertaining to the structure encroaching on properties belonging to the surrounding neighbors, on ground level as well as on the second floor levels.

We went on to report that as the result of the complaints, a stop order was prepared by the board after a meeting was held, and it was discovered that that the contractors had deviated from the approved plan. In our report, we mentioned that Mr. Elijio further stated that the stop order was issued after an ordered survey was never presented to the ACLBA. The said survey would have clarified the various boundaries of the property in question as well as the surrounding properties.

As construction on the building in question continues, The San Pedro Sun has been in search of some clarification, this time managing to get the Mayor’s side of the story (at the time the first story ran, she was unavailable). Mayor Elsa Paz has provided The San Pedro Sun with a report (dated December 16th 2010) furnished to her by engineer John H. Hertular, who holds a diploma as a Community Planning Licensed Land Surveyor.

The document stated that a re-survey of Parcel 1002, Block 7, that parcel of land belonging to the Paz Sisters, of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye was carried out. (Note that the parcels of land that surrounded parcel 1002 are parcels 999, 1001 and 1011.) The independent report stated that “it was found that the fencing of parcels 999, 1001 and a portion of 1011 fencing were encroaching on parcel 1002. These parcels are located to the right of P-1002. The parcel 1010 fencing was also found to be encroaching P-1002”.

As per whether a stop order was issued, the Mayor stated, “Yes, there was a stop order drafted by Councilor Joseph Elijio, however the order was illegal. The due process is that a meeting be held where the issues are discussed and the decision would be made by the board. Also the stop order must be signed by the Mayor. This never happened and Councilor Elijio went ahead and did this on his own, because of a personal issue he had with the Mayor, so it was not legal”. Due to this fact, the Mayor stated that she was advised by her lawyers not to cease construction on the building. Mayor Paz also stated that as for the residents who may feel that the report provided by the Surveyor is not accurate, they are welcome to contract an independent surveyor to get a second opinion, in light of fairness.

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