Saturday, July 13, 2024

A master plan in the works for Northern Ambergris Caye


Northern Ambergris Caye continues to grow, and to have a better development plan, the Northern Ambergris Caye Development Committee has been created. According to Prime Minister Honourable Dr. John Briceño, once the plan is complete, it will be presented to the island community.
The Prime Minister noted that the project is in its infancy, and the committee is carefully looking at different details to develop a master plan to ensure proper development in northern Ambergris Caye. This proposed development scheme involves the input of local island authorities (the town council and Area Representative) and the Ministry of Tourism. Northern Ambergris Caye is currently considered a commercial area with several beachfront resorts and other tourism-driven businesses. Residential areas are slowly rooting on this part of the island, so a well-designed development plan is needed. Area Representative Honourable Andre Perez agreed that there needs to be more guidance in the ongoing development as the island is haphazardly growing.
San Pedro Town is the most populated and developed section of Ambergris Caye. As it continues to grow, it has seen issues. Some of these noted by residents include areas of town not adequately built, leading to problems with streets, building standards, and other aspects that affect the lives of islanders in certain subdivisions. Some subdivisions in San Pedro, like San Mateo, are constantly affected by high tides. Services like running water are being expanded in other areas because of difficulties accessing such sites.

Master Plan developed for San Pedro Town

These are some of the issues they hope to avoid with a development plan for northern Ambergris Caye. The island community is the fastest-growing municipality in the country. In a 2014 interview with then Chairman of the Master Plan Committee for San Pedro, Fidel Ancona, he noted that there had been no proper development guidance. According to him, there was a serious attempt to develop a master plan decades ago. Belize Water Services had reportedly worked on a master plan as it required an Inter-American Development Bank loan. The development plan was worked on under then-Mayor Pedro Salazar and was the development guide. Ancona stated that following the end of Salazar’s administration in 1991, the master plan was no longer used (approved), giving way to unregulated projects and development
Currently, there is no word about a master plan for San Pedro Town, while development continues indiscriminately on the island.

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