That first update may have seemed like you were left with a cliffhanger but please bear with me. Part 1 can be found here: https://livecaboradio.blog/2023/08/24/our-neighbor-is-david-n-oancea/
What kind of a contractor would even consider working on a project without permits? Would YOU hire someone like that?
In May of 2019, we discovered the neighbor’s construction site did not have a permit and filed a complaint with the city. Construction was halted for about two weeks until a permit was issued valid for two years. A few months later we learned that there were irregularities with not just the permit but the manifestation. I am unable to elaborate further on it at this time.
There are rules to build in Mexico, and in a community like Pedregal, they have their own internal regulations which include ensuring that the person building a new home is following the laws in Mexico which supersede the community standards. I actually have some questions while reading the ARC rules thoroughly. I will copy and paste sections that stand out to me. (I am not going to correct their grammatical and spelling mistakes)
Page 8 of the ARC rules for our community, states on page 8:
“The Architectural Review Committee (ARC) is designated by the Board of Directors of Colonos del Pedregal Homeowners Association, to review and approve all the design plans and construction in the development Pedregal de Cabo San Lucas.
The Committee is formed by a minimum of three members and a maximum of five. One of them must be a member of the Colonos Homeowners Association and another one must be a representative of the Developer. Any variances are subject to approval by the Board of Directors……
The signatures appearing on the authorized plans must be authenticated before the Department of Urban Planning of the Municipality of Los Cabos (“Dirección de Planeación Urbana del Municipio de los Cabos”). For such purpose, a registry of the authorized persons and their signatures is renewed every year. Copy of the official document setting forth the updated authorized signatures will be kept in the Colonos Homeowners Association office.”
Let’s jump to page 12
“GENERAL RULES & REGULATIONS
Conformance with Local, State and Federal Laws:
1. All construction and development within the Pedregal de Cabo San Lucas must obtain governmental approval which by its nature requires.
2. This document is issued pursuant to the provisions of the statutes of the Civil Association named “Asociación de Colonos del Pedregal de Cabo San Lucas, A.C.”, which are set forth in the document of organization of such homeowners association. Compliance herewith is a mandatory and preliminary step to obtain a construction permit from the Municipal Authorities.
3. Owners or their representatives shall not attempt to circumvent the rules and regulations of the Homeowners Association by applying directly to the “Obras Publicas” office for approval of building plans and building licenses.
4. If an owner, whether personally or through a representative, commences work, or obtains a construction permit from the Municipality, in violation of the project review procedure by the ARC, such owner will be violating the legal agreement that the HOA has with the General Department of Urban Planning, Development and Ecology of the Municipality of Los Cabos (“Dirección General de Planeación, Desarrollo Urbano y Ecología del Municipio de Los Cabos”). In such case, a penalty of US$1,000.00 per day will be assessed against the owner during the entire period of time until the approval of the ARC and the Board of Directors (BOD) is obtained.
5. Any flagrant and intentional violation of the Construction Regulations and Codes, whether official or those of the Association, shall be subject to the payment of fines for up to US$50,000.00 per violation, which fines will be determined by the Board of Directors based upon the information provided by the ARC.
6. No construction will be permitted under these regulations if the proper urban infrastructure is not first in place.”
Okay, so permission is signed off by urban planning, Pedregal has to approve the designs and you must have a valid building permit. GOT IT. But … what if someone does NOT actually have legitimate building permits and goes ahead and I don’t know … starts construction? I’ll just leave that as food for thought for now while I continue. Did the “BOD” after “finding out” Oancea did not in fact have permits fine him? How much? Also, how could the ARC committee sign off on a project that did not have permits?
If we jump to page 23 …
“Natural rock formations
“Every attempt should be made to preserve the natural beauty of Pedregal by not disturbing or altering natural rock formations.
In the cases where it becomes essential to undermine any portion of a rock formation that may result in a landslide or erosion, the pertinent protection work must be carefully executed.”
Um, …. the entire mountain is a natural rock formation. In fact, it is made of granite which is considered one of the strongest rocks on the planet, some say, second to that of diamonds. Of COURSE, there will be altering and maybe … I don’t know, maybe landslides, and erosion. I think the “ARC” left out something important. What happens when you use heavy machinery next to existing homes? What happens if part of the mountain becomes fractured which fully or partly destroys a family’s home? I digress … but we will get back to this.
“The required Plans which are listed below must have the information required by the Municipality and also the information included in the following paragraphs:
1.-Topographical plan signed by the engineer who carried out such survey. This plan must include a chart reflecting square meters, bounds and distances, a location drawing, contour lines and at least two cross-sections showing the main slopes of the lot.
2.-General layout plan, showing all adjacent lots and streets.
3.-Excavation plans showing the location, area, and volume of all excavation (cut and/or fill) to be performed on the lot.”
ME: Does anyone know exactly how much weight from the mountain was removed during what we have been told was an illegal excavation? I’m just curious because that is a lot of weight distribution considering that granite weights approximately 20 lbs per square foot and we have been extremely concerned that when Oancea fills/filled up his pool, it will shift the mountain again which was brought up in our meeting with the “BOD” and we were met with silence.
“Together with the final plans, the owner or his/her representative must deliver duly completed and signed the document entitled “Construction Application and Agreement to Abide by the Construction Regulations and Guidelines of Pedregal de Cabo San Lucas” This document constitutes a mandatory agreement with full legal force and effect that guarantees that the owner(s), architect(s) and builder(s) and/or their representatives, agents and assigns, will satisfy and conform to the rules and regulations of the Association, and the state and municipal codes applicable to constructions and development.”
Construction deposits and fees
“The ARC shall be cautious and prudent when determining the amount of the bonds, deposits and fees, making sure that the amount collected is sufficient to repair any damaged property and for payment of any fines in the event of violations to the Association’s rules and regulations.”
“The Excavation Bond will be required any time the excavating work (cut and/or fill): Exceeds 50% of the lot area.
Includes cuts or fill in excess of 3 Meters deep.
Includes the relocation of more than 500 M3 of material.
The Excavation Bond amount will be determined by multiplying the total volume of excavation in M3 times US$2.00. For example, if 500M3 of material is moved, the bond amount would be 500×2=US$1,000.00.”
“”example, if 500M3 of material is moved, the bond amount would be 500×2=US$1,000.00.””
If the earthworks exceed 500 m3, a non- refundable fee must be paid, the amount of which will be the result of the number of cubic meters excavated for us$ 0.50.”
Requirements to begin construction
“Before construction of a project may begin, the owner must satisfy the following requirements:
Deliver to the office of the Homeowners Association a copy of the set of plans duly approved by the Municipal Department of Public Works and an electronic copy of the executive project.
A Copy of the construction license must be delivered to the ARC to be placed in the project ́s file.”
Again … If the ARC committee must sign off on projects, how did they allow Oancea to begin without proper paperwork? HOW DID THEY NOT KNOW? It’s their “job”. It does not fall on a single office employee, it is the fault of every person who signed off on the project, and every person and entity who looked the other way.
To be continued …