30 December 2006

Development trouble stirs in San Miguel de Allende

sma protest

Development issues continue vexing San Miguel de Allende as residents - both Mexican and expatriate - voice concerns that the municipality is imprudently granting too many construction permits for projects that fail to conform with the town's historic ambiance. Things came to a head on Dec. 16 with a demonstration against a seven-story condominium project called the Caracol, which was to be built next to the Caracol roadway, a bypass connecting the Salida to Queretaro with the Salida to Celaya.

Construction has been halted while the municipality reviews the project. The developer, in comments to the Atencion newspaper, blamed a small group, including expatriates, for stirring up trouble and pointed out that 108 San Miguel de Allende workers are now left without jobs. Critics of the development countered that the construction permits shouldn't have been given in the first place.

A new Super Gigante and large Comerical Mexicana outlet also opened earlier this month, saving many residents a trip to Celaya or Queretaro for worthwhile grocery shopping. And while popular - at least Comerical Mexicana is, while Gigante, a lackluster operation at the best of times, suffers with the new competition in town - the stores' plain, suburban-style facades drew grumbles from some of the marchers at the Dec. 16 protest. (More so Comercial Mexicana than Gigante.)

San Miguel resident Bob Kelly has followed this issue closely. Here's one of his articles from the Miami Herald, Mexico edition: http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/miami/22528.html

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