Costa Maya Newsletter > Archived Newsletters > December 2004

Newsletters: of primary interest to property owners on the Costa Maya, - Rio Indio - Placer - Uvero - Punta Herrera - Xcalak and other points along the coast

This newsletter includes:
  • Mail Delivery
  • Paying property taxes in Mahahual
  • Federal Zone Concession update !!!! (please read)
  • Steps to acquiring your federal zone concession
  • Recycling Drop-off Center update

Hi neighbors, I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world.  We barbecued a turkey here at the beach and had most of the trappings (we missed the fresh cranberry sauce however!).  We are all thankful for living in such a beautiful yet fragile part of the world and being able to contact our neighbors via email.  Archives of this and previous newsletters can be viewed at


We are currently testing the mail delivery thanks to Gabe Zarnotti, one of your neighbors in Placer.  He is sending a snail mail to Mahahual to see how long it takes, and we'll let you know.  If you do need to send mail, you will need to include the zip code and the state of Quintana Roo.  The Zip code is: 77940.  I received my first mail today with the arrival of my bank statement -- an exciting step for me! 

This December you will be able to pay your property taxes in Mahahual without having to go into Chetumal.  The computers for paying the taxes are set up at the Aricife restaurant, so you can pay taxes and eat lunch all in the same visit.  If you are not yet aware, there is a discount for paying your property taxes during the month of December. I believe the computers will remain in Mahahual through January, which is the normal month for paying taxes, but we will try and provide an update next month.


There are some new laws that are going into force that will impact everyone who has purchased property in the Costa Maya.  The new laws make it easier for someone to purchase the concession for your federal zone. Under the new law, you will not have to be informed about it in advance.  We have been told that only a handful of owners north of Mahahual have purchased the concession for the federal zone at this point. We recommend filing a request for the concessions for your federal zone in the next two months.  This sounds quick, but at the beginning of the year, the municipalities will start actively soliciting the purchase of the federal zone in order to raise funds.  Concessions are one of the few ways that municipalities have to raise funds and the vast area north of Mahahual is in need of funds (as previous newsletters have mentioned).
 The concession must be done correctly and filed in Chetumal because the concessions are handled at the municipal level.   

Now many of us have been told  that you only needed to purchase the concession to the federal zone if you were in a area like Mahahual where someone might set up a palapa on the beach and start a business. However, the zoning is going to change in some areas making it easier to build on the federal zone. Imagine this scenario:  Someone purchases a small piece of land in order to get beach access and then purchases the concession for the federal zone for the 20 surrounding lots.  He then builds palapas up and down the federal zone and advertises private beachfront -- in front of your home. With 12 boats a week coming into the dock this year, more and more entrepreneurs will be looking at ways to take advantage of people looking to spend some time on a "private" beach.  Another scenario is that your neighbor purchases your concession and builds a dock for his boat on your beach so that he has an un-obscured view.  By purchasing the concession they will be able to do this. You want to make sure they are not purchasing your federal zone. 



    1) submit an application.        
    - certified copies of your title of your property     
    - Copies of the cadastral identification, property ID number form
    2) Topographical survey with coordinates
    3) Pictures of your property
    4) Copies of the payment of the property taxes

    If filed with the proper paperwork, it is a first come first serve basis and your concession will be secured.  Final approval takes about 8 months.  Taxes and fees will be assessed upon approval. It will be more expensive if you want to also submit a request to build on your federal zone at the same time you file as that will also require an environmental impact study of the federal zone. 

    Please contact your legal representative immediately. We had originally recommended Miguel Sosa Chable but no longer believe he is a good resource. for more information on how to proceed on getting your federal zone concession secured quickly. 

We still have not secured final approval for the property that has been selected.  However, we are approaching this group of neighbors with a new idea for the use of the funds that have been collected.  Before spending any money on this new proposal, I would like everyone's feedback. 
The proposal is to spend the money improving the current recycling center in Mahahual which is currently at the highschool.  This would be a more permanent solution than developing a center in Placer which would have to drop off the recyclables in Mahahual anyway.  The current drop-off center is one big bin and doesn't provide for the separation of the recyclables.  Students at the school are separating the recyclables. People dropping off items can only drop off bags in a big pile as there are currently no facilities that provide for self-separating.   Currently the highschool appears unsightly and more like a garbage dump than a recycling center. 
The proposal would be to:    

    1) Provide self-separating bins for the four recyclable types (glass, plastic, aluminum, cardboard)   

    2) Provide gauge wire mesh on the existing bin for plastic (the recyclable that has the most volume).  The current one has such a large mesh that 20 oz bottles fall out the sides.   

    3) provide signs that explain the rules for self-sorting and credit the contributors from the community (all of you who have contributed)   

    4) Enlarge the composting bins which are about full.   

    5) purchase large bags for putting recycled material in so that it can be easily transferred to trucks. 

If you all agree, we will turn the money over to the committee in Mahahual which is sponsored by the Amigo De Sian Ka'an and the university of Quintana Roo, who have also been sponsoring our  efforts to establish a recycling center. They are currently teaching the children at the school about the environment, recycling and composting, so this is more than just a place to reduce the impact to the environment, but a learning experience for the school as well.  All funds will be accounted for and reported here.  
New donations received since the last newsletter:  

    John Lyons                 $50 USD  
    Kerry a& Shawn Kelly  $100 USD (correction - I had originally posted them as having paid $50)  
    Neils and Wendy -- pledged $1000 pesos but still struggling to get funds to us!

    Total collected at this point is $900 -- very impressive by Mexican standards.  Please let me know if you approve this new plan.  I will try and post a picture of the Current recycling center in Mahahual in the archives and you can see why we feel this is important.


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Updated: 19-Apr-2008

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