Large construction projects in Mexico City will soon be subject to community consultation before permits are granted.
Authorities are preparing a consultation process in which people living in an area where a project is planned will have the opportunity to have their say. A majority of residents and developers must reach agreement before the government will give approval for projects to go ahead.
Mexico City Environment Secretary Marina Robles said that consultation will be required for large developments such as shopping centers and entertainment venues.
She said the process will be “orderly and systematic” and will be conducted in stages.
In the first stage, the city government will provide information to residents about a development application via both an official website and booths that will be set up in the area where the project is planned. The developer will also be required to disseminate information about the planned project, Robles said.
In a second stage, residents will have the opportunity to attend meetings and respond to surveys in order to express their opinions and concerns, ask questions and make proposals, the secretary said.
Robles said that if residents reach an agreement with developers for the project to go ahead, the government can then proceed with its assessment in order to decide whether the necessary permits will be granted to the developer.
If residents and developer don’t reach agreement, the consultation process will enter another stage, she explained.
More meetings will be held and residents will be interviewed in depth by authorities to discuss their concerns.
If residents change their mind and express support for the project, the government can move ahead with the authorization process. If they still reject the project, yet another round of meetings and consultations will be held, Robles said.
Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said the aim of the consultation process is to ensure that no large developments are built without residents first being asked their opinion.
“At times in the previous administration, authorizations were given [even though] there was a conflict with residents,” she said.
Sheinbaum said that the consultation process will also provide greater certainty to developers, explaining that some projects have stopped due to opposition from residents.
“It’s good for the developer and it’s very good for the residents of Mexico City. It’s a process of agreements and until there’s a final agreement with citizens, authorization won’t be given,” she said.
The mayor added that if a project is opposed by a minority of residents, their views will not be permitted to overrule those of the majority.
Source: El Universal (sp)