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Dec 31, 2008

First phase of South Beach project approved

Story PictureIt was a major bone of contention on the island of Ambergris Caye, but tonight it appears that a compromise has been reached on the mega tourist project, South Beach. Phase one of the project has been given the green light by the National Environmental Appraisal Committee at its December eighteenth meeting. The project, however, has been scaled back and instead of over a thousand plots, there will now be five hundred and ninety; six more acres will be added around the Marco Gonzalez archaeological site, bringing the boundary to thirteen plus acres; and developer Jeff Pierce will also have to maintain the usual sixty-six feet beach reserve. This first phase is expected to take two years to complete. As for the other environmental issues, those will be tackled when the application for the phase two approval comes up. During the initial development, however, the Department of the Environment and other agencies will be keeping tabs on the site to ensure that the NEAC guidelines are being followed. For this, Pierce will be charged a fee. The proposed development is located three and a quarter miles from San Pedro Town and is bordered to the west by Laguna de Boca Ciega and the south by the Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

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