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Ancient rubber tree at the heart of construction conflict

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. – Construction for the final phase of Palmeras 1 located in the southern portion of Ejidal has left authorities and citizens at odds.

Condominiums are scheduled to be built on the last plot of land, but in order for the planned construction to move forward, a large aged rubber tree needs to be removed.

Gregorio Gonzalez, who is responsible for executing the work, has informed the residents of 42 apartments that the next phase of the project includes removing the tree, as the approved plans allow. However, many neighbors disagree with the removal of the large rubber tree and are asking to see a copy of the approval.

Since the complains, Gonzalez said they have modified the project and can now leave the tree where it is in exchange for additional apartments being added to another building. In the meantime, after an inspection of the situation, Artemio Chavez, Director of Standards, said that the tree does not have to be removed and that developers do not have permission to cut this or any other trees on the site.

Flatly put, the official said, “They have licenses to build, but the tree is not to be touched.”

Neighbors have had meetings on possibily relocating the tree, but Liane Ake Canto, Director of Environment, said that even if relocation of the tree was approved, biologists recommend against it. As of now, the tree remains and, according to authorities, it should remain.

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