Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — In an attempt to prevent more hotels from denying public beach access, the municipality has requested official federal zone boundaries of beach areas.
The move comes after another sign was removed from the beach at Azul Fives Hotel, who posted the large warning denying beach access to the general public. This has been an ongoing problem with hotels such as Azul Fives who continue to try and claim public federal space as being private.
Municipal treasurer, Asunción Ramírez Castillo, said that a request for the official boundaries of the federal zone has been made to the General Directorate of the Federal Maritime Land Zone (Zofemat).
He is hoping that the verification will end the abuses of the hotels that try to prevent public access on the beaches.
“We already have a new cartography of the federal area. We sent it to the General Directorate of the Federal Maritime Land Zone for it to be validated. Once complete, the abuses by hotels would end because we would have the official boundaries for each of the concessioned areas,” he said.
The new official boundaries will include at least 14 concession areas where free passage is guaranteed to all, regardless of whether they are on adjoining concession areas to private hotels or individuals.
The latest sign removal at Azul Fives was due to a citizen complaint, but it was not the first time that hotel has tried to deny public access. Last year, Le Reve Hotel also at Xcalacoco Beach denied public access to people wishing to sunbath.
“We are doing verification with Zofemat about the irregularities the Azul Fives hotel. We are making the boundaries clear so that they are clear about the concession and how far it goes.
“We have to verify the cartography and how the area is zoned, but the fact of having the sign are reasons for sanctions that have already been handed out because they do not allow access to the population,” he said.
Ramírez Castillo says that they expect the official boundaries to be ready for March where they will be able to offer additional beach access points as well as marking concession areas for hotels.