Status of current Island developments

Summary of major developments:

  1. South Beach Belize - Still does not have all approvals, Government is working on a compromise plan involving the developer giving a large portion of the area over as a marine reserve. The developer has illegally started filling several lots and an access road at the northern edge of the development. Coldwell Banker Belize has several for sale/sold signs with the area. The developer has found an friend in the Minister for Economical development who has written a letter saying cabinet has approved phase one. The Ministers we have spoken say it has not been to cabinet. Our own Chairman of the local Building aurthority says it doesnt matter as it hasnt been approved locally so no construction can proceed. As of Feb 2010 no further development has taken place. March 2010 - Some minor work starting again on the northern access road - widening, removal of chopped mangroves. Still no news on the status of the MOU. May 2010 - work has started on one of the four houses approved by the Central housing authority. Jan 2011-Coldwell banker real estate agent has started selling cleared peoperty at Tarpon bay - inside the south beach area - no approvals for mangrove clearing or subdivision have been granted. Letters have been sent to government agencies asking for action.
  2. Sugar Caye development - lots next to the Sewage ponds. Received all permits by offering a % of all sale income to the town council. DOE, Geology, Forestry gave all permits without visiting the site as it was requested by the town board and local Minister. E xcavating and filling going ahead. Sugar caye have dredged a large area south of the Wasa road to the Sewage ponds, killing acres of mangrove and removing 1000's of cubic yards of fill material. As of February 2010 photos of this have been sent to the Forestry Department (see below) to have them issue a stop order for illegally cutting mangroves. March 2010 Geology visit the site for an inspection as dredging seems to be far in excess of the 45,000 cubic yards they are legally allowed by the ECPs to dredge. Easter 2010 Consoludated water services BWS cannot keep up with demand for water during our peak tourist time. Sugar Caye deny being the cause of this problem.  Public utilities commission, DOE and Public health commission visits the island to take water samples and inspect to site. Dave Mitchell has started building a grand entrance. Although an approval letter was signed by the head of the local building authority it was not approved by the committee, so is illegal. March 2011 - Mr Mitchell kindly visited the office with copies of the letter signed by the head of the local building authority granting approval for the Grand entrance and a security house,   a receipt for a payment to the Building authority. There is still no sign of the minutes of any meeting of the committee showing this approval or any sign of approval for the 4 building being constructed within the Sugar caye subdivision.  April 06, 2011 - Sugar Caye Dev. were approved for 9 commercial houses in the development.
  3. San Pedro Estates Subdivision - Grand Belizean Estates- 5 miles north on the west side of the island. As per Sugar caye all permits obtained without any environmental investigation 1537 lots. Additionally the developer was building a road across the lagoons from the east - see pictures below. The road was stopped by local objection as no plans had been drawn up. Aug 09 - developer, still with no plans, dredged a 5 mile access through the center of the islands lagoons to try to continue to build the road. December 2009 - Belize city judge orders San Pedro Town council to be joined in the legal action against the road. Feb 2010 - Mayor and ACCSD meet to discuss the issues surrounding the building of the road. March 2010 Town board, ACCSD and town board engineer meet continue the discussions. Feb 2011 ACCSD committee members were given a guided  tour of the East/West road by representatives of GBE to show the culverts that the approved plans from the Ministry of works had been installed.
  4. Mayan Islands - Building and dredging has started even though no environmental clearance has been given. The Developer has a Youtube video on line showing the development and talking about the dredging and land clearing taking place, even though this is illegal.
  5. Bellcan luxury eco-resort - Public hearing held, consensus is that it is a good project except for the over water cabanas.
  6. Bonefish Bay - Topaz Magic -  Just behind Captain Morgans in sensitive wetland ecosystems. We recently found that Topaz magic have been given a permit to cut 15 acres of mangroves without any environmental study. They have also recieved a mining permit to dredge the area. As of March we have not seen the permit so unsure what acreage it is for. 
  7. Ma'loha resort and Marina - Just across the bridge. planned 150 room hotel and marina. No permits have been applied for or issued for this project.
  8. Tarpon Bay - As of December 2010 we have been trying to get representatives from Forestry Department to come and have a look at the site at Tarpon Bay in South Beach where mangrove clearing has been done and up to now we have had no success.  Have a look at the attached letter and pics we sent to the Forestry Department. 



South Beach Belize

The site:

  • 545 acres of mangrove wetlands.(Reef Village site is only 22acres)
  • Southern boundary connects to Hol Chan marine reserve
  • Surrounds the Marco Gonzalez Maya site
  • Being marketed as a gated community.

The Development:

  • Over 700 lots including 30 hotels and a 150 room Casino.
  • Currently 1700 hotel rooms on the island this will add an additional 1000 hotel rooms.
  • When full this will add 7000 people to the island


  • 2,000,000 cubic yards of sand will be dredged to fill the site.
  • This is 250,000 truck loads of sand. If parked bumper to bumper the trucks would stretch all the way from Belize City to Miami

Development Status
  • South Beach Belize received approval of its EIA in December.
  • The ECPs were signed on 10th February. The ECPs specified a bond of $250,000bz be paid by the developer and no development activity is allowed until this is paid in full and for 30 days after this.
  • As of 1st April the bond had not been paid by the developer and yet development activity was being carried out in the form of dumping sand at the site and cutting of mangrove for survey lines.
  • No stop order was issued by the DOE
  • The Developer still needs to get the following approvals
    1. Forestry for mangrove cutting
    2. Geology for dredging inside site in phase 1 and outside for subsequent phases.
    3. San Pedro Planning Committee for all building work

Land ownership documents received from DOE - 29th March. Please note there is no title document and the Island Resorts ltd document is not signed or named, only a deed of conveyance from 1989. South Beach land ownership documents from the DOE

May 2009: Minister Vega and his team from the Ministry of Natural resources visited San Pedro and sat down with the ACCSD and the Developer and proposed a compromise plan for the area involving leaving approximately 140 acres on the South and Western end of the area as a marine reserve.
The ACCSD accepted the concept of a compromise but are awaiting further details. It is not clear if the Developer accepted a compromise.

Sugar Caye Pictures:
This Picture was taken in the last year and shows the area before Sugar caye started their development.

San Pedro estates Road pictures:

Photo of the road taken may 2010.

  • Mayan island - West of San Pedro Town, 96 condos, hotel, 19 houses, cafe, pools and tennis courts on 18.9 acres. LLES submitted to the DOE. Developers website 16th March - LLES "not accepted"  by the DOE and taken down from the DOE website
  • Venecia del Mar - West side of the San Pedro airstrip. Phase one is 49 condos, 8 Villas, 36 hotel rooms, shops, restaurants and pools, built on 17 acres of an 80acre site. LLES submitted to the DOE.  16th March - LLES "not accepted"  by the DOE and taken down from the DOE website
  • Casa Linda - West of San Pedro Town. Developers website A 4 acre property with plans to develope 21 family Villas, 100 room Hotel, 16 Condos, two swimming pools, restaurants and shops. LLES submitted to the DOE
  • Bellcan Luxury eco development - 18 miles north of Town in the Bacalar Chico area. see propoasl below. 2nd June EIA submitted to the the DOE. 

Proposed New Developments:

Bacalar Chico Area - Pre EIA information.

This development is in its planning stages and the environmental consultant has asked for feedback. Please email your comments so we can pass on to the consultant.
It is in Private land next to the Santiago Castillo (Rosewoood) project.  It borders the marine reserve and the national park on either side

The proposed development is for tourism facilities on Northern Ambergris Caye, situated just south of Boca Bacalar Chico and about ± 18 miles north of the town of San Pedro (or about 57 miles from Belize City along the eastern coast).  Proposed development activities include the construction of hotel facilities, of 70 units and 6 over-the-water cabanas.


At completion, and at full capacity, the proposed development is expected to have some 68 residents and holiday-makers, and a staff of 25 persons and an estimated 25 transient visitors.  The proposed development will also include the construction of elevated walkways in some areas property and the western or lagoon side of the development, which will connect all the different residential units and amenities of the development.  Two piers, one to be utilized for tourism activities and for hotel loading and unloading of supplies and materials will be constructed on the windward side of the development.  This pier will also serve as the connection to the over the water cabanas, and the last one on the lagoonal side, basically for sunset views and relaxation, including some water sports. Tourism activities will include snorkeling, diving, canoeing, kayaking, catch and release and fly-fishing.


It is anticipated that the area of land at both the southern and northern end of the property will be left in its natural state as a buffer zone for the proposed development.  The Developer will also look toward the area of land along the lagoon (Laguna de Cantena) to be left in its natural state as part of the Boca Bacalar Chico National Park.

Currently the proposed project lies on some 74.25 acres which consists of 33.11 acres of land and 41.14 acres of lagoon property as described in the old survey plan (land titles) of the Lands and Survey Department. It is understood that the developer does not intend to develop on the 41.14 acres of lagoon property.


Breakdown of Residential Areas



Residential Description

# of Units

Unit Size (s.f.)

Total Area (acres)


Beach/Water Front Casitas





Eco Luxury Villas





Stilted Casitas (1 bdr)





Stilted Casitas  (2 bdr)





Overwater Cabañas




















Developers initial proposal

Development Option decided upon after site visit and consideration of the location of the project


Closeup view of both piers and over the water cabanas

The project intends to only conduct kayaking and fishing in the lagoon area, while other water sports will be done from the front pier.

The garbage will be separated. The organics will be composted and the in-organics will be packaged and shipped to the mainland.

Liquid waste will be treated using a package plant, and the effluent either used for irrigation, flushing or into the deep well injection.

The water resource will be by rainwater catchment and RO, where the brine will be disposed via deep well injection.

Electricity will be via Wind turbine, solar cells and backup diesel generator.

The resort also intends to hire locals for all guiding related activities.

The workers/staff will be done on a rotational basis, thus no one will live with a family on the premises.

In respect to safety, all staff will be trained in first aid, and the relevant staff will be trained in fire-fighting. 

Evacuation will be via Helipad to Corozal, where the project has its counterpart which will be located in Consejo.  For lesser medical emergencies, then it will be by boat to San Pedro then to Belize City if necessary, for serious emergencies then the transport will be via Helicopter to Belize City.

Developers are willing to work with the reserve staff, and provide assistance for the continued protection and success of the reserve.



ACCSD Belize,
May 18, 2011, 3:14 PM
ACCSD Belize,
May 18, 2011, 3:17 PM
ACCSD Belize,
May 18, 2011, 3:16 PM
ACCSD Belize,
May 18, 2011, 3:15 PM