What is happening to the beachfront in San Pedro? The law states it is Queen’s Land 60 feet back from the high water mark. Yet, past Ramon’s Village north to Boca del Rio we have private individuals/businesses in permanent structures from the water’s edge up. Some sell tours; some sell water, soda etc.
We have a proliferation of massage establishments right on the beach inside this 60-foot zone. We have tables upon tables of souvenir stands, some of which also offer illegal substances. We also have restaurants with tables on the water’s edge with waiters bobbing and weaving around the locals and tourists trying to make their way down the beach, running back and forth delivering drinks and food.
There are actually stretches of the beach that you have to navigate that are less than 10 feet wide where these stands are set up. Why has this situation been allowed to get so out of control? Why have the laws of Belize been completely ignored for the benefit of a few and to the detriment of all?
The beaches are for public, not private, use as are the roads. What would happen if the shops and restaurants on Front, Middle and Back streets decided they wanted to increase the size of their business but didn’t want to rent out more space and instead put out tables and chairs in the middle of the street?
I see no difference between the two. Public is public, and private is private. Belizeans are by law allowed unfettered access to 60 feet of beachfront. We should not have to walk through a maze of buildings, tables and gazebos that are now lining our beachfront. After one of the last cultural symbols of Belize was demolished (the embarcadero) we were told these businesses would be relocated to the back of the island.
Instead, the situation just seems to be getting worse. It is a shame that the only law enforced on this island seems to be no parking in a red zone! I am asking the Town Council to enforce the beachfront law for the benefit of all instead of worrying about the votes of a few.