Author: Debbie (---.hsd1.ga.comcast.net)
Date: 05-01-11 18:30
ACDEC, Defend Culebra
To: Honorable Abraham Peña Nieves, Mayor and President of the Board of Directors of the Conservation and Development Authority of Culebra Culebra (ACDEC)
Honorable Mayor and Members of ACDEC:
We. The undersigned, petition ACDEC to revoke the endorsement given to the mega project "Villa Mi Terruño" for the following reasons:
1) The Conservation and Development Law of Culebra is mandated to "preserve and conserve the ecological integrity of Culebra, including their keys, islands and surrounding waters and ensure that development of Culebra continues to protect and preserve, to the maximum extent, its extraordinary natural environment, part of the heritage of Puerto Rico. "
[Puerto Rico Law 66, 1975 (as amended) Title 21 § 890a.]
2) The proposed mega project is unprecedented in its density in Culebra. It is a city itself that will crush the existing town with a hundred acres of land covered with cement and an urban agglomeration between the bay, the town and the Caribbean Sea. It is approximately six times larger than the town. Proposed are two hotels of 32 rooms each, 110 housing units, 15 dormitories, a commercial area and 150 parking spaces.
3) "Villa Mi Terruño" claims to attract tourists for the economic benefit of Culebra but it actually benefits the new "private town" It will compete with existing small businesses and destroy the scenic views, pristine coastal waters, nature areas and peace and tranquility, which are the attractions that have brought and continue to bring tourism dollars to Culebra.
4) The mega project will require 25% of the electricity available in Culebra and will overtake the rest of the infrastructure necessary for growth of the community. The Culebrenses face public health challenges because of the lack of water. This situation is common during periods of high tourism in Culebra or Vieques, in that drinking water is shared between the two islands. The landfill of Culebra is about to close and has been identified by experts as one of the greatest environmental hazards to the marine resources of the Luis Peña Channel Nature Reserve. The lack of gasoline has become a common problem on the island and when it arrives, both residents and tourists are forced to spend eight hours in line to buy it. Culebra has no hospital and Ferry service is insufficient.
5) "Villa My Terruño" has already impacted corals and critical habitat for endangered species, before building the first building. It threatens the ecological integrity of Culebra as evidenced by the violations of environmental laws of the Environmental Quality Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These violations constitute grounds for revoking the endorsement of ACDEC.
6) ACDEC did not endorse this project in 2004, the Planning Board of Puerto Rico did not approve in 2005 and the Department of Natural Resources did not endorse it in 2008.
7) The proponent of "Villa My Terruño", Manuel H. Dubon, said at the public hearing of the Planning Board July 7, 2009, that "Culebra is an area of tourism and second homes," which shows a total disregard for people's needs in Culebra.