THE FOLLOWING IS A NOTE OF EXPLANATION FROM THE DEVELOPER OF THE PENINSULA CLUB IN REGARDS TO COMMERCIAL OPPORTUNITIES AT PENINSULA CLUB
When I came to Belize in 2003, I went through all the usual hoops to get documentation done in Belmopan, of course, and found it to be very complex, exhausting and many times, duplicated by many departments. Thus it takes a long time to get an ECP (Environmental Compliance Plan) completed for any project. The local Village is no more than a local village with a Village Chairman with little input to the bylaws. All decisions are made in Belmopan at the Government level and I do not foresee this changing for some time.
And why is that? The Government is run from Belmopan and has implemented and controls the 5 percent stamp duty collected on every sale and the 12.5% GST that is applied. Then the funding is distributed to the villages through decisions of the current Prime Minister and/or his Cabinet. Belize is a small country – classed as a third world – but it really is not when it comes to technology and environmental issues. I have come here to learn all about this country of Belize with its seven districts and 6 villages, Belize City and San Pedro are the only cities with a mayor, only 350,000 people live in the whole country, approximately one-third are populated in the triangle of Belize City, Belmopan and Orange Walk.
SO HOW DOES A DEVELOPER MAKE IT BETTER WITHIN THE CONFINES OF THE LAW?
For the second project – Peninsula Club Belize – I did my demographic studies. I did all of the designing with properly appointed design people in Belize, I did my ground studies and confirmed I was on a shelf and not open water. I presented my findings in total to the Government of Belize and DOE (Department of Environment and Mining) and all of the authorities required to get my ECP for the 102 acre parcel I wished to purchase as well as the 3.87 acres I had to purchase privately at the very front of the road which was owned by the same man I bought the lots from to build Chabil Mar Resort.
It was an exhaustive study even though by now I knew many of the people in Belmopan and this country has some brilliant young people in these departments. The CEOs for each Ministerial Department are equally brilliant and come with excellent educational backgrounds from other countries who have the same mindset as myself – to assist Belize to go forward.
Belize is like Canada in many ways, British Law. They need developers to come here and develop and hire the Belizeans. The Government has already defined 1/3 of this country as natural reserve and building on the sea can only be done legally to a height of 40 feet.
Interior lands can go much higher of course so I am confident this will never become like the other Caribbean islands and be overpopulated with extreme poverty. Instead I see it flourishing and becoming a good and safe country to live and work it but it does take external developers.
So now for the ECP for Peninsula Club I carefully studied all that is needed – and remember this is 10 years later that I had to think – what is still needed?
There is no full service marina so I added that to my ECP requirements for approval. Then I included a hurricane-four mall with specialty stores bringing in goods that are not in this country. A need for International banking in the area of Placencia is required where a transient traveller be it by boat, car, plane can get some USA currency and do some international banking.
Good quality sun glasses and things that international travelers are looking for have not arrived in Belize like it is enjoyed in Mexico – the neighboring country – or even Guatemala – the other neighboring country so I added a shopping mall to my ECP – an external mall for extended hours seven days a week.
Belize is just now learning about Medical Tourism and realizing that foreigners are going to other countries for services by not partaking. My dream of a medical tourism clinic and helping the Belizeans from the monies earned by international business will now be realized. There will be a state of the art spa and health club for therapeutic healing after surgeries and for special reasons after some other medical treatments. There will be a legal 75-foot long swimming pool with two lanes for actual professional swimming as many sports-minded people come here for diving and there are no professional length pools and so I also added this to my ECP. A fishing lodge has been planned as well as boutique hotel within the ECP.
What does that mean to you as a developer of specific designs?
It means you can now arrive – purchase one of the multi-purpose sites and begin building with none of the difficulties of the Government of Belize in Belmopan as they are already approved and applauded by the Government and welcomed.
It means your time is cut down from eighteen months to eighteen days and you are building and having your product for sale. Time is money and I have alleviated this problem as a responsible developer wanting other developers with integrity and vision to come and build within the laws of the country.
The time has come where legal documents have to be acquired on the pure practice of good honest design, there is nothing done back door at this development, I continue to go forward and hope to help the country no longer be classed as a third world. Canada and the United States of America assist this country immensely.
This is my dream to have this first area where you can boat up to an International Bank, buy a good underwater camera, eat in a fine dining experience, get medical attention and then leave knowing you were treated well and honestly by good hard working people.
I hope this explains better my vision for Peninsula Club of Belize.
I am here to assist and we can do this together – I know we can!
WELCOME TO THE CLUB!