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the Monte Carlo is on the opposite side of the road...so does your realtor friend mean to say, that the land across the street on the hilly side also belongs to the Guad. Univ.?

Sorry I do not have more info and do not wish to speculate

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Seems to me it would be better placed at the coast somewhere.

My fear is that they will start and fail at some time and then the area will be stuck with a mess on the hill.

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It appears most concerns are that this project will never be finished or constructed in a safe manner and not adding to the already existing utility/ traffic problems we now have. No one wants the hillside destroyed with another big black hole or looking at an empty shell for the next 20 years. Has anyone had any experience here with PERFORMANCE BONDS? If they had to come up with a very large CASH BOND or INSURANCE BOND it might give some reassurance of their real intentions and ability to perform as advertised.

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The Guadalajara Reporter wrote, not too long ago, that the UdG was looking for a commercial partner to run the Monte Carlo. This was after the auditors reported that the hotel/resort/convention center had lost millions of pesos over the past year. There was no mention of selling the property. They would be foolish to sell it until it had some profits to report. This also speaks to the lack of any credible market research on the "Slack City" project.

(SLACK - as in the Church of Sub Genius Meaning :P

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_the_SubGenius)

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I would also point out - in addition to adding hundreds of cars and toilets and electric appliances to an already overburdened system, and building on land that can't possibly handle that large a structure - the price point seems absurd. THe one bedroom units are 700 square feet - tiny by any standard. If they were charging $60-75,000 maybe, but $150,000???? Who would be that dumb??

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Has anyone read Todd Stong's letter to the Chapala Reporter? His comments are not speculative but based upon his many years experience. "Foundation Engineer and with 13 years of water relate projects in an about the lake"

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Well, she just contradicted everything she first wrote! Sounds like this Grupo Naimar outfit is a total scam...or worse...but most of us could already could see that...

After this little drama that brought an unflattering light to so many very important local issues, "cooler heads" might conclude that major outside development here is just not such a good idea.

EDITORIAL - COOLER HEADS

Breaking the story about the LakeCity project has certainly had wide ramifications. The Lake Chapala Reporter has been vilified, I have personally been vilified, the developers, the project, the government—everyone is being trashed.

To be clear, first of all, I am personally as concerned about the implications of such a development in our community as most people are. As a journalist, however, I need to stay neutral in my reporting, which some people, not understanding the role of journalism in a community, equate with being a shill for big business. Most people by now know that the Lake Chapala Reporter is a better source of real estate news than other publications are.

When the Municipality of Chapala approved the first steps of this project (and it’s a long approval process, with signatures required at every step), they undoubtedly realized what infrastructure they (not the developers) would need to provide, including widening the access streets. That’s what licensing fees are supposed to pay for. Attacking the developers because the streets need to be widened is misplaced. Calling the developers scammers because the project is unpopular with some people here is also misplaced. Like most international financiers, they’ve probably had hits and misses. Placing them under a microscope personally and professionally is unrealistic and futile.

The fact is that they have looked at studies of what FUTURE retirees here will want. It’s that simple. And if the project fails, some other project like it will come along and succeed. It’s inevitable. This is a prime location and demographic.

Let’s focus on the municipality, and keep our emotions out of this. I have sources who are going to check the licenses this coming week. Then we’ll know whether this is being handled legally. As always, I’ll keep you posted on facts, not emotions and speculation.

People who want to take action should get together and consider what action will be most effective. Vitriolic emails to journalists, and speculative, sarcastic ranting on webboards are just not helpful. Let’s take this one step at a time, and be smart about it. Cooler heads will prevail.

Lisa L. Jorgensen
Publisher and Editor

EDITORIAL - COOLER HEADS

Breaking the story about the LakeCity project has certainly had wide ramifications. The Lake Chapala Reporter has been vilified, I have personally been vilified, the developers, the project, the government—everyone is being trashed.

To be clear, first of all, I am personally as concerned about the implications of such a development in our community as most people are. As a journalist, however, I need to stay neutral in my reporting, which some people, not understanding the role of journalism in a community, equate with being a shill for big business. Most people by now know that the Lake Chapala Reporter is a better source of real estate news than other publications are.

When the Municipality of Chapala approved the first steps of this project (and it’s a long approval process, with signatures required at every step), they undoubtedly realized what infrastructure they (not the developers) would need to provide, including widening the access streets. That’s what licensing fees are supposed to pay for. Attacking the developers because the streets need to be widened is misplaced. Calling the developers scammers because the project is unpopular with some people here is also misplaced. Like most international financiers, they’ve probably had hits and misses. Placing them under a microscope personally and professionally is unrealistic and futile.

The fact is that they have looked at studies of what FUTURE retirees here will want. It’s that simple. And if the project fails, some other project like it will come along and succeed. It’s inevitable. This is a prime location and demographic.

Let’s focus on the municipality, and keep our emotions out of this. I have sources who are going to check the licenses this coming week. Then we’ll know whether this is being handled legally. As always, I’ll keep you posted on facts, not emotions and speculation.

People who want to take action should get together and consider what action will be most effective. Vitriolic emails to journalists, and speculative, sarcastic ranting on webboards are just not helpful. Let’s take this one step at a time, and be smart about it. Cooler heads will prevail.

Lisa L. Jorgensen
Publisher and Editor

EDITORIAL - COOLER HEADS

Breaking the story about the LakeCity project has certainly had wide ramifications. The Lake Chapala Reporter has been vilified, I have personally been vilified, the developers, the project, the government—everyone is being trashed.

To be clear, first of all, I am personally as concerned about the implications of such a development in our community as most people are. As a journalist, however, I need to stay neutral in my reporting, which some people, not understanding the role of journalism in a community, equate with being a shill for big business. Most people by now know that the Lake Chapala Reporter is a better source of real estate news than other publications are.

When the Municipality of Chapala approved the first steps of this project (and it’s a long approval process, with signatures required at every step), they undoubtedly realized what infrastructure they (not the developers) would need to provide, including widening the access streets. That’s what licensing fees are supposed to pay for. Attacking the developers because the streets need to be widened is misplaced. Calling the developers scammers because the project is unpopular with some people here is also misplaced. Like most international financiers, they’ve probably had hits and misses. Placing them under a microscope personally and professionally is unrealistic and futile.

The fact is that they have looked at studies of what FUTURE retirees here will want. It’s that simple. And if the project fails, some other project like it will come along and succeed. It’s inevitable. This is a prime location and demographic.

Let’s focus on the municipality, and keep our emotions out of this. I have sources who are going to check the licenses this coming week. Then we’ll know whether this is being handled legally. As always, I’ll keep you posted on facts, not emotions and speculation.

People who want to take action should get together and consider what action will be most effective. Vitriolic emails to journalists, and speculative, sarcastic ranting on webboards are just not helpful. Let’s take this one step at a time, and be smart about it. Cooler heads will prevail.

Lisa L. Jorgensen
Publisher and Editor

After this little drama brought certain very important local issues to light, "cooler heads" might conclude that major development from outsiders is not such a good idea.

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Everything is easy to verify, documents published had tax parcel number so just ask at Catastro about changes in ownership of the parcel. Take the "license" published and go to the planning department and ask if it is a building permit or license and ask if there has been one issued or applied for. Now that the government is back to work everything is easy to verify.

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Stong´s comments are most enlightening. Makes the proposed project seem like a practical joke.

I attempted to copy and paste but no luck.

If you go to the Chapala Reporter, go to News-Ed then Letters to the Editor then to the letter beginning with "The Lake City complex is said to be" then to "Read More".

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Maybe it was a trial balloon to see response!!!...so far as going to City Hall, so just ask at Catastro about changes in ownership of the parcel. Good luck with that one.

One would assume that "they" have options to purchase based on many factors..

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Has anyone read Todd Stong's letter to the Chapala Reporter? His comments are not speculative but based upon his many years experience. "Foundation Engineer and with 13 years of water relate projects in an about the lake"

Since I choose not to subscribe to The Chapala Reporter, is there another way to read Todd's letter?

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Chapala040.jpgThe “Lake City” complex is said to be planned for a site across the street from the Monte Carlo Hotel facility. I am sure for such a mega project, perhaps at a cost to exceed 6 billion pesos, significant on-site studies have long ago been executed. Nevertheless, as a Foundation Engineer and with 13 years of water relate projects in an about the lake, may I suggest a few basic concerns of which hopefully all have been satisfied.

1. That area for this proposed complex is rather steep, often over 30% grade. I suppose the developer has purchased all the land above the main highway, to include the housing properties on Calle Monaco and that loop of houses

2. Building on such slopes over 20% is normally not officially permitted inOne encounters VERY steep grades once 200 meters north from the main highway. If the proposed area was square in shape the announced 260,000 m2 total area would be 510 meters on a side. Perhaps the plan envisions building out into the lake and having the current main highway pass under the complex!

3. Very soon as one is going up that hill they reach the critical elevation contour set by Jalisco above which no construction may beThat may be near the 1550 meter elevation.

4. That section of mountain proposed for this complex is believed to be creeping southward continuously, perhaps a few centimeters/year. The municipio a few years ago was required to drill a new water well to the east of the Lourdes Church, which stands at the east edge of this proposed site, since the existing well had become so curved southward over time that the pump could not be removed for

5. It would seem that water for over 6000 persons may be required for this complex. At 250 liters/person that could be 1.5 million liters/day (near 300 gallon/minute pumping 24 hours a day). See item #7 below for more on water concerns.

6. Note the various east to west geologic faults in thatSee the geologic map for that area below.

Chapala040.jpg

7, The majority of the near 8 water wells in the city of Chapala exceed WHO, EPA (USA) and Mexican norms forFor example arsenic levels are 3 to 5 times the USA limit (10 ppb). The water in those wells is moderately warm which may be associated with the leaching of arsenic out of the area’s volcanic rocks. Once westward in Riberas or 1 km east of Chapala it seems the water wells are free of arsenic. If the developer knows the water may be thermal under their site, I suspect it will be laden with arsenic. I would suggest seeking CONAGUA authorization for drawing the complex’s water from the lake which has no minerals that are over limits. Once treated, such water will match that provided the public in Guadalajara. Very costly reverse osmosis processing is another alternative.

8. For such a massive complex, to be planned for placement on a steep hill, adequate parking will also be quite aI suppose multi-story underground solutions are planned. The housing towers may probably have the lower floors for parking, thus giving a better view from higher up residential units.

9. All of the above challenges could be removed it one considered a flatter location such as east of Chapala and west of Santa Cruz de la Soledad which also has abundant high quality wellThat area, a like distance from the center of Chapala, also has a newer highway, which is significantly less congested with traffic. Placement of a golf course in that area would also be much simpler and less restricted. There is also from that area an existing alternate roadway towards Guadalajara without climbing going over the mountain from Chapala.

10. I now am told that some part of the land to be used may belong to the U of Guadalajara which I believe also owns the Monte Carlo. If so, ideally such a complex might better include the Monte Carlo property itself so as to extend right to the lake. If so I would run the current highway under the complex, as a 4 lane passage so as to accommodate the future expected traffic.

11. The initial “impression” is that real estate promoters may be seeking to float a mega project, to be funded perhaps, by yet unknown entities. Sadly that could mean tainted money in this region.

12. The next “impression” is that 99% of what has been produced to this point has been by market study, sales focused, folks without the benefit of ANY on-site engineering testing/study. Further, all that may be seen so far seems to be some renderings which I suspect may have been prepared by Spanish architects who have yet to spend a day on this potentially unstable hillside.

13. Also, the idea that one can detect water under a mountain from a satellite is quite a stretch from being able to detect near surface moisture in soil based open plains which is possible. Less than 10% of the 32”/year rainfall in this area, that may fall upon that mountain mass behind the proposed site, can be expected to become ground water. No one in all of Mexico has any clue as the interconnection of aquifers that lie beneath Chapala and Riberas, and thus the impact of extracting perhaps over 1.5 million liters/day via wells to be created by this project.

Could it be that the staff at the Chapala government is not a professional match for what may be a hollow proposal by a slick marketing team?

Dr. Todd D. Stong

Licensed Professional Engineer (USA)

Volunteer Engineer Adviser to Local Area Governments (13 years)

53 Emiliano Zapata, Ajijic, Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico

Tel: 011-52-376-766-1809

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The proposal was so extreme I wondered from the start was this an April Fools hoax directed at expats? Maybe too elaborate for that but makes one wonder.

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This has been posted and reposted elsewhere: The property that would have to be dug up has not changed hands since 2010. It was NOT sold at that time. It was passed on from grandfather to grandson. The property in question spans enough area that the complex would have emptied out onto the libramiento.

Is this true? I don't know just passing along the info someone else researched.

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It was mentioned some of this info was posted on Mexpats Lake Chapala, but I can't find such a site using those words. Anybody know?

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You don´t need to subscribe, it´s on the part of the Reporter site that lets you see the Letters to the Editor.

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The proposal was so extreme I wondered from the start was this an April Fools hoax directed at expats? Maybe too elaborate for that but makes one wonder.

I am leaning towards a tight group of UdG students, or unemployed graduates, not so much pulling a prank, but showing off their newly minted skills, possibly looking for work, or padding a sparse resume. You may think that this deception would be the kiss of death for job applicants, but in fact shows that this is a ruthless person, or group, willing to anything it takes to shift property. Unfortunately, an admirable trait for many property developers, in Mexico, and many others around the world. There is a surplus of smart, dishonest people who justify their behavior as "driven to success".

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Many thanks to Dr. Stong a professional and unbiased report from a qualified foundation engineer.. During the presentation it was stated by the company rep that they planned to use the materials from the site in the construction. Chew up the mountain and spit out a mega complex!

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With tongue firmly in cheek... As an exploration geologist I am intrigued by the high arsenic levels in the area and will now rush off to the mines office to stake a claim. Since this mega project seems doomed for failure at this location, maybe we can replace the promised jobs in the tourism industry with mining jobs! I am quite sure no one on this board would object to a nice little open pit mine on that site????

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Sent to me via email, supposedly from the Lake Chapala Reporter:

A very reputable source scoured the halls of the Municipality of Chapala today, and came up with many red flags regarding the proposed LakeCity project.
- - The property identified in the presentation conducted by developers Grupo Naimar last week has not changed hands since 2010, when it was transferred (not sold) to a Mexican man by his grandfather.
- The person whose land would need to be dug up in order for an access road to be built to the Libramiento has not been contacted.
- There are no building permits for that land, nor are any in progress.
- The approximately 48 million pesos required for such a building permit has not been paid.
- There is no environmental impact study for that project.
- No formal project plan has been approved.
Grupo Naimar was presented with this information 2 hours ago, and has not yet provided a comment. This publication will publish any response when it becomes available.

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These towers remind me of low income housing projects in the States. Many of them were so unlivable they were dynamited to cheers by the watching throngs. They were erected in the '50s and '60s by the same mentalities who built and elevated freeway in San Francisco, blocking the Bay. (It was finally torn down after the 1989 earthquake).

Most expats are lured here by the charming ambience of Ajijic, the eternal spring climate, the colorful flowers cascading over pastel walls, the hummingbirds and monarch butterflies, the fresh breezes from the lake. These proposed high rise monstrosities are an insult to our little paradise.

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Stay tuned. I think there will be lots more information coming out this week. Today I accompanied Lisa to translate for her with the head of public works to clarify issues and for her follow up story. As we were going up the stairs to his office Dale Palfrey and another gentleman who works with her were leaving so in the next few days we should have very credible information straight from the horses mouth.

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Excellent. But, why wasn't this due diligence done in the first place?

On whose part?

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