Last updateFri, 29 May 2015 4pm

GDL city hall stymied in Fiestas, tower block projects

The Guadalajara municipal government appears to be pushing ahead with an ambitious development in the north of the city despite the fierce objections of neighboring residential communities.

Two major projects are slated for a plot of land on the northern Periferico (beltway), close to the intersection with the Calzada Independencia, adjoining the Guadalajara Zoo and Huentitan Park, where the abandoned city Planetarium gathers dust.

The four-billion-peso Iconia complex would consist of 18 tower blocks housing 1,872 apartments; a 12-story, four-star hotel; a three-story corporate building with 62 offices; a shopping mall; a public museum; an expo center; a linear park and an underground parking lot with 7,465 spaces.

The second project is the construction of a new site for Guadalajara’s popular annual state fair,  the Fiestas de Octubre.

Neighbors say the zone’s traffic infrastructure could not support 20,000 new residents and that the city needs to conserve its green areas not destroy them.

In its vigorous campaign against the projects, the Frente Unido por Huentitan (United Front for Huentitan) has managed to persuade the State Administrative Tribunal (TAE) to issue a ruling prohibiting  Guadalajara city hall from giving their approval to the preliminary plans (planes parciales) of both developments, and granting any municipal permits. 

However, Javier Salas, Guadalajara’s legal representative, said the TAE suspension is not binding and, in any case, conditioned on the zone falling within an officially designated Area Natural Protegido (Naturally Protected Area), which he stresses it is not.

Salas said the city council has yet to approve the preliminary plans for “prudential reasons” and not because of any legal impediment imposed by state authorities.

Meanwhile, Luis Fernando Favela, director of the Fiestas de Octubre Patronato, said he has heard nothing to suggest the ambitious fairground  project would not move ahead as planned.   This week, he told reporters that a “final design” for the site would be ready in ten days, at which time the cost of the project would be revealed.   He said requests have been made for federal funding of the new fairground, and private sponsors are also being sought.