Environmental authorities shut down a beach villa in Chelem on Friday. Photo: Profepa

Chelem, Yucatán — A beach villa has been flagged by the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa) for allegedly encroaching the beach and lacking environmental-impact permits.

The property was ordered closed and the owners, who were not named, face fines of between 2.6 to 4.3 million pesos.

In an inspection visit, Profepa determined that 260 square meters/2,807 square feet of construction — mampostería, block walls, concrete fence and ironwork, swimming pool, garden areas, a roofed terrace, bamboo shading, a palapa and stairs to the beach — were in the federal zone.

The property owners were defended on social media.

“The current owners bought the property four years ago,” wrote a follower of a Facebook page The Merida Yucatan Bulletin. “The terrace, walls, steps etc were all in place from many years ago. They didn’t build it. This is a great business and a real asset to the area. Our thoughts are with owners at this time.”

A reader on Uno TV’s Facebook page said he looked at photographic records Google Earth and found that the terrace and beach stairs date to 2004, 10 years before the current owners bought the property.

Profepa intervened a month ago at another Chelem beach when a stretch of open space was demarcated with razor wire.

With information from Profepa