City gets tough on vacant lots as rains approach

vacant lot
Vacant lots in Mérida are under scrutiny by city officials who worry about mosquito infestations. File photo
vacant lot
Vacant lots in Mérida are under scrutiny by city officials who worry about mosquito infestations. File photo

Mérida, Yucatán — With the rainy season fast approaching, and worries about mosquitoes that come with it, City Council has approved more stringent measures to regulate vacant lots.

The new law gives powers to the city to intervene immediately — even with police backup, if necessary — in an area found to pose a possible health risk. The property owner would then be billed five times the real cost of whatever cleanup and correction was performed, in addition to a fine.

 

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The new regulation also increases fines for non-compliance, up to $5,112MX for every four square meters of property.

In addition, deadlines imposed on non-compliant properties are now seven days; previously, land owners were given between 60 and 80 days to clean vacant property. Uncooperative property owners could even find their properties seized by the city.

Yucatán rainy season

The Yucatán rainy season begins in May and lasts until October. That’s when mosquitoes breed — in standing water that can occur when properties are not tended to. Worries about dengue, a mosquito-borne disease common in the tropics, have been compounded by the advent of chikungunya and zika — which are spreading around the world.

Homeowners are advised to check flower pots, buckets and part of the yard that tend to puddle.

Typically, summer rain comes in the afternoon and lasts a half an hour or so, followed by sunshine.

 

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