Contribution to Annual Members Meeting La Galera de Las Palmeras

Contribution to the meeting at 25-03-2023 Annual Members meeting La Galera de Las Palmeras.

By Hans van Ommen, Puput 34
Whatsapp : 0031 6 515 64 373

Dear All,

This is my motivation to increase the annual contribution from € 150,- per year to € 150,= per month.
The increase of the income will bee needed to safe money to comply with the ridiculous demands the Ajuntamente of Altea has confronted our Urbanization. At this moment there is not even enough money / budget to fight in court against these regulations forces upon us all.

Those who have followed the discussion on the Whatsapp, may already have read about my worries regarding the future of our Urbanization La Galera de Las Palmeras. The value of our Real Estate is in danger.

The Galera de Las Palmeras is an association of individuals who are contributing to the maintenance of our streets. Volunteers like Dick Landsman, Ton Wantenaar, Cor van den Heuvel and Paul Wilson have kept the streets clean and repaired asphalt where needed.
And much more is taken care of by other volunteers over the years.

At the Galera de Las Palmeras you will see some 207 houses if you count the pools on Google Earth.
Only some 120 owners have become a member of our association and they are contributing a very low amount for the maintenance purposes: Euro 150,=. In that case the association also is able to save some money for serious matters like repairs of roads on larger scale.
Some 100 owners of houses do not contribute to the association. The address of many of these owners is not known and we cannot even ask them to contribute.
Also a number of houses have not seen being used for 20 years or longer. The owner may have died.

In addition : along the roads you will see a lot of Parcela’s / plots. Some are for sale but many are not shown to be for sale. The names and addresses of these owners are in most cases also not known to the association.
It is likely that at least another 100 owners do not contribute to the Association and the maintenance.

In the Netherlands similar associations the owners need to pay this amount per month, but thanks to the many works done by volunteers, we survive financially.
But the Treasurer has to keep his eyes focused on the amount available for maintenance.

If you are a legislated (legal) Association, the contribution can be collected by the Municipality / Ajuntamente. If not paid, the amount outstanding will add up to the debt of the individuals.
As soon as the plot or the building is sold, the new owner will have to pay the debt, unless he has forced the seller to pay these before the sale is completed.

Of course we would like to involve the Ajuntamente in the collection of the membership fees, but the Aduntamente does not want to recognize us as a legal entity, because our association is not compliant with the regulations being:

1) the streets of the project do not comply with regulations. The streets must be 6 meters wide to enable cars to pass each other.

2) we need pedestrians along both sides of the road. These must be 50 cm wide.

3) All the houses must be connected to a central municipal sewage pipe.
Septic tanks are not complying with the EU laws and are forbidden to be used.

4) along the streets there must be placed street lanterns, examples of which you can see
if you pass by Puput 35.

And until we comply, we remain an illegal Urbanization that will not be serviced by the Ajuntamente.

A) Do we need roads of 6 meters wide ? No.
A safe drive can be ascertained by a road profile like this :
The red colored path can suit the walking persons.
At the same time this space can be used for cars passing up and down the road.

Less space needed for this type of infrastructure

B) Do we need pedestrians ?
No, because traffic is hardly there and in most case locals, living at the Galera de Las Palmeras

C) Do we need streetlights ?
No, because we can take care of suitable lamps along our fences

D) Do we need improvement of the sewage systems ?
Yes, especially where this system was damaged during constructionworks.

All these requirements will never be implemented as there will never be enough funds.
And even the saving of money to get this done, is frustrated by the fact that the contribution is not obligatory collected by the Ajuntamente.

As you can imagine, it is also in practice virtually impossible to comply with these demands/regulations.

Not only the costs of this are beyond our capacity : many times the construction of the houses and the size of the walls of the gardens make a mission to comply impossible.

Sharing information
On a regular basis we see that the forest on plots is being cut in full. No building activities take place after the forest has been cut down.

Location : Calle Puput 54 plot
trees cut

As the Ajuntamente does not inform our board about permits to cut trees, we have no other choice than to allow the nature diminish for no good reason. Also the board / the members are not informed about any plans to construct a house. This always is a surprise.

I feel that new constructions should only take place on locations which have been abandoned. At least 20 houses are known to not have been visited by their owners for over 10 years. This also contributes to decay of our Urbanization.

Do the owners pay their SUMA?
They certainly do not contribute to the maintenance of the Urbanization!
The Ajuntamente insists that the space for wider roads and the space for pedestrians should be granted by the owners, this resulting into ridiculous changes of property.
See for instance the situation at Corb:
Corb is 3 meters wide.

Permission to build a new house, implies also that the owner shall comply with these regulations.

Those owners who have bought a house from a person who has build an extension to his property without a permission to be in place, are now also forced to comply with the new regulations.
Even where there is a dead end street, a pedestrian must be made.

Those who have the intention to improve their housing, now fist have to comply with these new regulations.

Historic overview:

Originally the Bernia was a forest area.

Approx in 1945 the area of the Galera de Las Palmeras was sold to mr. Cortes.
Mr. Cortes has started to sell plots sizes at least 1000 square meters.
This to comply with local legislation.

Mr. Cortes and the builders of the houses had to find their way by cutting trees for roads to reach the plots where houses were to be build.
These houses complied with regulations in those days.
The houses complied with regulations for permanent residence, but in due course many
were sold by the owners to persons who used the houses for holiday stays only.
Private use and also rentals.

To my knowledge the Ajuntamente has allowed the owners to use a septic tank for there sewage waste.
The Ajuntamente has never informed mr. Cortes that a central sewage system should be put in place, when he made the roads.

An If that is the case, the Ajuntamente has allowed mr Cortes to continue setting up an illegal Urbanizatiion.
It is unacceptable that we now are facing requirements that were put in place after the construction of the roads and the houses.

Approx in 1998 (?) the Ajuntamente has agreed to take over the ownership of the roads for free.
So Mr. Cortes has lost ownership.
Approx in the same time, the Ajuntamente has agreed to put asphalt on the roads and they have charged the owners for each meter of asphalt that was put along their plot.
As I have explained in the APP, many have never paid their share of this and I expect that none of the owners of plots for sale were charged for this.

At the time, the Ajuntamente has not used the opportunity to put a central sewage pipe in the ground. Nor did they arrange streetlights.

Also the Ajuntamente had not used the opportunity to put pedestrians along the roads.
Also the Ajuntamente had not used the opportunity to bring the streets to the size of 6 meters.

But we experience now that on many spots, the asphalt is very bad and deteriorating.
Volunteers like Ton Wantenaar, Cor van de Heuvel and Paul Wilson many times have repaired these roads where possible.
But on several locations, the size of the asphalt problems is too large for repair by volunteers.

The Ajuntamente is not willing to assist, unless the owner of the adjacent property pays for the costs.
So we are stuck in the middle :
We cannot become a legal Urbanisation because Mr. Cortes has not complied with the regulations.
The Ajuntamente has implemented new regulations after the road had been transferred into their hands.
And we are unable to reach all of the owners because we do not have all of the addresses of the owners of houses and plots.
Strangely enough, the Ajuntamente also has not contacted the owners of plots to enforce them to build a pedestrian on their grounds.
Apparently the danger of walking on the roads, do only apply for sites where there is being build.

The situation has come to a standstill now. No support from the Ajuntamente to collect the contributions. No repairs of Asphalt. No measures regarding the Sewage pipe.
No streetlights as have been made in other Urbanisations. No sign at the Entrance to show that this is the way to visit the Galera de Las Palmeras: we are treated as if we are outcast.

Given  the situation I see no other option than to consult a very large and expensive International lawyersfirm, who can advise us with regards to this situation.

Waiting for the Ajuntamente to improve their treatment, in my opinion, is a waste of time.