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PDC hardware store to remain shut until penalty for tree felling complied with

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — A newly constructed hardware store remains shut in Playa del Carmen after felling at least two large trees. According to city officials, the company will not be granted operation permits until they have complied with their fine.

Area residents reported the cutting of the large ceiba trees to municipal authorities in March. María de Lourdes Várguez Ocampo, Secretary of Sustainable Environment and Climate Change said the company had, on two occasions, requested permits to cut down the trees from the front of their establishment, but on both occasions, were denied their request.

In spite of the denials, the company went ahead and cut the trees anyway. At the end of March, municipal authorities fined the owners of the new hardware store.

Ocampo said the company was fined 320,000 pesos and has been order to transplant two equivalent trees in the same place as those cut as well as the planting of 40 shrubs in the roadway median in front of the business.

Ocampo says each of the large trees will cost between 120,000 and 160,000 pesos to purchase and transplant since heavy machinery will be required.

“It is something that is going to cost them a lot of money. It would have been better for them to keep those two trees in their place and nothing was happening,” she said.

Two 10-meter tall ceiba trees were cut anyway after repeated requests were denied. Photo: March 27, 2024.

She says until they comply with the penalty imposed by the Ministry of the Environment, the company will remain closed. The company has three months to comply.