It’s been nearly a year since the popular Cerro de la Z hiking trail was converted to a tourist residential and hotel zone instead of the popular mountains and hills zone that allowed locals and visitors a sweeping vista of the Los Cabos coastline.
Now a judge will be holding a final hearing to review the zoning change by the Los Cabos City Council to see if there were any irregularities in the decision to formally turn the popular trail for visitors and locals over for a potential real estate development.
Cerro de la Z
Cerro de la Zeta, also known as Cerro Prieto, is a popular hiking trail conveniently close to Los Cabos. In fact, the actual trailhead can be found in downtown Cabo San Lucas.
It’s an approximately 45-minute hike up a hill, much of which is paved, that covers 1.3 miles to the crest of the mountain.
From there, tourists can enjoy dramatic 360-degree panoramic views of Los Cabos and the entire coastline. Visitors to the beach resort destination find the location breathtaking, especially during the sunrise and sunset hours.
It is also a popular spot for runners and hikers with their pets.
The Question of Private Land
However, to get to the summit, hikers had to pass by a number of signs stating that the area was actually private property. Most people ignored the signs as an owner in dispute over what was considered public and what was considered private property.
It was more the hopes of the hikers for the preservation of the trail despite the legal ownership being private land.
The Tourist Residential Zoning Change
Less than a year ago, Oscar Palemón Camú Montilla, the owner of the disputed land, went to the Los Cabos City Council to have the land use changed from an open land zoning to one suitable for a hotel and residential development targeting tourists.
The zoning change was granted to the private landowner and what was part of the popular trail was set to be a tourist community with the same breathtaking views loved by the hiking public.
Several of the opposing parties to the land use change, including Council Member Linze Rodriguez appealed the decision in court and was granted an injunction against the tourist residential construction project.
The court determined that the injunction was founded and required the judge to complete an in-depth study and review of the decision and claims of both parties, including the public, and make a final decision on the zoning change.
That is where this dispute currently stands. The deadline has come for a final hearing and ruling to be issued on what will happen with the private land known as Cerro de la Z.
The Final Countdown
Where the final decision about Cerro de la Z will end up is truly anyone’s guess at this point. But it will be an interesting upcoming decision between the rights of the public and the rights of private landowners in the future development of Los Cabos.
Los Cabos is truly at a crossroads as a tourist destination as the area continues to develop more land to support the main driver of the local economy – tourism.
At what point do the residents of Los Cabos seek to preserve their way of life, while supporting the growth of the tourism industry in the area, is the main question to be resolved by a local judge.
There definitely has to be a balance to support the needs and desires of both sides of the equation. It should be interesting to see how the judge rules in this case and the future precedence it could set for the continued development of Los Cabos as a premier beach travel destination.
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