La Manzanilla Mexico Ejido

State notes

Different State Procedures:

There is formality of law and prescribed development procedure on a state by state basis.

Sonora -

Mexico is not unlike the United States (or Arizona for that matter) when it comes to the development of real estate. There is formality in law, approval of intended development, requirements of compliance with authorization by local municipalities and the state government.

In order to be a more informed buying public, and to avoid future acquisition nightmares, I think it is beneficial to know and understand in particular what the state government of Sonora mandates for the development of residential subdivisions.

Each state in Mexico has its own development law and subsequent requirements.

In the case of Sonora, there is the Law of Urban Development for the State of Sonora (La Ley de Desarrollo Urbano Para el Estado de Sonora). It is commonly referred to as Urban Development Law 101.

The procedure to authorize the development of a subdivision ("fraccionamiento") is specified by the Office of Urban Administration, Secretary of Urban Infrastructure and Ecology for the State Government of Sonora (Direccion de Administracion Urbana, Secretaria de Infraestructura Urbana y Ecologia ("SIUE"), Gobierno del Estado de Sonora).

Typically, the process to receive approval for an intended residential subdivision is as follows:

Initially, the developer must take the necessary steps to obtain a land use license from the city council ("ayuntamiento") or local municipal authority. This process includes
(1) submission of an environmental impact study on the land to be developed.
(2) deeds of ownership on the property ("escrituras").
(3) a land plan of the tract.
(4) a location map of the overall property.

The developer must also submit a draft or blueprint ("anteproyecto") of the proposed development.

The city council will then present the draft of the proposed project along with the land use certificate, deeds, location map and land use plan, including a layout of the lots and blocks of the subdivision to SIUE.

At the same time, the city council or municipality will facilitate and obtain the feasibility of potable water service, drainage and electrical service for the proposed subdivision from the appropriate municipal agencies by presenting the land use license and the land plan of lots and blocks to the respective authorities.

The developer will then receive initial approval for the intended subdivision from the city council or municipality.

Once initial authorization is granted, the developer must then submit a formal executive development plan and all required documents to the city council or municipality according to Article 129 of Urban Development Law 101 of Sonora.

The local authorities will present the project again to SIUE with the calculations of water and sewer use for review, revision and approval.

Additionally, the municipality will submit the calculations for electrical usage and street lighting to Mexico's Federal Electricity Commission ("Comision Federal de Electricidad") for their possible revision and subsequent approval.

After a satisfactory review of the general project plan by the authorities, the developer will be authorized by way of formal agreement with the municipal president or mayor which will establish the obligations and the time period required to complete the proposed subdivision.

After the developer donates 15% of the overall land as required to the local municipality (which is generally utilized for common areas, green belts and/or schools) and pays the development fees as mandated, they must publish the subdivision approval in the "Boletin Oficial" (official bulletin).
The Boletin gives the public notification and government approval of the intended development.

Lastly, the developer must record the agreement in the Public Registry of Property along with the unilateral declarations of intention to develop the property with copies going to the local tax assessor office, the treasury department and to SIUE.


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