In the middle of last year, the Municipality of Maldonado had decided to fine the deputy of the People’s Party, Daniel Peñafor having built a house in Punta Ballena without definitive permission and exceeding the maximum height allowed. The director of Urbanism, Soledad Laguarda, confirmed in August 2021, and reiterated on several occasions, that the fine would be executed in the next real estate contribution. But that didn’t happen.
As explained by the director of Communication of the administration, Martín Pintos, they will finally do so in next year’s contribution. The hierarch pointed out that the resolution regarding the deputy’s house indicated that the file would first go through the Cadastre Directorate and that the fine would only be executed upon entering the Tax division. Although the lien in which the infraction is verified was signed in June 2021, Pintos alleged that after that the neighbors made more claims because a landfill was built that diverts rainwater from a ravine that passed through it, flooding their houses and causing erosion. For that reason, he argued, was that The collection of the fine was delayed.
Pintos explained that when more claims are entered, this is added to the original file and until all the points of the same case are processed, it does not reach the Tax sector (and therefore the fine is not charged). “If claims are added, the file does not advance“, he summarized. As the period for collecting the real estate contribution was closed, it was postponed for next year.
Another community source admitted to The Observer that in reality they “delayed” in charging the fine, and since Peña has already paid this year’s contribution, they cannot collect it until the next time. In any case, in the event that the deputy needs to carry out any procedure before the administration, he will have to pay the fine.
The irregularities of the house and their explanation
Despite the fact that the Municipality of Maldonado ordered to suspend the works in mid-2021, Peña continued to build his house in Punta Ballena. In that period in which the works should have been paralyzed, railings, walls and doors were built, although the legislator publicly denied it.
Peña had also been exhorted by the mayor to correct a gutter that he built outside the regulations and that harmed some neighbors, but the correction of that work was detrimental to other homes in the area.
The neighbors reported him to the mayor and the Departmental Board in 2020 for the work on the 345-square-meter house carried out without a definitive permit, and exceeding the maximum height allowed.
Despite the fact that the Municipality of Maldonado instructed him to suspend the work on December 22 of that year and then, in February, denied the permit for not complying with the regulations, the legislator continued forward. Only months later, when faced with a new summons from the Maldonado Building Control Directorate, which established that should “immediately paralyze the works” and that if they do not comply, legal action would be taken, Peña agreed to stop the work. However, the house was built by a precast concrete method which is very fast and today it is practically finished.
In that instance, he was also instructed again by the mayor to correct the gutter that was harming his neighbors. After that summons made on July 7, Peña covered all the windows with paper so that it would not be seen that he was still building inside, one of his neighbors, Fernando Grasso, told The Observer Last December. Then there were workers who fixed the gutter based on the intimation of the mayor but, according to the commune, after the correction of the storm drain, other residents of the area are now harmed.
Grasso maintained that after this work, two workers they worked for a week on the ground floor and the first floor of the house.
Congressman Peña maintained –also in December– that there are only two neighbors –Grasso and Danno– who “protest”. “The other nine signed accepting the work. The neighbors are totally in favor. Those who protest have no reason to do so (…) We are facing a media issue because I am a deputy. I would tell you to walk around the area and you would realize that the house that has the fewest irregularities is mine“, he stated.
“All this is old. I did not continue with the works. What there is, because I’m living there they are not works. They are maintenance things outside, but the work is stopped. I keep asking the mayor to let the works continue, “justified the legislator. As for the materials that appear next to his house in some images to which he agreed The Observer, argued that they have been there since the work was stopped on July 7. The same thing happened, as he explained, with the constructions that the commune alleges are new (railings, walls and doors). He insisted that he did not do anything “outlaw” but that a “technical error” was made.