A controversial sale of plots to build homes at a popular whales' sight seeing area, El Doradillo, ten miles from Puerto Madryn in Argentine Patagonia has been suspended following protests from environmentalists.
Puerto Madryn's mayor Carlos Eliceche signed a resolution halting all work in the area for 120 days period during which provincial officials, neighbors' committees and environmentalists will meet to decide what to do with the home building project which covers most of a 7.400 hectares protected area.
Although it is a protected area, the city's Legislative Council appealing to provincial legislation which makes a difference with "wild life areas" voted in favor of the urban development.
The neighbors committees are expected to draft a land regulations' bill for the area.
When news of the urban development in the whales sigh seeing area broke out, residents and environmentalists immediately organized a protest campaign.
Given the controversy mayor Eliceche suspended the sale of plots which according to local real estate surveyors were selling at an average 35.000 US dollars the hectare.
"We are willing to listen all points of view, so between all of us we can find the best alternative for the development of the city and the region", promised Eliceche.
The mayor promised that the current status of the area, --which apparently belongs to three land promoters? will remain unchanged.
Puerto Madryn and the surrounding area is world famous for whales which come to the area to rest, mate and give birth to calves.
Whales' sight seeing has become the leading tourist attraction of the area.