Photos by Giordano Ciampini
On September 6 the Municipal Emergencies Committee declared the building inhabitable
The Ministry of Health ordered the urgent repair of the five-story building located in the center of Nosara.
The structure, which many call “the Fraiser building” since the owner is John Fraiser Donovan, is well known in Nosara because of its central location across from the soccer field, for its attention-grabbing exterior façade and because the construction hasn’t been finished.
After the earthquake on September 5th, the local Emergencies Committee of the Municipality of Nicoya declared it uninhabitable due to structural problems presented principally in the walls and columns.
However, in spite of this, workers were observed in the area repairing the structure immediately after the earthquake happened (see photos).
Repairs were being made in the building on September 6, the day after the earthquake
The Ministry of Health has given the go ahead to repair the building and not tear it down. The reason, according to Zinnia Cordero, director of the Area of Health of Nicoya, is that “the property complied with the remedial plan and therefore the Ministry of Health considers the case closed. Now they have six months scheduled to do repairs.
The remedial plan includes movements of land, foundations, construction of columns and rafters, repairing walls and plastering, explained Cordero.
For his part, Rodolfo Jimenez Brown, the architect who works for Fraiser and is in charge of the work, assured that he received from Fraiser a copy of the report issued by the Ministry of Health and commented that he thinks “the building does not represent any threat.”
Susana Rivera, owner of La Tropicana disco, located next to the building, declared that “he (John Fraiser) came here and showed me some papers from the Ministry of Health where they supposedly gave permission to continue building,” but Rivera harbors doubts regarding the legality of the construction. “I don’t understand how he continues raising up and building without permits,” she explained.
She indicated that up until now only one wall of her business has presented damages. The wall is right up against a column of the Fraiser building.
According to the report SRG-ESP-0024-09-SMS, issued by the Federated College of Engineers and Architects (CFIA) in 2009, in the visits that they performed to 56 construction projects in Nosara, they found 19 constructions that lacked the construction log, 12 that didn’t have a municipal construction permit, 10 that didn’t have approved plans and three had built more than what was approved.
In this report, a total of 16 contacts appear in the name of John Fraiser Donovan. For the land in question, identified by the land registry G-800503 2002, located across from the soccer field in Nosara, there were six contracts, of which only four were formalized.
Sheyla Milanes, inspector with the regional branch of the CFIA who participated in the creation of the document in 2009, explained that these contracts are documents in which the owner of the property fills out a form along with the architect or engineer that will be in charge of the work and later the inscription to the CFIA is processed; however she clarified that they are not construction permits.
In addition, the CFIA report indicated that Fraiser Donovan has as his residence the Hotel Nosara, with 16 bedrooms, located in Punta Guiones, and that a report made by the National Insurance Institute (INS) dated February 12, 2009 indicates that the Municipality granted a concession in the name of Hotel Playa Nosara S.A.
However, in the CFIA pricing system, no contract appears under the name of the businesses of Fraiser Donavan, Miss Sky Canopy Tours S.A. or Hotel Playa Nosara S.A. Therefore the hotel doesn’t seem to have permits from the CFIA in the name of Fraiser Donovan. In addition, the structure is located within the 50 meters of the maritime land zone.
Since October 25, 2012, VON sent a formal letter to the municipal engineering department to corroborate which municipal construction permits Fraiser Donovan has. However, Melissa Salas Goldenberg, in charge of the municipal engineering department, mentioned due to Law number 8968, Protection of Information regarding treatment of personal data, it was not possible to provide the requested information.
Finally, VON tried to obtain the version of John Fraiser but in the office of his son-in-law, owner of Neobuilders construction business, located in Nosara, we were told that he would not discuss to the subject.
Building on September 6. Building on September 12
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