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Wildlife

Nosara-Samara
Communities Voice Concerns about Proposed Regulatory Plan
Commission Will Hold Meeting to Review Observations on March 23rd

By Arianna McKinney

The regulatory plan commission received so much feedback about the proposed regulatory plan for the Canton of Nicoya, especially from the communities of Nosara and Samara, that they plan to hold a special meeting on Friday, March 23rd beginning at 9 a.m. in the Municipality to address concerns, according to Juan Carlos Oviedo Quesada, coordinator of the regulatory plan commission and Maritime Land Zone coordinator for the municipality.

The regulatory plan, which determines what can and can’t be done in each area, is important “because it establishes a series of clear rules both for those who want to build as well as those who want to invest in real estate in the cantons.

 
Playa Guiones Beach. Photo by Ralph Sommer.

It contributes to improving the legal security of the owners who possess properties,” explained Olman Rojas Rojas, general coordinator for Regularizacion de Catastro Y Registro (Regularization of Land Registry), the entity that has been financing the creation of new regulatory plans throughout the country.  He estimated that the proposed plan for Nicoya has cost at least $80,000. 

The proposal comes as the result of a two-year study by Inypsa, a Spanish company contracted to prepare it.

The public was given until Friday, March 9th to submit questions and voice concerns regarding the proposed regulatory plan that was presented during a public audience at the Polideportivo arena in Nicoya on Saturday, February 25th. 
             
The board of directors for Samara’s ASADA, which oversees water for the community, expressed great concern that the proposed plan has zoned a portion of the town’s main water source, the water shed of Mala Noche, for tourism development. “The regulatory plan is stupid,” ASADA’s president Carlos Esquivel stated pointblank, noting that the plan doesn’t show concern for the importance of water. “We defend the water tables.”

Deborah Nezil, secretary for the Samara ASADA, indicated that the group prepared a detailed 10-page response of observations and requests, based on a proposal from a consultant hired by ASADA.

She explained that although the criteria used in the analysis by Inypsa and the regulatory plan commission was good, the proposed plan falls short of meeting the needs of the community.  ASADA’s main concern is that there should be no development over the water table in order to protect the town’s water supply, but Nezil also cited other concerns such as the height allowed for future buildings, noting that the community doesn’t have enough water resources to support large developments.  

Several other community organizations in Samara united efforts in submitting a joint reply to the regulatory plan commission, including the chamber of tourism, the progressive association, the development association, the school’s board of directors, CREAR and Intercultura.

Together, they submitted a list of requests such as: establishing locations for parks, parking, an artisan’s market or stands, a firefighter’s station, a larger police station, a water treatment plant, a recycling center and a garbage dump, as well as designating where motorized water vehicles can operate and establishing controls to maintain the scenic beauty of Samara by designating areas of protection in the hills, strict controls for buildings and limiting the height of buildings in and near the maritime land zone (ZMT).

In addition, Laura Ellington of Intercultura sent an invitation to the Municipality and ICT to propose a community meeting in Samara to better explain the details of the plan for Samara. “We consider that the documents that were given to us in digital form make the information inaccessible to the majority of locals and residents,” Ellington wrote.

On behalf of Nosara, Bobbi Johnson indicated that she presented a letter signed by the NCA, the town associations of Nosara and Esperanza, the tourism council, the ASADAs of Nosara and Guiones, the Recycle Association and the Blue Flag Committee to protest the limited time given for reviewing the 572 pages of the proposed regulatory plan and to consult on certain points, such as density and building height and how it affects the refuge.

On Monday, March 12th, the regulatory plan commission and Inypsa will begin to review each of the observations and try to involve the people who responded in the revision process. “The idea is that everyone can participate,” Oviedo Quesada affirmed.

To read the spanish Plan Regulador, click here and here.

 

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Proposed Regulatory Plan for Canton of Nicoya Available for Your Inspection
• People Have Until March 9th to Voice Questionsand Concerns 

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