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The Regulatory Plan Starts – The Nosareños See a Better Quality of Life Through Development
By Emiliana Garcia

• Agriculture and Industries are seen as sources of work
• Social welfare homes are being requested for the area's residents

For months we have been hearing about the need for a Regulatory Plan for Nosara. And so it seems that the moment has finally arrived and the process has started and which, according to the company hired to design and carry it out, INYPSA, will take at least two years. Representatives from the ASADAS and the Development Associations (Asociaciones de Desarrollo) from all the communities attended a meeting held on March 6th at the FUCAN.

After explaining what a Regulatory Plan is (see textbox) and after making sure that everyone who attended the meeting understood which are the steps to be followed (see second textbox), sociologist and anthropologist Mario Fernández “interviewed” those present at the meeting in order to better understand how this community wishes to auto-regulate and develop itself.

Among the activities that were mentioned as unwanted or undesirable is the disturbing noise from clubs and karaoke bars and the heavy traffic, since "vehicles drive by at great speed, lifting a lot of dust". Those who attended the meeting also expressed concern in this regard because the heavy traffic, in addition to being dangerous, is ruining the roads. On the other hand, industries that do not pollute the area and its resources are welcomed by the area's residents.

The community of Esperanza wishes to have Social Welfare urban developments for the area's native residents. Isidro López, president of the Esperanza Development Association, clearly stated that they do not want any motels, brothels or casinos in the area. On the other hand, representatives from Nosara showed no problem with these type of establishments but they did clarify that they wish to keep the commercial and residential areas apart from each other. Nonetheless, all communities agreed on supporting the agricultural production as long as it does not consist of crops that use large amounts of agrochemicals, such as pineapple and melon.

A widely debated subject was the protection of water resources. Fernández, from the INYPSA, explained that the advantage of a Regulatory Plan is that it can protect larger areas, even establishing limited-activity areas in those places that border with protected areas. In this way, places such as a landfill or a pineapple plantation will not be established in areas near protected water sources. In addition, representatives at the meeting mentioned that "they feel water wells are not being protected in the best way possible" and that "mountains and rivers must be taken care off in order to avoid running out of water." "We should have a larger number of reserve areas", they added.

Another important aspect of the meeting came up during the presentation regarding the Nosara River. Several representatives expressed their opposition to recent dredges as well as to the constructions that are being built on the hills, since many wastes and tree trunks are falling into the river bed, causing it to fill up, which will undoubtedly lead to greater flooding during the rainy season. They urged the company to consider "this important problem" upon designing their proposal for the Regulatory Plan. Lastly, the legalization of community areas emerged as a final aspect of the conversation; places such as the Santa Marta town square (plaza), the Red Cross, the Police Station, the Post Office in Nosara as well as some public roads in Esperanza, do not have a legal property register and/or property deed and therefore, their existence is not secured.

Main Elements of a Regulatory Plan
• It is an instrument to be used by local governments with the goal of regulating land use based on technical criteria
• It provides clear norms for residents and other groups (specific areas in which certain activities are developed, for example Industries)
• An adequate land use (for example, for homes located within landslide areas)
• It prevents conflicting use situations: for example, factories and workshops located in residential areas (which are incompatible activities)
• As in every law, it is effective from the moment it is approved and therefore, it can not be used to solve previously existing issues.

Steps for Presenting a Regulatory Plan
1) Technical studies are carried out (land and topographical studies, impact on natural resources, existent water sources, community evolution, etc.)
2) Results are analyzed and presented by the consulting company by the end of 2010.
3) A technical proposal is made to the Municipalidad de Nicoya (the proposal will state where certain activities may be carried out and where not to, for example, it will determine that homes may not be built in areas with landslide risk).
4) The Municipalidad de Nicoya will look over the proposal and will convene a public hearing for 2011.
5) The proposal is then sent to the SETENA and the INVU and, if its environmental viability is obtained, the proposal will be published in the official newspaper, La Gaceta.
*Regulatory plans may be revised every 5 years.

More Regional News

Bright Future for Nosara’s Arboreal Wildlife

Sustainable energy delivery finally becomes a reality in Nosara, Costa Rica.

The arboreal wildlife of Nosara is finally getting a break from the brutal electrocutions they have been exposed to in the past. The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (Costa Rican Electricity Institute, I.C.E. in Spanish) is replacing 20 km of the old uninsulated wire with the new insulated version, a measure that will hopefully save countless wild animal lives.

In the small-but-progressive country of Costa Rica, 95% of the electricity is considered “clean”, meaning that little or no greenhouse gases are emitted during the process of generating it. More >

Tourist Police Set Road Patrols After Robberies

Nosara’s new Tourist Police has been patrolling and escorting delivery trucks along the main road in order to prevent truck robberies since, during mid-January, two armed robberies took place on the road over the Río Frío, just 10 kilometers away from Samara’s gas station. More >

Lack of helmets is the leading traffic violation in the coastal areas

Driving a motorcycle without a helmet is one of the most common traffic violations made by drivers in the coastal areas that include Samara, Garza and Nosara.

During several routine operations done in different parts of these communities, transit police officers have been able to determine that drivers refuse to wear a helmet even if the new Ley de Tránsito (Transit Law) imposes a ¢220,000 colones ticket on those who do not wear one. More >

Elections for the School Board of the Nosara Elementary School have Not yet Been Held

On Tuesday, March 23rd, the election of the members of the School Board was cancelled for the third consecutive time due to a lack of quorum. 28 parents, out of the 70 to 80 parents that were needed, attended the meeting. For this reason Elias Cardenas, principal of the Escuela Serapio López, suspended the meeting. In response to the complaints on behalf of the parents who did take the time to attend the meeting, Cárdenas mentioned in a brief speech, “it is a shame that more parents did not show up for the meeting”. More >


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