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Wildlife
Mel Gibson's Property Still Facing Trouble with Nicoya's Town Council
Rumors in the area indicate the estate would be bought by Lady Gaga

By Oliver Pérez Picado

Problems continue to plague Mel Gibson's property on Playa Barrigona, in the Costa Rican province of Guanacaste. In a report issued March 29th, Nicoya's Municipalidad (town council), where the property is located, has stated that the five buildings constructed over 10 years ago never acquired the proper municipal permits.

This was confirmed by Mayor Marco Jiménez, after several town council inspectors visited the actor's estate at the beginning of March. Upon inspection, they were able to determine that five buildings, including several homes, pools and a restaurant, were built without any of the construction permits required by the Municipalidad.

"We have indeed detected unauthorized buildings on Gibson's property, for which this town council has not issued any permits. We will be assessing the situation along with the Architects Board in order to determine if they had previously approved the architectural plans," the Mayor explained.

However there are two structures, which include several storage areas and a laundry room, that were recently built that do have the necessary permits and have been included in the real estate register system.

The Mayor explained to the VON that in the next few days they will be notifying Mel Gibson's legal representatives, requesting an explanation in regards to the lack of permits, as well as to inform them of the measures being taken by the Municipalidad.

"We are conducting an appraisal of these buildings to determine whether a fine should be imposed or if the buildings should be demolished, (since) the town council (by not having an adequate register of these buildings) has not collected property taxes during all these years", added Mayor Jiménez.

Gibson purchased the property for $25.8 million back in 2007 and now, according to the Hollywood Reporter, four years later the property is listed for sale at $35 million.

Paying taxes. Last week one of Mel Gibson's representatives visited the Municipalidad in order to pay ¢8.5 million colones (about $17,000) in property taxes, which corresponded to the first quarter of 2011.

"When this payment was received, a stamp that read "Subject to revision" was placed on the receipt, since we are currently in the process of assessing the property's real value", mentioned Jiménez.

In addition, the Mayor explained that the town council is working to prove that of the 163-hectare (500-acre) property, 39-hectares correspond to the Maritime Terrestrial Zone, which belongs to the State and thereby, as a public resource, should not be seized by anyone.

Lady Gaga could be the new owner. On Friday, March 25th, Costa Rican newspaper Al Día reported that word has spread indicating that Mel Gibson may have sold his ranch to singer Lady Gaga. The VON has also heard speculation that Lady Gaga has reached out to construction professionals in the area in order to have several renovations made to the houses. However, these rumors have not been confirmed.

According to newspaper reports, Gaga could be visiting Costa Rica soon in order see the estate and experience the area's natural beauty first-hand.

 

More Regional News

Tsunami Alarm Tested!

On Thursday, on May 26th, 2011 at noon, the Tsunami Alarm, located in Lot 111 of Section A, below Villa Mango, was tested with the purpose of finding out the aerial coverage of the alarm system. It was only heard at Pelada Beach.

Tourist Found Dead at Pelada Beach

On Sunday, May 22nd, 2011, Donald Bruce Altieri, 54, was found dead on his bed at Condominios Las Palmas of Pelada Beach. Altieri, from the United States was on vacation with his son, Daniel Bruce Altieri.

Closure of the Nosara Dump
Ministry of Heath Agrees on Two More Months for the Operation of Nosara Dump
Municipality and the Community Leaders of Nosara united to accomplish orders of the Ministry of Health

“I promise not to close the dump as long as there are efforts to improve it,” said Gabriel Sotelo González, inspector from the Nicoya Ministry of Health during a meeting on May 18th at Hotel L’acqua Viva.

Search Ends, Lost Surfer Not Found

“You don´t know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have,” said Margarita Durán, Alvaro Durán’s sister, on a Facebook status post on May 3, 2011.

Closure of Nosara Dump
Community Leaders Call for Municipal Equipment to Avoid Closure

Nosara's community leaders joined together to present a letter to the City of Nicoya asking that the municipality "bring in the equipment to make new trenches" in the dump in Nosara, which is subject to a March 22 closure order issued by the Ministry of Health.

San Vicente Ceramics Without Clay
Chorotegas' Millenniums-old Tradition Could Disappear

A few days from the start of winter, the hands of the artisans of San Vicente of Nicoya are idle due to the lack of clay and their families are distressed from not having resources.

Ministry of Health Order Closing the Dump Could Bring Local Groups Together
Finding Solutions, Immediate and Long-term, is the Community's Challenge

Trash is not something pleasant to see, to smell or to talk about. Yet, it is certainly a reality of life. As human beings, the only creatures on earth to create inorganic trash, dealing with garbage is an inevitable reality for us. By May 10th, Nosara, a paradise to the visitors, will lose its only dump because of a decision taken by the Ministry of Health. According to the notification sent to the Nicoya municipality, the Nosara's dump "puts the public health at risk."

Attention Guiones and Pelada: Tsunami Alarm Will Be Tested in May

The Tsunami Alarm located in Lot 111 of Section A below Villa Mango, will be tested on May 26th, 2011 at noon. There are five sirens for different purposes: general, radioactivity, chemical, water and fire alarms. They will be tested in the same order they are listed.

Conflict Over Municipal Council Members' Stipends

The Stipend is a compensation that is the right of a functionary, in this case of Municipal Council members. According to the Municipal Code a Council member is entitled to a stipend for attending a paid session of the Council of which he or she is a member.

 

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