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“They want to kick us out when we’ve lived here all our lives,”
Oscar Chavarría, resident of Garza
Mayor Affirms Desire to Organize Coastal Area Once and For All
Residents Would be Relocated to Nearby Property

By Wilberth Villalobos Castrillo

“I’ve lived here for 30 years and now they tell us that they want to annul our property titles and kick us out of our homes,” commented Oscar Chavarria indignantly.  He lives in Playa Garza with his wife and daughter.

Just like Chavarria, there are 12 people against whom the Municipality of Nicoya has filed a suit for having registered properties within the 150 meters restricted by the Maritime Land Zone Law. 
 
On July 6th, the Administrative Court of Contentions responded to the request of the municipality and ordered precautionary measures for these 12 properties located in Garza Beach in the Canton of Nicoya. The decision prevents the neighbors from starting or continuing construction work on their lots and homes, and also seeks to invalidate their current property titles.

Breaking up a “Finca Madre”
The properties that have the registration problem are part of a “finca madre” (original estate) that is registered to Luis Diego Franchesky Chacon and is located in the maritime land zone.  The estate originally belonged to Isaac Franchesky Cespedes, grandfather of Luis Diego, who registered it in 1969. 

According to information from the National Property Registry, it was in 2008, after the death of his grandfather, that Franchesky started to subdivide and register lots; since then the property appears with 18 subdivisions. 

Chavarria recalled that “it was a very long process. What we paid to Sir Luis Diego so that he’d register our properties was something symbolic. In my case, I paid 1 million colones ($2000) because my lot was one of the largest, 600 square meters. This amount included the expenses for paying the topographer, stamps, paperwork and the lawyer’s fee,” explained Chavarria. 

 
Because of a dispute over property registrations, the people that live inside
the houses can not remodel or fix their homes.
   
 
   
 
"Downtown" Garza Beach is inside the Maritime Land Zone.

Chavarria said that Franchesky was very flexible about receiving payments from the neighbors. “Sir Luis Diego told us that he was going to help us with the registration process. We paid him what we could little by little,” he affirmed, since the majority didn’t have the entire amount of money required.   

Moreover, this past July 31st, William Mendoza Barrantes, who has a registered plan for his lot in Garza Beach, submitted an appeal before the Constitutional Court against the Municipality of Nicoya because even though he received a government bonus to build a house from the Housing Mortgage Bank (BANHV), the municipal engineering department denied construction permits on the basis that a legal process would eventually initiate to unregister the lot in question. 

In this regard, the Constitutional Court dismissed the appeal, explaining that it isn’t the court’s jurisdiction to evaluate the actions of the municipality on this matter or to establish if the property in question is part of the maritime land zone or not.   

What the Law Says

The principal argument of Rogelio Fernandez, lawyer of Luis Diego Franchesky, is that the property was registered in 1969, before the current Maritime Land Zone Law (Law 6043) took effect in 1977.  Since the law came after the time when the finca was registered, Fernandez affirms that it is not retroactive.   

On the other hand, Valerio Vargas, lawyer of the Municipality of Nicoya, argues that the maritime land zone was regulated since 1828, long before the creation of Law 6043.  In addition, he explained that the only period when registration of properties within the maritime land zone was authorized was between 1970 and 1974.

Valerio indicated that the property of Franchesky was registered by means of what is known as “possessory information,” and the Posessory Information Law establishes in article 19 that fincas registered by means of this law will be affected when waters of public or private domain exist.  For this reason, Vargas affirmed that the lands that are currently in the hands of individuals, are, in reality, public.

Possible Solution

In light of this panorama, Mayor Marcos Jimenez affirmed that it is not the municipality’s desire to evict and “leave up in the air” the neighbors of Garza but rather to put in order once and for all the legal situation of the inhabitants and their properties. In addition, the mayor flatly denied the rumor of building a marina in Garza. 

One solution would be for the municipality to grant a property to the neighbors and relocate them to this land. Although Jimenez didn’t specify exactly where the property would be located, he did indicate that it would be around Garza Beach.  

Chavaria said he agrees with this solution as long as it is carried out. “He (Jimenez) can say that but until we see it in reality, we’re not going to agree,” he concluded.

 

More Regional News

Generous Tips Restricted By Credit Cards

A curious case emerged this past October when a server at Guiones' Gilded Iguana was tipped large by a generous customer. The finale take for the server, however, was only a fraction due to a little-known policy by credit card companies to restrict tip pay-outs.

Tourism in Costa Rica Still Suffering…but Not So Much.

Complaints from Costa Rican tourism businesses have been constant since the crisis of 2008-2009, but now a survey shows that business is not so bad.

Municipality and Government Met with Those Affected by Earthquake

The Municipality of Nicoya and the Ministry of Housing and Human Settlements(MIVAH—Ministerio de Vivienda y Asentamientos Humanos) met with those who have suffered damage to their homes from the earthquake of September 5th and the subsequent aftershocks.

Foreigners Must Be Legal Residents To Drive in Costa Rica

Rick and Lorraine have been coming to Costa Rica for the last ten years. Like good tourists they fueled the country’s top industry, tourism. And like many Canadian tourists, they fell in love with paradise.

New Home Costs, Taxes, to Climb

If you’re contemplating building a new home next year, prepare yourself to pay higher taxes than before, reports the national newspaper La Nacion.

Women of Costa Rica over burdened with responsibilities

Costa Rican women not only devote to household chores more than double the time men do, but also allocate more time to their professional training, according to local media.

Operating Rooms Will Reopen at the End of November

The long wait for surgical services at La Anexion Hospital in Nicoya will soon end.  The two operating rooms will be ready on November 26th, when they have approval from the Ministry of Healthy. 

Vigil Held To Protest Health Cuts At Nicoya Hospital

About a dozen protesters sat themselves upon the grounds of Nicoya's Annexation Hospital at night on Thursday November 16th in an effort to highlight the hospital’s budget cuts.

There are Now 16 Real Estate Frauds in Nosara

Currently a criminal band is stealing or buying the properties they hire someone else to steal, pretending to be the legitimate owners. Only this year, by the end of the month of October, we learned of 10 cases, which give us an average of one per month.

Public Force and OIJ Deal a Blow to the Stolen Goods Market in Nicoya

The Public Force and the Organism of Judicial Investigation (OIJ) performed a joint operation throughout the day on Friday, November 9 in Nicoya, during which they decommissioned stolen articles equivalent to several million colones (thousands of dollars).

Presidency Published Gag Law Against Journalists and the Media

The Presidency of the Republic on Tuesday, November 6th published in La Gaceta the law that will punish journalists and citizens with up to 10 years in prison if they disseminate “secret political information.”

Presidency Published Gag Law Against Journalists and the Media

The Presidency of the Republic on Tuesday, November 6th published in La Gaceta the law that will punish journalists and citizens with up to 10 years in prison if they disseminate “secret political information.”

CONAVI Temporarily Stepped In Over Río Montaña Bridge

Last Friday November 2nd the Concejo Nacional de Vialidad (National Highway Council- CONAVI) repaired damages to the bridge over Río Montaña.

New rules for vehicle technical inspection (RTV) in January

A police officer from the Fuerza Publica, driving while intoxicated, crossed into oncoming traffic and caused a head on collision with another vehicle, killing its driver.

Drunken Nicoya police officer kills driver in head-on collision

A police officer from the Fuerza Publica, driving while intoxicated, crossed into oncoming traffic and caused a head on collision with another vehicle, killing its driver.

Letter from the Editors
Celebrating Ten Years of Connecting Communities, and More to Come

For ten years now, the Voice of Nosara has been serving Nosara and the surrounding communities with the goal of connecting and uniting people—not just people in different towns but people of different backgrounds, nationalities and languages.

Citizen Journalists (THAT MEANS YOU!) Are Shaping the Future of Reporting

“Citizen journalism” has become a standard part of the way we gather and report news. But that was not always so.

Interview with Liza Vogt, Voice of Nosara’s First Publisher

Why was the newspaper started? 
VON was started for two reasons: to dispel many of the rumors that were constantly flying around Nosara and also to inform residents and tourists of current situations and upcoming events.

Most Talked About Stories

Our editors reviewed every print edition of The Voice of Nosara from October 2002 until September 2012 and chose the most talked about stories based on letters to the editor, comments made to reporters or on Facebook and follow-up stories.

The Most Repeated Themes During Ten Year

Our editors reviewed every print edition of The Voice of Nosara from October 2002 until September 2012 and counted how many articles were printed on each subject.

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