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Requesting Permission to Build Will Only Take 30 Days
Simplification of Municipal Procedures Took Effect Dec. 20th

By Wilberth Villalobos Castrillo

Photo by Giordano Ciampini

In general, those who have taken the steps to build a house have had to exercise patience since the process of obtaining all the permits has taken from several months to a year or more in some cases.

It’s for this reason that since December 20th the requirements for performing any type of civil work were simplified.  This will not only reduce the number of documents that need to be presented but also the time for turning in and approving them. 

The initiative is called Regulatory Improvement and Simplification of Municipal Procedures for Obtaining Construction Licenses, and it is a joint effort of the Ministerio de Descentralización y Desarrollo Local (IFAM—Ministry of Decentralization and Local Development) and the Colegio Federado de Ingenieros y Arquitectos (CFIA—Federated College of Engineers and Architects).

This proposal will use an electronic platform called Administrador de Proyectos de Construcción (APC— Administrator of Construction Projects) that classifies and includes the types of projects such as minor or major works, condominiums, urbanization, billboards, land movements and others, along with plan revision protocols or any additional requirement.

"As the new arrangement goes into effect, it establishes that institutions such as the National Institute of Housing and Urbanization, the Ministry of Healthy, the Body of Firefighters, Water and Sewage and the CFIA will review just one set of documents via Internet, without requiring the presentation of physical plans at any of the institutions."

With the arrival of this new system, the Municipality of Nicoya also has modernized and reduced time and costs.  This was affirmed by Engineer Melissa Salas Goldember, in charge of the engineering department. She thinks the new platform is a good thing and indicated that she has attended trainings about how to use the program and already has the access passwords for it.  

In addition, according to the website of the Municipality of Nicoya, as of November 21st the municipality has made available the service of issuing clients digital certifications from the National Registry of property, real estate and personas juridicas (legal identities).

Although the process to get permits will be simpler, the taxes to build could be higher, according to the national newspaper La Nacion.  The newspaper reported that next year people will have to pay from 29.7% to 41% more in taxes.  In the case of a residence with an exterior wall made of concrete blocks, designated type VCO1, the cost of construction for 2012 of 145,000 colones ($290) per square meter will be 190,000 colones ($380) in 2013, an increase of 31%, affirmed fiscal authorities.


More Regional News

Repair Work Advances at Nicoya Hospital After Earthquake

The repair of damaged infrastructure in La Anexion Hospital in Nicoya, after the earthquake of September 5, 2012, has progressed 40% and it is estimated that it could be ready in May.

Proposal to Restructure Management of National Parks and Wildlife Refuges

The Ministry of Environment and Energy (Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía, SITRAMINAE) Workers Union and former Environment deputy minister, Mario Boza, announced that a new law aimed to restructure the management of national parks and wildlife refuges is being drafted.

TSE Pays Thousands of Dollars in Rent While Still Owing Rent to Municipality

Starting this year, the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones (TSE- Electoral Supreme Court) will pay 1,332,000 colones ($2,664) per month in rent for the offices of the regional branch in Nicoya.

Taxes on “luxury” homes skyrocket up to 10x after readjustment of property values

A readjustment to construction values, made by the Ministry of Hacienda (Tax department), caused the taxes on “luxury homes,” (homes valued at about $234,000 USD and above) to increase between 57%-160% for this year, depending on the type of home.

Chamber of Hotels Parts Ways from CANATUR

The Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels (CCH) separated from the National Chamber of Tourism, CANATUR, for differences regarding the internal organization and after finding out about the poor financial management of the administration.

Lack of Fire Hydrants Causes Problems for Firefighters

“To put out a fire I draw water from the river, the sea, a pool or the well of a friend or neighbor. Here there are no hydrants”, explained Jo Pinheiro, describing the dramatic situation the Nosara firefighters go through when they need water to extinguish fires.

Technical Closure of Nicoyan Cemetery Begins

They finally demolished the boundary wall of the current municipal cemetery, thus initiating the long awaited technical closure.

Costa Ricans Consume 3 Kilograms of Agrochemicals Per Year        

Costa Rica is currently one of the countries that uses large amounts of chemicals in its agricultural production, even using chemicals that are banned in other countries since they pose serious health risks.

Caja Intervenes at Nicoya Hospital for Administrative Mismanagement

The Board of Directors of the Costa Rican Social Security System (CCSS or Caja) decided to intervene starting December 27 at Nicoya’s Hospital de La Anexión for administrative mismanagement that has developed. Therefore there will be a transfer of the medical and financial directors to other venues in order to establish another work team for a year or more, according to the needs of the institution.

New Regulations for Liquor Licenses Should Be In Place By Late January

The Municipality of Nicoya is in the process of applying the new regulation for the commercialization of licenses for alcoholic beverages.

Ticos in the United States: Living the American Dream Has Its Price

We walk from the train station toward a Guatemalan restaurant where we decide to have breakfast. It’s 11 a.m. on a summer day in August, a little late to be eating the first meal of the day, but Sandra, Miguel and Robert requested the day off of work to be with us, and they decided that before opening the doors to their private life, we should get to know each other briefly.

Pictures and News of the Month

The Voice of Nosara brings you a brief recap of December stories you might have missed.

Nicoyans Speak Out Against Planting Transgenic Corn in Guanacaste

Guanacaste cantons, like Abangares and Nicoya, are fighting to remain free of transgenic corn now that the company Delta and Pine is looking to plant modified international Monsanto seeds in the canton of Abangares. The controversy will be delayed until the end of February since the State National Biosecurity Commission requested more information about the product.


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