Proposal to halt coastal demolitions advances in committee

Instituto Nacional de Seguros photo
Instituto Nacional de Seguro volunteers were on the Río Torres this weekend planting native trees to restore a biological corridor. The project in La Uruca was a joint one
with the Municipalidad de San José. Volunteers planted more than 100 trees and conducted a cleanup of the area. The river is heavily polluted.

A change in the law to avoid demolition of seaside structures is in the final stages of discussion in a legislative committee.

Agnes Gómez Franceschi, president of the Comisión Permanente Especial de Turismo, said that the group of lawmakers agreed Thursday to send the measure for review to the Corte Suprema de Justicia.

This is the measure that has the full support of President Laura Chinchilla. It is No. 18.440. The measure freezes the country’s maritime law to prevent evictions of individuals and demolition of structures that are in the zone.
The first 50 meters of zone inland from the line of the mean high tide is supposed to be for the public. The remaining 150 meters of the 200-meter zone are supposed to be controlled by the municipality and the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo. Concessions, not deeds, are issued for these areas.

Ms. Chinchilla was moved by pleas from those who live in the zone in homes that in many cases predate the original law. There have been several efforts to adjust the situation, but one law was challenged and thrown out by the Sala IV.

Ms. Gómez said that she expected that this week the law will be reported out by the committee and sent to the full legislature for action.

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