Semana Santa is the time to get things done . . . without permits

Hear that hammering? Or perhaps the noise comes from a circular saw.

In any event, chances are that the project lacks official approval. That’s because Semana Santa and Christmas vacation are the two best periods to get something done without the pesky interference of a municipal inspector.

This is the time of year when trees mysterious vanish exactly where the neighbor wants to put in a new driveway. To remove a tree legally requires something akin to a Sala IV constitutional appeal countersigned by the pope. But not during Semana Santa.

The activity goes along with the old Costa Rican tradition that it is easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission.

So if the inspector happens to notice the new wing on the home or the fact that several trees are AWOL, he might ignore the fact.  But if he chooses to press the case, the neighbor is sure to begin with the Sergeant Shultz defense:   “I know noooothing. . . ?”

Failing that he will produce grandmothers and little kiddies who benefit by the new construction. Such new work hardly ever is ordered to be demolished.

Chances are, however, that the inspector will just ignore the new construction to avoid the eventual paperwork. He will just want to see the new addition included in the estimate of value for the next municipal tax report.

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