Dear A.M. Costa Rica:
I read the letter to the editor dated March 28 by Carol Meeds about the new land use law involving the Caribbean Coast and was surprised by some of the conclusions. As Ms. Meeds explained that she moved here and has stayed between the lines by getting all her paperwork in order and trying to abide by the State and Local rules . . . me, too. As many expats, my wife and I moved here over 18 years ago and loved the remoteness and natural beauty. But Ms. Meeds argues of everything changing, ”little by little that feeling of being back in time has been eroded.” Really?
There are still lots of locations in Costa Rica that have not changed in the years since we arrived, but you probably would not want to live there. That is what happens as more people want to move here, live near the beach and enjoy your lifestyle. That is what happens with change.
In my opinion, where your argument really falls apart is when you state, ”Five miles away, nestled between the maritime zone and the Gandoca Preserve, I found a paradise of nature and wildlife. I built my home here.” So, I’m on board now, pull up the ladder, and no one else is welcome? That’s not fair to everyone wanting to retire here. That is what happens with change
It is not greed and corruption driving these changes, as you stated. It is people who already live here and folks who purchased titled land and want to develop their property. I live on the other end of the spectrum. People have purchased expensive land here on the Pacific side and have been told they cannot build on their titled property because certain groups want to save the beaches for the turtles. After 10 years of very little construction, the turtle count is almost nothing, and no construction has equated to high unemployment and investors losing large sums of money and then walking away.
We all want to stop time and say “I want it to stay just like when we first moved here.” In the early years we never had to lock our doors because theft was not an issue, but today you would be a fool to not lock your doors and set your alarms.
So, Ms. Meeds, I agree with you and hate to see change, but it is going to come, and in my humble opinion, we need to help establish good building practices that find a balance between the Costa Rica you and I want with the reality of change.