Thursday, March 5, 2009

My Friend from San Diego

Today is Thursday and again is raining. Not so much as yesterday but raining non the less. La Nacion said that there is a cold front coming from North America due to the severe winter they are having. I am glad I'm not there. Poor Dennis his my old partner from San Diego and I'm sure even San Diego is getting chills. I met Dennis about more than twenty years ago. He was a great partner to meet back than and a great friend to have now. I see him at least once a year and is always great to meet him at my chess court. He does have better strategies than me but in politics his a bit confused. Any way The Bella Vista Development Project still has me running a bit even though today I started walking rather than running. My breakfast and newspapers where late but a good hour was spend keeping in touch with the world, OK maybe an hour and half or two, who keeps count..Oh yea i forgot my wife!

The Bella Vista Project

The Bella Vista Project

Located in a town call Buenos Aires; maybe it gets its name from the high altitude in which is located making the air a bit fresher. Is about 3 kmts distance from the ocean and the main highway. This road is almost exactly between Caribe Sur and Limon making it ideal for a deluxe development for residents and a tourist project as well. I found this wonderful piece of property by chance as I always do. It was not even to imagine something so beautiful was hidden up there. Once I saw it for the first time I was left breathless and quickly picture the lots and the development possibilities. I saw that view and I could even imagine the houses, buildings an so on. In general people look for opportunities in crowded places. My philosophy is to look where there is nothing. I move away from the crowds and start a new one.
There are 48 hectares in total. After I got the trucks, bulldozers and all other machine necessary which was not an easy ordeal considering the land was not located near all the other developments. I manage to part 8 properties. It was difficult to give them all an ocean view which is what makes it all worthwhile.
There are 8 lots of about 2000 sqm. and a The Finca: a larger piece of 30,000 sqm for a grander project. The sale bargain price for this one of a kind deals is U$10 sqm.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Constitutional Courts Declares Puerto Viejo and Cahuita Are Not Cities

In a long awaited decision released on Feb 25, the Sala Constitucional declared that the law
At stake are the unspoiled beachfront properties of the area and who gets to make the decision to of how to develop them making Cahuita and Puerto Viejo cities was unconstitutional.

Law 8464 passed in October 2005 had declared that these communities were municipalities. This would have allowed people who have lived in these areas for many years to obtain title to land as the city designation would have exempted these areas from some of the provisions of the maritime zone law which states that the first 200 meters of property from the high tide line is public property. Under this law, in effect since 1977, the first 50 meters can not be developed at all and the next 150 meters can only be leased from the government as a “concession”.

But law 8464 was challenged from the very beginning and it also did not specify the boundaries of the proposed cities. So local property owners and governments were left in limbo as to who would ultimately be responsible for making rules and determining development planning.

Real estate agent Manuel Pinto told the Talamanca News that this decision is unfortunate for those long time residents who would obtained more valuable legal title to their land. But much of this land had also been bought from those long term residents by speculators in the hopes that title would come through. Those residents and those to who they have sold to will now have to abide by the maritime zone rules.

While giving title to those currently holding such land would’ve been a boon to them financially it would have also opened up that land to development which didn’t necessarily respect the natural environment or character of the area.

Local property developer Christer Ericsson stated that “longtime residents have no reason to fear eviction if they truly have been living on their lands before the law took effect and obtained it in a lawful manner. They will simply get the right to the concession inheriting the rights and obligations that comes with it. Concessions will be granted by the local government (Municipality) and ICT only. The arrival of a plan regulator is setting the stage for proper planning and zoning that will protect our community in the future from indiscriminate development.”

Ericsson said his impression is that overall “the community is welcoming this decision and are happy to see all institutions unified working together for the sake of all residents and the future of the community.”


When I first arrived in Costa Rica

I arrived in Costa Rica more than two decades ago. In one hand I held a small suitcase containing only what I had managed to grab in a matter of a few minutes prior to a simple and definite phone call.... In the other hand I held on tight the sweaty pudgy hand of my one year old son, Patrick. This was Germany 1978 my life had taken a severe turn and it was putting me in the middle of a cross road where decisions needed to be made immediately with out blinking or else and the choices where not up to me but up to ...chance. A few hours later I was glaring over clowds at the grouds bellow aboard an airplane in direction to Central America, country unknown with no friends or family awaiting my arrival...just a tranquility sensati