As of February 28th, 2020, the following regulations for the granting of building permits in the buffer zone of the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge (which includes Guiones, Pelada, playa Nosara and Playa Ostional) became law in the district of Nosara, in the canton of Nicoya.
The publication of the regulation is available in the following link, page 53.
The NCA has prepared a translation of the regulation to English that can be found here.
Timeline of The Process For The Approval of the Regulations
On April 8, the Nicoya Municipal Council approved the publication of the Regulation for Constructions in the buffer zone of the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge.
- See the regulation here: Regulation for Constructions (PDF)
Once published in the Gazette, there is a period of consultation before the regulation becomes official.
On May 21 the Municipality of Nicoya invited the community of Nosara to a meeting to present the proposed regulation, held at the David Kitson Library in Nosara.
- See invitation here.
On May 23, the Municipal Engineer, Josue Ruiz and engineer Johanna Briceño of the Catastro Department make the first official presentation of the proposed regulation. Two sessions are held: one at 10 am in Spanish and one at 1 pm in English:
- Watch video session in Spanish:
- See attendance list meeting in Spanish here.
- See list attendance to the session in English here
- Watch video of the session in English:
In these sessions the technical basis of the regulation was explained, as well as the reasons why the Municipality of Nicoya considers it important to work on the regulations for the area.
- See presentation of construction data of the Municipality here: Construction data (PDF)
- See document Environmental Fragility Index for the Buffer Zone (PDF) of the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge.
During the meeting of May 23, engineer Ruiz communicated the channels by which people can make their comments to the regulation, which are:
- Email: Josue Ruiz to the mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In Nosara: On Monday at the office of the Nosara Integral Development Association, located next to the Kitson Library from 8 am to 3 pm.
- In Nicoya, from Tuesday to Friday, from 8 am to 4pm in the Engineering Office of the Municipality.
The Municipality announced that the consultation time will be extended and the final publication of the regulation will be done in mid July.
During the meeting it was agreed to have a session with people interested in giving feedback to the proposed regulation, facilitated by the Nosara Civic Association on Monday, May 27.
The meeting took place on May 27, where information and questions were collected that are taken to the municipality
- See document with comments here: minutes of May 27 meeting (PDF)
- See attendance list here: attendance meeting May 27
On May 31, the Municipality of Nicoya announced that it will continue with the Monday open forum, from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the Kitson Library, where people can ask questions and present suggestions.
See link to the invitation here.
On July 3rd, the first draft of Regulations for Construction in the Buffer Zone of the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge was published July 3 in La Gaceta. This is the first of two publications required by law. Here is the Gaceta (PDF) and the draft publication can be found on page 194.
On July 8th, the Municipality of Nicoya sent invitations to the community of Nosara, inviting everyone to the presentation of the new draft version of the regulation, that incorporates the feedback that has been received since May 23rd. Here is the link to the official invitation.
Here is also the link to the new draft, that will be officially presented on July 11th and July 12th in the following places:
Thursday, July 11th:
- 10 am: Serapio Lopez Public School in Nosara
- 2 pm : Kitson Library (will have english translation)
Friday, July 12th:
- 10 am: Santa Marta Public Salon
- 2pm: Esperanza Public School
On August 14th, the Municipal Council of Nicoya approved the publication of the project: Regulations for Constructions in the Buffer Zone of the Ostional Wildlife Refuge, in the Gaceta for review.
Because this new version has several differences from the version that was originally publicized, the legal advice was to do another publication in the Gaceta and open 10 business days to receive feedback, once again.
Once this new draft is published in La Gaceta, the 10 days will start. After this 10 days, the commission will analyze the feedback, propose changes if needed and send to the council to publish one last time before the regulations are official.
We will share with you the official document from the council with the new version, as soon as it becomes available.
On October 4th, 2019 , the Regulations were published in the Gaceta. This here is the Gaceta (PDF) and the draft publication can be found on page 25.
After the ten working days allowed for comment, the Regulatory Plan Commission will analyze the feedback, propose changes if needed and send the final draft to the council to publish one last time before the regulations are official.
On Oct 21st, the Municipal Council of Nicoya agreed to republish the details of the project in the newspaper La Gaceta. The regulations remain the same as those published previously, on Oct 4th. However, the decision to republish was taken because the original didn’t include a paragraph informing readers where to send comments and feedback, and the 10-day time frame in which they were required to do so.
On December 19th, 2019, The Municipality of Nicoya published the regulations in the Gaceta. The publication can be found here on page 165. The NCA staff prepared a translation of the regulation to English that can be found here.
On February 28, 2020, The final publication of the regulations was done in the Gaceta, page 53 , making the regulations law for the district of Nosara, as of that day.
- On April 21, 2020, after the regulation came into force, the company JBR Capital Ventures filed a lawsuit before the Administrative Litigation Court against the Municipality of Nicoya, since it assured that the regulation was illegal, it did not have the community of participation and was not based on scientific evidence. As a precautionary measure, JBR asked the Contentious Court to suspend the application of the regulations, until the merits of the process are resolved.
- On March 22, 2021, the Contentious Administrative Court rejected the precautionary measure that sought to suspend the regulations for the granting of construction permits in the buffer zone of the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge. On that occasion, the Court ruled out the possibility of suspending the regulations at all points. We share verbatim a fragment of the Court’s response:
“It has been considered that the social interest of the plaintiff company cannot undermine the public interest involved in the protection of the species of flora and fauna of the Ostional Refuge, in this particular, the precautionary principle in environmental matters or pro natura indubio must be observed. , to prevent the possible degradation of a biological corridor of various species of fauna ”.
- On March 24, 2021, the company JBR Capital Ventures filed an appeal before the Administrative and Civil Court of Appeals of the Treasury, regarding the decision to reject the precautionary measure, requesting the court to freeze the application of the regulation.
- On June 1, 2021, the Administrative Tax and Civil Contentious Court accepted the appeal and stopped the application of the construction regulations. Since that day, the regulation can no longer be applied to new constructions that want to request permits from the Municipality of Nicoya.
- On June 5, 2021, World Environment Day, dozens of residents of the Nosara community demonstrated peacefully, under the slogan #YoDefiendoOstional, to make visible the disagreement of the people with the Court’s decision.
- On July 20, 2021, a preliminary hearing will be held where the final sentence can be read or the judicial process can be extended.