Costa Rica raid finds scant regard for environment in tourist zone
Three construction projects were halted and more than 50 land-strips illegally divided into building plots were uncovered when Costa Rican environmental inspectors launched a second raid in the popular tourist zone of Guanacaste.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Inspectors found that land was being moved and trees burned down to make way for hotels and golf courses. Several construction projects failed to meet environmental standards, and protected zones were being invaded.
A new Presidential Decree was signed by President Oscar Arias with the intention of regulating real estate development in Guanacaste by limiting the height of buildings constructed in zones that are located near to the beach.
The Public Prosecutor has initiated criminal proceedings against representatives of the spanish chain RIU for alleged environmental damages generated in the construction area of the hotel it operates in Guanacaste.
Although construction of residences and hotels has been the leader in real estate growth in Guanacaste, commercial buildings that spring up as a complement to the residential development are not far behind.
In Panama an environmental impact study has been submitted to build a complex with apartment buildings with up to 14 floors, a commercial area and a hotel in Porto Belo, Colon.
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