Confusion Over Limits for Real Estate Development

The official proposals for defining urban areas in the Greater Metropolitan Area in Costa Rica, contains contradictions and generates uncertainty.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A second proposal for the Land Use Plan of the GAM (Potgam in Spanish), which has been released for public consultation by the Ministry of Housing and Human Settlements (MIHAS in Spanish), has generated more controversy and confusion over the new limits for an urban containment radius .

This is a second version of a proposal by the National Institute of Housing and Urbanism (INVU in Spanish). Geologist Allan Astorga said in January that the first proposal by the INVU was not environmentally friendly.

"Astorga, who coordinated the studies of the failed Urban and Regional Planning of the Greater Metropolitan Area (PRUGAM) project, said the Potgam increases the current radius to around 15,000 hectares (150 square kilometers), of which 62% are areas of high or very high environmental fragility", reported

"The urban containment radius was updated. What we are proposing is that some counties with adequate space could be adjusted, provided that municipalities support it," said Leonel Rosales, director Urbanism at INVU, who rejected any possible environmental damage.

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Opposition to the expansion of the boundary for urban development in the greater metropolitan area is preventing the necessary renewal of the rules for land use.

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