Region, Nicoya

Nicoya Municipality Freezes More Than 500 Properties in the American Project in Nosara

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The National Registry issued an administrative warning to 562 properties that are located within the American Project in Playa Guiones, Nosara.

The announcement was made by Marco Jimenez, municipal mayor, during the council session on Monday, May 18.

The National Registry resolution dated March 14, 2015, stems from a complaint filed by Richmond Phipps, a U.S. citizen who is now deceased, against 86 lots that Phipps claimed as her own. Phipps first came to Costa Rica in 1967 and worked for the founder of the American Project, Alan Hutchinson, as general manager of the Nosara project in the years 1969-1972.

Although Phipps died in February of 2015, the legal battle continues because the complaint was filed by CUSTODIA PROPIEDADES GUANACASTECAS SA, an anonymous society of which Phipps was the general representative.

The mayor believes that there were irregularities in the segregation of the properties, resulting in an erroneous land registry configuration that has been generated over the years.

In conjunction with the mayor’s notification, Jimenez affirmed that the municipality will not issue new municipal permits such as building permits, land use and business licenses. Transfers of property and segregations won’t be possible either.

“We are going to obey the registry order and this means that, where there is an administrative warning, municipal permits can not be given,” the mayor stated.


In the Real Estate Registry Qualification Guide– Registral Area- 2011the administrative warning is described as follows: While corresponding investigationsare performed, an administrative warningnote is recorded, for the purpose of news advertisement only without preventing theregistration of prior or subsequent documents.

Curime Association Reports Land Encroachment

During the session, a group of residents and representatives of the Curime Development Association attended, who alerted the councilors about an alleged encroachment by a neighbor with the last names Badilla Alfaro, who alleges the existence of a public street in a sector of land that is used as the community sports plaza.

Juan Carlos Hernandez Moreno, president of the association, showed the council members the property deed and said that it is a community property that is in the process of having lighting installed.

“We believe that this man, Badilla Alfaro, is taking advantage of the community. Today, [May 18th], he marked the square off with stakes with a private surveyor. He believes there is a public street but that has never existed, according to the deed that the association has in its possession,” Hernandez affirmed.

The council members decided to support the residents’ request as well as to create a governing body to investigate the matter.

Samara Festival Declared to Be of Cultural Interest

In other news, the council members approved the request of Samara residents to declare the Samara Art Festival to be of cultural interest in the canton.

Xavi Palomar, one of the festival promoters, was pleased with the council’s decision. “I think it will help to expand the festival, to obtain more support. We would like the municipality to work with us to get the word out about all of the events that we organize and to facilitate participation from people from the other districts of Nicoya so they benefit from these cultural assets,” Palomar said.

Council Members Make Motion Against Prison

Finally, the majority of the council members approved a motion made by councilman Juan Edwin Yockchen, who denounced the felling of trees and apparent preparations to build on the property where the Semi Institutional Center of Nicoya is located, the place where the Ministry of Justice and Peace plans to build a penitentiary.

“They are cutting down trees, clearing scrubland and making preparations to build. Yesterday I saw surveyors measuring, setting up stakes; I saw tape with arrows marking the possible initiation of work. It is serious because there is already a land use that was not granted [by the municipality] to the Ministry of Justice and Peace for that purpose. They are infringing on the legal system,” Yockchen pointed out.

The agreement includes ordering the Ministry of Justice and Peace to respect the municipal administrative decision to not grant the land use for that land, and at the same time request a report from the ministry on the real intentions of what is going to be done on the property.