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Servicentro Nicoya Under Scrutiny for Closing Passageway and Possible Illegal Construction

By Oliver Pérez

Servicentro Nicoya, located 100 meters from La Anexion Hospital, is under the watchful eye of the Municipality of Nicoya, the Controller General of the Republic, the Environmental Court and residents of the El Carmen neighborhood. 

The scene darkened for the owner of the gas station, first for the construction of a location next to the Matambo River and, second, because he closed a path that neighbors were using for more than 50 years.  Alfredo Montoya Carmona, who filed a complaint in the municipality, affirmed that he had been using it since 1962. 

In the July 10, 1995 session, the Municipal Council declared this path an easement of passage, but two years ago the owner of the gas station, Ulises Avila, closed it. On May 31 last year, Mayor Marco Jimenez requested in writing that the owner immediately open the right of way; however to date the door remains closed.    

VON contacted Ulises Avila by telephone on May 24. Upon consulting about the closure of the right of way, he sent us to review the property’s plan. When viewed, the plan does not show an right of way easement.     

“The municipality doesn’t have to get involved in this because the plan makes very clear that there is no right of way easement,” explained Avila. 

Nonetheless, residents of the El Carmen neighborhood were using this passage to cut through to the hospital and the courthouse, and schoolchildren from Santa Lucia neighborhood passed through there to get to the Cacique Nicoa School. That way they saved walking 300 meters. 

Doubts About Construction
Regarding the case of the construction on the edge of the Matambo River, last July the Controller asked city hall for a report about this work where today a gym is running. According to records of the municipal engineering department, they don’t have construction permits for this location and for a shed that diminish the passageway of the easement

For his part, Avila affirms that he built these locations legally and that all of the permits were approved, including the land usage. 

“Rather before initiating the construction, I moved it over half a meter to avoid problems. Whoever has doubts, here in my office are the construction plans for the property.  There is no problem,” declared the businessman.    

Municipality denounces possible contamination
The most recent report was given by Elizabeth Fernandez, coordinator of the environmental department of the Municipality of Nicoya. She informed the Director of the Governing Area of Health of Nicoya, Xinia Cordero Vargas, that in a visit made to the site this year on March 19, she verified that untreated residual waters from the gas station arrive at the river.  
“It was observed that this liquid gives off a strong odor, similar to the wax that is used for the autos. We consider that we could be facing the presence of something affecting the aquatic ecosystem, a product of what is poured out from this establishment,” indicated the environmental coordinator.

The mayor, Jimenez, in an official letter dated October of 2011, requested an appraisal from the Division of Commercialization of Fuels, Ministry of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications (MINAET), to suspend the authorizations of transportation and commercialization of fuel for this service station, since this location is classified for building public offices, according to the regulatory plan that is in force. But to date, no resolution has been reached even though seven months have now passed.


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Health Department Shuts Down Artisan Tables in Samara

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Representative Mendoza Supports Nosara’s Demonstration

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Nicoya Mayor Will Protest Against the Government on July 25 Celebrations

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The Order to Close Pedregal is for Land that Was Not Being Exploited

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Nosara’s Economic Forecast Looks Sunny

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Rising Prices Hurt the Pocketbook

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At the same time that ministers of the Republic have been under investigation for evading taxes, the internal auditor of the Municipality of Nicoya, Gilberto Lizano Elizondo, has also been under investigation for evading real estate taxes since 1997, as detailed in a report by the directive organ that investigated the case.

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