Hi there.

A friend, Paul  Meister, asks for my opinion about the recent situation in Palo Seco, Parrita, because of the eviction that many retired foreigners are suffering there, according to the news on March 28th to 30th, 2012.

Even these people bought land and built a housing project, now the central government, specially the National Register, says Palo Seco is an island and owning properties is not allowed by law. These owners are now suing the local municipality to get an appropriate solution or compensation.

I will try to give my opinion, first in a technical way, then as a citizen, because this problem is mostly legal, and I am not a lawyer.

I am attaching views from Google Earth and from the cartographic map of the area (Hoja Parrita 3344 III). In the Google Earth view, Palo Seco is facing the ocean to the south and a wide estuary to the north. Then, according to the cartographic map, besides that big estuary, called Palo Seco and then Barbural, there is a narrower estuary called Meros, to the northwest that meets the end of Río Parrita.

Considering the strictly definition of an island (a piece of land surrounded by water, see the Oxford Dictionary online), Palo Seco could be considered as an Island, because the water from the estuaries and the ocean is surrounding it. The cartographic map, that comes from Instituto Geográfico Nacional, is offical and says Isla Palo Seco.

Nevertheless, in the Google Earth view, Meros estuary is so narrow that you practically can´t see it. I guess it is not deep either.

In my opinion, considering Palo Seco as an island could be arguable before a court, because the estuary is like a creek, not deep enough to isolate this piece of land from Parrita. In that case, Palo Seco would be a peninsula, as Puntarenas downtown, for instance.

Now, the most important thing is municipality allowed to build in this area in the past. So, there should be approved designs and blueprints with the official stamps from the Muni and the respective document about the permits.

As I commented in another topic about the land use document, from the Muni, if this municipality allowed the constructions in the past, there should be an approved land use for this, too, and because of it the legal procedure before the court should be successful.

Therefore, if you, as the owner of land, have followed the technical and legal processes, you would have the rights to ask for an indemnification, at least.

I suggest to be careful about this subject.

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