San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Enviro Damage Totals $3.4M, Says MINAE

The environmental damage caused by two real estate development projects in the Central Pacific has been valued by the government at $3.4 million.

The projects, called Hermosa Vista and Costa Montaña, were shut down in March during a surprise sweep of inspections in the area by the Environmental Tribunal, an administrative court of the Environment and Energy Ministry (MINAE).

Hermosa Vista, an 80-hectare, 100-condominium project overlooking the Central Pacific’s Playa Hermosa, allegedly “affected” 9.4 hectares of forest by scraping roads, terraces and embankments into the mountainside, according to a statement from the Environmental Tribunal. The damage, it says, is “incurable.”

The project developers also “practically buried” a series of creek beds, which drain into the Playa Hermosa-Punta Mala Wildlife Refuge below, with 4,500 cubic meters of sediment, the statement said.

The Central Pacific Conservation Area, a division of MINAE, calculated Hermosa Vista’s damage at $2.1 million.

Costa Montaña, a project that planned 160 condos on 98 hectares of property, is alleged to have damaged 3.3 hectares of secondary forest, valued at $1.3 million.

However, developers behind the Costa Montaña project presented a plan to minimize and repair its environmental damage in April and has already put the plan into action, the statement said.

–Leland Baxter-Neal


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