San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Study: Caribbean Building Permits Few, Far Between

The Caribbean region tops Costa Rica’s list for the greatest number of buildings constructed without municipal permits, according to a recent study by the Federated Association of Engineers and Architects (CFIA).

While the national rate for such buildings is 27 percent, more than 59 percent of all new construction in the Caribbean province of Limón is accomplished without the necessary documentation, the report says.

Not only does that mean lost revenues for the municipalities, it also poses a threat for those using the buildings.

“Eighteen years ago, Limón experienced one of the biggest earthquakes in the history of the country,” Olman Vargas, executive director of CFIA, said in a statement. “Regions such as Limón are

taking a huge risk when they have such high rates of construction without permits. It means that infrastructure might not be safe in the face of an earthquake.”

–Chrissie Long

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