The Administrative Court declares the lawsuit filed against the regulations for granting construction permits in the buffer zone of the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge to be without merit.

The Administrative Court has dismissed the lawsuit filed by JBR CAPITAL VENTURES against the Municipality of Nicoya, which sought to declare the “Regulations for the Granting of Construction Permits in the Buffer Zone of the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge” absolutely null and illegal.

The regulation was proposed to the Municipality of Nicoya by the Nosara Civic Association, which, along with other community stakeholders, has aimed for responsible development in the district of Nosara.

What does the judgment say?

  • The judgment of the Court indicates that: It was proven that the Municipality of Nicoya did, in fact, hold a public hearing to receive input from neighbors or interested parties before putting the regulation into effect.
  • The lack of a Management Plan for the Ostional Refuge does not limit the Municipality’s authority to issue regulations considering environmental risks.
  • Municipalities have a duty to regulate environmentally significant situations even in the absence of approved Regulatory Plans; thus, the Municipality of Nicoya acted in accordance with its constitutional duty to protect the environment.

What happens now? According to attorney Marvin Carvajal, an advisor to the Civic Association, the plaintiffs could potentially file appeals against this resolution, and the precautionary measures might be reviewed. However, the measures in place up to now are greatly weakened. In other words, this judgment fully reinforces the validity and application of the regulation.

For Luis Pardo, a member of the Board of Directors of the Nosara Civic Association

“This is a significant step that validates the community of Nosara’s position, which has decisively supported this regulation as a tool to safeguard and protect our community. It is also excellent news for all municipalities in the country. We are pleased to have participated as co-defendants in the process in support of the Municipality.”

What does the Regulation entail?
The Building Regulations establish a 5-kilometer buffer zone from the external boundary of the Ostional Refuge in which regulations apply to:

  • Building height
  • Land coverage
  • Type of lighting
  • Wastewater management

The Nosara Civic Association reiterates its commitment to continue working hand in hand with the Municipality of Nicoya and all the neighbors for balanced development that allows us to remain a model community. Soon, we will be sharing details related to the implementation of the regulation.