NP #29: Timeline of Nosara’s temporary zoning plan; Videos of the Nicoya Municipality meetings in Nosara ***Updated June 4th with podcasts and Nicoya contact information

English version of the Nosara town meeting in English is up above. The Spanish version is below.

Aquí está versión de Español:

May of 2019 is surely to go down as a historic, yet highly controversial, month in Nosara’s history due to the announcement and timeframe of the proposed temporary zoning plan for our area. The great news is our community is communicating about this important issue. The challenging news is we don’t have much time and this plan is facing significant resistance from some community members.

*There are specific podcasts coming soon on addressing both sides of this matter so stay tuned for more information.

*Updated June 1st: To hear from NCA President Kuki Araya and VP Nice Alterman Click HERE

Updated June 4th: A new podcast is up now with Jeff Grosshandler offering his suggestions on size, height, density and distance regulations and an overall different point of view:

Click HERE

Below is the basic timeline of what happened, where we are at now, timeframes of what is coming next and details on how you can get involved in sharing ideas and feedback for a better Nosara.

May 9th – The Nosara Civic Association started a newsletter message with the following: ‘The NCA announces the approval of the new temporary municipal regulation for construction in the buffer zone of the Ostional Wildlife Refuge.’ The message further explained these new regulations pertain mainly to minimum lot size segregation, height restrictions, lighting requirements, and area of use permissibility.

Some community members appreciated this news and supported the plan as it was proposed. However, many community members disagreed with the contents of the proposal. As a result, the NCA immediately faced intense scrutiny both about the contents of their announcement and the process of how this temporary zoning plan was enacted.

May 15th – About 60 (possibly more) community members met at the Gilded Iguana. The overall theme of the meeting was almost everyone in attendance supports a zoning plan but has questions or issues with what is being proposed and did not appreciate the manner this plan had been passed. Furthermore, most attendees requested the opportunity to participate in asking questions or sharing feedback with overall more community involvement but did not know how to do so. Here is a picture of this meeting:

May 17th – The NCA distributed another message including an apology stating: ‘The NCA would like to apologize to members and the community for developing recommendations for the new temporary building rules in a way that left some people feeling blind sided and out of the process. This was clearly not our intention.’ Later in this message the NCA states: ‘We did not keep our membership fully informed… nor obtain sufficient feedback from our members and the community about our proposed recommendations… We will not make this mistake again.’

The message further went on to explain the details of the plan were not from the NCA itself but studies done by other institutions. The NCA promised there will soon be meetings to answer questions and overall committed to keep the public better informed about this process going forward. The NCA stressed their goal is simply to protect and preserve Nosara and explained there is still time for changes to the plan and encouraged feedback from the community. Several community members were appreciative of the apology and explanation along with the commitment to provide opportunities for their questions and concerns to be heard.

May 21st – The NCA sent out an invitation to the community to hear from the Municipality of Nicoya on May 23rd. The invitation stated: ‘The Municipality staff will explain the regulations, the process of approval and how to give feedback.’

Thursday, May 23rd – The Municipality of Nicoya sent representative Josue Ruiz Guerrero to the Kitson Library in Nosara to explain the proposed temporary zoning plan for the Nosara area. At 10am there was a meeting in Spanish and at 1pm another in English. Both meetings were well-attended and quickly became standing room only. Overall the general public learned about the current proposal, next steps and was provided an opportunity to ask questions.

Overall this meeting seemed to be a crucial step in garnering a more productive conversation pertaining to the process and most attendees appreciated the opportunity to voice concerns and learn more. Perhaps most importantly, the general populace received full confirmation there is still time (till June 15th, 2019) for adjustments to this plan and everyone is invited to share their thoughts and ideas.

However, there remain community members who feel strongly June 15th is not sufficient time for accurate nor adequate feedback and the entire process is being too rushed while being based on inadequate information.

Sunday, May 26th: The NCA issued another message explaining the results of the meeting and informing community members how they may get involved. The NCA graciously provided each of the presentations the Municipality shared during the meeting. The construction information presentation is below and others are available (they are in Spanish).

So how can you participate?

Get your feedback to this man:

Here is his schedule of availability and his email address:

This can happen in person in Nosara (on Mondays between 8am and 4pm beside the Kitson Library), in Nicoya at the Municipality (Tuesday to Friday) or via email.

Again, till June 15th feedback may be delivered in person in Nosara, or in person in Nicoya as stated above, OR emailed directly to Josue at:

What happens next? Feedback, questions and concerns will be fielded until June 15th. Following this, there will basically be two, twenty business day periods in between publication in La Gaceta, announcing these changes.

20 business days – The Municipality declared we have 20 days (till June 15th) to provide feedback and make comments and suggestions for potential adjustments to the current, proposed plan. They will consider these and potentially make adjustments to the existing proposal. They requested as specific and detailed feedback as possible, although everyone is invited to share.

Worth noting: A group of specialists (mainly Nosara’s architects, a couple engineers and builders) agreed to meet Monday (the 27th) at 3pm to share their ideas with the Municipality. Again, everyone is invited and encouraged to attend and or speak directly to Josue to share their opinions during this time period.

Another 20 business days – After the plan is published in La Gaceta, another 20 working day period begins for an additional time period for comments and review. From here the final version of the temporary plan will be moved towards a final vote then go into place as our new regulations going forward.

*The initial link above is from the 1pm, English speaking meeting. The 10am, Spanish speaking meeting will be available soon on

The bottom line: The clock is ticking and anyone who wants to participate or share thoughts on this highly controversial, yet historic, plan needs to hurry. Although there is still time to make adjustments, it is very limited. We are looking at about 2.5 months prior to a plan being enacted.

Some community members feel this is not nearly enough time to make educated and informed decisions about our highly unique community. While others remain steadfast in getting the temporary zoning plan, or some version of it, enacted as quickly as possible and see it as vital to protecting Nosara’s future.

Below is the presentation of the construction data presented by Josue.

*Both the Building Regulation Proposal and the Environmental Fragility for the Buffer Zone studies are available for in Spanish versions upon request.

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