Rincoeños Stop Condos and Save Beach Access in PR


Chapter: Rincon
State: PR
Country: USA
Theme: Beach Access
Completion Date: March 11 2008
Status: Victory

Local fisherman, citizens and the Rincón Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation stopped the construction of a condominium complex on the beach at the marina next to the Black Eagle in Rincón, PR. This project threatened to further privatize Rincón's coastline and reduce public access to the beach. The area is also traditionally used by local fishermen. Following years of legal and administrative battles, the project permit was "paralyzed" indefinitely by ARPE (permitting agency) on February 22, 2008 because the project is located in a flood zone and the developers failed to disclose this detail or observe the required setback requirements. The Appellate Court required a review of the location of the seaward line of the maritime zone – boundary of the public beach with the land. The Department of Natural Resources (DRNA) completed its survey of the maritime zone on March 11th. The impact of this new survey is that the fence surrounding the project site is illegal and must be removed reopening the traditional beach access that had been closed by the developers. The project must also be redesigned to be outside the maritime zone and must include a new environmental impact statement given the projects close proximity to Elkhorn coral reefs and the Reserva Marina Tres Palmas.