The reasons why 12 projects were cancelled are diverse but include the financial crisis, which dried up sources of credit, the general decline in tourism activity and investment, as well as the tedious and slow procedures for obtaining the permits required.
The latter does not appear to have a short term solution, according to Ana Cristina Camacho Sandoval in her article for Elfinancierocr.com. Juan Carlos Ramos, president of the Costa Rican Chamber of Tourism says that, "at the beginning of June the Constitutional Court rejected a bill (no. 14836) to simplify procedures and create incentives for marinas and maritime piers. Magistrates found constitutional issues with one of the articles relating to local consultation... This third interruption affects Costa Rica's ability to compete in the marine tourism market."
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The industry claims that the law streamlining procedures is not being implemented in all institutions involved in the permitting process.
The law which aims to reduce the time it takes to gain authorization for medium and long term real estate projects from 880 days to 175 days, is not being applied equally by state entities.
Municipalities still have 2.000 pending applications for building towers.
Problems in issuing permits (just the municipality of Turrialba has 200 requests) have to do with the lack of knowledge on how to process such permits.
"The Government asked on Oct. 21st for representatives of local governments to support a general regulation for municipal procedures on telecommunications" publishes El Financiero on its web page.
The area of land in process for construction permits for new properties in the first quarter of this year decreased by 5% compared to the amount in the same period in 2013.
Of the total square meters processed with the Association of Engineers and Architects, the category showing the greatest reduction was trade buildings, which fell by 35% compared to the first quarter of 2013.
The procedures for obtaining an environmental permit now require between 6 months and 2 years; they could be shortened to 60 days.
Ismael Nolasco, from the Salvadoran Chamber of Construction (CASALCO), remarked they have held talks with the Environment Ministry and agreed on a new scheme that will come into effect this week.