Posted Jun 2018
President Carlos Alvarado signed today an act of Congress suspending the evictions in the Maritime Zone. The purpose of the law is to create a moratorium for the evictions for a period of 36 months.
Please note that this only a moratorium, upon expiration of the 36 months the government will continue the eviction process for people who are currently possessing maritime zone property without complying with current regulations.
The moratorium is not applicable to eviction processes that already have a court order or for case that pose an environmental threat. While the law is mainly applicable to maritime zone property, it is also applicable to properties adjacent to international borders or adjacent to government properties such as national parks or natural reserves and that are subject to eviction due to noncompliance with concession regulations.
What is Maritime Zone?
Under the Maritime Zone Law (published in 1977) it is the strip of land along the coastline 200 meter wide. The 200 meters are counted from the high tide mark.
The 200 meters of maritime zone is divided in two strips of land, the first 50 meters are public property which is basically the beach, the remainder 150 meters is restricted zone which is the part that can be granted for concession.
Is it possible to own property in the Maritime Zone?
It is not. It is only possible to obtain a concession from the government. The process requires to first obtain a permit from the local municipality which must be approved by the Ministry of Tourism. The concessions are only granted to Costa Rican nationals, and foreigners with residency. Foreign nationals without residency can only participate through a corporation of which 51% must be owned by Costa Ricans.
Since the law was passed in 1977, there are properties that were titled prior to that time and therefore they were grandfathered. This properties with title are not at risk of eviction.
Feel free to send us a comment should you have any additional questions regarding maritime zone.