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Environmental permission revoked for Silicon Cabarete, irregularities claimed

The Ministry of Environment revoked on 17 October 2017 the environmental license issued for the development of Villas La Boca Ecological Lounge by Dreams Endowment Corporation SRL in La Boca, Cabarete, Puerto Plata. The project would be developed at the Yásica River mouth. The stop to construction was issued following recommendations made after Ministry of Environment inspectors visited the site on 29 September 2017 and confirmed violations of the permission to build the residential and technology center.

As reported in Diario Libre, the inspectors confirmed that some 1,500 meters of dunes were irregularly filled in to build a parking area. Diario Libre reports that Ministry of Environment inspectors saw for themselves that an area within the 60 meters fringe area from the beach had been marked off for a wooden path, affecting a public access area and the dunes. This area was off limits as per the environmental license. The inspectors, reportedly also ascertained where the main dwelling was marked for construction would also violate the authorization, as part of the dunes and area vegetation would need to be eliminated. The inspectors received evidence (videos by drones) from the community that mangroves had been eliminated.

The project developers propose to create a working and creative center with accommodations for businessmen from all over the world. The heart of the development is Silicon Cabarete, a software technology entrepreneurship incubator where a number of entrepreneurs can work in a highly stimulating environment, where they are able to share and develop their ideas surrounded by like-minded people. The project would consist of a creativity center, villas, and entertainment areas.

The environmental permission authorized a main villa of two levels, a secondary villa, two operation enters for technology system operations (Silicon Cabarete 1 and 2) of 1,000 square meters each, a spa-gym, two tennis courts, principal entrance and parking for 10 vehicles.

The leading investor in the project is reportedly Fabrice Grinda, a French entrepreneur, best known for being co-founder of OLX, one of the largest classified ads websites in the world.

The snag though, is that the chosen site is environmentally fragile. The developers reportedly received Ministry of Environment environmental permission for the project development after three years of requesting the license amid protests that the project potentially threatened wetland, mangroves and dunes in the area known as La Boca, the estuary formed where the Yásica River flows into the Atlantic Ocean. In granting the permission, Minister Francisco Domínguez Brito had alerted that the project needed to be limited to areas where it would cause the least environmental damage.

The Association for the Protection of Environment and Tourism of Cabarete and Sosua (Asoprocaso) and the Academy of Sciences had alerted of the impact the development could have on the fragile ecosystem.

Diario Libre reported on 18 October 2017 that as part of the conditioning of the site, 40 tareas (approximately 25,000 square meters) of mangroves and 1,200 of dunes had been affected. Families in the area have complained that the development would cut their access to the beach.

Source: DR1, DiarioLibre

Oct 19, 2017

Category: DR News |

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Last updated January 21, 2018 at 12:31 AM
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