Internet Phone: New York: 315-279-6711 Toronto: 416-907-5758 // 416-461-2203
Costa Rica: Cell: 506-305-3965 Land: 506-282-4142 Ext. 101
NOTE: the New York and Toronto numbers are "local calls" for people in the area codes; calls from outside the area code will be billed at the normal rate from the caller's area code to either the "315" or the "416" area code.
NOTE: NOW THAT THIS DEVELOPMENT IS ESSENTIALLY FINISHED, THE LOG WILL FOCUS MORE ON THE RIO ORO DEVELOPMENT. IT WILL BE INFORMATIVE TO THOSE PLANNING ON BUILDING, THOSE LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO PURCHASE OR TO LEASE, AND FOR THOSE WONDERING WHAT EXPATS DO IN COSTA RICA AND THE LIFESTYLE OF TWO ORDINARY PEOPLE.
Architect: In our working session on Tuesday, we
faced several options-change the house designs, change
the lots, or a combination of both. For the most
part, we decided to do the latter. Be eliminating
several lots and reconfiguring some of the house
designs, we solved the problem and to the betterment
of the project. My concern all along was that the
lots and therefore the houses were too long and too
narrow. Now we have wider lots which give the houses
more street presence and separation from the
We also focused on the west side of the property and
have decided to reconfigure the lot design there as
well by capitalizing on the mountain view at the
expense of locating houses in a low area along the
stream. On Friday, I received Version 31 of the site
Quebrada: our application, like so many applications,
languishes in the bureaucracy. We have decided to be
more proactive and have called the City inspectors in
to see what our issues are —the neighborhood sewage is
being flushed through the quebrada which crosses and
borders our land. We think we will get their tacit
approval to install a culvert and then to cover it.
This doesn't solve the problem of contamination but
the ministry of health and the city have to solve
that but that isn't going to happen in our lifetime.
Fence: We've located the fence along the western
roadway. We've respected what we believe to be the
setbacks and have asked the City for their agreement.
Since the setback requirement can't be met in one
area because of a sheer cliff, we are negotiating with
the City as to how to fence this area. The solution
will probably be to leave the fence line as it is and
to install chain link fencing. In the meantime, we
are extending the height of the existing block wall.
We have authorized the engineer to determine the
design necessary to strengthen this wall such that it
can act as a retaining wall as well in those areas
where we propose to raise the level of the land.
Note 1: "Setbacks" the distance required by law
between the edge of a building or structure and the
property line." This has never been a well respected
or enforced aspect of CR building. On the road
connecting Santa Ana with Belen in the area now
referred to as the "Golden Mile," the government is
attempting to widen the road for the 2nd. time in
three years. Several major businesses, El Lagar, the
new AutoMercado Shopping Mall and a number of others,
are using government land for their parking and
access. Consequently, they are fighting the roadway
Note 2: When we were staking out the fence line, a
neighbor tried to claim a 2 1/2 meter wide right of
access. We showed him the survey saying he was wrong.
He backed off.
Tree removal: we removed the downed tree but it
took about 30 man weeks of back breaking work,
chainsaws, a back hoe, all the pulling power of a
dump truck, and a lot of persistence and ingenuity to
get it done. At one point after three attempts which
didn't budge the stump 6", I was willing to bet a $100
that they couldn't do it. I returned two hours later
and it was out. We've set aside three sections of the
trunk which we will use as benches or orchid or fern
planters later on. Most of the rest of the wood was
trucked to a fiber recycling plant and will come out
as cardboard and the Christmas party is now funded.
Well Application: What Paul interpreted as "nearing
approval" was wishful thinking —we wait.
We are investigating bringing a 6" water pipe up the
eastern street-about 2 kl which amounts to about
$85,000. We are initiating a conversation with the
Municipality to see what we can negotiate in terms of
cost sharing since it would benefit all the houses
along the east roadway.
Web site: we are awaiting two more proposals. We
have one from our current designer and maintenance
people in Argentina. They have been excellent to date
and will be hard for others to knock out. Distance is
a concern but in reality, cyber distance is
non-existent and they have been wonderfully responsive
and seem to keep up-to-date on the latest software
technology. I've come to rely on them totally and
haven't yet been let down! We've registered three
additional possible versions of a domain name for the
Condominium Documentation: About a month ago, we sent
our two office employees to a series of seminars on CR
condominium law-they were very impressed with the
seminar sponsors. Paul and I met with the lawyers and
outlined our project. We got some answers to
potential issues we anticipated resulting from the
variety of housing-single family, horizontal duplexes,
multifamily buildings, vertical (multistory) homes,
horizontal homes, etc. We found the representative
very knowledgeable. While we are somewhat premature
in this initiative, —work really begins after we have
solidified the site plan and the buildings which will
go on the various lots— we do feel confident that these
people know what they are talking about.
On a separate initiative, we now have a rough draft in
English of CR condominium law.
RESIDENCIAS LOS JARDINES
Article in Tico Times: the article has been submitted
and pictures will be taken Monday. The article, along
with others, will appear in a special supplement of
The Tico Times.
We've signed three leases this week; the following
are still available:
Never before on the rental market. This
1,400 sf, single level unit has two huge bedrooms, two
bathrooms, and a private terrace. The open concept
kitchen and living room has a 14' high vaulted
ceiling. The unit features LOTS and LOTS of
beautiful wood built-in storage cabinets, an office,
as well as an entertainment wall unit with a 50" plasma TV and home theater system. The owner has
furnished the entire unit very tastefully with pieces
collected from around the world. All kitchen
appliances and a stacked washer dryer are included. $1,450 mo. Non-smokers only.
1,300 sf, 2 bedroom, two bathroom, single
level with vaulted ceiling, open concept
living/dining/kitchen area. The 300 sf terrace faces
the garden and has a dining table for 6 as well as
casual lounging chairs and side tables. Nicely
furnished throughout and well located near the small
pool and waterfalls. $1,300 mo. Non-smokers only.
2nd. floor, one bedroom (620 sf), fully furnished with full wall bookshelf/display unit with computer desk,
TV, large kitchen with all the kitchen appliances,
pots, cooking / serving and eating ware included. The
cabinets are made of stained "cedro"; the counters,
including the raised breakfast counter and full
backsplash are granite. There is valence lighting,
The bedroom has a matrimonial and a single bed (if
desired). There is a matrimonial size pull out sofa in
the living room. The living room overlooks the large
pool and faces west. The bedroom faces east and has
views of the mountains. $850 mo. Non-smokers only.
Residencias Los Jardines is a secure, gated, tranquil community with on-site satellite and / or CableTica TV, high speed internet, VOIP phone capability, 2 swimming pools each with waterfalls, 2-bar-b-qs and social areas, extensive manicured gardens, English / Spanish / German / Dutch / French spoken.
Weather: mostly clear days with a breeze. The mini
summer hiatus seems to be here.
Between the gym, looking after the birds and playing
with them endlessly, picking
oranges/grapefruit/limes, and shopping, Lita has a
Brian, Lita, Hairless Hugo, irreverent Vicka, the
pigeon toed parrot, and the newbies.
Overlay of Version 1 of the master plan. There will be some minor changes to it but for the most part, it is a reasonable starting point. The picture with the yellow dots represents trees. One swimming pool will likely be eliminated in favor of houses (the large one near the 2nd. pool (bottom left hand corner) This area will likely become a condominium within a condominium having it's own direct street access.