Tú dijiste:
– ¿Cuál es la señal del camino, oh derviche? – Escucha lo que te digo
y, cuando lo oigas, ¡medita!
Ésta es para ti la señal:
la de que, aunque avances,
verás aumentar tu sufrimiento.


enero 30, 2008

The National Platform of Those Affected by the Coastal Law has been established in Spain, consisting of some 2,000 persons affiliated with the following groups or associations:

Neighborhood Association of Arenales del Sol (Elche);

Neighborhood Association of Nules (Castellón);

Neighborhood Association of the Casbah (Valencia);

Sol Naciente Neighborhood Association (Albufereta, Alicante);

Hotel Sidi Saler (Valencia);

Oliva Neighborhood Association (Valencia);

Neighborhood Collective of the beach of las Deveses (Denia, Alicante);

Owners of Pepita Restaurant (Sagunto);

Varadero de Tazacorte Neighborhood Association (La Palma);

Bajo la Cuesta Neighborhood Association;

Risco de las Tablas Neighborhood Association (Tenerife);

Neighborhood Association of Otur Beach (Asturias);

Neighborhood Association of Almardá and Corinto Beaches (Sagunto, Valencia);

Alboraya Neighborhood Association (Valencia);

Neighborhood Association of the Port of los Molinos (Fuerteventura);

Neighbors of Puerto Lajas (Ferteventura);

Neighborhood Association of Guardamar (Alicante).

The aims of this platform are the unified defense against the abusive, arbitrary and retroactive application of the Coastal Law. Its first initiative has been to present a documentary report, created by attorney Jose Ortega, initially to the political parties and institutions of Spain, and later, before the European Union, in order to present complaints regarding the following deficiencies:

— Different application of the law depending on the party involved, specifically, rigorous application against owners of preexisting homes, but not against builders, developers, and businesses in general (the zone of influence, which limits new construction within a 500-meter strip, does not appear to be applied. For example: the vacation city of Marina d’Or, which violates the view restrictions of the Law with the knowledge and sufferance of the General Directorate of Coasts).

— Indifference to the disappearance of coastline and its effects on the public domain and property (the General Directorate of Coasts does nothing, or very little, when ports cause serious erosion of the coastline to their south, so that the sea is eroding not only beaches, but also cultivated lands. On the other hand, when a zone has been seriously eroded, first a demarcation is made that embraces land within it due to the advance of the sea, and only later is any attention given to the regeneration of the beaches. Example: El Brosquil, in Cullera).

— Arbitrary determination of the line of demarcation, with laxity of proof in administrative proceedings. (The geomorphology reports are made from maps. Those that affect Sidi Saler and the Casbah incorporate passages literally copied from a copyrighted web page. Some studies justify the demarcation as being the reach of storms and are determined by “direct observation.” Others allude to a survey among neighbors that is not even on record.)

— Approving demarcation in secret (dozens of demarcations have been decided by a procedure of ratifying an earlier demarcation, without the neighbors having been aware of either its existence or its approval, so that they have lost their property and not even known it. Examples: Barceloneta (Barcelona), Venecia Beach (Gandía), Almardá Beach (Sagunto), Otur Beach (Asturias).

— Abusive suspension of authorizations and concessions in the public domain while the demarcation is being determined. (The Demarcation of Coasts doesn’t permit owners to make minor repairs to their houses during the determination of the demarcation. This effect is foreseen in the law, but not for the extensive periods usually taken for the transaction, up to 10 years and sometimes as many as 18).

— Arbitrary use of administrative concessions (concessions are granted for uses prohibited by law, like a trade show in Vegadeo or the cultural forum of Barcelona).

— Refusal to recognize the right of citizens to an administrative concession of the First Transitory Disposition, first part, of the Coastal Law (although the Constitutional Court recognized this right for a wide spectrum of those affected by a demarcation, and although the coastal regulation mandates that the concession be granted if not opposed by interested parties, the General Directorate of Coasts does not respond to any request, condemning those affected to long sufferance in the courts).

— Abusive use of the process of possession recovery (this proceeding, intended under the law to apply to usurpers, that is, those who put a house in the public domain without any type of title, is being used against legitimate owners whose homes are inscribed in the Property Register, as well as to those included in the public domain as a consequence of a demarcation).

–Retroactive application of the law (geologic maps are used to determine the dune’s location in remote times and as criteria to determine the inner reach of the public domain. Three-meter holes are made in the forest to find dune fossils. The application of the law thus goes back 14,000 years, when the sea level rose due to the melting of the of the Würm glaciations. Examples: Villaviciosa, Otur, Seselle, the Saler, and La Bombilla).

–Different, even inverse application of the law as to criteria and effects, based on each individual case, creating terrible inequalities (the artificial fills placed on dunes or in channels, in some cases, were the basis for declaring lands as public domain, as in Vegadeo or Alboraya, but not in others, as in Candelaria. Artificial structures on the public domain do not determine its character in some cases, like that of Los Arenales del Sol, but in other cases do, as occurs whenever the General Directorate of Coasts constructs a maritime walkway on the sand).


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