An outsiders' view of Costambar

ffritz

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We recently had a visit from our family. They loved the DR & are considering buying a place here.
But not in Costambar.
As a community Costambar is unique on the north coast, but the infrastructure is pitiful. It must not always have been so & my father-in-law pondered why only half the residents pay their dues.
What happened that made half the residents so angry that they don't pay APC?
Mismanagement maybe?
Misappropriation of funds?
Over-inflation of job costings & pcoketing the difference?
Constant mowing of grass areas while the roads crumble?
Rubbish on every street corner?
Hookers/pimps & gun dealers let in to ply their trade openly?
Legitimate businesses persecuted while the aforementioned are ignored?
Any answers from the new Board Members?
Talk is cheap - I judge a man by his deeds not his words.
 

J D Sauser

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It is my very personal opinion that CostAmbar is a sorry but not untypical display of bad urbanism too often found around these countries.
The downfall or failure seems to have been pre-programmed from the very beginning, the lack of basic organizational skills apparently being the root to most issues present today.
  • There seems to have been NO zoning at all (at least non applied). Single family homes of all forms and sizes are mixed randomly with apartment building, condos and hotels.
  • No subsection has been really finished before continuing selling lots and building randomly throughout the whole "development", so too much infrastructure had to be installed for too little home density (paying for it and it's maintenance).
  • Like so many developments even started today, the HOA has not been made binding to the deeds (titulos). The HOA "contract many times has fails to be carried over when re-sales occure, Thus the HOA slowly looses representativeness and power.
  • Too many projects within the development have been not just allowed to fail but also to be left abandoned (Eg: in CostAmbar most notoriously a hotel in prime location in FRONT of the beach).
  • Compared to the above fundamental issues, the safari style access road is only a minor (and repairable) issue. But, even while being the most flagrant one to the first time visitor, it's repair will not cure the fundamental problems of that development.
There are several developments with similar issues in the region and throughout the whole island. Many have been discussed here many times over and many times we have been told by all sorts of enthusiasts and people with "interests" how "this" or "that" would be resolved soon... "if only so-and-so...".
The way I see it, in most cases history seems to prove that as being very unlikely in most of these problematic developments since it is not repairing the most visible blemishes which will prevent them to re-appear again and again when it is the fundamental organization which has failed and is almost impossible to correct afterwards.
Bottom line, it would seem that the basic concepts of "urbanism" are consistently being overlooked, to put it mildly. But then, are we to be surprised? :)

... J-D.
 

Chip

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JD makes a lot a valid points, and I, as a civil engineer quite familiar with planning, would like to add that I see one serious flaw that has no doubt contributed to Costambar's demise, if you will. It has to do with the fact that the properties aren't secured or buffered from all of the public beach access and associated businesses. this allows riffraff such as drug dealers and prostitutes to infiltrate the area and bring down property values thus causing homeowners to leave which in turn affects the influence of the HOA.

This developmet could have easily been planned to function in a much better way as is found in resort developments around the world including the DR. At this point, until they separate the public from the development, I don't think things will get better.
 

A.Hidalgo

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I was told by a resident, that the bombed out road that leads to the main entrance will be repaired, in tandem with the plan to level the poor barrio next door. According to him it is to start this year. We shall see.
 

Rocky

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I was told by a resident, that the bombed out road that leads to the main entrance will be repaired, in tandem with the plan to level the poor barrio next door. According to him it is to start this year. We shall see.
They could build a yellow brick road to Costambar, but it wouldn't change it having the most polluted beach on the entire North coast of the country.
If everything was done right, maybe it could be swimmable in 15 years.
 

A.Hidalgo

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Now I know why I'm growing an extra testicle.....when I'm in the island I swim there. ooppss:surprised
 

Lambada

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Well I visit there every week but don't swim & so far have no extra appendages whatsoever..........:cheeky:

I was told by a resident, that the bombed out road that leads to the main entrance will be repaired, in tandem with the plan to level the poor barrio next door. According to him it is to start this year. We shall see.
I'd also heard that this was linked to some developments in the port area - the delays over which have been covered quite extensively in the local papers.

What I think IS factual is that the new APC committee is in place, so maybe this will lead to some changes? Perhaps some of the Costambar residents could confirm?
 

A.Hidalgo

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You are absolutely right about the port development. I was also told that. If that goes forward lets see how those people living there are handled. I hope in the most humanely way possible.
 

Lambada

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I've already suggested to our Mercedes to do no more improvements on her home (this was about 6/8 months ago when I first became aware of what might be going down). She lives in El Javilar. It is rumoured that they will be offered an alternative site somewhere beyond Bergantin but of course no-one wants to go there because most of those residents work in PP so it would be distant by quite some way. They also don't know how much they'll be offered for their homes - after all the years of scrimping & saving & working hard Mercedes has done it would be heart-breaking if her investment went down the tubes.

What I don't understand, A.Hidalgo, & maybe you can shed light on this is that the new orphanage opened very close to Mercedes home, which I thought would mean she'd be spared, but.............apparently not? Know anything?
 

La Profe_1

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Oct 15, 2003
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JD and Chip

I don't want to hijack this thread, but if you would not be adverse to answering some questions about the right way to plan a development, would you please PM me your email addresses?
 

J D Sauser

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I was told by a resident, that the bombed out road that leads to the main entrance will be repaired, in tandem with the plan to level the poor barrio next door. According to him it is to start this year. We shall see.
They can make it a six lane high way with king palms gracing the median... it will still lead straight to the same development.

They can (try to) move the barrio and revamp the port, the problems INSIDE the development will remain mostly the same.

Yes, it will make it more attractive for resales but the living conditions will remain the same.

It's like a building with bad foundations, you can have the beautification committee do wonders on it's surroundings, change the tiles on the roof and paint it all over every week... the cracks will show thru again and again.

I wouldn't bet on big wonders either when small ones are an exception historically.

I sincerely hate not being able to say something nice(r)... J-D.
 

Chip

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Developments can be remade into something much more secure and attractive, however, the planning is very critical. As far as the status of the condition of the buildings, for the most part this is secondary as they can be repaired or replaced. The first priority is securing the development and isolating it. Redevelopments are very common and many are very successful in raising the property values and interest in an area.

As this would require a more substantial effort that what the residents can probably afford, it would take an outside developer to come in and buy up the remaining vacant properties to make it viable. Also, a majority of the existing homeowners would have to agree to the new terms of the new HOA that would have to be established.
 

ffritz

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I can confirm that there is a new APC committee in place & time will tell if they can regain the confidence of the residents.
By the way sorry I've not replied earlier but Codetel were working on my neighbours' phone line & managed to cut me off - I told the workman but he managed to disappear before I had a chance to take his van keys ....
We've still had no contributions from APC which is pretty much what I expected ....
 

kjt96

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How many of the above posts come from people who actually own in Costambar?
I do, and personally would hate to see it "developed" to the point that it was a cookie cutter "resort" village. I love it there -- warts, bad roads and all !!!
 

Chip

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I do, and personally would hate to see it "developed" to the point that it was a cookie cutter "resort" village. I love it there -- warts, bad roads and all !!!
Ok, but don't blame people who are tired of the drugs, prostitution and dropping property values and want to make a change.