As reported this week, Aruba Birdlife Conservation, ABC, lost its case in court, against the developers of Azure Condominiums, PGM Condo builders NV. The judge outlined his decision saying that “You snooze you lose,” ABC should have mobilized earlier. Now that the investment has been made, the clock cannot be turned backwards!
I predicted it on September 12th when I wrote: A SENSE OF URGENCY: Aruba Birdlife Conservation recently filed four court cases, a few against the government and one against a developer, regarding a condo on Eagle Beach, Azure, that had already reached the seventh floor! Aruba’s government most probably granted all necessary permits, but Aruba Birdlife Conservation aims at proving to the judge that construction in taking place on what was previously classified as green land. The verdict will be handed down on September 21st. It will be interesting to see if construction will be halted or allowed to continue. My bet is, allowed to continue, in view of what happened in Malmok where the MinInfra changed the designation of terrain, just like that, hocus pocus!
So, the government in its great wisdom granted all permits, investors shelled out millions and what’s done is done.
It is clearly my fault. I drive by the lovely project every day, and it never dawns on me that perhaps the construction is infringing on previously-declared-green areas. How would I know? I don’t know! The government is supposed to control all that, but apparently, it changed its mind. Why? Because governments CAN change their minds. This whole green thing is NOT anchored by law. So subsequently, every MinInfra does as he wants.
Parke Arikok? Can’t mess with it. One third of the land mass of Aruba is protected by law, and you cannot try to develop anything there.
THERE IS A FLIP SIDE TO THAT: Once something is declared green, by law, you cannot help it. You must leave it to its own devices, no rehabilitation, no improvement of water circulation, no irrigation, no termite treatments, zero interference, let-the-boa-population-take-over, kind of attitude.
According to me the Bubali Bird Sanctuary is a manmade water surplus location, and when we pump gray water into it, it lives and thrives, and when we have no water, it dries, and dies. So if the area is declared green, under zero interference, then no water can be pumped in, and then it dies? So it would be against logic to declare it protected, because then it will cease to exist?!
There has to be a happy medium, where development and nature go hand in hand. Example? Wilhelmina Park. Meta Corp struck a deal with a practical government a few years ago, under which they would maintain and manicure a lovely park, in exchange for the use of the reclaimed land, for the purpose of building a hotel. Perhaps you forgot, but I did not. The end result, the developer got the Renaissance Beach Suites, and the Renaissance Convention Center and the island enjoys a picture perfect Wilhelmina Park. So here you go, it’s possible.
Instead of berating Azure Condominiums we should make them a deal to build and maintain an observation platform so we could actually enjoy the birds that are living in the bush!