“Don’t let them get away with it”: DRNA secretary says that demolition in Bahia de Jobos sets a “precedent”

“Don’t let them get away with it”: DRNA secretary says that demolition in Bahia de Jobos sets a “precedent”

The secretary of Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DRNA), Anais Rodriguez Vegastated this Thursday that the ruling issued by the Guayama Court ordering the demolition of a residential structure illegally erected in the nature reserve of Jobos Bayin Salinascontributes to setting a “precedent” around the actions taken by the agency regarding constructions without valid authorizations.

“In the case of (construction in) the Las Golondrinas cave (Aguadilla), there was demolition. In the case of Sun and beach (Rincon), there was demolition. In this case, demolition was also ordered. So (the determinations) confirm the positions of the DNER, not only by the technical staff, but the Judicial Branch has confirmed the legal theories of the DNER”, emphasized Rodriguez Vega.

In interview with The new daythe official indicated that, so far, the DRNA has not received any communication that the co-defendants intend to appeal the ruling of Superior Judge Josian Rivera Torres. The ruling, in addition to revoking the use permit issued by a licensed professional, ordered the owner of the property, Miguel A. Flores Torres, to complete the demolition within a period of 30 days.

The legal appeal that the DRNA and the Municipality of Salinas presented in September included Flores Torres and the engineer as co-defendants. Angel Rodriguez Sanchezthe authorized professional who issued the use permit in 2019.

There was a landfill deposit, construction of docks, cutting of mangroves on land that belongs to the town…

Anais Rodriguez Vega, secretary of the DRNA

At the time of this publication, the Planning Board had not specified the status of the administrative process that it opened against Rodriguez Sanchez, who, according to the DRNA, lost his accreditation as an authorized professional in 2017.

According to Rodriguez Vega, The 30-day period for demolition will begin to be counted once the corresponding permits are obtained.. “They must present the information required to obtain a demolition permit (and) contact the DRNA so that, as issued in the ruling, it is an orderly and supervised demolition,” he said.

The work within Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve It was developed on an estimated property of 507 square meters, and included a main block and concrete structure, a small finished structure, fences, construction materials, stairs and a dock.

“There, there was a landfill deposit, construction of docks, cutting of mangroves on land that belongs to the people of Puerto Rico”described Rodriguez Vega.

Flores Torres is also one of the co-defendants in the eviction appeal that the DRNA maintains against a dozen people who, according to the agency, They illegally appropriated land in the nature reservewhere, for years, constructions were developed and used as recreational spaces.

“Beyond that case, I believe that the precedent with this and the other cases that we have been closing reaffirms is the administration’s unwavering commitment to the protection and conservation of natural resources. The time has come for those who think they are above the laws, and violate environmental laws and regulations, not to get away with it.“said the DRNA secretary.

In written statements, the mayor of Salinas, Karilyn Bonillapointed out that “the court’s determination was as expected and helps citizens keep in mind the importance of compliance with laws and regulations.”

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