Governor defends sale of alleged Condado ‘park’
By The Star Staff
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said Wednesday that a plot of land situated across Ashford Avenue from the Parque del Indio in Condado, which has been described as a park by residents of the neighborhood, was appraised and the sale process was legal.
“To that particular transaction, because I say, I investigated, because I did not have any kind of knowledge until I saw it in the press,” the governor said in response to questions from the press. “I investigated and that started before my administration started. This is from 2019. The appraisal is from before we were in charge. There are some processes and they were followed; based on the information I have, all the processes were followed. This type of transaction is conducted by the appraised value. Apparently that was the case.”
“And so, regarding the community’s claim, which I have also seen expressed in the media, what appears to be the case is that the Municipality of San Juan is considering carrying out a public hearing process; that is, the community will have the opportunity to express itself in this public hearing,” Pierluisi said. “If it happens, we have a very, positive, very effective framework. What you are looking for is that these transactions are made for their fair value. Because the piece of land in particular is a very small piece of land. I am not an appraiser, but obviously, there was an appraiser who made that appraisal and the DTOP relied on it, that is, the Department of Transportation and Public Works.”
The governor pointed out that Puerto Rico has “a land-use plan, some zoning, a whole process that must be followed.”
“In this case, we are talking about an autonomous municipality that is the Municipality of San Juan, which is the one that would give the construction permit in this case and will only give it if the law is being followed,” he said. “They will only give it to you if you are complying with the applicable zoning. In other words, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. If the municipality decides to hold a public hearing, the community will be able to express itself. But the most important thing in all this is to comply with the law.”
The plot of land on Ashford Avenue was sold for $145,000 and according to neighbors, it was a park. The developers want the parcel of land to expand the construction of a 12-story condominium. The trees that were at the location were reportedly poisoned.