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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Vega Baja to study whether controversial hotel invades maritime-coastal zone

Vega Baja Mayor Marcos Cruz Molina

By The Star Staff

The municipality of Vega Baja is preparing a study to certify whether the construction of a proposed hotel in the La Casona area of the Puerto Nuevo resort falls within the stipulated maritime-terrestrial zone.

The project’s construction is on hold pending the study.

“The municipality has committed itself to carrying out a study, and we are already in the contracting process to validate it,” Vega Baja Mayor Marcos Cruz Molina said. “And, if finally it is validated that it is in the maritime-terrestrial zone, it will follow the corresponding steps with the appropriate government agencies, considering that there is an investment of $8 million in it.”

The mayor added that he requested a coastal study to predict what will happen a decade after construction.

Cruz Molina said that 11 years ago, when La Casona was established, it was the same municipality that invested in the project, which, at that time, did not raise concerns regarding whether the area would be affected.

On Sunday afternoon, about 50 people demonstrated in a peaceful and orderly manner against the process, to which the mayor responded that it is their right.

“All opinions are respected, although we do not necessarily agree with them,” the mayor said.

A few weeks ago, Cruz Molina vetoed the bill approved in the municipal assembly to make way for the construction of the hotel, legislation that was sharply criticized by Citizen Victory Movement legislator Edwin Marrero Santiago.

However, the mayor did not want to specify if he will eliminate the option to purchase the space after hiring the services of the interested party in La Casona.

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